AN INTERNSHIP STORY:
I am Excel Botigan, and I am currently pursuing a master’s degree under the NOHA+ Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree Programme in International Humanitarian Action. I spent my first semester at University College Dublin in Ireland (home university) and my second semester at the University of Warsaw (host university). Considering my goal of broadening my knowledge in disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM), I chose to take the work placement track for my third semester. That is how I decided to apply for an internship at the AHA Centre.
My interest in DRRM and humanitarian action was shaped by my work experience at the Office of Civil Defense, which is the implementing arm of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in the Philippines. This is where I first heard about the AHA Centre. However, I never thought that I would have the chance to do an internship in this regional organisation that facilitates disaster management in ASEAN. It was indeed a great opportunity, and I am very grateful for it.
Throughout my internship, I was given interesting tasks, but there are two assignments that I consider to be the most memorable. First, I got the chance to listen to the unedited conversations between the first two AHA Centre Executive Directors, Pak Said Faisal and Ibu Adelina Kamal, when I was tasked to transcribe some of their recorded exchanges to be included in one of the AHA Centre publications. Through these recorded conversations and the AHA Centre at the Crossroads podcast on Spotify, I came to know and understand the birth pains of the AHA Centre as well as how the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) was organized. I was amazed while listening to how these two leaders worked during the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004 and during Cyclone Nargis in 2008 when there were no specific central coordination mechanisms and no ready-to-deploy emergency response teams. They showed passion beyond duty, and their stories made me reflect on my personal DRRM experience. Compared to them, I would say that I am still a toddler in this field – a toddler who is very much inspired by their stories.
Second, my task to gather some pieces of information about the ten ASEAN National Disaster Management Offices (NDMOs) served as a window for me to take a glimpse at how the other ASEAN countries deal with disasters. Although these NDMOs are structured in different ways, most of them involve a council or a committee composed of various government agencies, private institutions, and civil society organisations, among others. This further proves that a multidisciplinary whole-of-nation approach is necessary to efficiently and effectively address all aspects of DRRM and that no single agency/organisation can handle it all.
Despite doing the whole internship online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was manageable because my supervisors were responsive, and they made me feel that I was part of the team by including me in their discussions, meetings, and training. Personally, I believe that it is important for an organisation to make their employees and interns feel a sense of belongingness, especially during these times when almost everything is virtual, because it boosts the individual’s productivity. These experiences motivate me to visit AHA Centre and meet my supervisors Ms. Caroline Widagdo and Ms. Merry Rismayani in the near future.
In summary, I would say that my six-month internship at AHA Centre was EPIC (exciting, practical, informative, and constructive) as it has greatly complimented my educational learning objectives, and it further encouraged me to continue my career in DRRM and humanitarian action.
Written by: Excel Botigan | Photo Credit: doc. Excel Botigan
THE 15TH GOVERNING BOARD (GB) MEETING:
NEW TEAM, SAME DETERMINATION
This year’s AHA Centre Governing Board (GB) meeting was held online on 8 October 2021 and was chaired by the Singapore Civil Defense Force (SCDF). It was the first GB meeting for Mr. Lee Yam Ming as the AHA Centre’s new Executive Director. The meeting discussed activities for the period of June to September 2021, as well as updates on the AHA Centre’s 10th Anniversary, the agenda for which was endorsed by the GB members.
Within the reporting period, the AHA Centre facilitated the procurement of DELSA relief items to support the COVID-19 response in three ASEAN Member States namely Malaysia, Thailand and Viet Nam with funding support from Direct Relief. The relief items were valued at USD 62,000 for each Member State. Malaysia received ICT equipment for hospitals and personal protective equipment, Thailand received personal hygiene kits for infants, elderly and disabled people and Viet Nam received medical face masks and thermal scanners.
