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March News

In March, we were happy to deploy LACER expert on Emergency Operations Centre Development, Anders Fridborg to Jakarta. He began integrated work with AHA Centre emergency operations staff on planning EOC exercises (EOCX). Read about this and other LACER activities in our March update.

Essentially, the LACER project aims to strengthen the institutional capacity of the AHA Centre to become a highly professional and trusted organisation that effectively carries out its operational mandate in facilitating and coordinating regional disaster preparedness and response, sharing European best practices and facilitating and building sustained institutional ASEAN – EU exchange. The project aims to plan for, implement and sustain organisational development using a comprehensive strategic approach. In real terms, this means that the project will not independently deliver ready products to the AHA Centre, but is committed to building sustained capacities over time.

The project is in implementation phase. Some LACER activities have not been fully implemented during the project period, which has prompted a discussion on mutual expectations and prioritisation of outputs. A no cost extension has been agreed, which extends the project implementation period to a total of 48 months.

Support information management systems (A3.2)

During the reporting period, LACER staff began populating the LACER-AHA Centre Digital Archive with project data accessible to all staff. Although this remains a work in progress, the effort has thus far yielded a range of material including the following areas:

Development of EOC/Duty Officer function in AHA Centre and NDMOs (D1.1)

Conduct functional exercises of ERO function and evaluate (E1.1)

Joint assessment of pathway for further development of AHA Centre Training & exercise plan (F1.2)

The LACER expert on Emergency Operations Centre Development, Anders Fridborg, deployed to Jakarta on 14 March 2023 and began integrated work with AHA Centre emergency operations staff on planning EOC exercises (EOCX) which are meant to occur quarterly for all AHA staff as well as ERAT roster members and NDMO focal points. Planning of the EOCX is currently underway, albeit delayed by an unforeseen ASEAN assessment mission to Myanmar and a large number of national holidays in member states throughout March-April. A date will shortly be selected for the first exercise, and in that light the LACER expert has already presented a draft plan for EOCX 1:

Besides planning and implementing the first EOCX of 2023, expert Anders Fridborg will also design a template for use in future ASEAN exercises (F1.2), support the ASEAN Information Management Network workshop planned for 2023, and prepare a visit of NDMO EOC experts to the ERCC and DG ECHO in Brussels. His efforts will also contribute to general observations on the methods of disaster monitoring and analysis within the AHA Centre EOC, which will prove valuable in further LACER activities such as D1.3 Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) on monitoring & analysis.

Support development of ASEAN-ERAT training (F3.4)

Organisational learning requires continuous reflection on and assessment of organisational performance, honestly reviewing successes and failures, while ensuring that learning takes place to support continuous improvement.

LACER’s engagement with the ASEAN-ERAT training has focussed on identifying areas for continuous improvement, while highlighting recent achievements and potential gaps. LACER experts have thus encouraged AHA Centre teams to continually evaluate their training efforts, using for instance an after action review (AAR) tool. The AAR is a simple method for facilitating an assessment of organisational performance by bringing together a team to discuss a task or activity in a transparent and candid manner. The systematic application of properly conducted AARs across an organisation can help drive organisational change and internal learning.

On 2 March, LACER experts participated in the AAR of the recently completed ERAT Induction Training. With participation from all partners involved in the training (NDMOs, MapAction, OCHA, Telecoms sans frontierès, LACER), this AAR proved to be a key process for evaluating training efforts and reviewing progress based on the varying perspeecitves of facilitators, observers and organisers. LACER experts provided a summary of feedback and recommendations, while praising the overall professionalism of trainers and organisers from AHA Centre.

Thereafter, LACER Learning and Development expert Olivia Setkic shared a 10-page report based on her extensive observations from attending the training. The report provides a large number of recommendations (29) on improving the learning outcomes for individual participants as well as enhancing the impact of presenters and mentor dialogues. All recommendations are accompanied by detailed justification. Many offer unique insights into the learning process, such as how to turn unconscious learning into tacit learning, ways to build more trust among participants and facilitators, and relatively simple measures which can futher assist AHA ERAT staff in improving individual performance and overall results of the process. LACER plans to follow up with the ASEAN-ERAT team on these points.