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
PREPARING FOR LAUNCH :
THE 3RD MEETING OF THE DELSA PHASE 2 PROJECT STEERING COMMITTEE
Singapore was the location for the 3rd Meeting of the Project Steering Committee for the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA) Phase II project, which took place on the 19th of February, 2019. With the development of two satellite warehouses for DELSA stockpile currently in final stages of development, this meeting would form the primary driving factor to prepare the warehouses for their launching date.
The meeting – co-chaired by Malaysia and Singapore in their roles as Co-Chairs of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management Working Group on Preparedness and Response – was attended by Project Steering Committee (PSC) members including representatives from the Mission of Japan to ASEAN, the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) management team, the ASEAN Secretariat, and representatives from the AHA Centre as the DELSA implementing agency. Importantly, representatives from the Philippines and Thailand were also in attendance as the host nations for the two DELSA satellite warehouses.
The central theme for the 3rd DELSA PSC Meeting was to update all parties on the five key action points resulting from the PSC’s 2nd meeting held in 2018. Among the key action points were:
• Updates on the renovation progress for both the Philippines and Thailand warehouse.
• Development of a stockpile “baseline” to allow interoperability and transfer of relief items between warehouse locations.
New staff were also introduced during the meeting, with the positions of DELSA Logistics Officer for the AHA Centre and National Logistics Officer for the Philippines recently filled. A comprehensive overview of relief item deployment was also delivered to the meeting by the AHA Centre, with significant numbers of varying relief items utilised during 2018 reflecting the scale of response requirements during 2018, as well as the overall value of the DELSA project for ASEAN communities.
Finally, an extensive session was provided to the current status of the satellite warehouse development in both the Philippines and Thailand, as both locations draw closer to their opening dates. The Philippines reported that all renovations had been completed as of the end of January 2019, and highlighted their gratitude to all parties for ensuring the warehouse reached international standards to serve ASEAN Member States in their time of need. The warehouse in Thailand is also moving through the renovation process and is aiming for launch by June 2019. Plans were also discussed and finalised to procure relief items for each of the warehouses, with procurement finalisation set for the end of May 2019. The launch of these satellite warehouses forms not only a great achievement for all parties involved in the project, but also a significant step forward for the ASEAN region, to increase the speed, scale, and solidarity for One ASEAN One Response.
Written by : Caroline Widagdo, William Shea | Photo : AHA Centre
FOR DISASTER MANAGEMENT & EMERGENCY RESPONSE WORKSHOP
January 9th 2019 saw members of the AHA Centre team involved in the Accelerating Impact for Disaster Management & Emergency (AIDE) Response workshop, a part of ongoing research being undertaken by the University of Lancaster to support the AHA Centre’s operational processes and decision making in times of disaster.
Taking place at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, this workshop brought together a range of engaged parties including the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the University of Indonesia, other disaster response organisations, and representatives from the private sector, to further explore the latest tools that could improve decision making processes during emergency response.
The aim of AIDE-Response, and the research project overall, is to optimise the AHA Centre’s operations related to disaster response decision making, which was assessed by the University of Lancaster during the Centre’s responses in 2018. During the event a range of new tools and ideas were identified and discussed to ensure the AHA Centre remains at the forefront of disaster management, through the use of new and ground-breaking technologies. The Indonesian National Disaster Management Authority (BNPB) and Humanitarian Forum Indonesia were also present during the workshop, providing relevant insights into processes and potential for engaging identified tools for the benefit of all involved.
Written by : Janggam Adhityawarma | Photo : University of Lancaster
ACE PROGRAMME GRADUATION
After over 1,000 hours of training, and the successful completion of 23 courses – including, amongst others, the humanitarian logistics in Subang, Malaysia, the Critical Incident Leadership Course in New Zealand, and a study visit to Japan – the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme concluded its 2018 programme on the 14th of December, with its graduation day at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta. The seventeen ACE graduates of the programme’s Fifth Batch now enter a total pool of 79 graduates, who will serve as future ASEAN leaders on disaster management.
As part of the graduation, the ACE Programme’s closing gala for 2018, each of the participants receive a Graduation Certificate from the Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, H.E. Kung Phoak, and a Graduation Medal from H.E. Kazuo Sunaga, Ambassador of Japan to ASEAN. The ceremony was also attended by representatives from the ASEAN Member States, ASEAN Dialogue Partners, the United Nations, IFRC, and a number of AHA Centre’s partners.
As part of the ACE Programme, participants were also trained as ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) members, enabling them to be mobilised during disaster responses across all ASEAN Member States. The overwhelming success of the ACE Programme Fifth Batch would not have been possible without strong support from partners – such as UNOCHA, UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, WFP, IOM, Red Cross, USFS, Red-R Australia, DKI-APCSS, and New Zealand Aid – who supported the programme through the delivery of various technical humanitarian skills and leadership courses and activities.
The graduation ceremony is an embodiment of the participants’ hard work and commitment to complete the courses, and also forms the starting point for them to embark on their new journey in the disaster management sector. “This is a message of victory, in the sense that ASEAN now has 17 additional warriors to respond, to work, and to strengthen the region when it comes to disaster risk reduction and management”, exclaimed new graduate Jose Angelo Mangaoang of the Philippines during his graduation speech.
