THE ASEAN-ERAT LEVEL 3 (TEAM LEADER) PILOT COURSE
Equipping Leaders for Effective Emergency Response
The ASEAN-ERAT Level 3 (Team Leader) Pilot Course was held in Bogor, Indonesia, from 8 to 15 May 2023 with the support of the Government of Japan through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF). Hosted by the Indonesian National Disaster Management Authority (BNPB), the Pilot Course was attended by 11 experienced ASEAN-ERAT Members from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Viet Nam, and the AHA Centre.
Strengthening the ASEAN-ERAT System for Disaster Response
Since its establishment in 2008, the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) has been deployed to numerous emergency response missions across seven countries in the region. The team has played a pivotal role in providing leadership and coordination services during emergencies, contributing to ASEAN centrality in times of crisis.
In order to strengthen the ASEAN-ERAT system for disaster preparedness and response in line with the ASEAN Vision 2025, the ASEAN-ERAT personnel capacity-building has been focused at three levels: In-Country Team (Level 1), Specialist (Level 2), and Team Leader (Level 3). To achieve this, the AHA Centre has conducted several advanced courses, including rapid needs assessment, information management, humanitarian logistics, humanitarian civil-military coordination, and early recovery assessment.
The ASEAN-ERAT Level 3 (Team Leader) Pilot Course marks a significant milestone in the continuous strengthening of ASEAN-ERAT. As the frequency and severity of natural disasters in the region increase, the need for a well-trained and capable response team becomes ever more crucial. Thus, the ASEAN-ERAT Level 3 course aimed to develop experienced humanitarian response leaders with strong leadership skills who can assume authority and lead ASEAN response operations on the ground.
A customised course curriculum for Team Leaders was developed to address the specific needs and context of the ASEAN-ERAT. The curriculum focuses on teaching nine essential leadership traits, including Command and Control, Knowledge in Disaster Management, Negotiation Skills, Presentation Skills, Communication, Coordination, Reporting to the AHA Centre, and Financial Management.
Building Skills and Testing Leadership
At the Closing Ceremony of the ASEAN-ERAT Level 3 Pilot Course, Executive Director of the AHA Centre Mr. Lee Yam Ming congratulated the participants for being the first batch of ASEAN-ERAT Members to be trained as future Team Leaders. He expressed his hope that participants would continue to lend their strength to the ASEAN-ERAT within and beyond the ASEAN region. “Not only by responding to the call for deployment and leading ASEAN-ERAT in the field, but by also guiding and nurturing future ERAT Team Leaders and Members as role models and mentors,” he added.
Participants of the ASEAN-ERAT Level 3 (Team Leader) Pilot Course themselves found the course to be a great opportunity to gain new skills and prepare for the realities of leading a team on the field. “The best thing is that there is a lot of emphasis and focus on the soft skills element of leadership,” said Ihsan Fauzano, an ASEAN-ERAT Member from Indonesia who participated in the Pilot Course. “We learned communication, negotiation, decision making, team dynamics, delegating. And for the last 3 days, we learned stress management and time management during the Simulation Exercise.”
Dr. Janaki Rani, an ASEAN-ERAT Batch 8 member from Malaysia, added that the training of ASEAN-ERAT Team Leaders is crucial to ensure a successful mission. “The outcome of the mission would be better when we train leaders who are capable of handling the entire team, produce good reports, and can give good information that helps the AHA Centre and affected Member States to make good decisions, leading to an effective disaster response,” said Dr. Janaki.
The ASEAN-ERAT Level 3 (Team Leader) Pilot Course represents a significant step in strengthening the ASEAN-ERAT’s ability to respond effectively to natural disasters. By developing competent and experienced team leaders, ASEAN-ERAT aims to enhance its coordination and leadership services during emergencies. The course not only equips participants with essential skills and knowledge but also fosters a network of capable leaders who will guide and nurture future ASEAN-ERAT team members. With continued support from partners and a commitment to continuous improvement, ASEAN-ERAT is well-positioned to meet the challenges posed by the increasing occurrence of natural disasters in the region.
Written by: Gladys Respati, Madiatri Silalahi, Anggaripeni Mustikasiwi | Photo credit: AHA Centre