ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ONE ASEAN ONE RESPONSE
Remaining focused on responding to natural disasters in the ASEAN region, alongside planning for facilitating potential collective ASEAN responses outside of the region form the key recommendations for the AHA Centre. These points were deliberated by participants of the ASEAN Senior Official Multi-Sectoral Workshop on One ASEAN One Response, organised by the ASEAN Secretariat, from the 27th to 28th of March 2018. Representatives from a wide range of ASEAN sectoral bodies attended the workshop, including from the Country Permanent Representatives (CPR), the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM), representatives from the Senior Official Meeting (SOM), ASEAN Defense Senior Official Meeting (ADSOM), Senior Official Meeting on Health Development (SOMHD), Senior Official Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD), as well as other relevant ASEAN entities and partners.
The principal purpose of this meeting–as highlighted by the ASEAN Secretary-General H.E. Lim Jock Hoi during his opening address–was to engage the views of a range of stakeholders in more prominently defining the functions of the Declaration, as well as providing clarity to requirements for current and future humanitarian challenges faced by the ASEAN region.
The One ASEAN One Response Declaration, signed by the ASEAN Leaders in 2016, reaffirms the commitment of ASEAN nations to respond collectively to major disasters in the region as one, in order to achieve faster speed, greater resources and stronger coordination. It also reaffirms the position of the AHA Centre as the primary regional coordinating agency on disaster management and emergency response, as well as tasks the AHA Centre to establish coordination mechanisms with other East Asian Summit (EAS) participating countries to enable them to provide assistance to ASEAN countries affected by disasters. The Declaration also envisions a future where ASEAN countries can collectively provide assistance to countries outside of the ASEAN region, and tasks the AHA Centre with preparing for such engagement.
The AHA Centre used this opportunity to update workshop participants on recent progress made by the AHA Centre in operationalising the One ASEAN One Response Declaration. The Director of Operations of the AHA Centre, Arnel Capili, presented a range of tools and concepts that the AHA Centre has developed throughout recent years, supported by strategic guidance from the ACDM. Such processes, amongst others, include the Joint Operations and Coordination Centre of ASEAN (JOCCA), the Web Emergency Operation Centre (WebEOC), and the Disaster Monitoring and Response System (DMRS). However, the most important of all is the ASEAN Joint Disaster Response Plan (AJDRP), which contains a list of earmarked assets and capacities of ASEAN Member States that may be voluntarily mobilised to support countries affected by disaster.
The operational focus of the AHA Centre also formed a key subject of discussion during the workshop, with many participants seeking clarification on the AHA Centre’s future role responding to human-induced disasters, as an addition to natural disaster response. Participants finally agreed that AHA Centre should remain focused on natural disasters, with potential human-induced disaster response to be decided on case-by-case basis and with limited focus only on providing immediate humanitarian assistance in such cases. All the points of discussion were summarised into a 16-point recommendation list to be presented to the next meeting of the ACDM in June 2018.
The Executive Director of the AHA Centre, Adelina Kamal, thanked all the ASEAN Member States for their continued and ongoing support for the AHA Centre. She nevertheless highlighted that there is still much work to do, including increasing the contribution of other sectors in ASEAN for the AJDRP, as well as pushing for broadened participation of the private sector and civil society in the AJDRP.
The AHA Centre launched and introduced a new handbook titled “Operationalising One ASEAN One Response: Speed, Scale, Solidarity” at the workshop, which serves as a reference for operationalising One ASEAN One Response.
Written by : Dipo Summa | Photo : AHA Centre/Shintya Kurniawan, ASEAN Secretariat
H.E. Ursula Mueller
United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for
Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator
IN EARLY APRIL 2018, THE AHA CENTRE HAD THE HONOUR OF MEETING H.E. URSULA MUELLER, THE UN’S ASSISTANT SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS AND DEPUTY EMERGENCY RELIEF COORDINATOR, WHO HAS BEEN A STRONG SUPPORTER OF GLOBAL HUMANITARIAN AND DEVELOPMENT AFFAIRS FOR OVER 30 YEARS. MS. MUELLER HAS DEVELOPED AN EXTENSIVE RANGE OF EXPERIENCES IN INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, THROUGH HER PREVIOUS ROLES AS GERMANY’S CIVIL COORDINATOR IN KOSOVO, GERMANY’S SPECIAL ENVOY TO AFGHANISTAN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL AT GERMANY’S MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AND DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF GERMANY’S MINISTRY OF ECONOMIC COOPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT.
