IN EMERGENCY RESPONSE
As part of the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme, participants are engaged in a range of presentations from disaster management leaders who are at the forefront of their field in both ASEAN and beyond. In one of these recent sessions, women humanitarians became the central theme in a session focused on Women Leaders in Emergency Response: Challenges and Opportunity. ACE Programme participants and other interested listeners were privileged to hear from three of the region’s women leaders – namely Alexandre Jing Pura (Christian Aid, the Philippines), Rabeya Sultana (HelpAge International, Bangladesh), and Vanda Lengkong (Plan International Asia Region) – who shared their experiences, insights and knowledge from their work as humanitarian leaders in the emergency response sector. The session was moderated by the AHA Centre’s Executive Director Ms. Adelina Kamal, another leader in the region’s disaster management affairs.
The panel highlighted the importance of women’s leadership in disaster settings, particularly due to the fact that disaster affects women, boys and girls on a much greater scale than men. Jing Pura highlighted that women leaders working in humanitarian settings can transform leadership holistically into the mind, body and heart, as these are key underlying drivers of humanitarian work in general. In the humanitarian world there needs to be care not only for survivors, but also for humanitarian and disaster workers. As leaders in disaster response, this is a key theme that we must develop within our teams. Women as leaders can also channel their caring character when taking on roles such as mediation in challenging situations.
Rabeya’s insight and experiences are also based upon this theme of women’s strengths in leadership, in which she spoke of the power of women being reflected not only through motherhood, but also in their roles standing by the side of other women to empower them. She also highlighted that a key to working well with people of diverse backgrounds is to be humble and to listen, and that as leaders, we should solve problems by focusing on the system and not individuals acting within it. Rabeya realises that barriers for women can sometimes come from within themselves, due to self-confidence or the impact of the overall gender context. She reminded listeners that women must learn to push through discomfort, lack of confidence and shyness, and learn to believe in themselves, their knowledge and experience as women.
Vanda also provided insight on the importance of women’s education, while recommending women leaders to be visible in a professional manner, embrace your potential, and continue to chase education and new knowledge. Education for Vanda means not only in a formal manner, but also all other types of learning, in which women can equip themselves with knowledge as their own investment – an investment that will generate respect and recognition, that is then proven through working outcomes. Vanda believes that actions speak louder than words, and encouraged the audience to undertake their work sincerely, and deliver it respectfully. Vanda also highlighted the role of organisations in promoting women’s leadership and overall gender equality, by stating that organisations in the disaster management field must provide equal opportunities for both women and men, and that these values should be institutionalised in humanitarian organisations and within their overall business processes.
As people who work in disaster response, the three women leaders remain aware and agree on the importance of both men and women working side-by-side for the benefit of disaster victims. As leaders, they believe that we must recognise that gender discrimination and inequality are ongoing realities. The leaders reminded the group to advocate for gender equality, which will require such efforts from both women and men alike to achieve real equality.
Written by : Sridewanto Pinuji and Putri Mumpuni | Photo : AHA Centre
PILOT ASEAN HUMANITARIAN
CIVIL-MILITARY COORDINATION COURSE
With the content for the course developed (as covered in The Column Volume 51), the AHA Centre recently conducted the inaugural Pilot ASEAN Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination Course, aimed to build trust and relations between the disaster management practitioners and the defence and military sector in disaster response. The roles of ASEAN militaries are integral within ASEAN’s response mechanisms, and stronger engagement should support response scaling-up and speed – key targets of One ASEAN One Response. The Level 2 ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) pilot course took place in Jakarta, Indonesia from 8-11 July 2019.
The course included numerous sessions covering and discussing a range of ASEAN Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination components and mechanisms. To ensure more practical understanding of content, a simulation exercise was injected into the course, aimed to prepare and familiarise participants with situations related to civil-military coordination experienced during real disasters. As a result, the course successfully generated 16 graduates, including ASEAN-ERAT members from Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Myanmar, the ASEAN Secretariat and the AHA Centre (representing civilian side of ASEAN), and nine participants representing the military sector. Graduates were inaugurated during the Closing Ceremony by the Executive Director of the AHA Centre, Ms. Adelina Kamal, together with the Australian Ambassador to ASEAN, H.E Jane Duke, and witnessed by representatives from a range of engaged partners.
