Drought – formed by a significant, extended period of dry weather and limited rainfall – is particularly common across some of the ASEAN region’s drier areas. However, history has shown that drought is not confined to just those locations, with it known to impact communities and livelihoods from traditionally rainy climate, and can even be felt significantly outside of the directly-affected region.
Defining drought can be relatively complex, due to the fact that it is based not on a set precipitation figure – but compared to the average amount of precipitation experienced in a specific location. Therefore, a recognised drought situation in a tropical region (known for high rates of rainfall) may still be seen as very wet when compared to an arid location. However, we can simply determine that a drought is recognised when an area receives significantly less precipitation than it is used to, and does so over an extended period of time.
A key difference with drought, when compared to other disaster types, is its slow-onset nature. While earthquakes, floods and volcanoes strike quickly and often unexpectedly, drought slowly manifests over weeks and months of little-to-no rainfall. Sometimes bursts of rainfall may provide short-term relief, however the beginning and end of drought periods are usually only determined once the disaster has truly finished. Drought is most-often caused by changes or disruptions to the normal weather patterns (such as through winds or atmospheric circulation), with the increasing onset of climate change impact also linked to many drought situations.
IMPACTS OF DROUGHT IN ASEAN
It was recently reported by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) that droughts have impacted over 60 million ASEAN citizens throughout the past 30 years, with such estimations considered conservative due to traditional underreporting of drought based on its slow-onset context. Through a study produced to support ASEAN disaster risk reduction under the ASEAN-UN Joint Strategic Plan of Action on Disaster Management, significant increases in the future impact of drought in the region were highlighted, particularly with increased detrimental impact of climate change on ASEAN communities.
Key challenges faced by ASEAN when facing drought include the tendency of high impact on farming communities and regions, increasing vulnerability for those who rely on agriculture as their primary source of income – including in Lao PDR (61% of citizens), Viet Nam (41%), Indonesia (31%), Cambodia (27%) and the Philippines (26%). Alongside this, drought conditions also tend to impact most heavily on poorer communities, increasing inequality and therefore the risk of conflict. The report calls on starting interventions now to reduce the impacts of drought, protect the poorest communities and foster more harmonious societies.
RISK OF SECONDARY DISASTERS
Drought impact and conditions also increase significant risk of a range of secondary disasters – or disasters that occur due to conditions impacted by drought. Flooding can increase in risk in drought-affected areas, particularly when flash rains arrive, with loose and dry topsoil adding to water runoff, alongside lack of flooding preparation by communities (due to ongoing dry weather). Landslides also become a significant risk, as land degradation and decreased plant life results in unstable and landslide-prone land areas. Fires clearly also increase in risk during drought conditions, as trees and plants become dry and more prone to ignition, while dry winds and lack of rain only add to fan the flames of any hotspots or flare-ups. As previously mentioned, human conflict (or human-influenced disaster) is also an increased risk due to drought, as inequality, hunger and forced displacement all become more prevalent the longer a drought continues.
While perhaps more challenging to prepare for than quick-onset disasters, ASEAN communities and governments must adopt new practices and policies to prepare for the forecasted increase in future droughts. Even in non-rural areas, efforts for water conservation and protection of green areas can support the overall context of drought mitigation. Working with farmers through new technology and drought-resistant crops, as well as promoting more sustainable land-use practices and more responsible water-use methods are all significant opportunities to help deal with the onset of drought. All parties clearly have a role in the preparation for and overcoming of future drought conditions in the region.
Written by : William Shea | Source : Ready for the Dry Years: Building resilience to drought in South-East Asia, United Nation Publication/ESCAP
Having played a large role as a facilitator within the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme over recent years, New Zealand’s Chris Webb continued his interaction with the ASEAN region’s next disaster management leaders during 2019’s programme, taking on his role as the lead facilitator of the Critical Incident Leadership course. Alongside engaging with participants to learn about new concepts such as meta-leadership in Jakarta and then in New Zealand, Mr Webb also worked with the group during a number of their activities visiting New Zealand’s disaster management sites and institutions.
Before taking on a role as a facilitator, Mr Webb worked in the New Zealand National Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM) as Professional Development Manager, and for the 12 years before that he was the head of the Emergency and Disaster Management Department at the Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. Mr Webb’s postgraduate qualifications in Emergency and Disaster Management also come from the same university, and add to his vast knowledge and experience in the disaster management sector.