She has also served as a member of the Advisory Board of the United Nations’ Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), as well as to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA). Furthermore, her leadership in the role German Executive Director to the Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank Group between 2014 to 2017, resulted in stronger ties between the World Bank and the United Nations (UN).
Having the opportunity to engage with Assistant Secretary-General Mueller during her visit to the home of One ASEAN One Response in Jakarta, the Column’s editorial team gained valuable insights on regional and international cooperation for the provision humanitarian assistance. The humanitarian affairs partnership between ASEAN and the UN has progressed throughout the past 10 years, particularly after the devastation of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar during 2008. Ms. Mueller stressed that ASEAN, the UN, and other global humanitarian stakeholders can deliver better results through working together.
During the discussion, Ms. Mueller highlighted the key strength of disaster management in the ASEAN region – namely the presence of a formal mandate, agreed-upon by all Member States. “You have a platform in which ten leaders have signed the Declaration on One ASEAN One Response. It gives you a very strong mandate to be relevant,” she said. “However, delivering on that mandate requires political support, financial support, and resources. Not only financial resources, but also relevant skills and standards that you can develop further through training.”
Ms. Mueller spoke about the importance of balanced partnerships, partnerships that suit the needs and context of both parties. She mentioned that fostering partnerships does not necessarily mean saying “yes” at every opportunity, but that often the real strength of a durable partnership can be knowing when it is appropriate to say “no” while, at the same time working together to find the best solutions to address humanitarian needs.
It is in the context of growing trust and partnership that the AHA Centre continues to work closely with UNOCHA to facilitate induction courses for the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT) – as part of the ASEAN-ERAT Transformation Plan – which links closely to the curriculum of the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team (UNDAC). As the international and regional humanitarian systems continue to develop, the need for coherence and interoperability between the coordination mechanisms managed at these various levels will be essential if we are to fulfil our collective mandate of meeting people’s needs by supporting the lead role played by governments. The priority must be that our respective processes and mechanisms complement, but do not duplicate each other, while assuring the ongoing safeguarding of the universally agreed humanitarian principles.
With regard to collective emergency response and the coordination roles of entities such as the AHA Centre and UNOCHA, ASG Mueller believes that preventative measures are more effective than a purely reactive approach. Thus, investing in early warning systems and preparedness should be considered as a top priority for the ASEAN region. Such investment will enable early action and improved coordinated responses at the regional level and support collective and synergised engagement in broader humanitarian challenges, including climate change, migration, drought, urbanisation, and human-induced disasters that cause displacement and human suffering.
Ms. Mueller is also a member of the International Gender Champions network – a group comprised of male and female leaders who aim to deconstruct gender barriers and establish gender equality through their leadership capacity. “It is important that we have the support of the men who are in positions of power,” she stated. “The Secretary-General of the UN has approved a gender parity strategy, which he is very committed to. Through women’s empowerment measures, we aim to achieve gender parity by 2028, as there is strong evidence that women’s engagement in peace-building and peacekeeping operations can positively impact the achievement of solutions.”
“In my own experience, in order to break the glass ceiling, you have to be professional, true to your values, also make your own contributions known” H.E. Mueller continued. “Your contribution to solving an issue deserves recognition, but you have to also be humble enough to know that it is not about yourself. You may be frustrated, but stay optimistic, realistic, and never give up,” Ms. Mueller stated, while sharing her tips as a leading woman in the humanitarian network.
Written by : Shintya Kurniawan | Photo: AHA Centre, United Nations
INCIDENT COMMAND SYSTEM
AND INCIDENT ACTION PLANNING WORKSHOPS
JAKARTA, 16-27 APRIL 2018
During April 2018, the AHA Centre, with the support of the United States Forest Service (USFS), successfully conducted intensive trainings regarding the Incident Command System and Incident Action Planning.
The Incident Command System (ICS) model, first developed in the 1970s in the aftermath of wildfires in California and Arizona, encourages the use of a standardised management system to enable a synergised inter-agency collaboration when responding to an emergency. To date, ICS has been developed and adjusted to address various complexities and types of emergency responses, including during the first attack of the World Trade Centre in 1993. Alongside this, ICS is also applicable for managing non-emergency situations – such as public events which attract massive crowds – including sporting events, annual festivals, parades and concerts.
