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With the start of the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme taking place in July 2019, for the coming volumes of The Column, we will bring to you insights of AHA Centre partners at work – showcasing their input and value through their engagement in the ACE Programme. Each article will be presented by a guest writer, who is also a participant in the ongoing programme, and one of the region’s future leaders on Disaster Management.

The U.S. Embassy Jakarta’s Regional English Language Office and USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance joined forces to offer a course on English Communication for Disaster Managers (ECDM) at the AHA Centre during the opening weeks of the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme, in Jakarta from 3–20 July 2019.

The 3-week course was facilitated by two instructors from Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), and included 12 online modules as well as face-to-face sessions on content and language-integrated topics that are directly relevant to the ASEAN region. The eighteen course participants (all participants in the ACE Programme) are made-up from the National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMOs) of all ten ASEAN Member States, with this five-month work/study rotation inside the AHA Centre being conducted entirely in English language.

This ECDM course was implemented prior to the official start of the ACE Programme, to allow participants to improve their technical English language proficiency, which in-turn support the enhancement of overall subject-matter training. This is also the outcome of previous ACE Programme evaluations that highlighted the need for extra attention afforded to English language strengthening, as most participants are from nations in which English is not their mother tongue. By the end of the ECDM, ACE Programme participants will be able to increase engagement and share content knowledge with their fellow ASEAN Member State representatives, to communicate for building trust and cooperation among partner organisations, and to facilitate disaster relief coordination at a regional level.


Written by : Putri Mumpuni & Ayunda V. Siagian | Photo : AHA Centre