By Adi Prasetyo, PMP

The Covid-19 pandemic has weakened various sectors in Indonesia, including the construction sector. Restrictions on social interactions and human gatherings in public places have made various jobs, including construction work, stop and be temporarily delayed. Various policies and changes must be made in order to keep the construction sector running, given its important role in driving the country's economy.

These changes were also made in the implementation of construction and guidance the competence of the construction workforce. However, the construction work must remain running in the midst of a pandemic while adhering to health protocols and minimize the potential for Covid-19 transmission.

The work on national strategic projects (PSN) is still being carried out even though the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the country. There are 201 PSNs and 10 priority programs contained in Presidential Regulation (Perpres) Number 109 of 2020 concerning the third amendment to presidential regulation number 3 of 2016 concerning the acceleration of the implementation of the PSN. There are a total of 201 PSN projects and 10 programs with a total investment of IDR 4,809.7 trillion. The Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs said that as many as 38 PSNs will be worked on in 2021. The value of these 38 PSNs is IDR 464.6 trillion.


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Construction projects are characterized as long-periodic, large-scale, complicated from conceptual stage to final delivery. During the whole construction period, these projects do not only encompass plenty of workers, materials, machines are involved, but some disruptions and negative impacts including natural (earthquake, hurricane etc.) and manmade (political turmoil, terrorism etc.). Even more, the advanced technology increases the complexity of projects and poses threats to the realization of project goals, like quality decline, cost overruns, and even cease of the construction (Turner, N., Kutsch, E) Therefore, increasing number of researchers begin to consider, in such a dynamic, turbulent and unpredictable environment, how can construction projects minimize the negative impacts?

The impact of COVID-19 on the implementation of construction services is delays in project completion. There is a slowdown in project work due to COVID-19. These ongoing projects are constrained by the mobilization process and the availability of labour or materials or equipment. To overcome the slowdown in the completion of the project, the work ended temporarily if the project was located in the red zone. In addition, another impact is an increase in implementation costs. There is an effect on an increase in implementation costs due to the status of PSBB and physical distancing, this affects construction work such as the mobilization of materials, equipment, labour and an increase in real costs. The possible impact is the potential for construction disputes.

Top Challenges Faced by The Indonesian Construction Industry During COVID19 Pandemic as follow :

  • Contract delay or cancellation
  • Increasing case of employees’ termination as an impact of economic slow down
  • Lower productivity, leading to deteriorating performance
  • Higher USD exchange rate
  • Increasing cost of raw materials and transportation
  • Logistical issues due to restrictions in seaports and airports
  • Shortage of spare parts as a result of import difficulties from China
  • Withdrawal of Chinese contractors from projects
  • Restriction/lockdown in a numerous project location

Project resilience is a complex, multi-dimensional concept. Therefore, how to build a comprehensive framework of organizational resilience covering as many dimensions as possible, to accurately describe organizational resilience, is one of the most important research topics. Mallak L ( 1998) summarizes seven characteristics of organizational resilience: understanding experiences constructively, engaging in positive adaptive behaviour, ensuring adequate external resources, expanding the boundaries of decision making, practicing bricolage, developing tolerance for uncertainty, and building virtual role systems.


Kutsch, Hall & Turner( 2016)

Resilience originates from the Latin word Resiliere, it was first introduced into the realm of ecology by C.S Holling who also defined it as a measure of “the persistence of systems and of their ability to absorb change and disturbance and still maintain the same relationships between populations or state variables. Resilience is indeed important to construction project itself. Faced with disruptions and discontinuities, some projects fail and never recover while others overcome quickly and even capitalize on disruptive events to accelerate the construction process. The fundamental reason lies in the difference in organizational resilience of construction projects: highly resilient projects are capable of coping with perturbations caused by uncertainty, but projects with low resilience usually lag in response, unable to adapt. However, existing studies on organizational resilience in construction project realm are lagging far behind when compared with other’s such as enterprise resilience etc., no matter in theory and in practice, Kutsch et al. (2016) suggest several enablers that help people and organisations to be resilient when faced with unexpected events. Many of these are shared by the alliance model of IPD and among these enablers are: empowering teams so that expertise is recognised; engaging in simulations, games and rehearsals such as takes place in the risk workshops; devising boundary activities to enable teams to have 'fences' or boundary guidelines about the level of rigour and flexibility that may be required to cope with unexpected events; and developing routines to systematically deal with such issues. You may see the road map towards resilience as above.