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Sustainable Development of Informal Settlements and Citarum Basin Ecologies

Monash Warwick Research Alliance: Developing Transdisciplinary Partnerships for Urban Water Transformations

Sustainable development is a key research and education priority for both Monash and Warwick. While this research theme is spearheaded through Monash’s Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI) and Warwick’s Institute of Global Sustainable Development (IGSD), it is a transdisciplinary endeavour that cuts across many disciplines and research themes, and critically involves partnerships with government, industry and communities.

Professor Rob Raven, Deputy Director (Research), MSDI and Professor João Porto de Albuquerque, Director, IGSD, are united in their common goal to develop a roadmap to establishing a research platform that addresses key challenges of planetary health, and builds on existing strengths.

The researchers will be conducting a pilot project to explore together the social and physical factors that impact the health and livelihoods of vulnerable communities. The intention is that this will pave the way to a large scale, action research program in Indonesia.

The Citarum River is the longest and largest river in West Java, Indonesia and arguably the dirtiest river in the world. It is vital for 25 million people, who daily depend on it for agriculture, water and electricity. It is also the source of water for the Jatiluhur Reservoir, Indonesia’s largest reservoir (3 billion cubic meters of storage capacity), that supplies water for Bandung and Jakarta, as well as irrigating 400,000 hectares of rice fields, and is the source of energy for three hydroelectric power stations serving three cities.

Informed by in-country engagement and pilot research outcomes and insights, the project will serve to advance thinking on specific challenges of vulnerable communities, the role of transdisciplinary research in in sustainable development of vulnerable communities, and inform the development of a large, research alliance between Warwick, Monash and partners in Indonesia for the next 10-20 years.

The Team

Principal Applicants:

Professor Rob Raven, Monash Sustainable Development Institute

Professor Joao Porto de Albuquerque, University of Warwick


Professor Diego Ramirez-Lovering, Monash Art Design & Architecture

Professor Liam Smith, Monash Sustainable Development Institute

Dr Godwin Yeboah, University of Warwick

Dr Jane Holden,Monash Art Design & Architecture / Monash Sustainable Development Institute

Dr Paul Satur, Monash Sustainable Development Institute

Vangelis Pitidis, University of Warwick

Dr Jonathan Clarke, University of Warwick

Stephanie Whitehead, University of Warwick

Visiting Fellow:

Dr Reni Suwarso, Universitas Indonesia

The expected long-term impact of this project is a contribution towards the following global goals:
SDG11SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
              • By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums (SDG11.1)
              • By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels (SDG11.B)

SDG6 Icon

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
              • Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management (SDG 6.B)

Project Partners

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Funded By

Monash Warwick Alliance Catalyst Fund