In line with ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus on Myanmar the AHA Centre, as the operational lead facilitated the first delivery of COVID-19 assistance to the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS). This assistance was contributed by the Governments of Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Turkey, and Temasek Foundation International in the form of medical supplies and equipment worth USD 1.1 million. There were also cash contributions from the Philippines (USD 100,000); Singapore (USD 100,000) and Thailand (US$ 200,000), which were utilised to procure medical supplies.
In May the concept note of the third edition of the ASEAN Risk Monitor Report and Disaster Management Review (ARMOR 3) was approved by the AHA Center Working Group. The provisional theme of ARMOR 3 is: “When disasters and pandemics collide what does it mean to us (or ASEAN), now and into the future?” In July collaborators were called for and by 25 August, the AHA Centre had received 19 abstracts submitted by various institutions and following a review process the abstracts were shortlisted. The abstracts were reviewed by the board of editors in September and the article-writing process began. It is expected that final proofreading and production will be complete in December.
On 23 June, the AHA Centre and the Palu City administration in Indonesia launched the ASEAN Village along with a book called New Homes of Opportunities that documents the lessons learned from building the ASEAN Village, with testimonies from the beneficiaries and survivors of the earthquake and tsunami disaster in 2018. Other knowledge products released during the period included four volumes of The Column, season 1 of the AHA Centre podcast and the 2025 AHA Centre work plan. The AHA Centre will work with Edelman, a consultant provided by GIZ, to broaden its communications and outreach, including social media. The AHA Centre will also conduct an assessment of internal communication and crisis communication. The result of the assessment will be used to develop a crisis communication manual.
The AHA Centre engaged in 29 events and knowledge-exchange activities as speaker, participant or moderator, it also took part in 12 training courses, in roles ranging from facilitator and provider to participant and trainer. In further regard to training, during the period Batch Seven of AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme was launched with 21 participants from 10 Member States and 25 training partners with a blended training arrangement involving online, webinars and if possible onsite in 2022.
Overall June to September 2021 was a busy period as the AHA Centre continued to carry out its duties in line with the One ASEAN, One Response concept.
Written by : Michael Hillary Hegarty, Moch Syifa | Photo : AHA Centre
SITI NUR AFIQAH
Throughout September – October 2021, we were given the opportunity to study several interesting topics related to disaster management in Batch Seven of the ACE Programme. We started with the gender, inclusion, resilience and diversity course. We were introduced to the Humanitarian Inclusion Standards that help organisations tackle the critical issue of how to include those most at risk in emergencies and prevent anyone from being left behind.
We got to learn about the importance of the nine inclusion standards and how to improve inclusivity by applying the sector standards. Besides that, the course addressed sexual gender-based violence and child-protection issues too. Through this course, we got to relate to real-world situations where a leader can recognize the different impacts of hazards on various levels of capacity, vulnerability and exclusion among the affected communities. The Programme then continued with the international humanitarian system course; ASEAN disaster management; system and design thinking; humanitarian diplomacy; civil-military coordination; camp coordination camp management; and finally the course that I enjoyed the most, post disaster needs assessment (PDNA).
Some might wonder why PDNA? It was because the course was related to my current position in the post-disaster sector. Even though I am not directly under the section in charge of this matter, it is related and relevant to my job scope. It was fascinating to discover tools and templates to carry out the PDNA, which may be adapted and adopted to our system in calculating the costs and losses in any disaster. The PDNA process is government-led and government-owned, but we can access technical support and facilitation from the European Union, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, and other stakeholders as determined and requested by our respective governments. The PDNA process involves the participation of the affected population, local authorities, NGOs, donors, civil society and the private sector. I believe it is an excellent platform to gather all relevant input from related stakeholders. Key sectors assessed are social, including housing, health and nutrition; education and cultural heritage; productive issues, including agriculture and irrigation, commerce and industry, and tourism; infrastructure, including transport, energy, telecommunications, water and sanitation; and cross-cutting concerns, including gender and social inclusion, the environment, social protection, livelihoods, disaster-risk reduction and governance. Due to limited time, we only got to study two key sectors, housing and cross-cutting concerns. It is hoped that we will get another opportunity to learn how to use the other key sectors in accessing the costs and losses in our countries. Overall, it was an enjoyable and safe learning environment and experience that allowed us to express our opinions and thoughts in a non-judgemental environment. I cannot wait for the next course to treasure the knowledge and experience, even though it is online!