Engaging as a facilitator in the ACE Programme for the past five years, including during 2019 in Jakarta and the New Zealand study trip, Mr Webb states that he has enjoyed every minute of the experience, and is always impressed with the enthusiasm that ACE participants show towards learning. He is confident that ACE graduates will strongly contribute to the future of disaster management in their own nations, as well as in the wider circles of the region and the world. Mr Webb feels that the relationships established and maintained by ACE participants definitely have great value for the One ASEAN, One Response vision. He likes to use the term “Leadership is a journey – a personal journey”, and at the end of the programme often sees that participants have embraced this form of personal development within their own context.
Outside of the ACE Programme itself, Mr Webb also believes that the greatest need for the ASEAN region is that Member States and supporting bodies continue to extend their focus outside of just disaster response, and further into the areas of disaster risk reduction and public education. He reminds us that disaster is very complex, and that the world of disaster management is part of the environment that is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA). Establishing and maintaining relationships, as well as communicating and leading across a wide range of groups, cultures and thinking preferences is critical as ASEAN continues to move forward in disaster management. He says that as future leaders in ASEAN, ACE participants must acknowledge that leaders need to work with others, and must learn to lead themselves. Being a self-reflective leader is critical in disaster management, and it forms an area that Mr Webb is passionate about.
Mr Webb finishes his chat with us by highlighting what he sees as one of the greatest opportunities for the AHA Centre to have a valuable influence in global disaster management – which according to him is the Centre’s own experience, and the reality of such experiences. The AHA Centre understands the complexity of managing disaster within populous areas and with a variety of different cultures and peoples. He reminds us that there is a wealth of experience within ASEAN, and if this can be harnessed further, it could contribute greatly to the current body of global disaster management knowledge.
Written by : Putri Mumpuni | Photo : AHA Centre
ACE PROGRAMME DIARY SEPTEMBER
During September, participants in the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme’s sixth batch engaged once more in training, discussions and practical activities across ASEAN and abroad. The following diary entries were developed by the team to reflect on their journey during the month.
Early September saw ACE participants journey to Palu, Central Sulawesi, to undertake Red Cross and Red Crescent Induction and Operations training course. During the first three days of training, facilitators covered several topics, such as: the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement; an introduction to the Framework and Roadmap for Community Resilience: Building Safer and Resilient Communities; the Strategy on Disaster Preparedness and Response; IFRC Response tools; Shelter Programme; Protection; Gender, and Inclusion Training; an Introduction to Disaster Law, and; Coordination and Communication Mechanisms.
Following this, ACE participants visited Garuda Camp of the Indonesian Red Cross in Palu to see the camp organisation, as well as undertake training on Management of the Dead with the ICRC. Participants also visited a liquefaction area, schools that have been rebuilt, as well as temporary camps, to learn more about the impact of the 2018 disaster. Participants were also invited to witness the location and process of the AHA Centre in building the ASEAN Village.
ACE participants were taught on the importance of Incident Command System by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USFS). This course constitutes different components found in a disaster response team – from the different types of people to the common tools used. It was a very insightful programme as participants gained an in-depth understanding about the roles of the different staff and resource management methods in relation to responding to a disaster. Other than the roles, they were also able to identify different planning methods used by staff that may be of great value in the future. The ICS programme exposed a unique paradox about complexity, by understanding its literal definition and how and why it is complex.
This course also highlighted six types of ICS facilities and their facility map symbols. One of the course’s highlights was the Resource Management Principles, that enabled participants to be more organised and strategic in their group activities. Another valuable activity was the Planning Cycle lesson, that introduced ICS forms that are helpful for planning and recording data during an incident. The facilitation methods for technical and comprehensive information using interactive and enjoyable approaches successfully united ACE participants and attracted participants to engage fully during group activities.
This week ACE participants embarked on their study visit to New Zealand, and began their engagement in the 14-day Critical Incident Leadership Course. Participants undertook classroom sessions and study tours to the campus of the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, as well as visiting hazard sites around the city of Christchurch, and the Kaikoura District. Participants learned about the meta-leadership concept, thinking preference, understanding local government response, and also met leaders from different agencies from the area of disaster management in New Zealand.
Participants also had the opportunity to meet the communities that experienced earthquakes in Christchurch during 2011, and the 2016 earthquake in the Kaikoura District. Alongside an introduction to the culture and traditions of the Maori and the people of New Zealand, meeting communities also taught participants about the importance of community as a fundamental component in ensuring effective preparedness, response and recovery in disaster management.
