THE 2ND AHA CENTRE INFORMATION MANAGEMENT NETWORK (AIM-NET) MEETING AND WORKSHOP
On 12-14 September 2022, the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) organised the 2nd Meeting and Workshop of the AHA Centre Information Management Network (AIM-Net) in Jakarta, Indonesia. Twenty-three (23) representatives of the National Disaster Management Offices (NDMOs) of the ASEAN Member States (AMS) took part in the workshop, which was facilitated by the AHA Centre, Leveraging ASEAN Capacities for Emergency Response (LACER) Project, and Pacific Disaster Center (PDC).
Following up on the 1st AIM-Net Meeting held in February 2021, the 2nd AIM-Net Meeting and Workshop aimed to review the prioritised objectives of the AIM-Net Work Plan, familiarise participants with the AHA Centre Work Plan and the ICT Roadmap and their connection with the AIM-Net Work Plan, and finalise the AIM-Net Work Plan 2025 for Disaster Information Management (DIM) and Information Systems Interoperability (ISI).
AIM-Net is supported by the European Union through the EU-ASEAN Integrated Programme in Enhancing the Capacity of AHA Centre and ASEAN Emergency Response Mechanisms, known as EU-SAHA.
Representing the European Union Mission to ASEAN, Program Manager for Climate Change, Mr. Muammar Vebry, conveyed his optimism that the workshop could serve as a platform to coordinate and strengthen Disaster Information Management capabilities and Information Systems Interoperability between the ASEAN Member States, and strengthen the ties between the EU and ASEAN. “EU-SAHA, in a way, has managed to bring our two regions closer – conceptually, in terms of our approach, and in terms of our collaboration,“ he added.
At the meeting’s opening session, Executive Director of the AHA Centre Mr. Lee Yam Ming highlighted the importance of information management in disaster response. “Data and information are the bases of decisions that enable effective and efficient disaster management and facilitate appropriate and timely emergency response,” said Mr. Yam Ming. “In order to ensure well-informed and prompt decision-making, such data and information must be available, of quality, and accessible.”
However, among the ASEAN NDMOs there is a wide spectrum of technical capacities and capabilities on Disaster Information Management (DIM) and Information Systems Interoperability (ISI). Hence, ensuring the availability, quality, and accessibility of core datasets for disaster management and emergency response remains a challenge for ASEAN.
Against this backdrop, the AIM-Net was established to be a regional forum where the Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) of NDMOs and the AHA Centre can coordinate and cooperate in strengthening capacities, capabilities, and practices on Disaster Information Management and Information Systems Interoperability.
“There is definitely homework to create and ensure the sustainability of disaster information management in our beloved ASEAN region,” said Dr. Raditya Jati, Deputy Minister of System and Strategy of the National Disaster Management Authority of Indonesia (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana – BNPB) and AIM-Net Co-Chair, “and that homework is to accomplish better together as One Community, One ASEAN, and One Response.”
During the workshop, AIM-Net Focal Points worked on refining the Network’s Work Plan, including its objectives, list of activities, timeline, and resources required, both in Disaster Information Management and Information Systems Interoperability. From this point, the AHA Centre will consolidate all inputs, refine the draft, and finally circulate the Work Plan to the ASEAN Committee for Disaster Management (ACDM) for finalisation and approval.
The workshop also marked the end of Indonesia and the Philippines’ Co-Chairmanship of AIM-Net, who had successfully led the Network through the 1st and 2nd AIM-Net Meetings and left the Network with the legacy of the AIM-Net Terms of Reference (ToR), ASEAN Disaster Information Management Strategic Framework, and the AIM-Net Work Plan. The Singapore Civil Defense Force (SCDF) and NDMO Lao PDR will now assume leadership of AIM-Net until 2023.
Mrs. Deniece Krizia Manding-Ballesteros, AIM-Net Co-Chair from the Philippines National Risk Reduction and Management Council – Office of Civil Defense (NDRRMC-OCD), commended the participants for the fruitful workshop and expressed her hopes for the future of AIM-Net. “With the success of this activity, I hope we will keep the same energy, commitment, enthusiasm, and level of participation for the next activities of AIM-Net until 2025 or further. I have confidence that the next AIM-Net co-chairs, NDMO Lao PDR and SCDF Singapore will guide the network for the realisation of these goals and activities,” she said.
The three-day event concluded with a visit to the Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) of BNPB and the AHA Centre, which facilitated the sharing of knowledge and experience in disaster information management. The 3rd AIM-Net Meeting is targeted to be held in 2023, and will include a workshop on DIM and ISI, training needs assessment, and study visit of the host country’s EOC.
Written by: Gladys Respati | Photo credit: AHA Centre