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
Humanitarian workers in emergency response not only face ongoing dangers due to natural hazards, but also can be vulnerable to lawlessness, political instability and armed conflict in areas with access and infrastructure difficulties. Issues such as harassment, interactions with aggressive armed combatants, day light robbery and traffic accidents are all realistic risks, requiring humanitarian responders to be prepared on how to deal with such challenges should they arise. To increase preparedness for the occurrence of potential conflict situations in the future, members of the AHA Centre team departed to Australia to undertake RedR Australia’s 5-day Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) course from the 4th to the 7th of February, 2019, in Dookie, Victoria.
The HEAT course includes integrated Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) training which combines theory and practical-based emergency medical training. Such TECC skills include commercial and improvised tourniquets and haemorrhage control, airway management of an unconscious casualty and an array of improvised techniques teaching participants how to save and preserve life with limited resources. This was highlighted as a key element of the course relevant to the AHA Centre, with participants also valuing other elements such as ‘movement under fire’, that would be of benefit should responders find themselves in such situations.
Engaging in risk preparedness trainings such as HEAT supports the capacity of AHA Centre staff to be ready for any situation, regardless of the context and expectations. Participants noted the real-life’ feel of numerous simulations, explaining that they reflect potential occurrences that may take place during response. The use of practical training with dummies during TECC, and direct engagement scenarios such as kidnapping, ensure the team now hold hands-on practical knowledge of how to react in such undesirable situations. Overall, while such occurrences may be few and far between for the AHA Centre staff, there is now sufficient awareness and skills to counter such risks should they arise during emergency response assignments in all locations.
Written by: Wiliam Shea | Photo : RedR Australia
Vol 47 – 4th International Conference of the Regional Consultative Group on Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination for Asia and the Pacific
4TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
OF THE REGIONAL CONSULTATIVE GROUP ON
HUMANITARIAN CIVIL-MILITARY COORDINATION FOR ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
The Regional Consultative Group on Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination for Asia and the Pacific (RCG) was formed in 2014 as an inter-regional forum designed to engage and connect key disaster management actors from across Asia and the Pacific to hold a meaningful dialogue with military representatives. In late January 2019, the AHA Centre engaged in the RCG’s 4th annual international conference, which took place in Dhaka, Bangladesh, with over 120 representatives from 26 nations and 24 organisations coming together to share learning and experiences, as well as undertake discussions on strategies for the enhancement of regional cooperation on disaster management.
The 2019’s RCG specifically focuses towards the integral context of civil-military engagement in disaster preparedness and response efforts. It aims to enhance mutual understanding, awareness and integration between civil and military actors in response, with the ultimate aim of predictability for both parties on how the other will work. Discussions revolved around coordination planning, joint civil-military response mechanisms, and information and resource sharing, to determine how each party can mutually benefit from the other’s engagement in humanitarian efforts.
The AHA Centre’s involvement in the RCG is particularly important, due to its coordination role in the disaster-prone region. The RCG has identified 5 countries as having the potential need for large-scale responses of an international nature, of which three are located within ASEAN, alongside Bangladesh and Nepal. The AHA Centre’s engagement works further to promote its overall coordination role in the region, allows it to engage further with both international and military actors, and also adds to the Centre’s understanding of disaster management contexts in other nations that sit outside of ASEAN. Understanding such as this paves the way for potential ASEAN engagement in responses outside of the region, in-line with the final stages of the One ASEAN, One Response vision.
Furthermore, the convention also touches historically sensitive subject, military data-sharing for humanitarian responses. It was highlighted that there would be significant value in humanitarian actors having access to military information during disaster response, as well as the value that could be gained by military actors through accessing information provided by civil stakeholders, such as the information developed by the AHA Centre itself on a regular basis.
Overall, the general consensus was that with increasing local capacity and engagement in disaster management, the international civil-military roles must switch to becoming enablers – not supporters – in countries facing disaster. Promoting local and national-led disaster response, through the strengthening of preparedness, dialogue and predictability in response actions, would ensure that the capacity and efficiency of disaster response only continues to gain momentum across the Asia-Pacific region.
Written by : William Shea | Photo : OCHA ROAP/ Anthony Burke
ACE PROGRAMME PHOTO DIARY NOVEMBER
November 2018 saw participants of the AHA Centre’s Executive Programme (ACE) undertake a range of new and innovative workshops and presentations, alongside engaging on another valuable study trip – this time to one of the leading countries in disaster management, Japan.
The month began with training sessions at the AHA Centre, focused on emergency communications and report writing. Following this, participants were provided an in-depth training on the all-important area of Civil-Military Coordination, which was developed and provided by representatives from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and the Australian Civil Military Centre (ACMC). Finally, for the last two weeks of November, participants departed to Japan to embark on an array of trainings, presentations and visits to some of the nation’s leading disaster management bodies, alongside locations of disasters previously faced by Japan and its people. The value and insight that participants can gain from Japan’s experience and knowledge is hoped to help form a benchmark for the work of ACE Programme graduates into the future.
ACE participants engage in key training regarding Emergency Communications, facilitated by the AHA Centre’s Communications Officer Ms. Shintya Kurniawan, and Mr. Vivian Lines, one of the region’s leading Public Relations experts on Crisis Communications. Participants learned to develop key messages, and practice for ambush interviews by media, which are often part of the ASEAN-ERAT emergency simulation exercises, as well as actual emergency responses.
Civil-Military coordination forms a cornerstone of disaster management practices, and ACE participants delved into this complex and interesting topic with trainings from UNOCHA’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (UNOCHA-ROAP) and the ACMC. Facilitators included Ms. Silke Banuelos Kuang (UNOCHA- ROAP), Mr. Nidhirat Srisirirojanakorn (UNOCHA- ROAP), Dr. Kristie Barrow (Director of International and Domestic Engagements of ACMC), Mr. Mark Harvey (Defence Delegation of the Embassy of Australia) and Ms. Agustina Tnunay (AHA Centre).
Upon arriving in Japan, participants engaged in visits and talks with representatives from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, visited a number of key emergency management sites in Tokyo, including the Japan Platform (JPF) and Tokyo Rinkai Disaster Prevention Centre, as well as engaging on a visit to the United Nations University (UNU). They learned and shared insights with leaders of Japanese disaster management including, amongst others, Mr. Nicholas Turner and Dr. Riyanti Djalante (Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability at UNU), Ms. Yuko Shibata (General Manager of Emergency Response Division at JPF), and Mr. Tada (Executive Director, Tono Magokoro Net).
Participants toured some of Japan’s major disaster sites, including areas impacted by the 2011 tsunami around Kamaishi City, learning about the disaster and rebuilding experiences from the Kamaishi City Mayor, Mr Takenori Noda. They visited a number of tsunami-impacted areas around Kamaishi City, and were offered the chance to learn directly from some of the disaster’s survivors, before making their way back to Tokyo. To finish up the 10-day study experience, ACE Programme participants met staff and representatives from the Japan International Cooperation Agency – one of the biggest supporters of the ASEAN region’s disaster management efforts.
Written by : Ferosa Arsadita | Photo : AHA Centre