While ICS covers the basic principles of cross-sectoral coordinating mechanisms, Incident Action Planning (IAP) provides in-depth knowledge for the planning department of the AHA Centre whenever a need for disaster-response arises. The IAP trainings involved
case studies in which the AHA Centre’s staff were challenged to practice their skills, use their creativity, and draw on their knowledge to develop strategies to address various disaster scenarios, including landslides, floods, and fires. The evolving scenarios required continuous efficient response plans, factoring in analysis from available resources, logistical aspects, and also safety and security.
Both ICS and IAP have been adapted and utilised by the AHA Centre since its establishment as the coordinating agency for humanitarian assistance in Southeast Asian region. The dynamic nature of ICS has been effective for the Centre’s emergency operations, due to its flexibility and adjustability to suit a range of responses. The ICS system has also been adapted and is currently used by five ASEAN Member States, creating coordination and a common ground for the ever-growing regional collaborations in managing disasters.
Written by : Shintya Kurniawan | Photo : AHA Centre
COORDINATION (UN-CMCOORD) TRAINING
BENGKULU, 5-10 APRIL 2018
On 5th–10th of April 2018, the AHA Centre participated in a Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination (UN-CMCOORD) training, conducted on-board the US Naval Hospital Ship (USNS) Mercy in Bengkulu, Indonesia. The training was implemented by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) alongside the United States Pacific Fleet.
As military institutions often play a significant role within emergency responses, there is a real need to foster meaningful collaboration between military actors, civilians, and other international humanitarian organisations. This sees UNOCHA facilitating trainings such as the UN-CMCOORD on a regular basis across the world. The training’s underlying principle is to create and share common understanding for the facilitation of the right assistance, to the right people, at the right time, and using the most appropriate methods during emergency response. The training included a variety of modules, such as coordination and sharing of resources, protection of civilians, and the security of humanitarian aid workers – an effort that has developed the global #NotATarget campaign.
The participants in the UN-CMCOORD training held a range of diverse backgrounds. Alongside military representatives and UNOCHA staff, representatives from non-governmental organisations, National Disaster Management Organisations, regional organisations, and the International Red Cross/Crescent Societies were also involved. However, this event stands as the first time such a training was conducted on a military vessel. The USNS Mercy was originally an oil tanker, redeveloped into a military medical hospital, complete with a surgery operation room for humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations.
“I found the environment and direct exposure to military responses throughout the training as a very insightful experience. Furthermore, the content on liaising, communicating and facilitating dialogues between civilian and military actors during emergency operations is also very crucial in the region, as military actors often are the first responders in emergency situations,” stated Janggam Adhityawarma, Assistant Director of Preparedness and Response, and the AHA Centre’s representative at the training.
Written by : Shintya Kurniawan | Photo : AHA Centre
PARTNERSHIP GROUP (APG)
The AADMER Partnership Group (APG) is a consortium of seven international civil society organisations, formed to support the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER). The APG works with the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (SCDM) and its Working Groups, the AHA Centre, and the ASEAN Secretariat, aiming towards a “people-centred implementation of AADMER”. It undertakes this function by raising awareness of AADMER, and by facilitating the engagement of civil society organisations throughout AADMER discussions and implementation. Currently, the APG operates in seven ASEAN Member States, namely, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. The APG’s members comprise of representatives from ChildFund International, HelpAge International, Mercy Malaysia, Oxfam, Plan Pnternational, Save the Children International, and World Vision International.
The APG forms the bridge between ASEAN’s work in disaster management and the key stakeholders within civil society organisations – whose proximity and reach with local communities forms a key element of all disaster management processes. Through a working partnership with the APG, the AHA Centre (and other ASEAN bodies) can ensure increased participation and understanding within the communities they serve. Since 2009, the AADMER Partnership Group has been working closely alongside the ACDM and its Working Groups, the ASEAN Secretariat, and the AHA Centre, on the implementation of AADMER for the ASEAN region. During these early years, ASEAN governments and the APG identified proposed areas of partnership between ASEAN and civil society organisations – including in disaster risk assessment and early warning – as well as practical actions towards preparedness, prevention and mitigation of disaster.
