The ASEAN Pilot Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination Course. Photo credit: AHA Centre
26 Sep 2019
Building capacity in civil-military relations at the AHA Centre

An Australia Assists technical specialist deployed through RedR Australia has led the design and delivery of a pilot ASEAN humanitarian civil-military coordination course to help build the capacity of civilian and military emergency responders across the ASEAN Region.

For eight months, civil-military specialist Jenny Lee was deployed to the AHA Centre in Jakarta, Indonesia, the regional disaster management coordination centre of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Here Jenny worked to design a pilot ASEAN civil-military coordination course for the ASEAN-Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) and the military sector of ASEAN. The course aims to build the capacity of ASEAN responders to build relations that will help with the scale and speed of the ASEAN response.

"The purpose of the pilot ASEAN humanitarian civil military coordination course was to assist the AHA Centre, ASEAN-ERAT members and ASEAN military members to realise how they can enhance and streamline existing ASEAN civil military coordination mechanisms, but also to realise principles of One ASEAN and One Response,” said Jenny.

“What the AHA Centre has learned through this pilot course is important because it provides other emergency response partners on appropriate and nuanced approaches to supporting emergency response in the ASEAN Region."

To develop a course that was relevant and contextualised for the ASEAN region, Jenny facilitated a course content development workshop attended by eleven organisations, including representatives from ministries of defence across Asia, United Nations agencies and ASEAN disaster management organisations.

The course content development workshop facilitated by Australia Assists deployee Jenny. Photo credit: AHA Centre

On July 8-11, Jenny delivered the pilot course to ASEAN-ERAT and military colleagues, which included a visit from the Australian Ambassador to ASEAN H.E. Jane Duke on the final day.

"This is the pilot so we foresee huge changes to the course in the future before it is mainstreamed within the ASEAN-ERAT training,” said Jenny.

“I also ensured gender considerations during humanitarian civil-military coordination planning was included in the course, which was assisted greatly by UNHCR. My hope is that these portions of the course will develop for the better with contributions from other experts as well."

AHA Centre Executive Director Adelina Kamal said the pilot course was significant as it defines how the AHA Centre and ASEAN-ERAT will play a key role in humanitarian civil-military coordination in ASEAN.

“Jenny masterfully designed the curriculum of the pilot course, through a collaborative and consultative process involving not only the AHA Centre’s staff but also the ASEAN Member States - both civilian and military sides - and various partners and stakeholders,” said Adelina Kamal.