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Raising the Bar for ASEAN Disaster Response
New Regional Training Curriculum for Logistics and Supply Chain Management First Responders
January 31, 2024


United States extends its support to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in developing a comprehensive humanitarian logistics training curriculum to enhance regional capacity to respond to disaster


Covering a geographic area of approximately 4.5 million km, and boasting a population of over 625 million, the ASEAN region experiences a variety of natural disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes, and forest fires. With escalating frequency and intensity of natural disasters, conflicts, and other humanitarian crises, equipping professionals with the necessary skills and knowledge to handle logistics operations efficiently has become crucial. To protect development gains and ensure continued stability and growth for the region, ASEAN is strengthening its collective capacity to handle humanitarian logistics when disaster strikes with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).


Whether it be an earthquake, flash flood, or typhoon, time is of the essence when disaster strikes. First responders who handle emergency humanitarian logistics know that mere minutes can make all the difference when it comes to lives saved. In Southeast Asia, one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world, ASEAN has been taking necessary steps to strengthen regional capacity to respond to disaster effectively. With the support of USAID, ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) recently developed a new regional curriculum that will be used to train disaster management first responders on humanitarian logistics.

The new humanitarian logistics training curriculum targets officer-level staff of National Disaster Management Organizations (NDMOs) across the ASEAN member states. It was specifically designed to align with the available ASEAN Standards and Certification for Experts in Disaster Management (ASCEND) adopted by ASEAN member states in October 2017. Importantly, the curriculum incorporates gender and social inclusion considerations into its design. The training curriculum thus serves as a model for national training providers on how to adopt the ASCEND standards when designing a training program and prepare the trainees for the ASCEND certification assessment.

The ASEAN Humanitarian Logistics Training Curriculum for Officer Level is the result of a collaboration with ASEAN stakeholders, academia and technical experts, and USAID through the ASEAN-USAID Partnership for Regional Optimization within the Political-Security and Socio-Cultural Communities (PROSPECT). A consortium between Thammasat University, Kühne Foundation, and HELP Logistics brought expertise in internationally proven humanitarian logistics practices into the curriculum’s development. Crucial inputs on national and regional context relevant to the curriculum were also provided by regional subject matter experts and the ACDM Working Group on Preparedness, Response and Recovery.

The training curriculum was piloted in a four-day Training-of-Trainers (ToT) for the ASEAN Humanitarian Logistics Training Program at the Officer Level in May 2023. The training, facilitated by the consortium, brought together 22 logistics trainers and practitioners from National Disaster Management Organizations (NDMOs) and civil society in eight ASEAN member states. The training took place both in Jakarta and online, ensuring broad accessibility. Through the ToT, these disaster first responders gained valuable knowledge and skills in managing complex logistics operations during humanitarian crises. Following the training, a majority of participants reported feeling more confident to train others on the subject. Key takeaways for participants included technical subjects related with managing procurement, warehouse management and transportation, and security issues, as well as skills and techniques in order to deliver training to others in an engaging and effective way. Feedback from the ToT participants was also valuable in honing the final version of the Humanitarian Logistics Training Curriculum.

From left to right: A Training of Trainers (ToT) of ASEAN Humanitarian Logistics Training Curriculum for Officer Level was conducted in May 2023. Source: PROSPECT
The official handover of ASEAN Humanitarian Logistics Training Curriculum to the AHA Centre on 27 June 2023. Source: PROSPECT









In June 2023, the ASEAN Humanitarian Logistics Training Curriculum was officially handed over from the U.S. Government to the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre). In his opening remarks, Mr. Lee Yam Ming, the Executive Director of AHA Centre stated, “The ASEAN Humanitarian Logistics Training Curriculum will become a valuable off-the-shelf reference for the ASEAN NDMOs and relevant NGOs when conducting training on humanitarian logistics. We are confident that the training curriculum is highly relevant and well-suited to the ASEAN context.

Going forward, the AHA Centre, as ASEAN’s engine of knowledge and capacity building, plans to disseminate the curriculum for wider utilization across ASEAN humanitarian logistics stakeholders in the region, including NDMOs and civil society organizations. The curriculum, its dissemination and delivery are key contributions of the AHA Centre toward the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response goal to position ASEAN as a global leader in disaster management, fostering collaboration and expertise exchange among member states.

The successful development of the ASEAN Humanitarian Logistics Training Curriculum is a testament to the commitment of ASEAN member states to enhance disaster response capabilities and the importance of synergetic collaboration between ASEAN entities, USAID, NGOs, academia, and the private sector in the region.