The APG works with the AHA Centre throughout a range of its programmes and process developments, ensuring the all-important community engagement aspect is present throughout the AHA Centre’s efforts. APG members have also been very active in supporting the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT) programme, as well as sending representatives to take part in the ASEAN ERAT trainings either as participants, trainers or observers. The APG often collaborates with the AHA Centre during disaster response, providing great support within a number of response efforts such as Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, and the Myanmar floods in 2015.
The group also played a key role in the AHA Centre’s development of a lessons learned document after Typhoon Haiyan. The involvement of the APG ensured valuable and relevant local insight and feedback within this outcome. Currently, the APG – in consultation with the AHA Centre – are developing a concept note on a Regional Alliance for Collective Emergency Response (RACER), under the CSO Partnership Framework (ACPF), and as part of the implementation of the AADMER Work Programme 2016-2020.
Dr. Heng Aik Cheng of MERCY Malaysia, and the Chair of the APG, emphasised the importance of the partnership during the recent One ASEAN One Response workshop in Jakarta, stating that the strength of civil society organisations lies in their proximity with populations affected by disaster. Staff from such organisations speak the local language, and are best placed to deliver important information and engage local stakeholders in the early stages of emergencies. Such a context is also highly valuable for preparedness engagements, therefore underlying the importance of partnerships such as seen between the APG and AHA Centre.
Written by : Carla Budiarto | Photo : AHA Centre
Viet Nam stands as one of the most disaster-prone countries in the ASEAN region, with over 70% of its dense population (almost 100 million people) often facing the adverse impacts of disaster – in particular due to hydrological events. Viet Nam’s geographical layout, population distribution, increased urbanisation and high numbers of vulnerable populations create a context for potential high-impact events within the nation’s borders, while climate change is also noted as having an increasing influence on the extremity of natural disasters in Viet Nam.
Viet Nam’s central and southern regions are particularly vulnerable to natural disaster events; however, its diverse landscape and topography ensure that all parts of the country are at high risk of natural disaster. The country is formed by mountainous areas, river deltas, highlands, islands and over 3,000km of coastline, with its tropical location causing monsoons, storms, floods and other events to strike the nation on a yearly basis. Viet Nam experiences both the northeast and southeast monsoon-winds, with its geographic layout meaning the nation is home two distinct climatic regions. All regions face extremely high rainfall levels, accentuated by a large system or rivers and deltas, resulting in ongoing vulnerability to flooding and other hydrological disasters.
Due to high rainfall, extreme weather occurrences, as well as the vast array of river and deltas across the nation, flood is one of the major types of disaster that affects Viet Nam’s population. The Northern river systems and basins account for over 75% of the north’s land area, resulting in multiple flooding events each year. Meanwhile in the Mekong river delta, floods are often generated from upstream events, resulting in inundation of the delta for months at a time. These events can have a severe impact on river-based communities – often threatening the lives, homes and livelihoods of the people who inhabit the river banks. Flash floods and mud floods also have great impact on mountain-based communities, caused by heavy rains and bad drainage systems. Such floods often strike communities across all four mountainous areas of Viet Nam, namely the north, central, central highlands and south-eastern regions.
Due to its location north-west of the Pacific Ocean, Viet Nam is one of the most storm-prone land masses in the world. Numbers of violent typhoons have continued to increase over recent decades, with the nation experiencing 10 to 15 typhoon events on average each year, historically affecting all geographic regions of Viet Nam. It is estimated that typhoons impact over 70% of Viet Nam’s population, with not only the initial storm, but the following heavy rains and floods also having an adverse effect on the nation’s communities.
LANDSLIDE AND EROSION
Landslide and erosion are also a common occurrence in Viet Nam, causing considerable losses to homes and agricultural land across the nation. Various natural and human activities cause such events, resulting in erosion to river banks, coastal areas, and multitudes of landslides on mountains and hillsides.
Viet Nam also experiences a range of other natural disasters across its landscapes, which although may pose limited short-term risk to human life, have an extensive impact on infrastructure, services and livelihoods within communities. Issues related to inundation are common, as are the impacts of drought and desertification. Cyclones are also an ongoing phenomenon, increasing in frequency with a changing climate.
Written by : William Shea
All information sourced from ‘Viet Nam Disaster Management Reference Handbook: 2015’, as developed by the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (CFE-DM).
