/ / The Other Side


Callista Sandi joined the AHA Centre as an Intern in the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme after completing her first year of her International Relations Bachelor degree at the University of Groningen, Netherlands, and will continue studying through Tokyo International University. In this volume’s Other Side article, Callista shares with us her experience and insights after eleven months with the AHA Centre team.

I have always been interested in the humanitarian field, especially disaster management and disaster diplomacy. As an International Relations student studying International Politics, Law and Economics, this opportunity provided me a deeper understanding on the importance of multilateral coordination between ASEAN Member States. The internship increased my connection to my own country by understanding Indonesia’s disaster management capabilities at the national level, as well as our contribution and role in strengthening regional capacity. The internship experience also complimented my educational learning objectives by analysing disasters through disaster diplomacy, that urges disaster-related activities to remove diplomatic barriers, in particular for humanitarian purposes.

Being an intern at the AHA Centre also enhanced my understanding about the communities and policy makers within ASEAN disaster management, and the efforts of the ASEAN region to develop future-ready disaster management mechanisms. It is a great example for me as an undergraduate student to understand, contextualise and analyse such disaster management mechanisms within the ASEAN context. The programme serves as a strong platform for young leaders who want to push their ideas and who enjoy interactive discussions on disaster management.

One of the most interesting aspects of being an intern in the ACE Programme was the opportunity to interact with experts from the sector, which provided me a more holistic understanding as I was able to learn from their own experiences. This ensured that my internship moved beyond understanding only technical concepts, and allowed me to engage more widely within the disaster management community.

Being part of the ACE Programme allowed me to understand disaster management from various lenses, and even more importantly from a youth perspective. One of my favourite aspects of the ACE Programme is that it provides us as the future generation input into the disaster management sector, and a fresh voice within the AHA Centre itself. These fresh voices and views are nurtured in the ACE Programme, that is undertaking efforts to re-design its framework to even better prepare emerging disaster management leaders to be future ready. The ACE Programme is funded by Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF).

But what does it mean, what does it require, and who should be involved in this idea of ‘future-ready’? Through this experience I learned that being future-ready means bridging the technology gap to disaster management. It’s time for disaster management to be more aware of the opportunities’ technology has to offer. With the evolution of the disaster management sector, future utilisation of technology will be more dominant, and therefore our region must completely open itself to engaging technology within all aspects of disaster management.


Written : by : Callista Sandi | Photo : AHA Centre