The success of the Pilot ASEAN Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination Course – funded through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) – would not have been possible without ongoing partner support, including representatives of the Ministries of Defence from Malaysia, the Republic of Indonesia and Thailand, the Philippines Armed Forces, the Changi Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Coordination Centre (HADR-RHCC), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN World Food Programme (UN-WFP), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), RedR Australia, and the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management (CFE-DM). All these partners and more have closely worked with the AHA Centre throughout the course development and into the implementation of the pilot course itself.
Written by : Grace Endina | Photo : AHA Centre
ACE PROGRAMME DIARY JULY
The beginning of July 2019 brings with it the launch of the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme Batch 6, in which the ASEAN region’s leading disaster managers will undertake a 5-month intensive training course preparing them to become future disaster management leaders in their respective countries and abroad. 2019’s Batch 6 is made-up of 18 participants from all 10 ASEAN Member States, and will include a range of course and activities within the AHA Centre’s Jakarta office as well as field visits to a range of disaster-related sites. For the next few months the AHA Centre Diary will give readers a run-down on the programme’s implementation, with the following contributions made by participants themselves as they undertake their studies.
Participants arrived in Jakarta on June 29 – for some the first time setting foot on Indonesian soil. The ACE team from AHA Centre conducted briefings and organised a cultural orientation day where the members took a tour of the Jakarta Smart City and the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah. It was a fun-filled and informative day for the participants to get to know more, not only about Indonesia and AHA Centre, but also about each other. After a day of games and laughter, it was time to get down to business with the first course starting on 3 July. For the first time ever, ACE Programme participants underwent a course to build a strong foundation in communication skills, the English Communication in Disaster Management, the fruits of a partnership developed between AHA Centre and USAID’s Regional English Language Office (RELO).
The participants of the ACE Programme learnt more aspects of disaster management during the second week of English Communication for Disaster Management Training. Several modules were covered, including Disaster Preparedness and Stakeholders, Intercultural Conflict in Organisations and Communities, Risk Assessment, Rapid Need Assessment, Disaster Response Plan, and Post-Disaster Operations and Needs Assessment. Thus, during these studies, the participants not only learnt many activities that should be conducted in every phase of the disaster management cycle, but also some underlying factors that often-influenced crisis or disaster management activities, such as conflict and stakeholders analysis.
During the third week, ACE Programme participants learned more about incident command systems (ICS), increasing their familiarity with incident command systems in ASEAN Member States, as well as how to write primary scenario definition (PSD) based on various types of disaster events. On 20 July, the course finished successfully with a speech from Dr. Bradley Horn, the Regional Director of the Regional English Language Office (RELO) – US Embassy, Jakarta, alongside the provision of certification to each participant. On July 22nd the Opening Ceremony of the ACE Programme Sixth Batch on was held, officiated by H.E. Kazuo Sunaga, Ambassador of Japan to ASEAN, H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN and Ms. Adelina Kamal, Executive Director of the AHA Centre.
Throughout the ACE Programme’s fourth week, participants were introduced to the regional disaster management processes through a course on the Introduction of the ASEAN Disaster Management and Emergency Response Mechanisms. The session was kicked-off with an overview by the Deputy Executive Director of the AHA Centre Mr. Arnel Capili, and continued with details of key elements such as AADMER, the AHA Centre Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), ASEAN Standby Arrangement, Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA), Emergency Information Communication Technology (ICT), and Safety and Security. During this week ACE participants were assigned into pairs to prepare an AHA Centre Flash Update using a real disaster event as the scenario. This helps ensure participant understanding regarding crucial information that should be stated in a flash update, and to understand the challenges faced with the ability to prepare the update of general situation of a disaster in a short period of time prior to dissemination.