Written by: Siti Nur Afiqah, ACE Programme Batch Seven- Malaysia | Photo Credit : Siti Nur Afiqah
PREPARING FOR DELSA’S
HUMANITARIAN AND EMERGENCY LOGISTICS EXPO (HELIX)
In today’s complex yet interconnected world, responding to disasters and other humanitarian emergencies drives a need to rethink and innovate our disaster management processes. Furthermore, with increased disaster risks as the global climate warms, rapid mobilisation of humanitarian assistance and an efficient flow of relief supplies must be achieved. Innovation in the name of saving more lives continues to form an integral part of this solution.
What makes something “innovative”? The answer differs from person to person; but in general, we find something innovative if it tackles a problem in a different way from the norm. This may include looking at the problem from a different perspective, approaching the solution in an unexpected way, or applying a solution from a diverse or different context to work within a context it was not designed for.
In the modern era, the search for innovation is often led by profit-driven companies, and within the disaster management field this is particularly prevalent for businesses who focus on the issue of supply chain and logistics optimisation. For example, DHL has developed its map-based application Resilience 360 as a risk analytics tool for its commercial operations, which also has clear relevance to humanitarian logistics and supply chain management.
With many important developments in commercial logistics, actors within the humanitarian sector must take stock and critically review innovations to understand how they can improve disaster management – from pre-disaster through to the response and recovery phases. Such innovations hold potential to solve challenges concerning the transport, storage and distribution of relief assistance, as well as well as improve the design of relief items themselves.
Immediate access to vital aid such as sanitation, medicine, shelter, and nutrition are key elements of swift disaster response. Examples of innovations in this area include improved product designs of items such as collapsible jerry cans for household water storage, field-deployable medical tents, portable and self-contained semi-rigid shelters, and tools for relief personnel and search-and-rescue operations.
Another key area for disaster managers is the importance of data and information access and utilisation. Increasingly, sharing of satellite imagery – combined with drone technology and robotics – has been used to assess the immediate impacts of disasters and support search-and-rescue operations. Such innovations were evident during the 2018 Central Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami response.
Additionally, new and environmentally-friendly technologies – especially in manufacturing and transportation, which are especially critical to logistics – form another frontier that is being developed within innovation efforts in the humanitarian sector. This includes the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar power, in logistics transportation, and recyclable materials for developing emergency relief items. Such examples of environmentally-conscious developments are increasingly important given the undeniable link between climate change and increasing environmental disasters.
While it is easy to be swept up with technological hardware and digital innovations, many innovations may also be simple interventions that reach the most vulnerable groups. For example, the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan – particularly the elderly, people with disabilities and pregnant women – were offered a choice between “direct build” or cash transfers for their shelter assistance, thereby ensuring suitable opportunity for survivors to repair or rebuild their house. Cash transfers and vouchers are also being increasingly utilised over direct provision of relief items, allowing affected populations in making their own decisions on priority expenses during the aftermath of a disaster.
Such a wide array of topics may seem intimidating, but are nevertheless a critical component for any humanitarian effort. The AHA Centre in its role as the coordinating body of disaster management in Southeast Asia, and as part of its core mission of Knowledge and Outreach, continues to participate in and drive forward conversations regarding research and innovation in disaster management and humanitarian logistics.
