MUHAMMMAD FAISAL ANSHORY
Disaster Monitoring and Analysis Intern
My name is Muhammad Faisal Anshory, and I am a fresh graduate in Geodetic and Geomatics Engineering at the Bandung Institute of Technology. During my studies, I have been passionate about map-making, a.k.a cartography. I also learned about the role of my degree in multiple areas, one of them is the disaster field.
This is why I was intrigued when I learned about HELiX, the Humanitarian and Emergency Logistics Innovation Expo, hosted by the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) and Viet Nam Disaster Management Authority (VNDMA) in 2021.
My curiosity led me to participate in the AHAckathon competition as part of the HELiX event in October 2021, where my team and I had the chance to learn about the efforts of various disaster relief organisations. With the guidance of our mentor, Ms. Smriti, we were trying to come up with a solution to two common problems relief workers face: a lack of centralised real-time information to monitor and coordinate relief efforts and the slow identification processes for needs assessments. Our solution was an application prototype called Holigistics, which targeted actors in the field to quickly assess the supply needed by impacted demographic data and give recommendations for the optimised route service for the supply chain. Our team’s efforts paid off when we were awarded second place among various teams in ASEAN. This experience taught me about the AHA Centre generally and its role in coordinating logistics assistance for natural disasters in ASEAN.
A few months later, I saw a social media post by the AHA Centre announcing an internship opportunity as a Disaster Monitoring and Analysis (DMA) intern. As I had finished my undergraduate thesis, I applied without hesitation and was eventually invited for an online interview. I started my new journey on September 5th, under the guidance of DMA Officers Mr. Keith Paolo and Mr. Sadhu Zukhruf. As a DMA intern, my main responsibilities were assisting in daily DMA activities. The task included monitoring the daily development of natural disasters in ASEAN, data cleansing and analysis of disaster data records, and assisting in developing incidental and routine reports, including maps. Those responsibilities presented unique challenges. The first one is when navigating language barriers when monitoring disaster development in the ASEAN region, where as a multicultural region, each ASEAN country has its own language. The second is that AHA Centre’s products are often reposted by global organisations, meaning the information presented must be accurate, data-oriented, and reliable. Despite these challenges, I am grateful for the opportunity to make a positive impact and they raise my awareness about the relationship between humans and nature.
During my internship journey, I was fortunate to be exposed to various valuable experiences that helped me develop new skills and knowledge. One of the most significant aspects of my internship was gaining exposure to cutting-edge technologies used for disaster monitoring activities. Not only did this expand my technical skill set, but it also provided me with a new perspective on the intersection of technology and disaster management. In addition, I also had the opportunity to participate in important events such as the AHA Centre Information Management Network (AIM-Net) and First Aid and Survival on Disaster Training, which helped me develop a deeper understanding of disaster management from a practical standpoint. The meetings with the Centre partners were also a great learning opportunity, as they allowed me to gain insights into how the AHA Centre collaborates with national disaster management organisations of ASEAN member states and international organisations to develop ASEAN’s resilience towards natural disasters.
All in all, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the internship program at the AHA Centre. The experiences and knowledge I have gained during this time have truly broadened my perspective on natural disasters and emergency response and working in a multicultural environment. I am especially thankful to my supervisors, Mr. Keith and Mr. Sadhu, for their guidance and unwavering support throughout my internship. They always challenged me and gave constructive feedback that has pushed me to try new things and exceed my expectations. I also appreciate Mr. Lawrence Anthony Dimailig who has been an incredible source of positivity and encouragement during daily activities. This internship has been a valuable learning experience that has equipped me with the knowledge and skills needed to make a positive impact in the future. I look forward to utilising these skills in my future endeavors and continue to grow as an individual.
Written by: Muhammad Faisal Anshory, Disaster Monitoring and Analysis Intern