/ / AHA Centre Diary 1



The ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT) members have continued to stay connected amid the array of challenges faced within the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While managing disasters and COVID responses in their respective countries, ASEAN-ERAT members found time to gather virtually as part of ASEAN-ERAT Coffee Chat sessions, and engaged in the ASEAN-ERAT Refresh Our Mind series. The aim of these sessions was to support ASEAN-ERAT members to continue to interact with each other – even if only virtually – as well as to remain engaged with the ASEAN-ERAT system itself and its specialisation courses.

A total of forty-five ASEAN-ERAT members from four ASEAN Member States (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Singapore) participated in the first ASEAN-ERAT Coffee Chat session, which was held online on 4 December, 2020. It provided an opportunity for members, from the programme’s first group (2010 graduates) through to the twelfth group (2019 graduation) to re-connect and discuss the issues related to past responses, as well as the ERAT induction course itself. Based on the feedback from the first session, the second ASEAN-ERAT Coffee Chat was held on 11 December 2020, and deliberated specifically on ASEAN-ERAT’s role into the future. Thirty-eight ASEAN-ERAT members engaged from across all groups, with productive discussions resulting in several ideas on enhancing the ASEAN-ERAT members’ role in the future. One such idea was for more specialised skillsets to enable the ASEAN-ERAT members to support complex and evolving humanitarian emergencies, such as pandemic situations amongst others.

Kicking-off 2021 on January 29, the AHA Centre organised the first event of the ASEAN-ERAT Refresh Our Mind series, which focused on Rapid Needs and Damage Assessments, and was attended by seven ASEAN-ERAT members. The event included a 100-minute online learning task designed for ASEAN-ERAT members who feel they need a refreshment on the ASEAN-ERAT system, as well as Rapid Needs and Damage Assessments, and was delivered through a fun learning, interactive, and insightful session. The event commenced with a quiz that invited ASEAN-ERAT members to refresh on the ASEAN-ERAT system and Rapid Needs and Damage Assessments in general. Then three ASEAN-ERAT members (Ms Mary Grace Somido from the Philippines, Ms Grace Endina and Mr Yos Malole from Indonesia) shared insights on their hands-on experiences conducting a rapid needs assessment during deployments. The final section for the first event was a hands-on activity that allowed participants to develop a scenario-based Assessment Plan. The participants were provided with access to the ASEAN-ERAT Learning Management System to watch three short videos related to the first event’s content.

Participants attending the ASEAN-ERAT Coffee Chat sessions and the first ASEAN-ERAT Refresh Our Mind event provided positive feedback overall, and encouraged the AHA Centre to continue organising such virtual events in 2021 to increase connections and engagement for more ASEAN-ERAT members.

Written by : Madiatri A. Silalahi, Siva Balan | Photo Credit : AHA Centre