Chair of the AHA Centre Governing Board
USEC. RICARDO B. JALAD
Executive Director National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and Administrator, Office of Civil Defense, the Philippines
2020 was a unique year for all ASEAN Member States, as well as all governments, institutions and communities around the world. This context was not something the Philippines expected when we took on the role of Chair of the Governing Board of the AHA Centre from Myanmar at the end of 2019. However, in 2020 we witnessed the innovation, flexibility and readiness to work under any conditions that the AHA Centre has become renowned for over the last decade.
The AHA Centre also must be commended for its capacity to maintain and expand partnerships, and provide transparency and engagement with partners through its annual partnership forum.
Executive Director of the AHA Centre
Transformation was always central to the AHA Centre’s work and future plans, and has always formed a core component of how the AHA Centre approaches disaster management in the ASEAN region and beyond.
The AHA Centre was able to explore topics and ideas in further depth and with a wider scope, and we were able to engage more people from increasingly diverse backgrounds and locations than ever before
While the AHA Centre had always planned to be innovative and increase our engagement through new and diverse approaches, it was the context of 2020 that somewhat forced us to realise the actual value in these innovations.
TRANSFORMATION THROUGH ADVERSITY:
Coordinating Disaster in the Midst of a Global Pandemic
There is little need to highlight that 2020 was a challenging and unique year. As the COVID-19 pandemic quickly took hold across the world, the AHA Centre – similar to almost all governments, organisations, businesses and communities – was forced to overhaul its working operations, and take almost all activities into working from home and online arrangements.
Disaster would not be stopped by COVID-19, and neither would the AHA Centre in its role coordinating disasters for
the ASEAN region.
While programmes and activities were once limited to numbers of seats and consumption budgets, the world of online engagement would transform the AHA Centre’s understanding and approach to the opportunities it opens, and see the team asking just how far can they extend their reach and impact within this alternative approach to outreach.
2020 may have been a year of adversity across the globe – and there remains many more challenges to face – but it was a year in which the AHA Centre stood up in disaster management circles once more. It was a year in which adversity required transformation, and such transformation has defined a new future for the AHA Centre, as well as ASEAN disaster management approaches in general.
Tropical Storms LINFA and NANGKA
DELSA Regional Stockpile
in Subang, Malaysia
shelter repair kits
Lao PDR (16K)
Viet Nam (801K)
Lao PDR (2)
Viet Nam (111)
of agriculture land damaged
Super Typhoon GONI
DELSA Satellite Warehouse in Camp Aguinaldo, Manila, the Philippines (with a value of almost USD 900,000)
rolls of tarpaulins
shelter repair kits
outdoor family tents
indoor family tents
A total of
persons were affected
An estimate of
$ 267 million
worth of damages to infrastructures
A total of
persons were displaced in 7,153 evacuation centres
Pandemic Relief Support
DISASTER MONITORING AND ANALYSIS
Disaster in Numbers
- Occurance Count per year
per Hazard Category
Weekly Disaster Updates
Regardless of the global context for 2020, the AHA Centre’s Disaster Monitoring and Analysis team found a way to continue monitoring and disseminating disaster -related data, and supporting a number of disaster responses that look across the region.
KNOWLEDGE AND OUTREACH
Webinars in Number:
The impact of climate change on disaster and the threat it poses to the ASEAN region took centre stage in the second edition of the ASEAN Risk Monitor and Disaster Management Review (ARMOR). Under the title “Time is Running Out: Why ASEAN Must Act Now against Climate Emergencies”, the publication explores scientific perspectives regarding the influence of climate change related to the risk and threat of disasters, and provides information for ASEAN Member States to better prepare, mitigate, respond and recover from disasters – in particular those caused by the increasing threat of climate change.
To maintain the momentum from the launch of the ARMOR 2nd Edition, and to increase the engagement and influence of the publication within the disaster management sector, the AHA Centre developed a webinar series to discuss, debate and share ideas on the content found within the newest ARMOR instalment. The series consists of four separate sessions, with the first taking place in short time after the
The complete postponement of the ACE Programme’s seventh batch was a necessary outcome, but did not mean that the ACE door would be closed for the entire year.
ACE Programme alumni were invited to participate in a webinar series that aimed to enhance understanding of the complexity of disaster management, and to trigger new ways of thinking that builds upon knowledge previously gained through the ACE programme.
Website and Social Media
AHA Centre Website
The AHA Centre’s monthly newsletters also continued to be a source of information during 2020, as The Column kept the region’s disaster managers informed and engaged on the AHA Centre happenings from afar. A new edition was published every month for the year, and continued to see increases in reader numbers in its online, accessible microsite form.
After Action Review
2020 saw the implementation of a large After-Action Review (AAR) that looked back at the array of disaster responses coordinated by the AHA Centre during the 2018 year.
The activity also formed part of the ASEAN- ERAT Transformation Plan implementation, that is being undertaken to address improvements and development across all components of the ASEAN-ERAT system in disaster response.
Coming off significant developments throughout the past few years – including the expansion of the programme through the opening of two regional satellite warehouses – the sustainability of the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA) network once more required the attention of the AHA Centre.
With the realisation that the challenges confronting the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT) programming would continue into 2021, the AHA Centre quickly set to readjusting plans to deliver this all-important
The certification will support the AHA Centre and ASEAN Member States to determine the skills and expertise available for their utilisation at times of disaster, while the competency standards also serve as a credible reference to guide disaster management institutions and organisations when they are developing their own specific trainings programmes for ASEAN disaster management professionals.
AHA Centre Planning and Processes
After Action Review
In early 2020, before the pandemic had taken hold globally, the AHA Centre held its annual planning session to map out its workplan for the year ahead.
While 2020 may not have unfolded in line with expectations from the planning workshop, the event set a strong platform for the team to overcome the challenges that the oncoming year would provide.
2020’s mid-term review workshop may have taken place in a different setting, but still managed to provide valuable insights and action points for the organisation moving forward. 42 staff members took part in the five-day event that included briefings on the organisation’s work, group sessions to review the work plan for the upcoming term, and sessions to provide strategy and direction for programme continuity within the pandemic and ‘new normal’ contexts.
ICT Work from Home
A significant outcome for the AHA Centre during 2020 was the implementation of its Partnership Forum, with the event engaging 40 partner organisations under the theme Transforming through Uncertainty.
The forum provided a platform for the AHA Centre’s partners to share their lessons learned and insights into ASEAN disaster management with the participants.
Republic of Korea
Disaster Management Partners
Lien Centre for Social Innovation- Singapore Management University
Red Cross and
More than USD 2.7 million was provided to the AHA Centre from ASEAN Dialogue Partners and other organisational partners, which contributed to a total revenue inflow of slightly over USD 4.3 million to the AHA Centre in 2020.
Voluntary contribution from the ADMER Fund
Annual and equal contributions from the ASEAN Member States to the AHA Centre Fund