The AHA Centre Annual Report 2021 have the main theme of A YEAR OF TRANSITION: ACHIEVING GREATER AGILITY, in this case, the annual report concept capturing the transition of a butterfly wireframe into a stunning colourful digital butterfly, visualising the transition of AHA Centre from pandemic situation into normal situation, from conventional media into more interactive and digital media, transition into integrated finance system, and transition of a new leadership.


Building on the progress of the past 10 years, the AHA Centre’s focus in 2021 remains committed in facilitating cooperation amongst ASEAN Member States to reduce disaster loss and respond to disasters quickly.  This annual report showcases the various progress in which the AHA Centre had achieved in the Priority Programmes of ADDMER in 2021, notwithstanding the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

I am heartened to say that the AHA Centre has indeed come a long way since its inception a decade ago.

Mr. Eric Yap Wee Teck

Commissioner, Singapore Civil Defence Force
Chair of the Governing Board of the AHA Centre, 2021

The 10th anniversary of any institution is a great landmark, a milestone from which to look back at so much that has been achieved and how much more there remains to be done in the years ahead. As such, it can rightly be regarded as a point of transition, and in many ways for the AHA Centre 2021 was a year of transition.

Looking forward, the key elements in the AHA Centre’s disaster response policy are integrity and unity together with the spirit of One ASEAN, One Response.

Mr. Lee Yam Ming

Executive Director, The AHA Centre


Fulfilling its role as the primary ASEAN regional coordinating agency on disaster management and emergency response in accordance with the One ASEAN, One Response declaration, the AHA Centre coordinates closely with the governments of ASEAN Member States, ASEAN partners and humanitarian actors in disaster management. 

The highlights of this coordination in 2021 included the response to the devastating Typhoon RAI (Odette locally) in the Philippines in December; the ongoing mobilisation of COVID-19 relief items throughout the region but in particular to Viet Nam and Thailand; the official launch of the ASEAN Village in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, in June; and the provision of USD 1.1 million worth of medical supplies and equipment to the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) in September.

The AHA Centre’s work with all its partners in responding to the catastrophic Typhoon Rai in the Philippines, the provision of COVID-19 relief, the construction of the ASEAN Village, and the distribution of medical assistance to Myanmar demonstrated once again the vital role that collaboration with partners plays in disaster and emergency response in the region.

Typhoon RAI (Odette)

On the night of 14 December 2021 Typhoon Rai (Odette in the Philippines), which had originated from a tropical disturbance near the equator on 10 December, forming near the site of another low-pressure area that had dissipated on the previous day, entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). The next day the system’s intensity was raised to a low-end Category 1-equivalent typhoon. However, while approaching the Philippines, Rai unexpectedly and rapidly intensified into a Category 5 super typhoon. 

COVID-19 relief

Responding to disasters during the COVID-19 pandemic has become more complicated as National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMOs) have had to provide assistance and deal with the pandemic at the same time. In collaboration with Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), the AHA Centre mobilised relief items as a response to the latest outbreak of COVID-19 in Samut Sakhon Province, Thailand.

ASEAN Village launch

A series of strong earthquakes struck Central Sulawesi province in Indonesia in September 2018, creating a tsunami and triggering liquefaction. The triple disasters caused massive, widespread damage and loss of life and property, with 1.5 million people affected, 4,845 dead or missing, and 4,438 severely injured. The triple disasters were designated as catastrophic based on the AHA Centre’s categorisation. With the shift to the recovery phase, the Government of Indonesia called for immediate action to rehabilitate and reconstruct, with a focus on building permanent housing. 


Myanmar response

In line with the implementation of the Point 4 of the “Five Point Consensus” on Myanmar agreed at the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting on 24 April 2021, the two-pronged approach to operationalise the Point-4 have been developed and approved by the Governing Board of the AHA Centre in August 2021.  The two-pronged approach comprising of Phase-1 (Life-Saving) or the provision of the immediate needs towards the COVID-19 response and mitigation and Phase-2 (Life-Sustaining) or the provision of the broader humanitarian needs.

The implementation of the Phase-1 commenced by the handed over of the USD 1.1 million worth of medical supplies and equipment from the Secretary-General of ASEAN at his capacity as SG-AHAC to the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) in support of that nation’s COVID-19 response and mitigation in a virtual ceremony held on 15 September 2021.


