AHA CENTRE CONDUCT SUCCESSFUL ON-LINE
Amid the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, the AHA Centre has aimed to maintain consistency and capacity to coordinate emergency responses by conducting an online Emergency Response Operation (ERO) exercise.
To ensure ongoing capacity and efficiency in fulfilling its role to support affected ASEAN Member States during times of disaster, the AHA Centre undertakes routine emergency response operation exercises that involves all staff. Such exercises are conducted regularly to test and maintain emergency procedures, and to ensure processes are up-to-date and still relevant with current contexts.
For AHA Centre personnel, the exercise also ensures that everyone holds the information and knowledge to confidently perform their role within an ERO without hesitation. As when an emergency strikes there is limited time to execute each responsibility, so undertaking such an exercise trains the members of the organisation to work seamlessly as a team.
This year was the first time such an ERO exercise has been undertaken in an online environment, as all 42 of the AHA Centre’s staff participated in the activity that utilised a critical typhoon scenario occurring in the region. The exercise tested the chain of command, the interoperability between sections, and how overall coordination took place.
This ERO exercise is not only a refresher for the all AHA Centre staff, but it is also a way to introduce new staff to AHA Centre operations during critical events. Despite the current obstacles and limitations due to the pandemic, the AHA Centre was able to adapt and engage to undertake their role. With all staff are working from home, the ability to adapt and perform has become increasingly important, and these skills and experiences may later be transferred into situations and events in future contexts.
Written by : Ina Rachmawati | Photo : AHA Centre
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL MEETING (ECOSOC)
On June 10, 2020, the AHA Centre’s Executive Director Ms. Adelina Kamal was engaged as a key panellist on the United Nations Economic and Social Council Meeting (ECOSOC) discussion on Improving humanitarian effectiveness through new technology and innovation: opportunities and challenges. The discussion was on the third day of the ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment 2020, within which the panel discussed concrete examples of the humanitarian sector improving humanitarian effectiveness in a changing landscape through use of new technology and innovation.
The online panel was chaired by H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Morocco and Vice-President of ECOSOC, and moderated by Mr. Ramesh Rajasingham, Acting Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator. Alongside Ms. Kamal from the AHA Centre, other panellists included: Mr. Fabrizio Hochschild, Under-Secretary-General for Digital Cooperation; Ms. Valerie Guarnieri, Assistant Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme; Mr. Balthasar Staehelin, Director of Digital Transformation and Data, International Committee of the Red Cross; Dr. Patrick Meier, CEO, WeRobotics, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy; Mr. Raj Kumar, Founding President & Editor-in-Chief of Devex, and; Mr. Christopher Fabian, Senior Advisor on Innovation, UNICEF. Throughout the session all panellists showcased examples of new technology and innovation being used in humanitarian preparedness and response to improve the impact of humanitarian operations, as well as share best practices and lessons learned.
Alongside this, the panel also approached how the humanitarian sector is positioning itself to work with partners – including regional, national, and local actors, as well as the private sector – to identify and roll-out further opportunities. Speakers also identified numerous risks and challenges associated with new and emerging technologies, and discussed how these can be mitigated in the future. Challenges included data protection and protection against privacy breaches, the potential curtailment of personal liberties through the misuse of data, the spread of misinformation and disinformation, and the use of technology to stigmatize or incite tensions.
This engagement gave the AHA Centre yet another opportunity to lead the region on disaster management coordination with an array of international bodies, while also be actively involved in the continuing expansion of information and communication technology activities taking place within the global disaster management sector. The change, the innovation, and the importance of this subject was highlighted by H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale when he stated during his opening speech that:
“When I began my career in humanitarian affairs, it was mostly a process of contingency planning involving a small group of disaster managers and aid workers meeting and gathering around a flipchart with a handful of coloured marker pens. Today, humanitarians use Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analytics to more quickly and efficiently analyse and make decisions about how to respond to crisis.”
Written by : William Shea | Photo : AHA Centre
CONTINUING REGIONAL EFFORTS ON
BUILDING ASEAN-ERAT CAPACITY FOR RESPONSE
The AHA Centre has progressed significantly towards achieving the vision of its ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) Transformation Plan, that was developed back in 2015. Aiming to strengthen ASEAN’s preparedness and response capacity – to support collective, fast, and reliable disaster responses in accordance with humanitarian standards – the organisation is moving towards the finalisation of the ASEAN-ERAT Transformation Plan’s initial 5-year period.
