IN EMERGENCY RESPONSE
As part of the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme, participants are engaged in a range of presentations from disaster management leaders who are at the forefront of their field in both ASEAN and beyond. In one of these recent sessions, women humanitarians became the central theme in a session focused on Women Leaders in Emergency Response: Challenges and Opportunity. ACE Programme participants and other interested listeners were privileged to hear from three of the region’s women leaders – namely Alexandre Jing Pura (Christian Aid, the Philippines), Rabeya Sultana (HelpAge International, Bangladesh), and Vanda Lengkong (Plan International Asia Region) – who shared their experiences, insights and knowledge from their work as humanitarian leaders in the emergency response sector. The session was moderated by the AHA Centre’s Executive Director Ms. Adelina Kamal, another leader in the region’s disaster management affairs.
The panel highlighted the importance of women’s leadership in disaster settings, particularly due to the fact that disaster affects women, boys and girls on a much greater scale than men. Jing Pura highlighted that women leaders working in humanitarian settings can transform leadership holistically into the mind, body and heart, as these are key underlying drivers of humanitarian work in general. In the humanitarian world there needs to be care not only for survivors, but also for humanitarian and disaster workers. As leaders in disaster response, this is a key theme that we must develop within our teams. Women as leaders can also channel their caring character when taking on roles such as mediation in challenging situations.
Rabeya’s insight and experiences are also based upon this theme of women’s strengths in leadership, in which she spoke of the power of women being reflected not only through motherhood, but also in their roles standing by the side of other women to empower them. She also highlighted that a key to working well with people of diverse backgrounds is to be humble and to listen, and that as leaders, we should solve problems by focusing on the system and not individuals acting within it. Rabeya realises that barriers for women can sometimes come from within themselves, due to self-confidence or the impact of the overall gender context. She reminded listeners that women must learn to push through discomfort, lack of confidence and shyness, and learn to believe in themselves, their knowledge and experience as women.
Vanda also provided insight on the importance of women’s education, while recommending women leaders to be visible in a professional manner, embrace your potential, and continue to chase education and new knowledge. Education for Vanda means not only in a formal manner, but also all other types of learning, in which women can equip themselves with knowledge as their own investment – an investment that will generate respect and recognition, that is then proven through working outcomes. Vanda believes that actions speak louder than words, and encouraged the audience to undertake their work sincerely, and deliver it respectfully. Vanda also highlighted the role of organisations in promoting women’s leadership and overall gender equality, by stating that organisations in the disaster management field must provide equal opportunities for both women and men, and that these values should be institutionalised in humanitarian organisations and within their overall business processes.
As people who work in disaster response, the three women leaders remain aware and agree on the importance of both men and women working side-by-side for the benefit of disaster victims. As leaders, they believe that we must recognise that gender discrimination and inequality are ongoing realities. The leaders reminded the group to advocate for gender equality, which will require such efforts from both women and men alike to achieve real equality.
Written by : Sridewanto Pinuji and Putri Mumpuni | Photo : AHA Centre
PROJECT STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING
MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES, 24TH AUGUST 2018
Entering its second phase of implementation, the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA) Phase II project continues to contribute to the implementation of One ASEAN One Response, specifically in the area of stockpile deployment to disaster-affected countries. As the leading mechanism in the Phase II project, the DELSA Phase II Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting was held on the 24th of August in the OCD-NDRRMC Office, Camp Aguinaldo, the Philippines.
As reported in the meeting, during 2018 the DELSA Phase II project has contributed to stockpile deployment and local procurement in response to the floods in Lao PDR, floods in Myanmar, and the earthquakes in Indonesia, providing relief items to a total value of USD 426,867. The remaining ASEAN stockpile, which is stored in the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Subang, Malaysia, consists of 45 types of relief items amounting to the total value of USD 1,777,460.
This meeting also formed an opportunity for the DELSA Project Management Team to report the progress of the establishment of the satellite warehouses in the Philippines and Thailand. The satellite warehouse in the Philippines utilises a building owned by the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Camp Aguinaldo, which after some renovations, will be ready to house the satellite warehouse.
Meanwhile, the satellite warehouse in Thailand is planned to be fully operationalised by the first quarter of 2019, with a scheduled official launching during the ASEAN Summit in April 2019, coinciding with the induction of the Thailand Chairmanship of ASEAN.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of the satellite warehouse in the Philippines was also signed during the meeting by Ms. Adelina Kamal, Executive Director of the AHA Centre, and Under Secretary Ricardo B. Jalad, Executive Director of NDRRMC and Administrator of the OCD Philippines. This MoU marks the strengthening of cooperation and commitment between the AHA Centre and OCD Philippines to support the readiness of ASEAN in responding to disasters. The meeting also resulted in other significant guidance and decisions on key resources, criteria and partnerships to support the network of the DELSA warehouses. A key study on stockpile identification was agreed, with results to act as a baseline that will serve as a reference for minimum types and quantity of stockpiles to be stored across all three DELSA warehouses, as well as specific stockpiles unique to each warehouse.
The DELSA Phase II PSC Meeting was attended by the AHA Centre, ASEAN Secretariat, representatives from Singapore and Malaysia as the Co-Chairs of the ACDM Working Group on Preparedness and Response, representatives from the Mission of Japan to ASEAN and Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) Management Team as the donor, and representatives from the Philippines and Thailand as the host countries of satellite warehouses.
Written by : Caroline Widagdo | Photo : AHA Centre