MONTHLY DISASTER REVIEW AND OUTLOOK
APRIL 2018 | DISASTER MONITORING & ANALYSIS
(DMA) UNIT, AHA CENTRE
GENERAL OVERVIEW OF APRIL 2018
Flood and wind-related disasters had by far the highest number of occurrences during April 2018. ASEAN should remain prepared as changes in seasonal and weather patterns occur, increasing the probability and varying impact of hydro-meteorological disasters. According to the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), the northern ASEAN region continued through its traditional dry season, while wetter conditions were experienced in the south of the region, as the monsoon through and its associated rain-band settled close to the Equator. Hailstorms were a notable phenomenon last month in Lao PDR and North-Eastern Thailand, resulting in adverse impacts on power lines, infrastructure and agriculture.
22 moderate-to-strong earthquakes (> M 5.0) were observed across Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines during the month, causing minor disruptions locally, but without significant humanitarian impact. One notable event was the M 4.4 earthquake reported in Banjarnegara, Indonesia, with the shallow quake centre and the area’s loose soil conditions causing severe damage to 465 houses (57.8% suffered partial to total collapse).
Technological disasters also took place during April, most notably a range of landfill fires in Myanmar that threatened the health and livelihoods of significant numbers of residents in nearby areas. Significant numbers of people were affected by fumes resulting from these fires, with residents living close to the landfill site experiencing the worst conditions. Starting on the 21st of April, smoke from the fires covered 20 townships across Yangon, with an increased likelihood of adverse health effects – particularly for children and the elderly – experienced by almost 800,000 people within a 30 km radius of the fires.
OUTLOOK FOR MAY-JUNE 2018
The region is expected to gradually transition from the current Northeast Monsoon conditions, to the inter-monsoon conditions in May 2018 – in which low-level winds in the region are generally light and variable in direction, with an increase in shower activities to be expected. Some parts of the northern ASEAN region may continue to experience dry conditions in May 2018, but are likely to ease off with an increase in shower activities as the inter-monsoon period takes hold. For the southern ASEAN region, shower activities are expected over most parts of the area.
For the rest of the April-May-June 2018 season, the northern ASEAN region is likely to experience near-normal rainfall levels, aside from coastal areas of the Andaman Sea and the Philippines, where there is an increased chance of above-normal rainfall. In the southern ASEAN region, slightly below-normal to near-normal rainfall can be expected.
Written by : Mizan Bisri, Qing Yuan Pang
AHA Centre’s estimation is based on data and information shared by National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMOs) and other relevant agencies from ASEAN Member States, international organisations and news agencies. Further information on each recorded-significant disaster, description and details of data and information are available at: http://adinet.ahacentre.org/reports.
THE 9TH ASEAN-ERAT
Ten years since its first ASEAN-ERAT deployment – to support the response to Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar – the AHA Centre conducted its 9th ASEAN-ERAT Induction Course from the 26th of March until the 1st of April 2018, in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. With outstanding support from the Department of Disaster Management of Myanmar (DDM) as the host, the course was attended by 31 participants from nine of the ten ASEAN Member States. Participants came from an array of backgrounds, including National Disaster Management Organisations, Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Civil Society Organisations, Youth Groups, the ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR), and the AHA Centre itself. The 9th ASEAN-ERAT Induction Course was officially opened with an inspiring speech by Dr. Win Myat Aye, the Union Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement of Myanmar.
One of the key features of the 9th course was the simulation exercise scenario – which engaged one of the ASEAN Contingency Plans for large scale disaster – namely a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Metro Manila. Using this contingency plan scenario, the simulation exercise increased the feeling of authenticity for participants as they performed the ASEAN-ERAT core functions, including rapid damage and needs assessments and incoming ASEAN relief item facilitation. They also enacted the provision of on-site coordination support to the affected country’s local authorities, namely through the facilitation of coordination meetings between a range of ground-level stakeholders.
The simulation exercise also allowed ASEAN-ERAT participants to develop their working relationships with the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team, as part of the continued development of inter-operability between the Joint Operations and Coordination Centre of ASEAN (JOCCA) and the UN On-site Coordination Centre. Other components including personnel and team safety and security, as well as working with media were also tested during the simulation exercise. By simulating this response as part of the ASEAN-ERAT course, the AHA Centre has further enhanced the streamlining and capacity of ASEAN-ERAT within the ASEAN Contingency Plan development process.