Contributing to the overall realisation of the Transformation Plan, on 31 March 2020 the AHA Centre, supported by the Government of Japan through the Japan ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), successfully concluded a 4-year project titled “ASEAN-ERAT Transformation Project”. Based on project evaluation results, the AHA Centre made significant contributions to the outcomes of the Transformation Plan, including:
Establishing and conducting regular ASEAN-ERAT Advisory Group meetings and ASEAN-ERAT In-country Networks with 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS)
Developing an ASEAN-ERAT publication as part of the AHA Centre’s knowledge series, and circulating ASEAN-ERAT activities through the AHA Centre’s monthly bulletin
Updating ASEAN-ERAT Guidelines
Maintaining the Emergency Alerts system
Developing ASEAN-ERAT Manager Web and Mobile Applications
Establishing online course platform used to reinforce the delivery of face-to-face ASEAN-ERAT courses
Developing advance course curriculum and piloting the trainings; i.e. Rapid Needs Assessment, Information Management, Humanitarian Logistics, Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination, and Early Recovery; that have increased the capacity of ASEAN-ERAT to provide technical assistance to AMS, including support during the early recovery phase
Conducting Training of Trainers (TOT) that have enabled the AHA Centre to gain support from graduates to conduct ASEAN-ERAT courses
Successfully establishing an operational support group with partners from Map Action, Télécoms Sans Frontières, and DHL, that has supported ASEAN-ERAT large-scale operations, such as during the 7,4M Earthquake in Palu, Indonesia
Successfully training 322 ASEAN-ERAT members from 10 AMS
Deploying trained ASEAN-ERAT members to actual emergencies and simulation exercises
With an array of natural disasters experienced over the last 12 years, the trained ASEAN-ERAT members were deployed to many disaster responses. Of the 28 ASEAN-ERAT deployments in the past 12 years, one of the most interesting experiences was deployment to the 2018 Central Sulawesi Earthquake and Tsunami, within which the AHA Centre deployed 28 members to reinforce the Indonesian NDMO with many support mechanisms including coordination and the facilitation of incoming relief assistance. Another unique mission was the ASEAN-ERAT response to human-induced disaster in Rakhine State, Myanmar. This mission was executed upon request from the Government of Myanmar, entrusting ASEAN-ERAT to conduct a preliminary needs assessment to identify areas of cooperation, that in turn could support the repatriation of displaced persons to Rakhine State.
Exercising inter-operability of ASEAN-ERAT and UNDAC during Central Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami in 2018, signifying better coordination and collaboration between the two.
Acknowledging tangible support from ASEAN-ERAT members, the AHA Centre aims to continue the ASEAN-ERAT capacity building programme supported by the JAIF, which will be undertaken through ASEAN-ERAT Phase 2 project entitled “Strengthening ASEAN’s Collective Response Capacity through the Enhancement of the Capacity Building of the Regional ASEAN-ERAT”. This will be further strengthened through support from the European Union as part of the “EU Support to AHA Centre” (EU SAHA) project. It will ensure that the AHA Centre can equip more ERAT members for disaster response by continuing the capacity building efforts, particularly on the roll-out of the advanced courses that were piloted in 2018 – 2019. Considering the situation of COVID-19 pandemic, all the advanced courses planned in 2020 are moved to 2021.
Written by : ASEAN-ERAT Project Management Team | Photo : AHA Centre
HOW THE AHA CENTRE – ICT TEAM
FROM OFFICE JOB TO WORK-AT-HOME
Working from home, or WFH, during this time can influence us to make changes to anticipate various pitfalls: difficulty communicating efficiently, lack of access to information, lack of supervision (causing anxiety for both managers and employees), and social isolation. As any other organisation, the AHA Centre team relies much on the ICT team to help the transition from work in office to work from home. The team provides and creates a breakthrough to make work easier from home.
UTILISE VARIOUS COMMUNICATION TOOLS AND ESTABLISH GROUND RULES
Before WFH arrangement, there were only two user accounts available for video conference. Since the demand has multiplied exponentially the team has provided five accounts for video call using Zoom, a backup service using WebEx, and for urgent meetings using Google Meet.
All staff has access to this communication tool for their need in collaborating and coordinating with colleagues and partners. ICT team will monitor the access request and make sure everyone can utilise the service.
Before WFH set up, it is easier to have daily catch-up with team members to ensure smooth collaboration. Furthermore, it is a normal routine to have frequent team meeting to have a quick catch-up where everyone has the opportunity to have a quick question and answer, which during WFH is no longer possible. So how is working from home going to impact team work dynamic in the AHA Centre?
In the beginning, we all have to struggle to keep up with our work and adjust to work from home. Hard copy notes and documents were daily routines, but since the WFH set up, ICT team had to speed up the usage of Zoho, where the hard copy documents and administrative process are processed to a digital record and approval is done via digital documentation.
CREATE A WORK FROM HOME POLICY ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE
Since the work from home policy, ICT Team has created an internal website that provides the latest office policy during the WFH set up. Everyone can access it at all times and everyone knows where to find it. People will be able to find answers to a lot of questions they might have about working from home, whether with regard to remote access, scheduling and working hours, or communication channels.
This will become an important document on the journey to remote working to refer to, not only in times of emergency but also in the future.
CREATE A COLLABORATIVE REMOTE WORKING ENVIRONMENT
The AHA Centre staff relies on frequent contact with colleagues and team members in day-to-day work. It is crucial to create a working environment enabling open collaboration. There is a couple of things the ICT team has explored to help staff members connect and collaborate such as:
First, provide by request link for team huddles via video conferencing tools such as Zoom or Hangouts Meet.
Second, rovide suggestion for team collaboration using various software and platform for better team collaboration, such as using Google Whiteboard, Wooclap for Team, and Miro.
Everyone has to figure out how to strengthen virtual collaboration and meetings to communicate but also to celebrate daily victories. This will help the team members stay engaged, focused and productive, as well as fight the feelings of isolation and uncertainty one might have in an unusual, stressful situation.
Having to transition a workforce to working from home in a limited time isn’t easy. However, in the digital age, it is also not impossible. The AHA Centre will continue to provide the staff with the right equipment, tools, and resources to stay productive.
Written by : Ina Rachmawati | Source : ICT Team
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