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
TRAINING OF TRAINERS
The increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters in the ASEAN region requires the continuous strengthening of the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT), to quickly respond to disasters and provide support to affected ASEAN Member States when required. The ASEAN-ERAT Transformation Plan 2015-2020 is now being implemented to address the challenge of the team’s continuous development.
With plans to develop the ASEAN-ERAT pool across three levels, the ASEAN-ERAT Transformation Plan has henceforth identified the need to have a selection of specific ASEAN-ERAT trainers. This pool of trainers adds to increase the strength of human resources for delivering the ASEAN-ERAT course, specifically meeting the objective within the Transformation Plan that presents a set of capacity building programmes to develop the three levels of ASEAN-ERAT.
The main objective of ASEAN-ERAT Training of Trainers (ToT) is to develop the skills of selected ASEAN-ERAT to deliver aspects of the ASEAN-ERAT course, in particular their soft-skills related to their development as qualified trainers. The ToT training was conducted across a 5-day, classroom-based course, with 20 participants from 9 ASEAN Member States engaged to improve their capacity as trainers. The training was jointly conducted between the 22nd and 26th of October 2018 in Bangkok, delivered by members of the World Food Programme (WFP) Regional Office, with support from RedR Australia specialists.
Such training of trainers is a key step in the development of this pool of skilled ASEAN-ERAT trainers, and designed to develop capacity and enhance the soft-skills of ASEAN-ERAT members who already possess strong technical skills across ASEAN-ERAT core functions. Participatory approaches and contemporary learning techniques were applied through the training to emphasise the importance of self-management with participants. Teaching practices and presentations developed amongst the participants are followed by group discussions to allow for feedback from both peers and facilitators, further working to enhance the togetherness and support that is cornerstone to the ASEAN-ERAT programme.
Written by : Dandi Rahman | Photo : AHA Centre
ADVANCED COURSE ON INFORMATION MANAGEMENT
VIENTIANE, 6-10 AUGUST 2018
As part of the transformation plan for the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT), during August, the AHA Centre facilitated the first-ever ASEAN-ERAT Advance Course, which aims to prepare a group of information management specialists for disaster responses in the region. The five-day course was conducted in Vientiane, Lao PDR, in partnership with MapAction, engaging ten ASEAN-ERAT personnel from seven Member States as the first batch of graduates from this new course.
During the course implementation, Lao PDR –the host of the event – remained in the middle of an emergency response, following Tropical Storm 11 and the resulting dam collapse in Attapeu Province. Therefore, during the opening ceremony, Mr. Prasong Vongkhamchanh, the Director-General of Social Welfare Department and Head of Lao PDR’s National Disaster Management Organisation, encouraged all participants to utilise real data and create outputs that may be useful for the actual emergency operations taking place in the country. Meanwhile, Ms. Adelina Kamal, the Executive Director of AHA Centre, emphasised that alongside physical relief items, information also forms a key support mechanism at times of emergency.
In order to qualify as participants, active ERAT members were encouraged to send a motivation letter, registration form, and follow a recruitment procedure which includes a one-on-one interview with the selection committee. The course combines both theoretical components and practical exercises to sharpen the participants’ skills in disaster mapping, data analysis, and data visualisation. At the end of the course, the final products were presented to the facilitators, with a chosen product to be published and disseminated by the AHA Centre as an official situation update on the Myanmar flooding.
“The ASEAN-ERAT Pilot Advance Course on Information Management enhanced my capabilities in fulfilling the tasks and responsibilities of an Information Manager during disaster responses”, said participant Lawrence Anthony Dimailig from the Department of Social Welfare and Development of the Philippines. In addition to the Information Management course, the AHA Centre has also developed curricula for two other advance courses on Rapid Assessment and Humanitarian Logistics. The Rapid Assessment course was undertaken in Bangkok, Thailand, in late August, and the Humanitarian Logistics course is scheduled to take place in Subang, Malaysia in late September 2018. All three courses are supported by the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund, and the results will be evaluated to refine the conduct of the future of ASEAN-ERAT advance courses.
Written by : ShintyaKurniawan | Photo : AHA Centre
ASIAN MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON
DISASTER RISK REDUCTION (AMCDRR), ULAANBAATAR,
MONGOLIA, JULY 3RD – 6TH 2018.
The Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) brings together a diverse range of Asian stakeholders and policy makers to discuss latest developments in disaster risk reduction (DRR), of which forms a key element of disaster management efforts across the globe. The biennial meeting was this year held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, from the 3rd to the 6th of July, 2018, with representatives from the AHA Centre in attendance. This meeting forms a key activity in the Asian region’s efforts to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 – with global and regional risk reduction platforms central to its overall implementation success.