Written by : Rina Nur Hafizah, Sridewanto Pinuji, Amelia Justina Lim, Ram Chum Mang, Putri Mumpuni | Photo : AHA Centre
USAID’S REGIONAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE OFFICE (RELO)
With the start of the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme taking place in July 2019, for the coming volumes of The Column, 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.
The U.S. Embassy Jakarta’s Regional English Language Office and USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance joined forces to offer a course on English Communication for Disaster Managers (ECDM) at the AHA Centre during the opening weeks of the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme, in Jakarta from 3–20 July 2019.
The 3-week course was facilitated by two instructors from Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), and included 12 online modules as well as face-to-face sessions on content and language-integrated topics that are directly relevant to the ASEAN region. The eighteen course participants (all participants in the ACE Programme) are made-up from the National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMOs) of all ten ASEAN Member States, with this five-month work/study rotation inside the AHA Centre being conducted entirely in English language.
This ECDM course was implemented prior to the official start of the ACE Programme, to allow participants to improve their technical English language proficiency, which in-turn support the enhancement of overall subject-matter training. This is also the outcome of previous ACE Programme evaluations that highlighted the need for extra attention afforded to English language strengthening, as most participants are from nations in which English is not their mother tongue. By the end of the ECDM, ACE Programme participants will be able to increase engagement and share content knowledge with their fellow ASEAN Member State representatives, to communicate for building trust and cooperation among partner organisations, and to facilitate disaster relief coordination at a regional level.
Written by : Putri Mumpuni & Ayunda V. Siagian | Photo : AHA Centre
DISASTER ASSESSMENT AND COORDINATION (UNDAC) – INDUCTION COURSE
The United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) is part of the international emergency response system, designed to help the United Nations and governments of disaster-affected countries during the first phase of a sudden-onset emergency. The UNDAC Induction Course forms a series of pre-induction webinars, followed by a 2-week intensive training course, which initiates members to the concept and methodology of UNDAC’s response work. Upon successful completion, new members will be placed on the UNDAC emergency roster, and are expected to make themselves available at least 2-3 times a year for emergency missions.
UNDAC is a global counterpart of the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT), with its own mandates of assessment, coordination and information management fitting well with the ASEAN-ERAT design. From 14-26 July 2019, the Indonesian National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) – Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB) – hosted the latest UNDAC Global Induction Course at the Ina-DRTG Training Facility in Sentul, Bogor. This training, organised by the Emergency Response Support Branch of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), in collaboration with the BNPB, is the second time Indonesia has hosted the event since 2014. The workshop engaged 30 humanitarian professionals from numerous organisations from more than 15 countries, and included a number of staff from the AHA Centre, as well as the ASEAN-ERAT members from the ASEAN countries. The course itself was conducted by more than 20 facilitators, made-up of professionals from organisations such as UN OCHA, UNDAC, ACAPS, MapAction, Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF), International Humanitarian Partnership (IHP), and the AHA Centre.
The AHA Centre staff engaged in the training included Lawrence Anthony Dimailig (Assistant Director for Disaster Monitoring & Analysis) and Grace Endina (Preparedness & Response Officer), with both members identifying practices from the course that – if modified to suit the region’s context – could be applicable and valuable for ASEAN’s own ASEAN-ERAT Induction Course. Alongside this, the staff highlighted that learning the UNDAC methodology helps increase their understanding of how the UNDAC works, and supporting the strengthening of common understanding that will contribute towards better interoperability between the organisations when working together within the region.
Additionally, the course was also attended by 5 current ASEAN-ERAT members from Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, and Viet Nam. This also supports increasing the interoperability between UNDAC and ASEAN-ERAT and broadens understanding and context for those members engaged.
