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Student blog – Mustika Anggraeni

Phd topic: To Stay or Migrate: Searching for Participation Cost Typology for Effective Disaster Governance for Vulnerable Community in The Flood Prone Area.

My name is Mustika Anggraeni and I am a PhD Candidate in Human Geography and International Development AISSR University of Amsterdam. I’m a lecturer in Urban & Regional Planning Department Brawijaya University, Indonesia and began the PhD program in November 2016. Currently, I’m working on my thesis in the context of participation in the disaster prone area, particularly in participation cost and flood disaster related to climate change. I’m interested in this topic because there are many cases of unsuccessful flood prone settlement relocation programs in Indonesia. These repeated failures tend to make the government procrastinate taking action, tolerating settlement growth and making the problem more acute. What is most problematical is the cost of the process itself, economically and socially. My research proposal aims to provide a typology of participation costs in the context of flood prone settlement areas, in order to understand which conditions bring the most benefit of participation. This main research question will be my concern over the next 44 months in the PhD program in the Netherlands, mainly at the UvA.

I have just started the CERES Course and I have a good feeling it. I have only joined the introduction session during the first week of the course, but it was already a big step toward beginning to develop the structure of my ideas and turn them into a research question. I was impressed by how the facilitator encourages us to speak about our topic in 60 seconds in more structured and interesting ways. Since I had the stereotypical Asian shyness and verbal difficulties, it really was a good practice for me. In the PhD stage, I’m in the process of developing my research proposal. My challenges mainly are how to relate the empirical issues and theoretical problems that arise in participation theory scholarship, and I am still somewhat hesitant as to whether my research question is enough for a PhD.

Being able to propose a set of research questions and operationalize it into a research design with an appropriate selection of methodology is an important part of a pursuing a PhD. I have had some difficulties with this in the early stage of PhD, and my expectations for the CERES course is to receive guidance on how to organize my ideas and develop a proper research proposal that will be ready for field work. Other than that, I hope I will form new networks of colleagues from the facilitators and participant, in order to develop research in the general field and more importantly develop new friendships.