During week 4 of September, ACE participants continued their journey to New Zealand’s north island, visiting sites in the cities of Wellington and Auckland. In Wellington, the ACE participants were hosted at a warm reception by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) – who support the Critical Incident Leadership course for ACE programme – before visiting the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa to learn about the hazardscape and history of the country. Here they also witnessed the base isolator system adopted by New Zealand, developed to make buildings safer from earthquakes. They visited the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office and learnt of New Zealand’s efforts in engaging its community in disaster preparedness and risk reduction. One example of the community ground-up initiative is the implementation of a tsunami blue-line that clearly indicates the tsunami safe zone based on scientific simulation studies. This learning on community engagement efforts continued in Auckland, during the visit to the Auckland Emergency Operations Centre. The highlight of the week was when participants were required to deliver a 5-minute speech to reflect on their learning journey in New Zealand, with all rising to the challenge and sharing valuable insights and thoughts with the class.
Written by : Rina Nur Hafizah, Sridewanto Edi Pinuji, Amelia Justina Lim, Callista Amira Sandi, Putri Mumpuni | Photo : AHA Centre
NNEW ZEALAND PARTNERSHIP WITH AHA CENTRE
With the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme taking place during the second half of 2019, we will bring to you insights of AHA Centre partners at work – showcasing their input and value through their engagement in the ACE Programme
The New Zealand Government is one of the AHA Centre’s original partners – dating back before the official establishment of the Centre in 2011 – and has continued its strong support for disaster management with the AHA Centre through its engagement in the ACE Programme. The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade (MFAT) through the New Zealand Aid Programme has provided ACE Programme support since 2014, and has engaged a number of other New Zealand institutions within the effort to build a generation of future ASEAN leaders in disaster management.
During the 2019 ACE Programme implementation, MFAT – supported by the University of Canterbury – delivered a number of activities with the programme participants, including key courses on Introduction to Hazards and Critical Incident Leadership (CIL). They also worked with participants in Jakarta to prepare for their visit to New Zealand to engage in the courses. These courses were co-developed by MFAT and the AHA Centre, and stand as MFAT’s key contribution within the ACE Programme. The CIL course is a 150-hour component of the ACE curriculum that concentrates on the development of critical incident leadership skills, communication, and exercise management for the future disaster management leaders in ASEAN. Undertaken in New Zealand, CIL specifically targets areas of strategic thinking, proactive planning, decision-making, and situational awareness based on engagement with stakeholders in disaster management.
MFAT support the in-country course delivery as part of an overall 2-week study trip that took participants to institutions and disaster sites throughout the four New Zealand cities of Christchurch, Kaikoura, Wellington and Auckland. The participants engaged in lectures from researchers and practitioners, including cultural experience and community insights from Maori tribe representatives (Ngai Tahu – Maru Kaitatea) about response and resilience after the 2016 earthquake in Kaikoura. Participants learnt about the Maori’s values on resilience to natural disaster, where people of Maori descent aim to protect their resources (taonga) to prevent disaster and to preserve their livelihood and sustainability.
Alongside the preparation for courses in Jakarta, and the study trip itself, MFAT also provides support to the ACE Programme through professional engagements delivered by prominent individuals such as Her Excellency Pam Dunn, Ambassador of New Zealand for ASEAN for the ACE Programme in 2018, and Her Excellency Jo Tyndall, New Zealand High Commissioner to Singapore for the ACE Programme in 2019. They engaged as speakers in the ACE Programme Leaders Talks, which allow participants to learn about leadership through their expertise and experience being the world’s key leaders themselves. Through inputs such as these, MFAT and the Government of New Zealand have opened the minds and worlds of 97 ACE Programme participants so far, and continue to provide their valuable support and experience to the ACE Programme and the AHA Centre as a whole.
Written by : Putri Mumpuni | Photo : AHA Centre
MONTHLY DISASTER REVIEW AND OUTLOOK
SEPTEMBER 2019 | DISASTER MONITORING & ANALYSIS
(DMA) UNIT, AHA CENTRE
GENERAL REVIEW OF SEPTEMBER 2019
During the month of September 2019, there were 16 reported disaster events throughout the ASEAN region, registering at 33% higher than the five-year average. Half of the reported events were flood events (8 in total), which is 60% higher than the five-year average. The flooding was caused by the enhanced effect of the Southwest Monsoon, due to the sequential occurrence of Tropical Storm PODUL and Tropical Depression KAJIKI in early September. These storms resulted in flooding across Lao PDR, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Besides the transboundary storm and flood disaster events, an M6.5 Earthquake in the last week of September struck Ambon, Indonesia, displacing more than 200,000 people.