Of particular note was the enthusiasm and spirit of the participants to deliver results during the non-stop, 48-hour simulation exercise. Given its intensity, the diversity of participants’ backgrounds, and varying skills across the different nationalities, the final results were considerably strong. These diversities and challenges were raised throughout the debrief session, often identified as considerable factors in shared-learning and strengthening the team.
Participants also valued the engagement of a range of external parties, including the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the International Red Cross/Crescent Societies (IFRC), Map Action, Télécoms Sans Frontières, and Myanmar Red Cross amongst others, which provided them the opportunity to familiarise themselves with other key actors who would work alongside them in the field. This also allowed participants to see the importance of stakeholder engagement in achieving the vision of One ASEAN, One Response within the ASEAN-ERAT programme.
The successful completion of the 9th ASEAN-ERAT Induction Course, supported by the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), alongside other previously-mentioned implementation partners, sees a current pool of 252 ASEAN-ERAT members across the region. Graduates were inaugurated during the Closing Ceremony by Ms. Adelina Kamal, Executive Director of the AHA Centre, together with the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement of Myanmar, Dr. U Soe Aung and Director General of DDM of Myanmar, Dr. Ko Ko Naing.
“We believe that the benefit of the ASEAN-ERAT goes beyond disaster response and that, because the ERAT teams are composed of government and NGO staff, participants are able to learn skills and get awareness of technologies and practices to take home and use in their current and future projects” – Sebastien Latouille, Delegate of Télécoms Sans Frontière.
“All of the new graduates should feel a great sense of pride. This very demanding course tested each of them and they all came through!” – Oliver Lacey-Hall, Head of UN-OCHA Indonesia/ASEAN Liaison Office.
“During the training, we made mistakes under the stress of the situation. But we could correct our mistakes and overcome the stress by working together and supporting each other as a team. We really appreciate the patience of our facilitators and mentors, for teaching us, for staying with us in the SimEx and sharing your knowledge and expertise with us” – Chan Nyein Thu, ASEAN-ERAT member Batch 9, Department of Disaster Management, Myanmar.
Written by: Grace Endina | Photo: AHA Centre
Disaster awareness and preparedness forms a key element within overall disaster management efforts, supporting significant decreases in severity of disaster impact on affected communities. While there is a vast array of science and knowledge behind awareness and preparedness, there remain many challenges in communicating such knowledge to a vast and diverse communities across the ASEAN region. Developing engaging, child and family-friendly tools for communicating disaster awareness and promoting preparedness is the defining element behind the creation of PREDIKT – the Preparedness for Disaster Toolkit – a unique and innovative toolkit designed by a group of young Indonesian change-makers. One of PREDIKT’s designers, Avianto “Anto” Amri, spoke to The Column about this innovative and interesting project.
The idea for PREDIKT came about due to the designer’s personal experiences of a lack of family-friendly information and tools for disaster awareness and preparedness in the home – particularly to support parents and their children on learning about disaster preparedness together. As many children are at home when disaster strikes, in-home learning forms a key element of overall disaster preparedness efforts, and empowers children and their families with the knowledge of what must be done should they face a disaster.
Initially, as part of his PhD studies, Anto designed a family disaster preparedness plan in the form of poster guidance cards that allowed children and their parents to learn essential steps for ensuring preparedness within their homes. Based on positive testing results, Anto teamed-up with Tasril “Iriel” Mulyadi (designer) and Wahyu “Billie” Minarto (child safety expert), to further develop and then submit
the toolkit to a Flood Resilience Innovation competition organised by the International Federation of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Zurich Insurance – a competition in which their innovation took out first place. This was followed by the team proposing for, and being awarded a grant for the toolkit through the United States Government-sponsored Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Seeds for the Future programme, and with the addition of another team member – Meliza “Liza” Rafdiana – PREDIKT hit the ground running.
PREDIKT itself is formed by a set of board games and physical learning materials that form a fun and hands-on way for children and their parents to learn about disaster preparedness at home. As the ASEAN region continues to modernise, many such tools have moved to online and electronic platforms – yet PREDIKT chose to focus on a more traditional, physical style. As stated by Anto, online platforms still face significant limitations within a rapidly developing ASEAN community.
“We wanted to create something offline because we know that there are still many places in Indonesia as well as in many ASEAN countries that do not have access to internet or even electricity.”