While DRR is not a specific focus of the AHA Centre’s direct work, the meeting retains high importance and relevance, as it provides the AHA Centre the opportunity to engage with its partners, share knowledge, and gain relevant insight into actions that may benefit the AHA Centre’s work – particularly related to disaster monitoring and capacity development. 2018’s AMCDRR covered a range of important and strategic topics, including technical sessions on issues such as understanding risk, thematic sessions including private sector interventions, and public events raising topics such as World Tsunami Awareness Day. The meeting also resulted in the formulation of the Ulaanbaatar Declaration – a declaration from all engaged nations that recognises current disaster issues, calls on government and other stakeholders to increase and continue their disaster risk reduction efforts, and resolves to implement all outcomes and efforts stated within the declaration.
For the AHA Centre itself, particular value was gained through engagement in sessions regarding early warning and alert systems, which was a central topic during the 2018 meeting. The implementation and improvement of early warning and alert systems would serve to support increased speed and early engagement within the AHA Centre’s disaster response efforts. As a result, such improvements could lead to stronger instances of early recovery. The AHA Centre was also interested to learn further from civil society organisations about their initiative to develop CSO-led surge capacity, in which CSOs can also mobilise their own assets and capacities during disaster response. Integrating such ideas within the ASEAN Joint Disaster Response Plan (AJDRP), for example, could increase the capacity and coordination within disaster responses across the ASEAN region through the use already-existing assets. Strategies such as this also provide strong evidence for the importance of the ongoing development of the ASEAN Standards and Certification for Experts in Disaster Management (ASCEND) project – increasing its strategic relevance to foster a united and strong ASEAN region under the implementation of the One ASEAN, One Response vision.
Written by : Dipo Summa | Photo: AHA Centre
AHA CENTRE WELCOMES
THE NEW ASEAN SECRETARY-GENERAL
2 FEBRUARY 2018
Within a month of his appointment as the new Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi visited the home of One ASEAN, One Response – the AHA Centre. Together with Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, H.E. Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, and other ASEAN Secretariat delegates, Dato Lim Jock Hoi undertook a tour of the AHA Centre’s office in East Jakarta. During this visit, the Executive Director and staff of the AHA Centre shared updates regarding the activities of the organisation, as well as the updated status of the standby relief items in ASEAN’s warehouse.
The Secretary-General was highly supportive of the AHA Centre, and stated his aspiration to enhance multilateral and cross-sectoral cooperation for disaster management in the region. H.E. Lim Jock Hoi further commended the work of the AHA Centre and recommended that the AHA Centre continue to share information about its work and activities, coordinating disaster management across ASEAN. Alongside this, he also committed to support the AHA Centre in its resource mobilisation efforts.
Before his departure, the AHA Centre presented Dato Paduka Lim Jock hoi with an ASEAN vest embroidered with his Excellency’s name. The AHA Centre fully supports the leadership of Dato Lim Jock Hoi as the 14th Secretary-General of ASEAN as well as the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Coordinator, and looks forward to further collaboration during his tenure throughout the next five years.
Written by : Shintya Kurniawan | Photo : AHA Centre
INTERNATIONAL SEARCH AND RESCUE ADVISORY
GROUP (INSARAG) TRAINING EXERCISE
CLARK FREE PORT, PAMPANGA,THE PHILIPPINES, 26-29 JUNE 2018
Testing, refining and streamlining the AHA Centre’s disaster coordination mechanisms is integral to ensuring ease of implementation in disaster responses. This year’s International Search and Rescue Advisory Group’s (INSARAG) exercise, held in Clark Free Port from the 26th to the 29th of July allowed the AHA Centre to further optimise coordination processes and ensure they are streamlined with local and international processes alike, creating an efficient and united environment when responding to disasters in the region.
At this year’s exercise, the AHA Centre was represented by a number of staff, alongside 7 ASEAN-ERAT team members. Alongside engaging in all activities throughout the exercise, the AHA Centre also worked with UN-OCHA Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (UN-OCHA ROAP) to deliver a first-day training session on the inter-operability of ASEAN-ERAT and United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC), based on specific insight gained through the recent National Contingency Planning for a Metro Manila 7.2M Earthquake scenario. In the days following, further work and clarity was developed between the various parties, including roles and responsibilities of joint operations between ASEAN-ERAT and UNDAC, Reception Departure Centre (RDC) development and coordination mechanisms, as well as liaison roles for external parties present within the Joint Operations and Coordinaton Centre of ASEAN (JOCCA). A total of 220 individuals from 27 countries, alongside 286 local parties participated in the exercise.
