On 20 January 2017, the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) adopted the Regional Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (RVA) Guidelines, a priority of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) 2010-2015. RVA is viewed as a critical tool for disaster risk reduction, providing the necessary steps to identify vulnerabilities, devise mitigation strategies, and—ultimately—reduce disaster losses. RVA has not been commonly employed across the region to help officials draw disaster risk reduction strategies. Not until this year have RVA Guidelines in ASEAN been regionally codified under “Regional” RVA Guidelines.
Over the course of 18 months beginning in late 2014, the U.S. Government through ASEAN-U.S. Partnership for Good Governance, Equitable and Sustainable Development and Security (PROGRESS), a joint project of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of State and ASEAN, has provided technical assistance to the ACDM through its Working Group on Risk Assessment and Awareness (WG-RAA) to develop Regional RVA Guidelines. Beginning with in-depth discussions on technical and institutional requirements for regional risk assessment and continuing with a series of four workshops, PROGRESS supported the process of developing a shared ASEAN approach to developing Regional RVA Guidelines. Now that the Regional RVA Guidelines are established and available online on the AHA Centre website (www. ahacentre.org), National Disaster Management Authorities (NDMAs) will have the necessary tools to implement a regionally consistent approach to disaster risk reduction strategies at the national level.
The new Guidelines include tools to identify natural and human-induced hazards, risk assessment, monitoring of vulnerabilities, and disaster management capacities. The Guidelines will promote cross-boundary response planning, helping NDMAs anticipate potential impacts and relative capacity to cope with them at the national level, identifying high-risk areas, and supporting cross-boundary risk governance initiatives. Eventually, information on risk and vulnerabilities of each AMS will also be incorporated into the AHA Centre’s Disaster Monitoring and Response System to support decision making at the ASEAN regional level. Please click here to download the RVA Guideline.