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With the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme taking place during the second half of 2019, 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.

Gender inequity – alongside the context for children and people with disabilities (PWD) see very high rates of vulnerability for these groups in the face of disaster. While there are a range of social, political and economic complexities behind this context, the reality is that women, children and PWD are much more heavily affected by disasters in ASEAN. While vulnerability is high, the context for women also holds great significance and opportunity for their engagement in mitigating and managing disaster in the region. As part of the ACE Programme, participants were engaged in interesting and eye-opening training on Rapid Assessment of Vulnerabilities and Risks faced by Women and Children in Humanitarian Settings.

The training course ran in August 2019, and was conducted by UNWOMEN, with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF). The Rapid Assessment for Women and Children course aims to increase participants understandings of the specific vulnerabilities, capacities, and needs of women and children in disasters, facilitate their understanding of ethical considerations and core principles relevant to data collection on women and children in emergencies, and equip them with practical tools for data collection and analysis. Facilitators from the three agencies worked with participants to integrate gender and disability component into disaster management and emergency response programme design.

During the course, facilitators increased ACE participants’ understanding on the basics of gender, disability and child protection; vulnerabilities and risk factors that women and girls/boys face in emergencies; how to gather and collect data in emergency settings that includes gender-based violence cases; and familiarity with different types of assessments and tools for data collection, including tailoring the ERAT Rapid Assessment Tool and Report Format to include these specific interjections.

Early course feedback found that ACE participants mostly had yet to undertake basic humanitarian training in gender or child protection context. Such training forms an introduction and opportunity for humanitarian staff in National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMOs) to consider intersectionality and protection issues across disaster clusters in disaster management and emergency response, with a crucial need for these intersectionalities to be highlighted and investigated regarding the role of women, men, boys and girls within the humanitarian programming cycle and across the clusters. Added elements included the integration of inclusivity considerations (ethnicity, disability, etc.), gender-based violence (including prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse – PSEA), and child protection across the various modules of humanitarian programme cycle –not just within rapid assessment. Through their expertise, UNWOMEN, UNICEF and UNFPA displayed their willingness to support the AHA Centre in integrating these themes across the modules and programme, resulting in stronger and more inclusive outcomes for disaster management in the ASEAN region.

Written by : Maricel Aguilar & Putri Mumpuni | Photo : AHA Centre