These themes formed the core of the AHA Centre’s key outcomes and benefits from their engagement in the UNDAC Induction Course. The engagement supports better interoperability between ASEAN-ERAT and UNDAC during large-scale emergency responses within the region, and the intensive training with hands-on exercises providing an appreciation as to how UNDAC tools work during emergency response. Increased understanding on these global mechanisms will benefit ASEAN-ERAT members, as well as NDMO officials, regarding synergies between national, regional and global mechanisms in order to increase a coordinated response in times of crisis. The engagement also supports the AHA Centre’s work towards realising the goal of ASEAN X.0 within the One ASEAN, One Response vision. Within this goal, ASEAN-ERAT and AHA Centre staff are envisioned to support the work of UNDAC during large-scale emergency responses outside of the ASEAN region itself. The course formed a platform for the ASEAN region and the AHA Centre to promote its regional mechanisms in a global environment, and to draw upon experiences responding alongside the United Nations – in particular during the 2018 Central Sulawesi Earthquake and Tsunami response.
Written by : Lawrence Anthony Dimailig | Photo : AHA Centre
MONTHLY DISASTER REVIEW AND OUTLOOK
JULY 2019 | DISASTER MONITORING & ANALYSIS
(DMA) UNIT, AHA CENTRE
GENERAL OVERVIEW OF JULY 2019
During the month of July 2019, as many as 27 disasters were reported within the region. This figure is 29% higher than the previous five-year average number of disaster occurrences for July – with an observable spike in the number of earthquake and landslide occurrences. However, all other figures are lower than the respective five-year average, except for numbers of injured persons. The number of injured people increased by 64% due to the M7.2 earthquake that struck North Maluku during the second week of July. In general, the lower disaster impact figures for July this year, in comparison to the average during the last five years, can be attributed primarily to the magnitude of disaster occurrences. In July 2014, Typhoon Ramassun battered the Philippines and Viet Nam, Myanmar was heavily flooded in 2015, and drought significantly impacted Myanmar and the Philippines during 2018. These major disaster events affected between 1.7 million to 4.5 million people, displaced hundreds of thousands, and resulted in mass casualties. This year, only minor and moderate disaster events have occurred, resulting in only impact numbers of 32% of the five-year average affected people, and 10% of the five-year average internally displaced people.
There were 46 earthquakes of at least magnitude 5.0 recorded in Indonesia and the Philippines during the month. July 2019 was characterised by quite a number of earthquake events that resulted in minor to significant damages. Collectively, these earthquake events contributed to at least 79% in this month’s casualties (dead, injured, and missing), had a 65% share in causing internal displacement, and caused 92% of damaged houses.
Rainfall data for the month of July 2019 indicates near to above normal rainfall conditions were experienced in Lao PDR, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam, and most parts of Malaysia, the Philippines, and West Papua in Indonesia. Meanwhile, below normal rainfall conditions were recorded over eastern Indonesia and portions of southern Malaysia. Similar conditions are expected to persist as the impact of Southwest Monsoon continues in the region. For the next three months, the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) expects generally above-normal rainfall conditions in the southern parts of Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam, while generally below-normal rainfall conditions are predicted over the southern ASEAN region and over southern Philippines. In addition, the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently showing positive values, and is expected to persist into the 3rd quarter of 2019. A positive IOD can lead to below-normal rainfall conditions over Singapore and nearby areas, which will contribute further to the current drier conditions. Coupled with the effects of the Southwest Monsoon, there is a potential for an escalation of hotspot activities in the southern ASEAN region, which may lead to an increase in the risk of transboundary haze occurrence.
The potential for recurrence of flooding in the Mekong sub-region, and the continuation of drought in the southern ASEAN region, requires readiness in terms of monitoring and response. In line with this, the AHA Centre joined the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the Office of Civil Defense, and the Pacific Disaster Center during the launch of PhilAWARE and National Disaster Preparedness Baseline Assessment in the Philippines. These initiatives aim to increase preparedness capacities of the Philippines, including monitoring hazards within its jurisdiction. In addition, the AHA Centre also conducted the Pilot ASEAN Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination Course, and participated in the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) Plus Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response Communications and Staff Exercises. These events contribute to the readiness of the Centre in coordinating military assistance during emergency response.
