AHA CENTRE ANNUAL PLANNING WORKSHOP
To kick-off 2020, the AHA Centre conducted an annual planning workshop from 20-22 January. All AHA Centre staff attended the organisation’s internal planning workshop, including staff that are based outside of the Jakarta head office. The regular annual activity also formed an opportunity for everyone in the AHA Centre to meet, all in the same place and at the same time.
The workshop had three key objectives. The first was to discuss the priorities and goals for the AHA Centre during the year 2020. The second objective was to reflect back on the achievements, as well as the lessons learned, from the previous year and determine how the AHA Centre can utilise such lessons and experiences in its upcoming work. The final objective was to continue the ongoing exercise of rethinking the future direction of the AHA Centre in relation to disaster management in the ASEAN region. The AHA Centre staff discussed the results from discussions during the strategic thematic forum conducted in November 2019, as part of the 8th anniversary commemoration of the AHA Centre’s establishment. The rethinking exercise will also contribute to the upcoming drafting of the new cycle of the AADMER Work Programme for the years 2021 – 2025.
The workshop also had some lighter moments, with AHA Centre staff using the opportunity to carry out some team-building and bonding activities. Good team collaboration is an important element of all the AHA Centre’s work.
At the end of the workshop, the Executive Director Ms. Adelina Kamal thanked all staff for taking the time to attend the activity. Reflecting back to 2019, the Ms. Kamal also showed appreciation to everyone for helping the AHA Centre in achieving many of its objectives. Going forward, she hopes that such good work will continue to 2020 and beyond. Ms. Kamal also highlighted the changing humanitarian landscape in the region, reminding all that the AHA Centre must continue to creatively reinvent itself if it is to remain relevant for ASEAN Member States and the ASEAN region in the years to come.
Written by : Ina Rachmawati | Photo Credit : AHA Centre
Vol 57 – ASEAN KICKS-OFF THE OPERATIONALISATION OF THE NEW SATELLITE WAREHOUSE IN CHAI NAT, THAILAND
ASEAN KICKS-OFF THE OPERATIONALISATION OF THE NEW SATELLITE WAREHOUSE IN CHAI NAT, THAILAND
ASEAN’s second satellite warehouse that will serve as the logistics hub for the Mekong sub-region was inaugurated during its operational launching on 13 December 2019, at its location in the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) Regional Centre 16, in Chai Nat Province, Thailand.
The AHA Centre and the DDPM, Ministry of Interior, Thailand as co-managers of the satellite warehouse, were joined by representatives from ASEAN Member States, ASEAN Dialogue Partners, other partners of the AHA Centre, and members of the private sector and civil society to inaugurate the satellite warehouse. The event kick-started the full functionality of the warehouse, and signifies ASEAN’s commitment to realise the vision of One ASEAN One Response.
The satellite warehouse is designed to accommodate ASEAN’s collective response in the region – in particular in Thailand and neighbouring countries including Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam. The satellite warehouse is now equipped with international-standard stockpiles adjusted to ASEAN needs. The relief items range from kits for disaster-affected communities to equipment for assisting on-the-ground operations of the National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMOs) of the affected countries, as well as the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT).
During the 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok on 23 June 2019, ASEAN Leaders oversaw the soft launch of the ASEAN satellite warehouse in Thailand, under the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA). The soft launch was intended to introduce the satellite warehouse as one of the ASEAN mechanisms to ensure speed in the delivery of relief assistance, in line with the aspirations of One ASEAN One Response. Thailand’s satellite warehouse will complement the existing regional stockpile stored in the UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Subang, Malaysia, and another satellite warehouse located in the Philippines that was launched in July 2019.
The establishment of the satellite warehouse is an embodiment of ASEAN’s effort to increase the speed, scale and solidarity of ASEAN’s collective support to ASEAN Member States affected by disasters. The AHA Centre and DDPM Thailand acknowledge the invaluable support from the Government of Japan through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), and the Ministry of Interior of Thailand, provided to the DELSA project that has made the effort possible.
Written by : Ina Rachmawati and Caroline Widagdo | Photo Credit : AHA Centre
3RD ASEAN-ERAT SINGAPORE CHAPTER WORKSHOP DIARY
The third ASEAN-ERAT Singapore Chapter Workshop was held on 25 September 2019 at the iconic Marina Barrage. The event was organised a day after Singapore hosted delegates for the 7th ASEAN-ERAT Advisory Group and 5th ASEAN-ERAT Project Steering Committee meetings.
The annual event started in 2017 by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), serves to update members of the Singapore Chapter on recent development on ASEAN-ERAT, share information from recent ASEAN-ERAT missions and induct new ASEAN-ERAT members into the Singapore Chapter.
