Agent-based modelling to support improved access to services. A study from eastern Indonesia

Agent-based modelling to support improved access to services. A study from eastern Indonesia

Fri, 28/03/2014 - 10:00

About the Presenter

Frederika Rambu Ngana graduated from University of Diponegoro in Java, Indonesia, with Bachelor of Science degree in Physics.  Then Frederika has been working with University of Nusa Cendana in Nusa Tenggara Timur province as a lecturer in the Faculty of Sciences and Engineering since 1997. In 2005, Frederika received a scholarship from Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE) to take her Master Degree in Information Sciences and System Engineering from Ritsumeikan University, Japan. Since 2009, Frederika has been working with CDU researchers in health mapping projects in eastern Indonesia. She received an Endeavour Executive Award in 2010 to come to CDU for 4 months. Currently, Frederika is a PhD student at CDU sponsored by the Directorate of Higher Education of Indonesia (DIKTI). She will focus to develop a modelling tool for planning decision making of eastern Indonesia government.


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Government agencies face challenges in providing equitable access to services, especially for remote communities. Effective infrastructure planning is needed to allocate scarce resources for improved service delivery. It is common for government planning to determine the location of new infrastructure in order to benefit the greatest number of people. Access to services is often measured by travel time to services for the intended catchment population. In countries like Indonesia where significant populations live in remote areas, travel time to services is affected by the seasons and the quality of transport infrastructure. These factors are highly variable in terms of altering the spatial and temporal nature of access for those in need of services. There are static models for estimating travel time. However, these models are not able to capture the dynamic nature of the real situation. At the same time, to understand the variables effecting access to services, there is a need to engage local communities with the modelling process. Participatory planning is one technique for engaging local communities with planning processes.

In this PhD research, Frederika will evaluate the significance of  local planning in eastern Indonesia for planning using  a tool that can model planning scenarios to support the engagement process; respond to a community’s needs, and be able to include geographic and social factors. This research will build on current participatory planning processes and community mapping activities through developing an interactive spatial modelling tool to assist planning decisions. Specifically an agent-based modelling tool will be developed to support district planning. Although ABM has been applied to assisting planning and decision-making through simulating planning outcomes from multiple scenarios, little work has been done using ABM for modelling of scenarios around access to services and in remote developing contexts, nor as a practical tool for assisting community planning decisions in resource poor regional governments. Her PhD research will initially investigate the use of ABM for modelling travel time to Emergency Obstetric Care as part of the planning for infrastructure development.

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