Data Sources: ASEAN Disaster Information Network, ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre
Written by : Lawrence Anthony Dimailig & Shahasrakiranna
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.
THE LAUNCH OF
DELSA SATELLITE WAREHOUSE
IN THE PHILIPPINES
With the soft opening of Thailand’s Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA) Satellite Warehouse (as covered in the Column Volume 52) taking place in Chainat during June 2019, the beginning of July would see the launching of the second satellite warehouse – based in Camp Aguinaldo, the Philippines. Coinciding with the beginning of Disaster Awareness Month in the Philippines, the second facility – another link in the chain of emergency stockpile locations across ASEAN – was successfully launched on July 1, and attended by a number of key actors and contributors from throughout the ASEAN region.
The opening of this second warehouse finalises this aspect of the DELSA project, and marks the beginning of a new era for ASEAN disaster response efforts under One ASEAN, One Response, that aims to increase the speed and scale of disaster response efforts through the utilisation of innovations such as the stockpile warehouse system. The region now holds two key satellite outposts to support the primary warehouse in Subang, Malaysia, that will serve to significantly increase ASEAN’s capacity and effectiveness during disaster response situations in years to come. This point was highlighted by the AHA Centre’s Executive Director Ms. Adelina Kamal during her speech at the launch when she stated that “the DELSA network will scale up and speed up ASEAN’s response, as the satellite warehouses are closer to the disaster-prone countries. It will increase predictability of ASEAN’s response, and predictability of response is one of the key elements for a credible ASEAN’s response”.
The satellite warehouse development has been strongly supported by the Government of the Philippines, who allocated a dedicated warehouse inside Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, for the purpose of pre-positioning stockpile for disaster response. Direct support was delivered by the Philippines’ Department of National Defense, who worked to convert a section of the Armed Forces of the Philippines – Logistics Command (AFP-LOGCOM) Depot to serve as the satellite warehouse at the aforementioned location. These efforts highlight the willingness of ASEAN Member State governments to work together for the benefit of the region, with governments of the Philippines and Thailand providing significant support to the DELSA project expansion.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Under Secretary Ricardo B. Jalad, the Administrator of the Office of Civil Defense of the Philippines expressed his appreciation with the launch of the warehouse, “we are pleased that this DELSA (Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN) warehouse is now ready for operation today. This satellite warehouse is another enduring pillar that will support our declaration of ‘One ASEAN. One Response’ enabling us to heighten our emergency preparedness and increase our response capacity as a member state and together with the ASEAN members will respond to both large scale and medium scale disasters within and outside the ASEAN region”.
The second satellite warehouse will be co-managed by the AHA Centre and the Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) through the Office of Civil Defense (OCD). The effort is continuously supported by the Government of Japan through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), with the warehouse development across both the Philippines and Thailand evidencing the ongoing strength in partnerships and collaboration between the AHA Centre and its ASEAN national counterparts in disaster risk reduction and management.
H.E. Delfin Lorenzana, the Secretary of National Defense of the Republic of the Philippines, highlighted the collaboration between the national government and the regional organisation, “We commend our friends and partners in Asean and the AHA Center for tirelessly working the realization of regional emergency stockpiles as well as enhancing institutional capacity building, and communication awareness”.
“ALONE WE CAN DO SO LITTLE. TOGETHER WE CAN DO SO MUCH. LET’S CONTINUE OUR DELSA JOURNEY TOGETHER FOR ONE ASEAN, ONE RESPONSE”
Executive Director of the AHA Centre
Written by : William Shea | Photo Credit : Office of Civil Defense of the Republic of the Philippines
MS. ANTHEA WEBB
This month, The Column sat down with Ms. Anthea Webb, the Bangkok-based Deputy Regional Director of World Food Programme (WFP) for Asia and the Pacific, to learn about her experience in disaster management. Having built her career as a humanitarian for over 20 years, Anthea has been involved in numerous emergency responses across the world, such as in Kosovo, China, and Indonesia. Throughout her professional journey, she has witnessed the evolution of technology – and while this has significantly increased support emergency responses – she still maintains that the “natural alarm” forms our best warning system.