As the coordinating centre and emergency response in the region it is essential that the AHA Centre monitors threats and ongoing disasters and collects, analyses and provides the relevant data to support key players in disaster management in a timely manner. To achieve this the Centre is continually developing inter-connectivity among hazard-monitoring platforms both at a global and regional level and incorporates the relevant information into the AHA Centre’s information platforms.

There are several key platforms that the AHA Centre uses in its disaster information management strategy. Most notably is the ASEAN Disaster Information Network (ADINet), which is a repository of information concerning hazards and disasters that have happened in the region to which the AHA Centre can add new information when relevant and as necessary. ADINET has been recording disaster information in the region since the AHA Centre became operational in 2012. 

The ASEAN Disaster Monitoring and Response System (DMRS) was designed in partnership with the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC), with the support of the Government of the United States of America. DMRS receives constant information feeds from the PDC system showing real time information of the hazards in the region as they happen, as well as hydrometeorological data, such as wind direction and speed, clouds, sea temperature, etc. 

The Web Emergency Operations Centre (WebEOC) is an online-based platform to facilitate coordination and exchange of information among the Member States during emergency response. Member States can monitor the situation on the ground, based on the information fed by the relevant NDMO, as well as the AHA Centre field teams. The WebEOC is only activated when a disaster happens. Meanwhile DAKO is a platform for data collection, survey and analysis to assist rapid damage and needs assessment, which is used by the AHA Centre especially during emergency response operations.



The period of monitoring for 2021 is from 30 December 2020 until 2 January 2022


In order to provide the most rapid and best-targeted response to any disaster in the region, it is essential that the AHA Centre has access to accurate and up-to-date data and information. ADINet is at the core of the AHA Centre’s disaster information management system and among the disaster monitoring tools used by the AHA Centre is DMRS. 

ADINet provides the necessary disaster information data to the DMRS for further monitoring and analysis and to the WebEOC as a platform for coordination and exchange of information among the Member States during an emergency response. Disaster data will have a specific AHA Centre Disaster ID (AHADID). DAKO works as a tool for data collection. The results from DAKO can be shared with the WebEOC for it to perform its role as an exchange of information platform among the Member States.


The AHA Centre Information Management Network (AIM-Net), through the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the European Union (EU), was formally established and launched in February 2021. 

Aimed at strengthening Disaster Information Management and Information Systems Interoperability capacities, capabilities, and practices of Emergency Operations Centres at the national and regional level, AIM-Net is aligned with the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme 2021-2025 and the AHA Centre Work Plan 2025.


As the worldwide transition from in-person to online began to swing, incrementally, back to in-person in 2021, the AHA Centre’s dedicated team once again rose to adapt to the challenges faced and used innovative methods to get their message across and reach out to ASEAN and the wider world. Using every available means of information technology and in alliance with government and private sector partners, the AHA Centre harnessed innovation to ensure it continued to play its crucial role as a regional leader in facilitating the development of knowledge, including the exchange of expertise, and influencing and disseminating best practices and lessons learned in disaster management.

ACE Programme Batch Seven

In July 2021, the AHA Centre belatedly welcomed Batch Seven of the participants in the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme. Batch Seven comprised 21 future leaders in disaster management in the region, with two from Brunei Darussalam, one from Cambodia, two from Indonesia, three from Lao PDR, two from Malaysia, two from Myanmar, four from the Philippines, one from Singapore, and two each from Thailand and Viet Nam; of the participants 11 were female.

Humanitarian Emergency Logistics and Innovation Expo (HELiX)

In this rapidly changing world and in the face of the challenges presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) when so much seems to be in transition; innovation and how to adapt to innovation are key elements in any management strategy, especially in relation to disaster management. This is particularly so as we learn the lessons of two years of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Knowledge, engagement and collaboration are essential in actualising and executing innovative ideas. 

In this spirit and with the aim of capturing new and emerging innovations in the field of humanitarian logistics, provoking insights and constructive discussions, as well as being a convergence between innovators and potential users, the AHA Centre held the Humanitarian Emergency Logistics and Innovation Expo (HELiX) virtually from 24 to 25 May 2021.

Online engagement

Online engagement

In terms of online engagement throughout 2021, in line with previous years the AHA Centre saw a steady increase in activity on all its social media platforms as well as on its main website. In this day and age, and especially as a result of the transition to working from home (WFH) and hybrid learning, it is not enough that organisations print reports and issue statements, to be fully engaged it is essential that they participate in all forms of online activity and on all platforms.

AHA Centre at the
Crossroads podcast series

The AHA Centre, with support from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), worked to broaden its communications and outreach, including on social media.

