2ND PROJECT STEERING COMMITTEE (PSC) MEETING OF THE ASCEND
On 20 May, 2021 the AHA Centre held the second project steering committee (PSC) meeting of ASCEND. The meeting was presided over by co-chairs Indonesia and Singapore of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) Working Group on Global Leadership and attended by the Mission of the Republic Korea (ROK) to ASEAN, the Korean National Fire Agency (KNFA), the ASEAN-ROK Development Cooperation Programme Management Team (AKPMT), the ASEAN Secretariat and the AHA Centre.
During the meeting, the AHA Centre presented the ASCEND project implementation progress report for December 2020 to April 2021. It provided updates on the overall implementation of the ASCEND project and covered three major areas of work, namely the development of documents and systems, the development of communication materials, and continued coordination and expanded collaboration with various stakeholders. Due to limitations brought about by the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, the ASCEND project management team (PMT) has focused its efforts on conducting studies, developing guidelines and establishing the IT system needed for the certification process. The AHA Centre expects to introduce and pilot use all of the materials and the IT system within workshops and training planned for late this year and early next year. In addition to the aforementioned progress, the ASCEND-PMT of the AHA Centre has also expanded its collaboration to more than 90 individuals from at least 30 institutions or organisations.
The ASCEND-PMT also presented updates on the establishment of the ASCEND Reference Group. The ASCEND Reference Group aims to ensure that the preparation and implementation of the ASCEND project incorporates all recommendations from the ASEAN Member States. On this occasion, the PSC members discussed the possibility of establishing an effective communication flow between the ASCEND-PMT and the Reference Group members.
Lastly, the meeting explored the possibility of conducting an ASCEND benchmarking visit to the Republic of Korea. Given the ongoing COVID-19 situation, it was agreed that the AHA Centre and the KNFA should explore alternatives to conducting the benchmarking visit aside from a physical visit. One of the ideas from the PSC members was to combine a virtual study visit first before considering a physical visit later. The AHA Centre and the KNFA gave an assurance that these options would be considered when developing the concept note. The concept note will also include the risk and benefit analysis of conducting benchmarking visits based on the alternative options available. The co-chairs of the ACDM Working Group Global Leadership closed the meeting by thanking the PSC members for the fruitful and productive discussion during the meeting.
ASCEND is a three-year project grant-funded by the ASEAN-ROK Cooperation Fund (AKCF) to the tune of USD 3.3 million. It aims to enhance the quality of human resources within ASEAN in disaster management through establishing a common set of standard skills and competencies, along with a validation process.
Written by: Haura Mayang | Photo : AHA Centre