Anthea’s interest in humanitarian work developed from her university days in Australia, where she was involved in fundraising campaign to support the Cambodian refugees in early 1990s. From there she chose to “park” her journalism degree and volunteer in a social project supporting Vietnamese asylum seekers in Hong Kong. She then moved to work in the Vatican City, Rome, and then joined the World Food Programme in 1998. Anthea believes the initial challenges she experienced in the humanitarian field were overcome due to her natural passion for learning.
“Among the people I’ve been pleased to work with, there is a real drive to keep doing things better. Every emergency is different but often, some of the patterns are the same. Each time we intervene, we want to go faster, make the outcomes for the affected people better, do it at a lower cost in a way that leaves the organisation and the community stronger to face the next emergencies.”
Anthea also acknowledges the presence of natural hazards as a part of life. She states that while we may not be able to avoid droughts, floods, cyclones, and earthquakes, we can be prepared to respond to the impacts. The single question to reflect on is “How we can do it better?” Reviewing her past experiences, the mother-of-two highlights that a greater challenge than logistics occurs when different agencies do not incorporate their planning for disaster response. Anthea believes that groups like the AHA Centre can help overcome this issue and focus on getting people to work together.
“For me, one of the most interesting outcomes from the Sulawesi response was how much closer it brought us to the other humanitarian Country Team members. Being forced together like that is really important, and it is really important to continue that relationship. Exercises, simulations, joint-projects and missions help us to understand each other’s ways of working, motivation and goals,” she said.
Anthea keeps in mind that disasters can strike at any time and highlights the importance of technology in forecasting the impact of disastrous events. One of the innovations that Anthea co-initiated with Pulse Lab Jakarta (PLJ) is VAMPIRE, that stands for Vulnerability Analysis Monitoring Platform for the Impact of Regional Events. VAMPIRE integrates and promotes data innovation through visualisation of traceable drought impact on vulnerable populations.
“The project started in 2015 when the world – particularly Southeast Asia and Indonesia – was facing a very strong El Niño and its significant impacts. When we saw how large the impact might be, we realised we didn’t have a fast system for forecasting what a big drought would mean for rice and food production in Indonesia, as well as impact on farmers’ income. With PLJ, we developed a system that automatically catches available data, and automatically updates it, allowing us to spend our time on the analysis, and not waiting for the information itself. We were also able to integrate other related data, to support identification of areas most in need of government intervention.”
Following its successful adoption and use in Indonesia, similar forecasting methods as part of an early warning system are being piloted in other countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka. While technology brings a lot of positives to emergency response, Anthea doesn’t forget her first deployment with WFP in Kosovo, when open-source online map and GPS were not widely available nor accessible. Relying on printed maps pinned all over the walls and floors – in the absence of desks – her team had to identify the correct sites to deliver relief items. She still admits that even the most sophisticated technology can fail us at times, and reminds us never to underestimate the value of original and hand-on techniques.
“In the context of a tsunami, the earthquake is the warning. That is the initial siren telling us to move to higher ground”, Anthea reminds us. “When hey sense danger, most people will act to protect themselves and family. Thus, it is important to get the message through to the people at risk”.
Written by : Shintya Kurniawan | Photo : Personal collection of Ms. Anthea Webb
MANAGEMENT OF THE DEAD
While death is a topic that we all don’t enjoy, the reality of disaster management is that it is also a common theme we all face during and after disasters occur. Therefore, an integral part of the role for a disaster manager is to understand victim identification, and also the proper and dignified ways to manage deceased people as a result of disaster situations. During June 2019, the AHA Centre co-organised a seminar on dignified management of the dead, in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and supported by the Indonesian National Disaster Management Authority (BNPB).
Taking place from 20-21 of June, the seminar was attended by over 80 representatives of agencies involved in emergency and disaster response from ASEAN Member States, alongside representatives from local government agencies in Indonesia, other partner agencies and the nation of Timor Leste. A key outcome was the agreement that proper training of first responders was key to improving management of the dead, especially drawing on lessons learned from the earthquake, tsunami and liquefaction disaster in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.
