/ / Highlight


To celebrate the eight-year journey since the establishment of the AHA Centre, the Strategic Thematic Forum – Rethinking AHA Centre was undertaken from 18-22 of November 2019 in Jakarta, Indonesia. A forum for reflecting on successes and mapping the path forward, event also included the Workshop on Management of International Assistance, and the Partners Dialogue – Celebrating Partnership.

The Strategic Thematic Forum – Rethinking AHA Centre (held on 18-19 November, 2019) was opened by H.E. Michael Tene, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Community and Corporate Affairs, who reminded us that when thinking ahead, we must also align with ASEAN’s broader vision. During this exercise, regional and global technical experts in the fields of conflict, Disaster Risk Reduction and pandemics, along with representatives from ASEAN Member States, the ASEAN Secretariat and the AHA Centre, were brought together for technical discussions aimed at providing insight and assessing the feasibility of engaging in new disaster management elements beyond the AHA Centre’s existing scope of natural disasters. The forum included over 60 participants, with representatives coming from National Disaster Management Organisations and Ministries of Foreign Affairs, the ASEAN Secretariat, subject matter experts and panellists, AHA Centre staff, and other facilitators and observers. The forum actively promoted discussion through both group work and panel discussions, encouraging sharing of open opinions in all discussion areas. The Strategic Thematic Forum was supported by UK Mission to ASEAN.


Day three of the event began with the Workshop on Management of International Assistance, which was co- organised by the AHA Centre and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Asia Pacific, with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The workshop’s aim was to strengthen the coordination of regional and international assistance during humanitarian emergency response, including methodologies, procedures and tools. It also aims to improve preparedness capacity of ASEAN Member States, by identifying areas of improvements in the management of incoming regional and international assistance during emergency response, and to improve the capacity of the AHA Centre as the primary regional coordinating agency in managing offers of regional and international assistance for affected Member States during emergency response.

The workshop was conducted throughout two days from 20 to 21 November 2019, with participants from National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMOs) of the ASEAN Member States, IFRC and representatives from National Societies in Southeast Asia, the AHA Centre and other key stakeholders. The workshop was officially opened by the AHA Centre’s Executive Director Ms Adelina Kamal, Head of IFRC Country Office in Myanmar, Mr Joy Singhal, Mr Ky Anh Nguyen, ASEAN Secretariat Director of Sustainable Development, and Mr Michael Cottier, Deputy Head of Mission Embassy of Switzerland in Indonesia. A keynote speech was delivered by Mr Said Faisal, the Former Executive Director of the AHA Centre who was also the Deputy of BRR for Aceh and Nias responsible for the implementation of post-tsunami rehabilitation and reconstruction.


The week-long strategic thematic forum ended with the Partners Dialogue: Celebrating Partnership event. The Partners Dialogue was used as an opportunity to share information on the work of the AHA Centre, its core achievements over the past 8 years, and share key discussions and findings regarding its proposed future direction. The activity invited all the AHA Centre’s partners from the past eight years to share their insights that can be used to help expand the Centre’s work for the next five years. This was the first time the AHA Centre brought together all its donors and strategic and operational partners together in one event to discuss the AHA Centre’s work, achievements, core business, mandate and strategy. The Forum was attended by 66 participants including representatives from ASEAN Dialogue Partners, strategic and operational partners, AHA Centre staff, ASEAN Secretariat, along with several supporters and observers.

Written by : Ina Rachmawati | Photo Credit : AHA Centre