The AHA Centre’s Disaster Emergency Logistics System of ASEAN (DELSA) programme’s upcoming event, the Humanitarian and Emergency Logistics Expo (HELiX), forms the newest component in the Centre’s steadfast commitment to this role. The event, which will be held in 20-25 May 2021, aims to foster exchange and discussion of new and emerging innovations in the field of humanitarian logistics through an exciting array of panel discussions featuring experts and innovators. HELiX also includes the AHAckathon (a software development competition) and iPitch (an innovation pitching competition), that are both aimed at encouraging and generating diverse new ideas from students, amateurs and professionals. The event is being held as part of Viet Nam’s National Week of Disaster Prevention and Control, led by the Viet Nam National Disaster Management Authority. HELiX will be held in a fully online format, and invites the participation of youth, students, and established agencies in developing new approaches and solutions within this dynamic field through technology and creative design thinking.
Written by: Yohanes Paulus, Caroline Widagdo and Gaynor Tanyang | Photo Credit : AHA Centre
(ASIAN CONFERENCE ON DISASTER REDUCTION 2020)
The Asian Disaster Reduction Centre (ADRC), since its establishment in 1998, has capitalised on the development of human and information resource management in order to enhance the disaster risk reduction capabilities of member countries. Through one of its activities—the Asian Conference on Disaster Reduction (ACDR) – this resource development is carried out, while also serving as a venue for annual conferences to be hosted by one of the member countries. For the first time in 19 years, the ACDR 2020 was organised virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the ADRC, hazards that have resulted in disasters have resulted in increasing impacts throughout recent years. This comes despite the continued efforts by member countries to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR). These facts have shed light on the urgency of implementing and adapting Disaster Mitigation and DRR Strategies that take climate change into “greater consideration, especially in the context of the coronavirus pandemic”.
The 2020 conference focused on how national disaster management organisations, civil society organisations, and other relevant authorities and agencies deal with the dual risks of climate change and COVID-19. In the ACDR 2020, member countries shared their situations and discussed future actions that focused on two themes, namely:
1. DRR Measures and Challenges to the Intensifying Disaster Risks, and;
2. Disaster Preparedness and Response Amidst COVID-19.
During the ACDR 2020, the AHA Centre had the privilege to present on how it undertakes disaster information management. The presentation highlighted the resilience and adaptability of the AHA Centre’s processes and mechanisms during the pandemic—including even being able to conduct operations and responses through virtual means. Bangladesh presented an interesting insight into addressing issues and challenges for disaster risk reduction under changing disaster conditions and climate change, while Singapore presented on addressing issues and challenges for disaster risk management in the “New Normal” resulting from the pandemic.
Overall, the conference provided a platform for organisations in member countries to share to and learn from one another, engaging on best practices in adapting to changing landscapes battered by climate change, and even further by COVID-19.
Written by : Keith Paolo Landicho | Photo : AHA Centre
ACE PROGRAMME DIARY DECEMBER
On November 28, 2019, the journey of 18 AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme Batch 6 participants finally came to an end, recognised through a graduation ceremony at the AHA Centre’s office in Jakarta. The training comprised of 23 courses, visited 5 countries, and was implemented throughout 5 months. Participants of the course were National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMOs) officers from the 10 ASEAN Member States. Facilitators and training partners for the course came from more than 21 international organisations, universities, and institutions working in the area of disaster management.
The objective of the ACE Programme is preparing the future leaders of disaster management in the ASEAN region, by building their capacity across various aspects of disaster management, including preparedness, response, and recovery. Participants were encouraged to understand the scope of international and intra-regional coordination, as well as demonstrate the spirit of One ASEAN One Response. There are four core competencies that the programme aims to achieve, namely developing experts in humanitarian assistance, supporting the operationalisation One ASEAN One Response, building result-oriented leaders, and improving leadership effectiveness.
Dignitaries for the ACE graduation ceremony arrived from the ASEAN Secretariat, Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), ASEAN Member States’ representatives, ASEAN Dialogue Partners, the Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB – Indonesian NDMO), the AHA Centre, and of course the ACE Programme participants themselves.