“Dignified management of the dead remains a relevant theme for the ASEAN Member States given that the region is geographically prone to natural disasters. It’s crucial that the first responders are equipped with sufficient knowledge and skills in victim identification during the early stages of search and rescue. Proper and dignified management of the dead can also help minimise the distress caused to families who lose their loved ones by helping provide answers and giving them closure”, said the head of ICRC’s regional delegation for Indonesia and Timor-Leste, Alexandre Faite.
As part of the seminar, the ICRC also took the opportunity to introduce official guidelines – Management of Dead Bodies after Disasters: A Field Manual for First Responders – as well as promote a regional proposal to develop a practical tool from available global knowledge in the field of dignified management of the dead, to be adapted to the South East Asian context.
The Executive Director of the AHA Centre, Ms. Adelina Kamal, highlighted the importance of such developments within a seminar such as this.
“ASEAN countries have a wealth of experience in responding to disasters over the past decades. We also have rich local wisdom as well as cultural and religious diversities. The workshop intends to promote cross-fertilisation of knowledge and experience of the ASEAN countries to enrich the field guide. At the same time, the AHA Centre will also use the accumulated experience and knowledge to enhance our regional preparedness for One ASEAN One Response”
Written by : William Shea | Photo : AHA Centre
DEUTSCHE POST DHL
Logistics – in particular the handling of relief items at times of emergency – form an integral part of any disaster response, and therefore a key aspect of the AHA Centre’s role as the primary regional coordinating body for disaster management in the ASEAN region. Having worked together during the large-scale response following the Central Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami event in 2018, the AHA Centre and Deutsche Post DHL (DPDHL) quickly realised the shared value that a formalised partnership between the two entities could have. The AHA Centre formalised this partnership by signing a Memorandum of Intent to work together with DHL – one of the world’s leading logistics services providers – effective on the 1st of July, 2019 in Manila, the Philippines.
The AHA Centre and DPDHL’s first major experience in a working partnership took place after 2018’s major disaster event in Central Sulawesi, with the significant amount of relief pouring into Indonesia requiring extra support to receive and deliver items to the affected region. DPDHL provided significant support on the ground, handling international items at the established receiving centre in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, as well as at Palu Airport – the entry-point to the affected area. It was this formative working experience that increased the interest of both parties to strengthen their partnership – with both directly witnessing the mutual benefit that such a partnership holds. Aside from this response effort, representative from DPDHL has also participated in the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) training programme, further promoting the engagement of public-private engagement in logistic management.
“We are excited to partner with AHA Centre in their growing role as a regional coordinating hub for the mobilisation of resources to disaster affected areas in Southeast Asia,” said Carl Schelfhaut, GoHelp Manager from the Asia Pacific DPDHL Group. “DPDHL Group has been closely following the One ASEAN One Response approach that the region has championed over the years and we fully support its implementation,” he continued.
The partnership – formalised through July’s MOI – will see DPDHL further engaging with the AHA Centre in future responses, with its Disaster Response Team (DRT) working on the ground alongside the AHA Centre to facilitate the movement of international relief items. Potential activities include unloading cargo planes, supporting professional warehousing and inventory management, and loading relief goods for onward transportation. DPDHL will also offer its expertise in logistics to support for the AHA Centre’s ASEAN-ERAT and ASEAN Humanitarian Logistics courses and activities. The AHA Centre’s Executive Director, Adelina Kamal highlighted the importance of the Centre’s further engagement in public-private partnerships such as this when she noted “public-private partnerships with industry experts like DPDHL Group are critical in scaling up the One ASEAN, One Response vision. As our partnership with DHL’s DRT team at Sulawesi last year demonstrated, their expertise in facilitating the flow of relief goods and supporting civil military relations is invaluable”.
Written by : WilIiam Shea | Photo : Deutsche Post DHL