On the other hand, general impact figures – such as the number of people affected, damaged houses, and casualties – were lower for September 2019 compared to the previous five-year average. This could be explained by the occurrence of several severe, high-impact disaster events in September 2018, including the M7.5 Earthquake and Tsunami in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, the M6.4 Earthquake in the Philippines, and Typhoon Mangkhut which affected the northern part of the Philippines, Malaysia, and Viet Nam. In total, these events affected about 10 million people, while 2017 saw massive droughts in Indonesia, which affected around 4 million people.
During the month of September, the AHA Centre activated its Emergency Operations Centre to support the flooding event that affected six provinces in the southern part of Lao PDR. Besides sending relief items, together with the help of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) and the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) partners, the AHA Centre also deployed its In-Country Liaison Team (ICLT) and an ASEAN-ERAT Information Management specialist to provide support in planning, training, and implementing a joint rapid needs assessment in Lao PDR. The AHA Centre also provided remote support to the National Disaster Management Organisation (NDMO) of Lao PDR for data visualisation and mapping purposes.
According to the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), the inter-monsoon period will be expected to start in early October 2019 over the ASEAN region. This seasonal period is mainly characterised by light and variable winds, together with rainy conditions in the equatorial area, which can improve hotspot activities and the haze situation. This state may persist for several weeks before giving way to the Northeast Monsoon season in late November or early December.
Furthermore, the El-Nino phase will remain “neutral” at least until the end of the year. Separately, above-normal temperatures over most parts of the ASEAN region can be expected, with the northern ASEAN region to enter its traditional dry season. Meanwhile, below-normal temperatures are expected in the eastern part of the Indian Ocean, due to the positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), which could also reduce the rainfall intensities in the southern ASEAN region.
Data Sources: ASEAN Disaster Information Network, ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre
Written by : Lawrence Anthony Dimailig, Lawrence Aporto, Shahasrakiranna, and Justin Chin Jin Jie
Disclaimer: AHA Centre’s estimation is based on data and information shared by National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMOs) and other relevant agencies from ASEAN Member States, international organisations and news agencies. Further information on each recorded-significant disaster, description and detail of data and information are available at: http://adinet.ahacentre.org/reports.
ASEAN RESPONDS TO FLOODS IN LAO PDR
The formation of Tropical Storm ‘Podul’ was first identified on August 27, 2019, with the AHA Centre intensifying its monitoring efforts based on the potential size and impact of the storm. As September arrived, so too did a large Low Pressure Area (LPA) and a Tropical Depression – known as Tropical Depression ‘Kajiki’. The combination of the LPA, tropical storm and tropical depression resulted in significant rainfall and flooding across 6 provinces in Lao PDR – Champasak, Saravan, Sekong, Savannakhet, Attapeu, and Khammouan. The AHA Centre quickly stepped up to the call of support from the Government of Lao PDR, and responded through various means to support the affected communities of the ASEAN Member State.
Ready to operationalise the spirit of “One ASEAN, One Response”, the AHA Centre worked quickly to support the Lao PDR Government’s response through coordination, information management, rapid needs assessment, and deployment of ASEAN relief items from the region’s Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA) warehouse network. The AHA Centre’s In-Country Liaison Team (ICLT) was mobilised to coordinate the region’s response support, and also facilitated the handover ceremony of DELSA relief items in Vientiane on 12 September 2019. The relief items comprised of family kits (330), personal hygiene kits (2,596), kitchen sets (1,144), mosquito nets (1,400) and jerry cans (1,400), which were airlifted into the affected region by the A400M of the Royal Malaysian Air Force, from the DELSA regional stockpile in Subang, Malaysia.
The AHA Centre’s Information Management specialist and ICLT, together with representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Education, and the Lao PDR Red Cross, also engaged in a National Joint Needs Assessment Planning Meeting implemented by the Director-General of Lao PDR’s Social Welfare Department in Vientiane. The AHA Centre worked collaboratively with in-country members of the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) to develop supporting tools and methods for the assessment efforts, to be translated into local language and provided to local staff for implementing the assessment in affected areas.