“ASEAN communities need to be more resilient. This can be achieved by conducting training for officers of NDMOs in ASEAN, and strengthening coordination mechanisms among Member States” said, Harmensyah, the Secretary-General of the BNPB during his opening address. According to Harmensyah, building networks among Member States can help achieve excellence in managing disasters in disaster-prone areas such as the ASEAN region. He hoped that the ACE Programme alumnae can support their organisations in their respective countries, and also stand beside the AHA Centre when managing disaster in the region.
Japan’s Ambassador to ASEAN, H.E. Akira Chiba, reiterated the importance of the ACE Programme in building strong networks between colleagues and experts in the region. He hopes that participants will spread and share their knowledge, such as the lessons they learned from their study visit to Japan. He then professed that ACE Programme participants will become disaster management leaders not only in the ASEAN region, but also on the international stage.
H.E. Kung Phoak, the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN, also provided insight to attendees regarding the application of innovative and creative methods for building resilience to face the various, often transboundary disasters that constantly take place across the region. He highlighted that this objective should be the priority of disaster management activities throughout ASEAN, and that such approaches require effective and strong leadership – hence the importance of the ACE Programme. He closed by supporting all ACE Programme alumnae to become champions of disaster management in their respective nations across ASEAN.
After speeches, the ACE participant from Thailand – Ms Sulawan Kewsanga – presented her project proposal to onlookers. Ms Kewsanga’s project was titled ‘Increasing the Disaster Response Mechanism for People with Disabilities’, with proposal aspect forming a key part of programme outcomes for all participants. Awards were also presented to participants during the graduation ceremony, with recipients listed below.
The next session was a reflection speech compiled by the ACE participants, that was delivered by Mr Ram Chum Mang from Myanmar, and Ms Amelia Justina Lim from Singapore. Mr Ram expressed his gratitude to all partners who supported the course and stated that “we the ACE participants have become ASEAN brothers and sisters, to become future leaders”. Meanwhile, Ms Amelia highlighted that the ACE participants were not the same people they had been five months ago. She mentioned an experience during a field visit in Palu in which participants met a survivor from the liquefaction affected area.
As the survivor recounted her experience from the 2018 disaster, the participants listened and cried together with the survivor. Amelia, however, mentioned that those tears were tears of compassion, not tears of weakness.
This experience was printed in Ms Amelia’s thoughts and she realised those good leaders are those who put being human first above all else. These leaders put themselves in others’ shoes to understand their feelings and aspirations. Then she highlighted that during a crisis, ASEAN should work as a team, because ‘together we are stronger’.
To bring the graduation ceremony to a close, Ms Adelina Kamal, the Executive Director of the AHA Centre, reiterated messages she delivered five months before – that the ACE Programme course would be difficult, but it was necessary for building the leadership muscle of future leaders.
Ms Kamal expected that ACE Programme alumnae would implement all experiences and knowledge from the course to support communities during crises. She hoped that those knowledge, lessons, and experiences would make everyone a better person, especially in managing disaster in ASEAN region.
Written by : Sridewanto Pinuji | Photo : AHA Centre | Originally published at http://pinuji.net on December 2, 2019
ACE PROGRAMME DIARY OCTOBER
During October 2019, participants in the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme batch sixth undertook a range of activities in their journey towards becoming ASEAN’s disaster management leaders. The following diary entries were developed by the team to reflect on their engagements during the month.
After ACE Programme participants returned from New Zealand, the beginning of October saw them conduct a mid-term review. The activity reviewed the course and evaluated it against the four components that aim to be achieved by participants in the course.
Following this activity, participants then engaged in Camp Coordination and Management sessions with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). The course covered several topics, including identifying actors, protection and vulnerable people, camp standards, and information management. During these sessions participants also learnt more about the complexity of human displacement including the differences between, for example, internal displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees, as well as more about causes of their displacement (such as conflict or natural disaster).
