/ / AHA Centre Diary 1


During September, participants in the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme’s sixth batch engaged once more in training, discussions and practical activities across ASEAN and abroad. The following diary entries were developed by the team to reflect on their journey during the month.


Early September saw ACE participants journey to Palu, Central Sulawesi, to undertake Red Cross and Red Crescent Induction and Operations training course. During the first three days of training, facilitators covered several topics, such as: the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement; an introduction to the Framework and Roadmap for Community Resilience: Building Safer and Resilient Communities; the Strategy on Disaster Preparedness and Response; IFRC Response tools; Shelter Programme; Protection; Gender, and Inclusion Training; an Introduction to Disaster Law, and; Coordination and Communication Mechanisms.

Following this, ACE participants visited Garuda Camp of the Indonesian Red Cross in Palu to see the camp organisation, as well as undertake training on Management of the Dead with the ICRC. Participants also visited a liquefaction area, schools that have been rebuilt, as well as temporary camps, to learn more about the impact of the 2018 disaster. Participants were also invited to witness the location and process of the AHA Centre in building the ASEAN Village.


ACE participants were taught on the importance of Incident Command System by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USFS). This course constitutes different components found in a disaster response team – from the different types of people to the common tools used. It was a very insightful programme as participants gained an in-depth understanding about the roles of the different staff and resource management methods in relation to responding to a disaster. Other than the roles, they were also able to identify different planning methods used by staff that may be of great value in the future. The ICS programme exposed a unique paradox about complexity, by understanding its literal definition and how and why it is complex.

This course also highlighted six types of ICS facilities and their facility map symbols. One of the course’s highlights was the Resource Management Principles, that enabled participants to be more organised and strategic in their group activities. Another valuable activity was the Planning Cycle lesson, that introduced ICS forms that are helpful for planning and recording data during an incident. The facilitation methods for technical and comprehensive information using interactive and enjoyable approaches successfully united ACE participants and attracted participants to engage fully during group activities.


This week ACE participants embarked on their study visit to New Zealand, and began their engagement in the 14-day Critical Incident Leadership Course. Participants undertook classroom sessions and study tours to the campus of the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, as well as visiting hazard sites around the city of Christchurch, and the Kaikoura District. Participants learned about the meta-leadership concept, thinking preference, understanding local government response, and also met leaders from different agencies from the area of disaster management in New Zealand.

Participants also had the opportunity to meet the communities that experienced earthquakes in Christchurch during 2011, and the 2016 earthquake in the Kaikoura District. Alongside an introduction to the culture and traditions of the Maori and the people of New Zealand, meeting communities also taught participants about the importance of community as a fundamental component in ensuring effective preparedness, response and recovery in disaster management.


During week 4 of September, ACE participants continued their journey to New Zealand’s north island, visiting sites in the cities of Wellington and Auckland. In Wellington, the ACE participants were hosted at a warm reception by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) – who support the Critical Incident Leadership course for ACE programme – before visiting the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa to learn about the hazardscape and history of the country. Here they also witnessed the base isolator system adopted by New Zealand, developed to make buildings safer from earthquakes. They visited the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office and learnt of New Zealand’s efforts in engaging its community in disaster preparedness and risk reduction. One example of the community ground-up initiative is the implementation of a tsunami blue-line that clearly indicates the tsunami safe zone based on scientific simulation studies. This learning on community engagement efforts continued in Auckland, during the visit to the Auckland Emergency Operations Centre. The highlight of the week was when participants were required to deliver a 5-minute speech to reflect on their learning journey in New Zealand, with all rising to the challenge and sharing valuable insights and thoughts with the class.

Written by : Rina Nur Hafizah, Sridewanto Edi Pinuji, Amelia Justina Lim, Callista Amira Sandi, Putri Mumpuni | Photo : AHA Centre