The Column

In July 2021, the AHA Centre belatedly welcomed Batch Seven of the participants in the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme. Batch Seven comprised 21 future leaders in disaster management in the region, with two from Brunei Darussalam, one from Cambodia, two from Indonesia, three from Lao PDR, two from Malaysia, two from Myanmar, four from the Philippines, one from Singapore, and two each from Thailand and Viet Nam; of the participants 11 were female.


The management of resources is one of the four core functions of the AHA Centre. In 2021 the AHA Centre in collaboration with its partners sought to ensure the continued efficient management and effective mobilisation and provision of assets and assistance to Member States in response to disasters within the region, and once again it had to so against the background of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

MoU and MoI with DDPM Thailand and Temasek Foundation

On 8 June 2021 the AHA Centre signed two agreements designed to strengthen disaster management in the region during the AADMER Partnership Conference (APC), which was held virtually. As the primary regional coordinating agency in disaster management in the region, the AHA Centre in cooperation with the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) of the Ministry of Interior of the Kingdom of Thailand will work together to ensure the speed, efficiency, and scale of an ASEAN response in the Indo China region. 

ASCEND Programme

Progress continued to be made in 2021 in the ASEAN Standards and Certification for Experts in Disaster Management (ASCEND) programme, which was launched on 22 September 2020. ASCEND is an initiative by the ASEAN Member States to enhance the quality of human resources in disaster management by establishing a common set of standard skills and competencies, along with their validation process. The ASCEND programme targets disaster management professionals in the region who are working in government institutions, NGOs and the private sector.

ASCEND Baseline Study

ASEAN Occupations Mapping in Disaster Management

ASCEND Toolbox and Certification

DFAT Project

Approved by the Governing Board of the AHA Centre on 16 October 2020, the Government of Australia represented by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade-Australian Mission to ASEAN launched the project to strengthen the AHA Centre’s Capability to Respond Effectively to Human-Induced Crises project. The project aimed to develop the internal capacity of the AHA Centre in supporting humanitarian assistance during human-induced disasters, including conflict situations. It had two major components: the development of a system that would allow the AHA Centre to assist in human-induced crises (outcome 1), and the development of the capacities of the staff of the AHA Centre, as well as selected ASEAN-ERAT members, through training and workshops (outcome 2).


There were several key achievements of ASEAN-ERAT in 2021. To continue the capacity building of the ASEAN-ERAT members amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the AHA Centre initiated the ASEAN-ERAT Coaching Clinic and ASEAN-ERAT Refresh Our Mind. The AHA Centre initiated the ASEAN-ERAT Refresh Our Mind series for three ASEAN-ERAT specialisations: Rapid Needs and Damage Assessment; Information Management; and humanitarian logistics. Each series was intended as refreshment of the selected competency by focusing on critical thinking, informal discussion, and experience sharing amongst the ASEAN-ERAT members in less than 100 minutes.

In total 36 ASEAN-ERAT members (56% of whom were female) attended the series of the ASEAN-ERAT Refresh Our Mind. The AHA Centre received positive feedback from the ASEAN-ERAT members who participated in the series. They felt refreshed, engaged, and were able to absorb learning in a short time.

ICT Phase IV

Phase IV of the ICT Roadmap on Disaster Management for 2025 and Beyond project was successfully completed on 31 Dec 2021. The project was funded by the Government of Japan through JAIF. Most of the ICT Roadmap components were used as a reference document in the AADMER Work Plan and have been mainstreamed into the plan.

The ICT Roadmap is a guideline to ensure the work programmes or initiatives of the AHA Centre’s ICT functions are aligned and relevant with the organisation’s plans and strategic direction. It is a multi-purpose tool that will serve as a guideline for ICT infrastructure and solutions for the AHA Centre and its network with the ASEAN Member States and is expected to become an important guideline not only for the AHA Centre, but also for all Member States to further enhance the ICT capabilities for the betterment of disaster management of ASEAN region.

ToT Myanmar Capacity Building

The Enhancing the Readiness of Myanmar Government Local Capacity in Providing Humanitarian Assistance to Support the Repatriation Process project, which began on 23 August 2019 supported by JAIF, was completed on 31 December 2021.


The objectives of the project were threefold, to strengthen the local capacity in Myanmar to provide humanitarian assistance to support the repatriation process in Rakhine State in the areas of needs assessment, logistic management, coordination, and reception and transit centre management referencing basic ASEAN-ERAT tools and mechanisms, the training programme was customised and adapted to reflect the context of the humanitarian intervention.