From 14-16 October, ACE Programme participants then undertook in-depth learning on ASEAN-UN Civil-Military Coordination with UNOCHA-ROAP. The participants gained understanding of the essential elements to protect and promote humanitarian principles, avoid competency, minimise inconsistency, and pursue common goal with military actors in disaster response. Facilitators explained the basic principles, guidelines, and practical actions of ASEAN-UN Civil-Military Coordination, as it is essential for disaster managers to understand the framework of civil-military coordination in order to perform effective international relief operations.
Following this course, participants then undertook a two-day course on Crisis Leadership and System Thinking, which was facilitated by the Daniel K. Innouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI-APCSS), Hawaii. As the world becomes increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA), it is important for emerging leaders to improve skills in systems thinking, developing and implementing strategic approaches for future complex problems. The course included modules on complexity and systems thinking, futures thinking and crisis gaming. In this course, ACE Programme participants exercised their adaptability to rapid change by engaging in crisis games.
October then saw all ACE Programme participants travel to Japan to attend a course on Japan’s Recovery and Resilience, delivered by the United Nations University – Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS). This formed a unique visit as during the previous week some parts of Japan were impacted by Typhoon Hagibis, allowing participants a direct insight into the response and the recovery efforts after the typhoon. Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) was also one of the main themes of the study visit, which saw participants looking at disaster management from a slightly different angle – one that focuses on risk reduction, instead of response. Japan is well-known for its strong safety culture, with participants learning what was required to build such culture from the visit to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology (MEXT), who oversees disaster prevention and response education in schools.
Participants also travelled from Tokyo to Tsukuba prefecture to visit the JAXA Tsukuba Space Centre, the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience and the National Institute for Environmental Studies – all of who contribute to Japan’s Disaster Risk Reduction efforts in their areas of expertise. Another unique aspect introduced in during the visit related to the area of government-private partnerships, with participants taking part in a seminar organised by Japan International Public-Private Association for Disaster Risk Reduction (JIPAD). The week ended with participants travelling to Osaka and Kobe. As a large part of Osaka sits below sea-level, the participants learnt first-hand about the various infrastructure innovations that the government has put in place to protect the city.
Written by : Rina Nur Hafizah, Sridewanto Edi Pinuji, Amelia Justina Lim, Ram Chum Mang, Putri Mumpuni | Photo : AHA Centre
ASEAN-ERAT LEVEL 2 PILOT ADVANCED COURSE
ON EARLY RECOVERY
Another key course development to increase the reach and impact of the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) programme is the Level 2 Pilot Advanced Course on Early Recovery, which was implemented for the first time in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia from 5 to 9 August, 2019. Developed to reduce the gap between emergency response and the long-term recovery phases, the course aims to provide support to affected ASEAN Member States by analysing results of rapid assessments, and providing guidance and recommendations to a recovery plan during early stages of disaster recovery.
Implementing the course in Palu – the centre of one of 2018’s major disasters – ensured participants were exposed directly to the concept of Early Recovery within a real ASEAN context. By the end of the course 10 ASEAN-ERAT members from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam, the Myanmar Red Cross Society, and the ASEAN Secretariat, were all added to the pool of ASEAN-ERAT Level 2 specialists, ready to support affected Member States with their new distinct expertise.
During the course, classroom sessions were delivered by the UN-ESCAP and UNDP on Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) Methodology and Early Recovery Cluster in ASEAN, as well as by the World Bank on Global Rapid Post-Disaster Damage Estimation (GRADE). Such insights and contributions to the course significantly enhanced the quality and the delivery of the content and discussions. Participants were also provided hands-on learning opportunities as they visited several recovery efforts that have been taking place since the region’s triple-disaster events, including a visit to the community at Mamboru village to see the livelihood recovery efforts in a coastal area. Subsequently, the participants were also invited to witness the ground-breaking ceremony of ASEAN Village at Tondo, which stands as a programming outcome of the early recovery plan managed by the AHA Centre and supported by Brunei Darussalam and the Philippines in the year since the disaster.
