Building the capacity of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre)

Project description

Title: Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Development of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre)
Commssioned by: German Federal Foreign Office
Country: ASEAN
Lead executing agency: The AHA Centre
Overall term: 2020 to 2021


Accounting for more than 50 per cent of global disaster mortalities, the territory of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is the most disaster-prone region in the world. The ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER), which entered into force in 2009, was concluded to tackle this problem. Operating through it, ASEAN has set up robust legal and political mechanisms involving institutions, systems, and processes to respond to disasters in the region. Once AADMER had entered into force, ASEAN Member States took steps to establish the AHA Centre. It serves as the motor that operates AADMER. The ASEAN Vision 2025 on Disaster Management maps out the broad direction of and provides policy guidance on implementing AADMER. It also outlines the expectation that ASEAN Member States have of the AHA Centre, which is to see it play a stronger role in facilitating capacity-building to elevate ASEAN Member States to a regionally and globally recognised standard. They would also like the AHA Centre to act as a platform for exchange and as a repository of information, where lessons learned and best practices can be shared. The ASEAN Declaration on One ASEAN One Response also affirms that the AHA Centre is the primary ASEAN regional coordinating agency for disaster management and emergency response. 

In order to fulfil its vision to become the leading organisation for ASEAN's disaster management and to facilitate and coordinate ASEAN’s efforts to reduce disaster losses and respond to disaster emergencies as one, the AHA Centre sees the need to improve its institutional capacities and work processes in its corporate units.


The AHA Centre as the regional coordination centre for disaster management and emergency response has improved the capacities and work processes of its corporate units. 


GIZ supports the AHA Centre by supporting it in building its institutional capacity and executing its corporate policies as described in the AHA Centre Work Plan 2020. This includes capacity development and institutional consolidation along five key components:

  • Internal Audit 
    The project works together with the Corporate Affairs Division to improve and enhance its capacities and functions for auditing, accountability and transparency vis-à-vis ASEAN Member States and cooperation partners. 
  • Legal Affairs 
    The project supports the Executive Director Office and Corporate Affairs Division in setting up a legal department and improving the abilities of relevant staff members to perform their tasks as internal legal advisors.
  • Human Resources Management 
    The project works closely together with the Human Resources Department to develop long-term HR strategies, modern recruitment systems and to further improve human resources management systems. It also supports the Human Resources Department in its further expansion. 
  • Management System 
    The project provides advice and recommendations to the Executive Director Office and Corporate Affairs Division on the international standards that are most relevant to the implementation of a quality management system at the AHA Centre. Further, the project supports and assists the AHA Centre in preparing for and passing the assessment for international standards on quality management and quality assurance. 
  • Communication
    Internal communication is of great importance for an organisation like the AHA Centre. Clear internal communication structures result in effective cooperation, which is of particular importance in the event of a disaster. This project supports the Communications Department to develop communication structures, guidelines, contents and tools to meet the growing communication challenges. 

Last update: March 2021