The AHA Centre is an inter-governmental organisation that by necessity works with many partners and stakeholders and their ongoing willingness to engage, support, and work with the AHA Centre has been the key factor in its development over the past 10 years. The AHA Centre greatly values the support it has received from its partners since its establishment until now, in realizing the AHA Centre’s goal of becoming a global leader in disaster management. The technical assistance provided and the relationships that have been built have been a strong foundation in developing disaster resilience and reinforcing the vision of One ASEAN, One Response. The Centre recognises the key roles played by the NDMOs of all Member States, and their engagement, support, and input, as well as that of all the dialogue, development, and disaster management partners whose support has been invaluable and we look forward to continued collaboration in the coming years.

Partnership Forum

To commemorate the AHA Centre’s 10th anniversary, the Centre hosted a virtual Partnership Forum on 26 November 2021. The event was designed to celebrate the partnerships that have been forged over the years and to express appreciation to all partners and stakeholders for their support for the Centre and the region.

To commemorate the AHA Centre’s 10th anniversary, the Centre hosted a virtual Partnership Forum on 26 November 2021. The event was designed to celebrate the partnerships that have been forged over the years and to express appreciation to all partners and stakeholders for their support for the Centre and the region.

Dialogue Partners


European Union


Republic of India


Republic of Korea (RoK)



United Kingdom

Disaster Management Partners

AADMER Partnership Group


Anticipation Hub

ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC)

Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies (DKI-APCSS)

Direct Relief

Earth Observatory Singapore (EOS)

HELP Logistics

Impact Week


Map Action

Pacific Disaster Center (PDC)

PulseLab Jakarta

Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

RedR Australia

Sentinel Asia – OPTEMIS

Temasek Foundation

The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB)

United Nations

United Parcel Service (UPS)

University of Canterbury and New Zealand Aid

US Forest Service (USFS)


Well-regulated and transparent corporate governance is essential as it assures the Governing Board, partners, and stakeholders about the integrity of the internal processes within the AHA Centre. The Centre reaffirms its commitment to ensuring that it will continue to strive to become a world-class institution within ASEAN that is comparable with other regional and global institutions.

2021 was also a challenging year; the AHA Centre had engaged several well-known consulting firms, such as EY, Korn Ferry and KPMG, in realising its commitment to becoming a trusted organisation in the region. These consultancies included a gap-analysis assessment of internal controls to identify areas of improvement, an internal communication assessment and recommendations, and a crisis communications manual for the AHA Centre, updating the corporate manuals and improving the existing induction programme.

Furthermore, during the year, the AHA Centre also Introduced an Anti-Fraud and Anti-Corruption programme. The policy aims to deepen the trust and confidence of the Member States and the Centre’s partners and donors in line with the international standard. All staff members have attended the training on Anti Fraud and Anti Corruption practices. 

Human Resources and Administration

HR Business continuity

Key functional areas of the Human Resources Team are staffing and workforce planning, compensation, benefits administration, equity and relations, policy development, succession planning, training and development, HR system administration, compliance reporting, safety/risk management and personnel management.

Working from Home Arrangements and COVID-19 Vaccination

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AHA Centre implemented Working-From-Home (WFH) arrangements that started in March 2020, with limited impact on the AHA Centre’s productivity and work. To ensure that all activities were implemented according to plans and went smoothly. The AHA Centre successfully shifted to remote working while maintaining its operations and expanding its support to help its staff members and Member states tackle the multifaceted impacts of the crisis. The AHA Centre digitalised its platforms and processes, such as online monitoring of its Work Plan and activities, learning management systems, online communication and online financial transactions processing and verification.

2021 Financials Overview

2021 was an exciting year, and several activities were implemented in a new normal arrangement. As a result, significant income and expenditure fluctuations against the budget have been recorded.


Internal Control and Auditing

The AHA Centre has appropriate financial controls in place, which have operated effectively and reliably over the past years. One of the achievements in enhancing the financial control mechanism was that the AHA Centre had engaged the first-tier auditing firm EY to assess the Internal Control to provide oversight of the internal control process, weaknesses and recommendations for improvement. The assessment was completed at the end of the year. There were a few recommendations that the AHA Centre will use to address in the coming year to strengthen the internal controls. 

The AHA Centre Annual Report 2021

Copyright of the AHA Centre 2022. All rights reserved.