To round-out the course, the final day saw the injection of a simulation exercise to enable participants to apply their knowledge gained throughout the previous days, with participants challenged to produce analysis and recommendation for another recovery programme and deliver them to the group. Overall, the implementation of Pilot Level 2 courses such as this continue to be a success for the ASEAN-ERAT programme, with the benefits of increased specialisation and skill development set to continue the ASEAN region’s efforts to become stronger, speedier and united in responding to disaster wherever and whenever it may strike.
Written by : Grace Endina & Sovi | Photo : AHA Centre
PILOT ASEAN HUMANITARIAN
CIVIL-MILITARY COORDINATION COURSE
With the content for the course developed (as covered in The Column Volume 51), the AHA Centre recently conducted the inaugural Pilot ASEAN Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination Course, aimed to build trust and relations between the disaster management practitioners and the defence and military sector in disaster response. The roles of ASEAN militaries are integral within ASEAN’s response mechanisms, and stronger engagement should support response scaling-up and speed – key targets of One ASEAN One Response. The Level 2 ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) pilot course took place in Jakarta, Indonesia from 8-11 July 2019.
The course included numerous sessions covering and discussing a range of ASEAN Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination components and mechanisms. To ensure more practical understanding of content, a simulation exercise was injected into the course, aimed to prepare and familiarise participants with situations related to civil-military coordination experienced during real disasters. As a result, the course successfully generated 16 graduates, including ASEAN-ERAT members from Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Myanmar, the ASEAN Secretariat and the AHA Centre (representing civilian side of ASEAN), and nine participants representing the military sector. Graduates were inaugurated during the Closing Ceremony by the Executive Director of the AHA Centre, Ms. Adelina Kamal, together with the Australian Ambassador to ASEAN, H.E Jane Duke, and witnessed by representatives from a range of engaged partners.
The success of the Pilot ASEAN Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination Course – funded through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) – would not have been possible without ongoing partner support, including representatives of the Ministries of Defence from Malaysia, the Republic of Indonesia and Thailand, the Philippines Armed Forces, the Changi Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Coordination Centre (HADR-RHCC), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN World Food Programme (UN-WFP), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), RedR Australia, and the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management (CFE-DM). All these partners and more have closely worked with the AHA Centre throughout the course development and into the implementation of the pilot course itself.
Written by : Grace Endina | Photo : AHA Centre
COORDINATION COURSE DEVELOPMENT
Trust and confidence between disaster management practitioners and the defence sector is a key facet of furthering civil-military activities in disaster management. To continue the development of such important aspects, the AHA Centre is currently developing a strategic course for ASEAN Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination. Named the ASEAN Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination course, it will form part of the content offered through the AHA Centre’s ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) Advanced Level II Course.
In an effort to ensure relevant and appropriate content is developed and contextualised for the ASEAN region, experts from different organisations gathered for an ASEAN Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination Course Content Development Workshop, which was held on 7-9 May 2019 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The workshop was facilitated by Jenny Lee – a technical advisor from RedR Australia – who is supporting the AHA Centre as a Senior Civil-Military Specialist with the task of developing this course.
Eleven organisations attended the workshop, including representatives from the Ministries of Defence from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand respectively, as well as a member of the Philippines Armed Forces. Representatives from the Changi Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Coordination Centre (HADR/RHCC), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UN World Food Programme (UN-WFP), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), RedR Australia, and Center for Excellence in Disaster Management (CFE-DM) in Hawaii also contributed to this Course Content Development Workshop. During the event, a range of ASEAN Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination components and mechanisms were discussed and consolidated to form the overall course content and programme design. Alongside this, a trial table-top exercise was conducted to capture points for improvement and gaps to be filled. Resulting from the workshop’s success, a pilot ASEAN Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination course is planned to be conducted on 8-11 July 2019 in Jakarta.
Written by : Rivatus Sovia | Photo : AHA Centre