Many positives were highlighted from the 2018 INSARAG exercise, particularly related to the fact that the exercise was based on the National Contingency Planning scenario recently developed with the Philippines. Due to the recent implementation of a Philippine International Humanitarian Assistance Guideline (PIHAG), as a basis for offers/requests for international assistance by the Government of the Philippines, all stakeholders were able to test and familiarise themselves with the implementation and operation of this new guideline. The 2018 INSARAG training served to continue momentum under which regional and international actors are harmonising systems and mechanisms that will avoid duplication and increase understanding for all stakeholders related to national response plans of ASEAN nations.
As summed up by ASEAN-ERAT member Mark July Yap (the Philippines), “the INSARAG 2018 exercise gave me a broader insight in disaster management, not only regionally but from an international perspective. It enabled me to understand and put into practice the existing disaster response mechanisms, and was a great avenue to test and strengthen inter-operability of these mechanisms, as well as identify and address gaps.”
Written by : Grace Endina | Photo : AHA Centre
KIT OF HOPE
SUBANG, MALAYSIA, 5 MARCH 2018
Collaboration lies at the heart of One ASEAN One Response solidarity. Beyond a slogan, such solidarity asserts that every individual can contribute in the development of a collective resilience towards natural disaster. Alumnae of the Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Programme (SSEAYP) in Malaysia demonstrated a similar spirit earlier this year, through a fundraising drive to support emergency response efforts in the region.
In late 2017, the SSEAYP Malaysia Chapter ran an independent crowdfunding campaign to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, as well as the 45th year of cooperation between Japan and the ASEAN region. The campaign successfully secured funding to provide 10 thousand hygiene kits for the ASEAN standby relief stockpile – warehoused in Subang, Malaysia. Each hygiene kit comprises of sanitised wet wipes, shampoo, soap, face towel, toothbrush, sanitary pads, and a plastic comb. Not only did they fund the procurement of the relief items, members of SSEAYP International Malaysia also volunteered to pack the donations – that were handed over to the AHA Centre on March 5th, 2018.
“This is a good example of ASEAN solidarity where students raised money and contributed relief items in the spirit of One ASEAN One Response. It is an inclusive platform so everyone is welcome to join and contribute,” said Ms. Adelina Kamal, Executive Director of the AHA Centre.
SSEAYP was launched in 1974 by the Government of Japan to promote cross-cultural understandings between youth of all ASEAN Member States and Japan. The annual exchange programme allows participants to get to know each other through a two-month voyage on the Nippon Maru vessel.
“It was a great relief to see corporations, government agencies and ministries to also chip into the crowd-funding campaign. We had also received individual contribution from students and visitors of the Open Ship of SSEAYP in December 2017. But biggest applause is to the SSEAYP International members attending the Reunion on Board dinner, of which part of the tickets sold were routed to this effort,” said Dyana Abas, the Deputy President of SSEAYP International Malaysia, who was also the 20K Kit of Hope Program Chairperson.
Written by : Shintya Kurniawan | Photo: SSEAYP International Malaysia
INCIDENT COMMAND SYSTEM
AND INCIDENT ACTION PLANNING WORKSHOPS
JAKARTA, 16-27 APRIL 2018
During April 2018, the AHA Centre, with the support of the United States Forest Service (USFS), successfully conducted intensive trainings regarding the Incident Command System and Incident Action Planning.
The Incident Command System (ICS) model, first developed in the 1970s in the aftermath of wildfires in California and Arizona, encourages the use of a standardised management system to enable a synergised inter-agency collaboration when responding to an emergency. To date, ICS has been developed and adjusted to address various complexities and types of emergency responses, including during the first attack of the World Trade Centre in 1993. Alongside this, ICS is also applicable for managing non-emergency situations – such as public events which attract massive crowds – including sporting events, annual festivals, parades and concerts.
While ICS covers the basic principles of cross-sectoral coordinating mechanisms, Incident Action Planning (IAP) provides in-depth knowledge for the planning department of the AHA Centre whenever a need for disaster-response arises. The IAP trainings involved
case studies in which the AHA Centre’s staff were challenged to practice their skills, use their creativity, and draw on their knowledge to develop strategies to address various disaster scenarios, including landslides, floods, and fires. The evolving scenarios required continuous efficient response plans, factoring in analysis from available resources, logistical aspects, and also safety and security.
Both ICS and IAP have been adapted and utilised by the AHA Centre since its establishment as the coordinating agency for humanitarian assistance in Southeast Asian region. The dynamic nature of ICS has been effective for the Centre’s emergency operations, due to its flexibility and adjustability to suit a range of responses. The ICS system has also been adapted and is currently used by five ASEAN Member States, creating coordination and a common ground for the ever-growing regional collaborations in managing disasters.
Written by : Shintya Kurniawan | Photo : AHA Centre