Members attending this year’s event had the privilege of getting first-hand updates from Ms Grace Endina from the AHA Centre. She briefed the participants on the progress of the ASEAN-ERAT transformation plan and training development programmes for ASEAN-ERAT. Following this, Ms Laina Henderson, a consultant currently attached to the AHA Centre by the UK government engaged the participants to discuss challenges, future roles and vision for the ASEAN-ERAT for the year 2021 to 2025.
Finally, Ms Anne Tan and Ms Sia Peir Hong in responding to a humanitarian assistance mission to Myanmar and in attending a Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) in Australia, shared their experience respectively. The sharing session was useful to the participants for it enabled them to understand the security challenges that could affect them physically and emotionally during a mission and prepare them for future deployment.
To commemorate this year’s event, the workshop organisers Mr Matthew Tay and Mr Goh Eng Khye, members of ASEAN-ERAT from the recent Batch 11, initiated the pinning of the ASEAN-ERAT identification tags by the participants onto the self-designed ASEAN-ERAT Singapore Chapter Board. Henceforth, the board will be used at future Singapore Chapter events to welcome new ASEAN-ERAT members from Singapore. A duplicate of the inaugural Singapore Chapter Board was created and presented to the AHA Centre.
The event concluded with Mr Ow Yong Tuck Wah, a founding member of Singapore’s ASEAN-ERAT, thanking all participants for their presence, active involvement and good camaraderie forged over the two days during the workshop and meetings. He also expressed SCDF’s appreciation to the AHA Centre delegates – Ms Grace Endina, Ms Laina Henderson and Ms Sulastri Sulaiman – for their support and commitment throughout the Singapore Chapter event.
Written by : Matthew Tay and Goh Eng Khye | 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
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
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
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
Fundraising can form an important method in ensuring funding diversity – therefore supporting overall sustainability – within operations of humanitarian organisations. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), one of the AHA Centre’s key working partners, holds a great array of experience in the field of fundraising, and undertook a workshop on the topic during May 2019. The initial idea was raised during meetings between the AHA Centre and an MSF delegation during mid-2018, as both parties explored options for support in the operationalisation of the One ASEAN, One Response declaration. The workshop concept was then further discussed with the AHA Centre in Geneva during the UN Humanitarian Partnership Week in February 2019, with the AHA Centre enthusiastically accepting the offer to learn from MSF’s experience.
Ms. Jenny Tung, the Director of Development and Fundraising from MSF’s Hong Kong chapter lead the MSF delegation for implementing the workshop, and also facilitated the half-day event at the AHA Centre headquarters in Jakarta during May. A large number of AHA Centre staff participated in the workshop, which provided frank and open discussions resulting in a number of lessons, strategic ideas, and valuable insights for all involved. Alongside members of senior management, the AHA Centre’s Executive Director Ms. Adelina Kamal also took part in the workshop, highlighting its strategic importance when she said, “the AHA Centre needs to re-think our financing and resource mobilisation strategy so that our operations can be self-sufficient and we will be able to help realise the ASEAN’s vision of becoming the future global leader on disaster management by the year 2025. We want to learn from the best, those who have done it successfully, like the MSF. We learnt from the MSF that the majority of their funds comes from diversified and unrestricted private individual funds, allowing MSF to have predictable and sustainable income and achieve operational flexibility, independence and impartiality. While the nature of the AHA Centre is different from MSF, we learnt so much from their financing strategy, and could use and modify it to suit our needs”.
Written by : Carla Budiarto | Photo : AHA Centre
THE 10TH MEETING OF
THE AHA CENTRE’S GOVERNING BOARD
The 25th of April, 2019 saw the ASEAN region’s 10 National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMOs) come together for the 10th Meeting of the Governing Board of the AHA Centre. The event was held in the city of Mandalay, Myanmar, with all ASEAN Member State NDMO representatives meeting, along with representatives from the AHA Centre and the ASEAN Secretariat, to discuss the AHA Centre’s progress, work, and plans for the future.
The AHA Centre presented its recent work and outcomes across key areas for the period between October 2018 and April 2019, including providing updates regarding disaster responses that took place during the previous six months. The Centre presented to the Governing Board its activities related to the Central Sulawesi Earthquake and Tsunami – including the ongoing ASEAN Resilient Village recovery phase project – as well as support for the Government of Myanmar through implementing needs assessments to identify possible areas of cooperation to facilitate reparation of displaced persons to Rakhine State. Another key presentation was the publication of the AHA Centre’s 2018 Annual Report, which was delivered to the Governing Board during the meeting.
One of the outcomes of the meeting was the Governing Board’s endorsement of a draft Memorandum of Intent (MoI) between the AHA Centre and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) – a strategic partnership that was highlighted recently in Volume 49 of The Column. The endorsed MoI contains numerous key focus areas, including strengthening coordination of regional and international assistance, supporting capacity development, strengthening preparedness activities (for example through joint trainings, simulation exercises and workshops), assisting with expertise to prepare and conduct the ASEAN Regional Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise (ARDEX), enhancing crisis communications, and strengthening the capacities of the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT).