The value of the ACE Programme was highlighted by Indonesian participant Ms. Rucky Dewi, as she shared her experiences throughout the course.
“The required humanitarian actions might be beyond our individual limits, and therefore that is the purpose of the ACE Programme training. To reach that individual limit, and to take on the impossible now becomes possible. To ensure the accelerated response for delivery of humanitarian assistance worldwide, and to promote greater benefit of strong leadership in times of disaster, particularly for the people affected by the crisis.”
With the support of the Government of Japan, through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), the AHA Centre can successfully close the book on its conduction of this programme for the fifth time. Finally, the AHA Centre once more offers its congratulations to all graduates – we are sure you will undertake this role with great professionalism and responsibility.
Written by : Ferosa Arsadita | Photo : AHA Centre
AHA CENTRE DISASTER RESPONSE AFTER ACTION REVIEW
With a total of seven disaster responses undertaken during 2018, the AHA Centre’s team, its Governing Board members from the ASEAN countries, and a number of its partners embarked on a comprehensive After-Action Review (AAR) of all responses, from the 26th to the 28th of November in Jakarta. This AAR covered a large range of areas relating to 2018’s responses – highlighting strengths and improvements, discussing weaknesses and areas for development, as well as gaining a range of inputs from all participants to support the strengthening of ASEAN’s disaster response efforts into 2019 and beyond.
Much of the 3-day discussions focused on ASEAN and the AHA Centre’s interoperability with the ASEAN Secretariat, NDMOs, the United Nations and other humanitarian partners, in the ongoing effort to ensure all parties can work efficiently and fluently side-by-side for the betterment of the ASEAN region. A key outcome was the agreement that there should be continuing increase in the numbers of ASEAN stakeholders engaged in ASEAN processes. Although many ASEAN bodies who specifically focus towards disaster management (such as NDMOs) are familiar and engaged with the AHA Centre, it was highlighted that other key sectors such as military and related ministries need to be more involved with ASEAN disaster management mechanisms, in order to truly realise the One ASEAN One Response vision.
The first day of the review was focused towards internal discussions for the AHA Centre itself, with all staff and management involved in disaster responses engaging on this internal review. Following the internal reflections, the AHA Centre opened the floor to their working partners from the region and local governments who form a key part of the AHA Centre’s work. Input was sought from the AHA Centre’s Governing Board, staff from National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMOs), as well as the ASEAN Secretariat – particularly staff engaged as ASEAN-ERAT responders who provided support to the AHA Centre Emergency Operations Centre during response periods. Finally, the AHA Centre spread its quest for input further again, inviting a range of partners engaged in the humanitarian response, such as the ASEAN Dialogue Partners, United Nations, and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
Written by : Shintya Kurniawan | Photo : AHA Centre
ACE PROGRAMME PHOTO JOURNAL – OCTOBER 2018
During October 2018, the AHA Centre Executive Programme (ACE) participants engaged on a learning trip to one of the world’s most innovative and prepared nations when it comes to disaster management, New Zealand. Participants were exposed to a number of teaching and learning methodologies, including classroom-based lectures, interactive discussion with subject matter experts, presentations by participants, and field activities, with a strong focus on evidence-based approaches. The programme was delivered across the cities of Christchurch, Kaikoura, Wellington and Auckland. The visits provided opportunities for participants to explore the key themes of New Zealand’s hazards, leadership, community resilience and disaster recovery efforts.
Incident Command System (ICS) Training provided participants with further insight and knowledge into ICS activities from both a regional and international perspective. The training was facilitated by representatives from the United States Forest Service (USFS), including Mr. Joe Reyes, and the USFS’s ICS Expert Mr David McCandliss.
ACE participants undertook two training sessions related to critical thinking and leadership, with the aim to improve participants’ capacity regarding communication, negotiation and decision-making during normal and emergency response times. The trainings – ‘Meta Leadership’ and ‘Thinking Preference’ – were facilitated by Christopher Webb from the Auckland University of Technology.
The ACE participants visited Emergency Operation Centres across New Zealand, including the EOC in the city of Wellington. Visiting the centres allowed participants to see inside the operations of New Zealand disaster management, talk with key personnel, and draw examples of similarities and differences between the NZ system and our own ASEAN EOC operations. There were also information sessions about the toles of the NZ NDMO and local councils during the 2011 earthquake response.
A number of interesting and innovative workshops were implemented for ACE Programme participants, including Creative Thinking & Innovation, which was delivered by Ms. Ke Lin of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Participants also engaged in Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) training (facilitated by Ms. Jeannette Fernandez from UNDP New York Headquarters) and took part in the ACE Programme Mid-Term Evaluation.
Closing out a busy October, ACE participants got some hands-on experience in emergency logistics, undertaking an intensive Humanitarian Logistic Training course in the region’s key stockpile warehouse in Subang, Malaysia. The training was facilitated by representatives from the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot and World Food Programme (UNHRD/WFP), who co-manage the warehouse alongside the AHA Centre.
Written by : Putri Mumpuni, William Shea | Photo : AHA Centre