Flood waters began to subside on September 10, with conditions improving slowly through all affected provinces during the days that followed. The damage that remained was significant, with figures showing up to 89 bridges, 613 schools, 46 health centres and hospitals, 298 km of roads, 274,719 hectares of farmland, 574,742 livestock, and 36 reservoirs affected by the floods. Total damage is so far estimated at more than USD 10 million. Flooding and related hazards affected over 661,000 people, left 40,000 displaced, and resulted in the deaths of 18 souls. The AHA Centre’s Executive Director, Ms. Adelina Kamal, summed-up the region’s feelings when she spoke at the handover ceremony of DELSA relief items. “Our hearts and prayers are with the communities affected by the floods. The AHA Centre as a centre established by the ten ASEAN Member States, including Lao PDR, stands ready to enhance country-led response to alleviate the suffering of the flood-affected communities.”
Written by : William Shea | Photo Credit : AHA Centre
DR. WILLIAM SABANDAR
Continuing on from last month, this volume’s Other Side draws on the experience of an ASEAN’s leader in disaster management – Dr. William Sabandar – an experienced presenter in the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme’s Leaders Talk series. Dr. Sabandar is the CEO of PT MRT Jakarta, the entity charged with the recent delivery and operation of Jakarta’s modern train network. However he is also renowned for his leadership throughout a range of ASEAN’s largest disaster events that have occurred over recent decades. The insights into Dr. Sabandar’s talk were provided this month by the ACE Programme’s own Sridewanto Pinuji.
Dr. Sabandar has been an ASEAN leader for decades, moving from business into the disaster response field, and most recently leading the establishment of the modern and effective MRT system in Jakarta. Dr. Sabandar drew on these array of leadership experiences as he spoke about the key qualities of leadership during an emergency event. Such experiences include the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, leading recovery after 2008’s Cyclone Nargis, and how these skills could be transferred leading the establishment of Jakarta’s MRT.
The key defining aspect of all such work, Dr. Sabandar reminds us that leaders must be on the ground. By doing so, they can talk to affected communities in order to understand and fulfil their needs, and supporting in any way possible from the front. “Leading in a crisis is to maintain certainty and belief, and also ensure no further casualties” he highlighted in the session. Another key lesson Dr. Sabandar has learned from managing various crises is how to develop a strong, supportive mentality for teamwork and togetherness for all members of a team. This is closely followed by building trust that a team will work together to eventually solve the problems and complete their job with quality and good timing.
Dr. Sabandar believes that strong leadership during a crisis can also attract more people to engage and provide support. This, he said, only can be achieved when the leader can maintain integrity and trust. Trust is key in a crisis, as if it diminishes, it can jeopardise the work and efforts that have previously been developed.
“THEREFORE, WHEN SUCCESS CAN BE ACHIEVED, LEADERS SHOULD MAINTAIN THE MOMENTUM AND BUILD ON THIS OUTCOME”
DR. WILLIAM SABANDAR
Dr. Sabandar also believes that not only do disasters engage current leaders, but they can also create new leaders, as everyday individuals are thrust into roles that highlight their internal leadership qualities. People who are on the ground during disaster can often find themselves in situations where they are required to take the lead, and skills such as communication, decision-making, focus and preparedness to change can all come to the fore.
Overall, while Dr. Sabandar has high hopes for the future of disaster management in the ASEAN region, he also highlights a number of key areas requiring more attention as ASEAN continues in its disaster management journey. Firstly, he recognises that preparedness and prevention require more attention through education, particularly for communities to understand disaster risk be empowered to undertake their own prevention and preparedness efforts. This requires attitude shift and extra resourcing, with focus moving away from the historic response-orientated context.
Secondly, Dr. Sabandar believes more attention needs to be afforded to clearer understanding of the nature of the disaster itself, which requires knowledge regarding the science and complexity of a phenomena, to help determine proper action to take. Lastly, when looking at the role of bodies such as ASEAN and the AHA Centre, Dr. Sabandar recognises the important role played by ASEAN in bridging governments and various humanitarian institutions. This role, he said, can significantly enhance the preparation, response and recovery efforts during the aftermath of a disaster. Central to this is the AHA Centre itself, which forms a new and innovative model for managing disaster in the region – a mechanism that can be followed by other regional bodies around the globe.