– Anto explains.
Here-in lies the inclusiveness and accessibility of the PREDIKT format. The team also aims to facilitate a fun and interactive atmosphere for the entire family, allowing children to engage with their parents and ask questions related to disaster preparedness.
The toolkit bases itself on five key elements, all of which add-up to form the reason for its attractiveness and functionality. PREDIKT has been developed to be easy to understand, using child-friendly wording and visual elements, and also aims to motivate children to discuss preparedness with their family. The toolkit always aims to remain affordable, alongside its offline status to ensure access for any family regardless of their situation. Finally, PREDIKT aims to be expandable, allowing it to be further developed to encompass a range of other relevant elements related to disaster hazards and preparedness functions. This expansion forms a key facet of PREDIKT’s plans for the near future. Currently focusing on 5 specific disaster hazards, the team is in the process of expanding the toolkit to cover a wider range of disaster content. Alongside this, they are also working
institutions to increase the toolkit’s inclusivity – with particular focus to children with visual impairments or other disabilities. Not disregarding the importance of online presence, PREDIKT also plans to focus towards building and strengthening their website as an online hub for child-friendly disaster preparedness information sharing.
As for the response, so far PREDIKT has received great praise – particularly from users themselves. “We continue to be amazed with the reactions of parents who have played PREDIKT”, says Anto. He recalls a mother who was particularly excited by the toolkit’s ability to allow her children to learn as they play. “She was excited that finally her children would take their eyes off their gadgets to engage with her in learning and games”. “It’s like taking a course on disaster preparedness, minus all the boring parts” says Anto as he quotes another response from a happy mother. The variety of positive responses continue to display the value in the engagement of children, as well as their desire to ask questions and learn more. These responses evidence the importance and aims of PREDIKT itself, as concluded by Anto when he stated that “PREDIKT really does fill the gap for children to learn, together with their parents, about disaster preparedness in a fun and interactive way”.
Written by : Shintya Kurniawan | Photo : AHA Centre, PREDIKT
EAS INTERNATIONAL DIASTER ASSISTANCE WORKSHOP
OFFER GLIMPSES OF ASEAN’S COLLECTIVE RESPONSE THE REGION
PERTH, AUSTRALIA, 8-10 MAY 2018
The AHA Centre will be expected to play a crucial and pivotal role in facilitating ASEAN collective response beyond the Southeast Asian region, in particular to provide disaster assistance to non-ASEAN countries who are participating in East Asia Summit (EAS). This formed a key theme for discussion during the EAS International Disaster Assistance Workshop, held in Perth, Australia, from the 8th to the 10th of May 2018.
The workshop presented the participants with a scenario in which multiple disaster events strike Australia simultaneously. Despite the calculated low odds of the reality of such events occurring simultaneously, the scenario would severely stretch the existing disaster management system in Australia. Under this scenario, Australia will be forced to call for international assistance.
Participants engaged from different agencies within the Australian Federal Government, Local State Governments, as well as representatives from the ten ASEAN countries and other eight EAS participating countries (i.e. Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russia, United States and New Zealand) to discuss the potential ramifications of this scenario. Points included Australia’s mobilisation of its internal resources and facilitation of international assistance, including the one from ASEAN.
The Southeast Asian region continues establish its roles and responsibilities within the global context – including within disaster management. ASEAN Leaders are in the process of repositioning themselves as a region with the capacity to provide disaster-related assistance to other regions in the world if required. This ambition is clearly stated in the ASEAN Declaration on One ASEAN One Response, signed by the ASEAN Leaders in September 2016. Therefore, the EAS workshop stands as a key initial step towards the goal of enabling ASEAN to respond collectively beyond the region. The AHA Centre, as the primary regional coordinating agency in disaster management, welcomed this opportunity to clarify the arrangements that must be in place to enable ASEAN in attaining the shared vision.
The workshop also represents the opportunity to partially test the EAS Disaster Response Toolkit developed by Australia and Indonesia in 2015. The Toolkit contains important information on how individual EAS participating countries may send and receive international assistance, as well as list of national focal points that could be contacted to arrange an offer of assistance. The workshop was co-hosted by Emergency Management Australia, the Government of Western Australia and the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency Authority (BNPB), in close collaboration with the AHA Centre.
Written by : Dipo Summa | Photo: Emergency Management Australia