This study investigates information networks during the 2010 Merapi volcanic eruption, as a well-proven representative case to capture the capacity of local communities to provide, share, and verify information.
Strengthening community capacities is important to significantly increase community resilience after a shock. In the phase of disaster resilience, relief activities generally are focused on aid distribution, physical and economic recovery to stabilize the affected community. Yet, building the community capacity for crisis communication has not been prioritized; meanwhile it can accelerate the social capital in disaster resilience. By selecting Jalin Merapi (Merapi Circle Information Networks) in the 2010 Merapi eruption as a case study; this study captures how local communities can empower themselves through participation in providing, sharing, and verifying the information within their social network. Data has been collected by in-depth interviews with the local communities‟ members and focus-groups with appointed officials in Merapi volcano. Jalin Merapi has developed a collaborative system with community radio stations and local communities as reliable information sources and direct verifiers. A media convergence of 14 communication technologies enables a broad spread of information about refugees‟ real needs within and beyond the local communities. As the result, the refugees could receive adequate aid based on their current situation and culture. Hence, they can quickly recover themselves and furthermore foster the resilience process within the affected communities in general. Finally, this study is trying to acknowledge the challenges for strengthening the community capacity for crisis communication with bottom-up approaches, based on their knowledge and vulnerabilities in disaster resilience.