/ / AHA Centre Diary 1


While the global pandemic has interrupted capacity building efforts such as the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme, the Centre continues to provide education for ACE Programme graduates. The AHA Centre recently implemented a webinar series to support its objectives of capacity-building, networking, and utilising leadership competencies to improve national and regional coordination response mechanisms and disaster management more broadly. The webinars run from September to November 2020, and are primarily intended to expose the ACE Programme graduates to the latest trends and challenges in disaster management.

Following the success of the first ACE Webinar during September, the AHA Centre conducted the second ACE Webinar – namely Measuring Outcomes for Disaster Response, Coordination and Management – on 21 October, 2020. The webinar engaged more than 142 humanitarian practitioners from the ACE Programme graduate pool, NDMO officers, partners, and academics, in particular those working in monitoring and evaluation. Experts from UNOCHA, IFRC, Save the Children (member of the AADMER Partnership Group), and the Lien Centre for Social Innovation from Singapore Management University (SMU), shared their experiences in measuring the effectiveness of disaster response.

The session began with an interactive session on how often participants assess certain aspects during disaster operations – including measurement of coordination, response team effectiveness, accountability to affected population, leadership, and adherence to the programme cycle. Participants highlighted that coordination was the most frequent aspect that they measure in disaster response. This was highlighted further by the UNOCHA’s presentation, which focused on the importance of coordination to evaluate disaster responses, to ensure that assistance reaches the affected population, and to avoid gaps and duplication of assistance. This notion was also echoed by the speaker from the Lien Centre for Social Innovation, who also stated that cross-sectoral collaboration should create strong results for all stakeholders. ACE Programme Graduate Ms. Sarah Ulat of the Philippines Office of Civil Defense – National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council of the Philippines moderated the webinar, and also highlighted the importance of partnerships as a force multiplier and as a mode to a highly enabling environment for all agencies.

The speaker from IFRC shared experiences in measuring the effectiveness of surge teams undertaking internal reviews and utilising performance management and appraisals. The speaker from Save the Children covered the importance of assistance reaching vulnerable groups – including children – as they often make-up large percentages of an affected population.

Failure to listen to or consult with children in response evaluations not only neglects important information, but also ignores children’s agency and ability to participate in decision-making processes that affect their lives.

The webinar concluded with some key takeaways provided by ACE Programme Graduate Mr Muhammad Azhar bin Said of the Singapore Civil Defence Force.

“Monitoring, evaluation and coordination is a continuous process to ensure the effectiveness of the humanitarian response. These days, with the advance of technology, we should be able to transform the way we undertake responses. After all, leadership is extremely important to be able to deliver productive and successful operations”.
-Mr Muhammad Azhar bin Said


Written by : Ferosa Arsadita | Photo : AHA Centre