Finally, the Governing Board also supported the outcomes of the AHA Centre’s internal planning workshop – that took place in January 2019 – which recommended the organisation of the Centre’s core services into five primary areas. These areas will now be known as:
● data intelligence and analysis;
● resource management;
● financing, and;
● knowledge and outreach
In closing the meeting, the Chair of the Governing Board, Dr. Ko Ko Naing, Director – General of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) of Myanmar, expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the support all ASEAN nations had provided to Myanmar, while also commending the AHA Centre on its hard work, and highlighting the Centre’s readiness to be called upon whenever a need arises.
“The 25 of April, 2019 saw the ASEAN region’s 10 National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMOs) come together for the 10 Meeting of the Governing Board of the AHA Centre”
Written by : Dipo Summa | Photo : AHA Centre
THE ASEAN WORKSHOP
ON DISASTER REPORTING AND BIG DATA
FOR DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Big data and the array of supporting disaster-related information has the potential to enhance the quality of disaster management policies and activities across the ASEAN region. However, much scoping, learning and sharing is still to be undertaken to begin fully realising the potential of such data. Based on this, the AHA Centre invited disaster managers and information crunchers alike to begin exploring potential and opportunities by taking part in the ASEAN Workshop on Disaster Reporting and Big Data for Disaster Management, which was held in Jakarta on the 18th – 19th of March 2019.
The AHA Centre’s Executive Director, Ms. Adelina Kamal, highlighted the importance of this innovative event during her opening address. “Back-to-back disasters in the region have shown the importance of disaster reporting and harnessing data. Interoperability across systems of ASEAN Member States and the AHA Centre is also important to enable ASEAN to become the future global leader in disaster management. Furthermore, data intelligence system will increase speed, scale, and solidarity of One ASEAN One Response” she explained to the participants, made-up of delegates from the 10 ASEAN Member States, ASEAN Dialogue Partners, regional and international organisations, academic institutions, civil societies and the private sector.
The first of the workshop’s three panel discussions focused on the Introduction of Big Data and Internet of Things, introducing all in attendance to the concepts and potentials of big data, predictive analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IOT). The session included talks from Ms. Derval Usher (Head of Office, UN PulseLab Jakarta), Dr. Ismail Fahmi (CEO of Media Kernels Indonesia), and Mr. Syafri Bahar (Vice President of Data Science, GO-JEK). Following-on from this was a panel about Humanitarian Data and Applications to learn from existing use and trends of big data, predictive analytics, AI and IOT, and their applications for disaster management. Insights included from Mr. Yantisa Akhadi (Country Manager, Humanitarian OpenStreet Map), Mr. Faizal Thamrin (UNOCHA Humanitarian Data Exchange), and Dr. Daisuke Sasaki (Assistant Professor International Research Institute of Disaster Science – IRIDeS Japan). The panel sessions wound-up with a discussion on the Future of Humanitarian Data Intelligence, particularly within the ASEAN context, and was provided insights from Dr. Mizan Bisri (Post-doctoral Researcher, United Nations University Institute of Advanced Study of Sustainability Japan) and Mr. Ray Shirkhodai (Executive Director, Pacific Disaster Center based in Hawaii).
The second day of the workshop brought participants together through a group discussion on a wide range of topics related to the previous day’s content – and invited groups to relate the ideas and innovations to the current context within their own country. The resulting outcomes included recommendations for utilising data for more strategic humanitarian assistance, creating stronger connections between the AHA Centre and ASEAN Member States for more modern data collection and provision – particularly related to Big Data’s potential for stronger forecasting, and exploring potential challenges and opportunities for National Disaster Management Organisations to apply the valuable big data mechanisms. Potential was highlighted for the AHA Centre to engage universities in big data, to utilise potential of big data research, training and capacity building. In this regard, it may be a good the idea for the AHA Centre to have a collaboration with ASEAN University Network, among others. Challenges were also identified regarding data sharing and data protection policy, raising the need for the development of regional data governance mechanisms.
UNDERSTANDNG THE FIVE VS OF BIG DATA:
As the innovative and forward-thinking event came to its close, Mr. Yasushi Furukawa from Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication highlighted the benefit of such efforts, from the perspective of the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) as a key supporter of the workshop and the AHA Centre’s overall Information Communications and Technology programming. He stated that the Government of Japan was delighted to support and contribute to the implementation of the AHA Centre ICT Project since Phase I in 2011, continuing until now with ICT Phase IV. He expressed his great appreciation to the AHA Centre in organising such a workshop, and looks forward to the region recognising the potential that big data holds.
Written by : Shintya Kurniawan, Wiliam Shea | Photo : AHA Centre