PARTNERSHIP GROUP (APG)
The AADMER Partnership Group (APG) is a consortium of seven international civil society organisations, formed to support the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER). The APG works with the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (SCDM) and its Working Groups, the AHA Centre, and the ASEAN Secretariat, aiming towards a “people-centred implementation of AADMER”. It undertakes this function by raising awareness of AADMER, and by facilitating the engagement of civil society organisations throughout AADMER discussions and implementation. Currently, the APG operates in seven ASEAN Member States, namely, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. The APG’s members comprise of representatives from ChildFund International, HelpAge International, Mercy Malaysia, Oxfam, Plan Pnternational, Save the Children International, and World Vision International.
The APG forms the bridge between ASEAN’s work in disaster management and the key stakeholders within civil society organisations – whose proximity and reach with local communities forms a key element of all disaster management processes. Through a working partnership with the APG, the AHA Centre (and other ASEAN bodies) can ensure increased participation and understanding within the communities they serve. Since 2009, the AADMER Partnership Group has been working closely alongside the ACDM and its Working Groups, the ASEAN Secretariat, and the AHA Centre, on the implementation of AADMER for the ASEAN region. During these early years, ASEAN governments and the APG identified proposed areas of partnership between ASEAN and civil society organisations – including in disaster risk assessment and early warning – as well as practical actions towards preparedness, prevention and mitigation of disaster.
The APG works with the AHA Centre throughout a range of its programmes and process developments, ensuring the all-important community engagement aspect is present throughout the AHA Centre’s efforts. APG members have also been very active in supporting the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT) programme, as well as sending representatives to take part in the ASEAN ERAT trainings either as participants, trainers or observers. The APG often collaborates with the AHA Centre during disaster response, providing great support within a number of response efforts such as Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, and the Myanmar floods in 2015.
The group also played a key role in the AHA Centre’s development of a lessons learned document after Typhoon Haiyan. The involvement of the APG ensured valuable and relevant local insight and feedback within this outcome. Currently, the APG – in consultation with the AHA Centre – are developing a concept note on a Regional Alliance for Collective Emergency Response (RACER), under the CSO Partnership Framework (ACPF), and as part of the implementation of the AADMER Work Programme 2016-2020.
Dr. Heng Aik Cheng of MERCY Malaysia, and the Chair of the APG, emphasised the importance of the partnership during the recent One ASEAN One Response workshop in Jakarta, stating that the strength of civil society organisations lies in their proximity with populations affected by disaster. Staff from such organisations speak the local language, and are best placed to deliver important information and engage local stakeholders in the early stages of emergencies. Such a context is also highly valuable for preparedness engagements, therefore underlying the importance of partnerships such as seen between the APG and AHA Centre.
Written by : Carla Budiarto | Photo : AHA Centre
The Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), officially established in early 2006, is a specific funding mechanism developed by the Government of Japan to support the continuous development of the ASEAN Community. Since its establishment, with contributions totaling over 650 million USD, JAIF has strengthened the relationship between Japan and ASEAN across a range of areas. Guided through the implementation of the ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together blueprint, JAIF has funded and supported multiple projects related to disaster management, counter-terrorism, economic integration, youth exchanges and cultural understanding. Based on this shared interest in disaster management, the Government of Japan through JAIF has been an integral partner for the AHA Centre (and by extension disaster management in ASEAN) since the programme’s founding years.
This shared interest has been a key platform for a partnership that was forged during the AHA Centre’s early days in 2011, with the Japanese Government’s support (as one of the ASEAN Dialogue Partners) materialising within the AHA Centre-JAIF partnership functions. Support has not only been in financial form, but also through capacity development and knowledge and skills sharing across a range of programmatic functions. Both parties hold extensive and relevant portfolios in disaster management – a reality which allows for mutual benefit within the partnership context. Due to Japan’s close geographic proximity to the ASEAN region, both parties are explicitly intertwined, with much to gain from a close and strong relationship. The Government of Japan and ASEAN use this context to increase the interoperability and interaction of processes, mechanisms and skills within their respective disaster management sectors. As a result of Japan’s deep experience in managing and responding to large-scale natural disaster within its borders, JAIF has allowed the AHA Centre to tap into some of the most extensive knowledge and resources in the world, while allowing Japan’s access to regional knowledge and contacts, and the opportunity to further engage with its closest neighbours.
“As a Dialogue Partner, Japan actively cooperates and takes initiatives to strengthen cooperation on disaster management in the ASEAN region. Since its establishment in year 2011, the JAIF Management Team (JMT) has been closely working with the AHA Centre to conceptualise and formulate project proposals and implement significant and successful projects in support of fulfilling the AHA Centre’s mandate. For JMT, the collaboration with the AHA Centre only makes JAIF supported projects in disaster management better and more aligned with the needs of the region,” said Zin Aung Swe – the Programme Coordinator of JAIF Management Team.
Historically, JAIF has been one of the key support mechanisms for a range of ASEAN disaster management functions – in particular elements such as the Disaster Emergency Logistic System for ASEAN (DELSA) and the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme – throughout the AHA Centre’s first six years of existence. The finance, skills and knowledge provided through these original programmes helped ensure longevity and stability of disaster management resources for the ASEAN region. Due to such success in the implementation of these programmes during the AHA Centre’s first six years, trust and support between the Government of Japan and the AHA Centre has been evidenced through the recent approval of a second phase of the DELSA. Alongside this, JAIF has agreed to continue its outstanding support for the annual AHA Centre Executive Programme, which will continue to prepare future leaders of disaster management in the ASEAN region, as well as fourth phase of the Information and Communications (ICT) project for the AHA Centre. These three abovementioned projects are planned to continue until the year 2020. Meanwhile, the AHA Centre is also implementing the ASEAN-ERAT Transformation Project, being implemented between 25 November 2016 until 2019. Since its establishment in November 2011, the AHA Centre has benefitted from over USD 33 million for a range of projects, with over USD 7 million currently designated to projects in the pipeline, seeing the Government of Japan – through JAIF – forms the largest contributor to the AHA Centre’s programmes thus far.
Written by : Will Shea | Photo : AHA Centre