Written by : Sridewanto Pinuji | Photo : AHA Centre
ASEAN-ERAT LEVEL 2 PILOT ADVANCED COURSE
ON EARLY RECOVERY
Another key course development to increase the reach and impact of the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) programme is the Level 2 Pilot Advanced Course on Early Recovery, which was implemented for the first time in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia from 5 to 9 August, 2019. Developed to reduce the gap between emergency response and the long-term recovery phases, the course aims to provide support to affected ASEAN Member States by analysing results of rapid assessments, and providing guidance and recommendations to a recovery plan during early stages of disaster recovery.
Implementing the course in Palu – the centre of one of 2018’s major disasters – ensured participants were exposed directly to the concept of Early Recovery within a real ASEAN context. By the end of the course 10 ASEAN-ERAT members from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam, the Myanmar Red Cross Society, and the ASEAN Secretariat, were all added to the pool of ASEAN-ERAT Level 2 specialists, ready to support affected Member States with their new distinct expertise.
During the course, classroom sessions were delivered by the UN-ESCAP and UNDP on Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) Methodology and Early Recovery Cluster in ASEAN, as well as by the World Bank on Global Rapid Post-Disaster Damage Estimation (GRADE). Such insights and contributions to the course significantly enhanced the quality and the delivery of the content and discussions. Participants were also provided hands-on learning opportunities as they visited several recovery efforts that have been taking place since the region’s triple-disaster events, including a visit to the community at Mamboru village to see the livelihood recovery efforts in a coastal area. Subsequently, the participants were also invited to witness the ground-breaking ceremony of ASEAN Village at Tondo, which stands as a programming outcome of the early recovery plan managed by the AHA Centre and supported by Brunei Darussalam and the Philippines in the year since the disaster.
To round-out the course, the final day saw the injection of a simulation exercise to enable participants to apply their knowledge gained throughout the previous days, with participants challenged to produce analysis and recommendation for another recovery programme and deliver them to the group. Overall, the implementation of Pilot Level 2 courses such as this continue to be a success for the ASEAN-ERAT programme, with the benefits of increased specialisation and skill development set to continue the ASEAN region’s efforts to become stronger, speedier and united in responding to disaster wherever and whenever it may strike.
Written by : Grace Endina & Sovi | Photo : AHA Centre
ACE PROGRAMME DIARY AUGUST
The second month of the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme saw the ASEAN regions sixth batch of future disaster leaders take part in a range of training, discussions and practical activities. The following diary entries were developed by the team to reflect on their journey in August.
The ACE Programme participants began their second month with an intensive 7-day course on project management and proposal writing, delivered by Peter Grzic and Petra Letter from RedR Australia. As part of the course, participants learnt about effective planning and implementation of projects, and gathered new knowledge on developing convincing project proposals, through an array of lessons, interactive activities, discussions, and group presentations. Peter and Petra walked the participants through the cycle of project management, and introduced useful tools such as stakeholder analysis, problem and objective trees, and the logical framework, amongst others
To close out their course on project management, participants undertook one-on-one sessions with facilitators from RedR in order to determine individual projects that will be developed throughout the coming months, and submitted to AHA Centre Senior Management at the end of the programme. The AHA Centre’s LA Dimailig from the Disaster Monitoring and Analysis team then introduced participants to the Centre’s WebEOC platform, inviting participants to engage with the software through a number of games and replications. After a day off to celebrate ASEAN Day, the week came to an end with another round of interesting Leaders Talks, with insights on disaster and leadership provided by Vanda Lengkong (Head of Disaster Risk Management for Plan International Asia Region), Rabeya Sultana (Country Director of HelpAge International Bangladesh), Alexandra Jing Pura (Country Director of Christian Aid Philippines), and Dr William Sabandar (CEO PT MRT Jakarta).
Week 3 of August saw ACE participants attended a 3-day course on Rapid Assessment, conducted by the ASEAN-ERAT team and an ACE Programme Alumni from Batch 3, Mark July Yap. The course provided assessment skills and knowledge for participants to assess disaster-affected areas, and the needs of disaster victims – particularly in ASEAN countries. The theme of rapid assessment then continued, with a specific training on Rapid Assessment for Women and Children delivered by the UNFPA, UN Women and UNICEF. This course introduced participants to the specific vulnerabilities, capacities, and needs of women and children in disasters, facilitate their understanding of ethical considerations and core principles relevant to data collection on women and children in emergencies, and equip them with practical tools for data collection and analysis.
