/ / The Other Side


This month, Muhammad Fauzie Ismail from the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) of Malaysia chats to the AHA Centre about his regional disaster management experience. As an AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme graduate in 2015, Fauzie spoke about his experience and his hopes for disaster management in Malaysia and the wider ASEAN region.

Fauzie returned back to NADMA in 2019 after completing a Masters in Emergency Response and Planning at University Putra Malaysia (UPM) Malaysia, and was assigned to the Community and Social Development Section, Post Disaster Management Division. “In general, my work involves planning and implementing community development programmes with the aim to create a resilient community towards disaster through Disaster Risk Reduction initiatives”, Fauzie says. “This includes collaborating with all stakeholders using the whole-of-society approach at all levels through integrated planning.” Fauzie also tells us that in disaster response, his primary role is to support coordinating all the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) who work within the initial government response.

A graduate of the AHA Centre’s ACE Programme supported under Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), Fauzie highlights its impact on his understanding and skills across all areas of disaster management. He also remembers the role of the programme in extending his networks by engaging with other disaster managers from across ASEAN – with whom he remains in contact to this day.

“It also helped develop my confidence to share and explore new ways of doing things when managing disaster”
-Muhammad Fauzie Ismail

Having been involved in a number of disaster responses over the years, Fauzie remembers the 2018 Central Sulawesi response vividly. “Despite being able to experience the actual deployment first-hand, the most valuable learning point was the importance of having effective training – especially from the ASEAN-ERAT Induction Course, ARDEX and other similar trainings” Fauzie says. “These trainings are carefully constructed to enable the participants to visualise the real situation, and I feel that all these trainings really prepared me prior to actual deployment.”

More recently Fauzie’s challenges are related to the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in which he is working to support community behaviour change within the ‘new normal’. Without face-to-face communication and with social distancing, he and his team have to be creative to find new ways to relay messages down to the community at grassroots level. While the pandemic may have added extra challenges, Fauzie still highlights the importance of technology in the future of ASEAN disaster management.

“I believe leveraging technological advancement is the key to our future response. Usage of new and emerging technology such as mobile solutions, social media and digital communities will provide us with new ways for ASEAN and their beneficiaries to communicate faster and better”

“With help from such technologies, we can respond faster and make accurate decisions
on the ground in disaster response.”
-Muhammad Fauzie Ismail


Written by : William Shea | Photo : Doc. of Muhammad Fauzie Ismail