“The contributions of RedR to the AHA Centre not only helped shape ASEAN disaster management tools and mechanisms, the partnership with RedR also contributed immensely to enhance AHA Centre capacities to be the primary coordinating agency of ASEAN.”
— Deputy Executive Director, AHA Centre.
Climate crises in Timor-Leste
Australia Assists has stood with Timor-Leste’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, via FAO, and the Ministry of Interior (MOI), to shift a national crisis response approach towards one of proactive planning. Five deployments have contributed across the disaster cycle, implementing multi-hazard risk legislation, coordinating flash flooding response and safeguarding social inclusion, as communities recover from, and build resilience against, future civil unrest.
Carly and Neil worked directly with the MOI Director General to provide flood modelling for the Dili area and reinforce recovery coordination. Initiated by Carly, a logistics agreement between the MOI Civil Protection Directorate and WFP, as well as policy-level engagement with The World Bank and UNDRR, are helping ensure that essential supplies are reaching communities. Neil’s flood mitigation strategies continue to enhance community resilience.
Regional support to ASEAN
Deployments brought logistics and donor financing expertise to the AHA Centre to expand mobilisation capacity. Leigh helped decentralise and localise the Centre’s funding model, which will improve financial sustainability and empower partners within member states. David’s supply-chain feasibility assessment provides technical recommendations for more efficient warehousing to enhance disaster readiness throughout the region.
‘Our triple pioneer’ to the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)
Sriraman, a Capacity Development and Deployments Expert, was not only the program’s first deployee to India, he was also the first to be jointly recruited by RedR India, and one of two first deployees at CDRIⁱ. He and Anne, a Projects Expert, are playing key roles in the early design and implementation of projects that will contribute to disaster risk reduction through urban infrastructure and social resilience.
Pivots and surge – COVID-19
Across Asia, seven Australia Assists deployees supported COVID-19 preparedness and response, either pivoting from a previous role or surging into a COVID-19 specific role.
Pivot to COVID-19 – Jock, a Disaster Recovery and Risk Reduction Specialist with UNDP Laos, pivoted from his original flood recovery role to support the national government response by developing a harmonised multi-sector approach to COVID-19 programming.
“Jock’s strength in sharing his humanitarian background created a platform for the transfer of skills, new initiatives, innovation, and set-up of new systems that supported both programmatic dimensions, operations and duty of care throughout 2020.”
— UN Resident Coordinator, on deployee, Jock.
Surge for COVID-19 – Ivy built on Jock’s work, updating contingency planning as the realities of COVID-19 impacted crisis management and response. This ensures that UN agencies and local partners can maintain operations with minimal disruptions.
In Pakistan, Mahmood applied a COVID-19 lens to his work as a Humanitarian Communications Expert with UNFPA, developing awareness materials related to reproductive health and gender-based violence.
ⁱ CDRI is a multi-stakeholder global partnership of country governments, UN agencies, multilateral banks, the private sector and knowledge institutions that aims to build resilience into infrastructure systems for sustainable development.
What challenges emerged?
The absence of a dedicated presence in Asia limits the extent to which the program can broker new and build on existing partnerships. To mitigate this, RedR Australia has begun to leverage deeper engagement with Asian-based RedR organisations such as RedR India and RedR Indonesia, in addition to existing program partners in the region.