This week the ACE participants attended a 3-days course on the International Humanitarian System delivered by three representatives from the regional office of UNOCHA. The facilitators delivered briefings and activities providing participants an opportunity to further understand the interoperability of the UN cluster system in relation to the ASEAN system.
The week continued with a pre-course on Critical Incident Leadership, delivered by two facilitators from New Zealand; Mr. Chris Webb and Mrs. Michele Daly. Participants were introduced to the theories of disaster risk management framework, hazards, and the five dimensions of meta-leadership. The week closed on Friday 23 August 2019 with all participants attending a dinner reception to celebrate the opening of the Critical Incident Leadership Course, which was hosted by the New Zealand Ambassador to ASEAN, H.E. Pam Dunn.
During the first half of the week, ACE Programme participants received training on Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) expert Ms. Jeannette Fernandez Castro. Ms. Castro shared her knowledge and skills on disaster and loss analysis to participants, who learnt about differentiating between damage and loss, and the tools that can be used to provide stakeholders, donors and decision makers with quantifiable estimation of the cost of recovery. To put the knowledge into practice, participants were divided into groups working on different sectors, and developed a PDNA and recovery plan for a fictitious country “Someland”. For the second half of the week, the AHA Centre’s DMA team, supported by Victoria Leat and Anom Parikesit from the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC), conducted hands-on training on the ASEAN Disaster Monitoring and Response System (DMRS).
“The DMRS is a very good tool for NDMOs to use to monitor disasters and plan for a response. The hands-on exercise was particularly very useful, and gave us an opportunity to really use the system” – Safrizan, ACE Programme participant from Malaysia.
Written by : Rina Nur Hafizah, Sridewanto Pinuji, Amelia Justina Lim, Ram Chum Mang, Putri Mumpuni | Photo : AHA Centre
UNDERSTANDING VULNERABILITIES AND RISKS FACED BY WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN DISASTERS
With the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme taking place during the second half of 2019, we will bring to you insights of AHA Centre partners at work – showcasing their input and value through their engagement in the ACE Programme. Each article will be presented by a guest writer, who is also a participant in the ongoing programme, and one of the region’s future leaders on Disaster Management.
Gender inequity – alongside the context for children and people with disabilities (PWD) see very high rates of vulnerability for these groups in the face of disaster. While there are a range of social, political and economic complexities behind this context, the reality is that women, children and PWD are much more heavily affected by disasters in ASEAN. While vulnerability is high, the context for women also holds great significance and opportunity for their engagement in mitigating and managing disaster in the region. As part of the ACE Programme, participants were engaged in interesting and eye-opening training on Rapid Assessment of Vulnerabilities and Risks faced by Women and Children in Humanitarian Settings.
The training course ran in August 2019, and was conducted by UNWOMEN, with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF). The Rapid Assessment for Women and Children course aims to increase participants understandings of the specific vulnerabilities, capacities, and needs of women and children in disasters, facilitate their understanding of ethical considerations and core principles relevant to data collection on women and children in emergencies, and equip them with practical tools for data collection and analysis. Facilitators from the three agencies worked with participants to integrate gender and disability component into disaster management and emergency response programme design.
During the course, facilitators increased ACE participants’ understanding on the basics of gender, disability and child protection; vulnerabilities and risk factors that women and girls/boys face in emergencies; how to gather and collect data in emergency settings that includes gender-based violence cases; and familiarity with different types of assessments and tools for data collection, including tailoring the ERAT Rapid Assessment Tool and Report Format to include these specific interjections.
Early course feedback found that ACE participants mostly had yet to undertake basic humanitarian training in gender or child protection context. Such training forms an introduction and opportunity for humanitarian staff in National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMOs) to consider intersectionality and protection issues across disaster clusters in disaster management and emergency response, with a crucial need for these intersectionalities to be highlighted and investigated regarding the role of women, men, boys and girls within the humanitarian programming cycle and across the clusters. Added elements included the integration of inclusivity considerations (ethnicity, disability, etc.), gender-based violence (including prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse – PSEA), and child protection across the various modules of humanitarian programme cycle –not just within rapid assessment. Through their expertise, UNWOMEN, UNICEF and UNFPA displayed their willingness to support the AHA Centre in integrating these themes across the modules and programme, resulting in stronger and more inclusive outcomes for disaster management in the ASEAN region.
Written by : Maricel Aguilar & Putri Mumpuni | Photo : AHA Centre