Reflections on the 6th Asia-Pacific Dialogue Platform
This year’s Asia-Pacific Dialogue Platform saw over 180 people gather in Bangkok, along with more than 180 participating online. We asked some of the attendees to share their main outcomes and personal highlights.
The 6th Asia-Pacific Dialogue Platform recently ended. What do you think were some of the key themes to emerge over the three days?
Phetvilay Panyada, FAO, Lao PDR
Several key themes emerged. These included the best approach to connect anticipatory action to disaster risk management by creating a bridge across the three ‘building blocks’ of anticipatory action: (1) risk information, forecasting, and early warning systems; (2) planning, operations and delivery; and (3) pre-arranged finance. I strongly believe that this could encourage governments, UN agencies, the Red Cross Movement, international NGOs and civil society organizations to communicate these three pillars together, especially to stakeholders who implement and benefit from disaster risk approaches.
Wannobon Khuan-arch (Porpla), CARE Asia Regional Management Unit, Thailand
One important question was: how to make anticipatory action become really inclusive? We all know that the anticipatory action is inclusive. But at the dialogue platform, we only had one representative of the people with disabilities group joining in person. Localization, and the importance of scaling up anticipatory action – mainstreaming, in other words – were also central themes.
There was a strong focus on national-level planning for anticipatory action at this year’s event. What stage is your country at in its planning, and were any important next steps identified during the event?
Phetvilay: With support from the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO) of the European Commission, FAO Lao PDR is currently working on building anticipatory action systems in close collaboration with government partners. Given the strong focus on national-level planning for anticipatory action at this year’s event, we aim to employ impact-based forecasting in our anticipatory action approach. There is an understanding that traditional forecasting mechanisms are in place, but this needs to be better articulated to communities – and with relevant and understandable information for end users. Such a task would require coordination across several ministries.
Moreover, Lao PDR sees an opportunity to form a multistakeholder working group on anticipatory action, considering that this approach should be inclusive of everyone, with multiple partners implementing anticipatory action. This would be under the motto we developed at the event, ‘Can Know, Can Do; Anticipatory Action’.
Finally, what was your personal highlight from the 6th Asia-Pacific Dialogue Platform? And what would you change for next year?
Porpla: I really liked that the platform was led by a variety of different facilitators. This made the participants feel more active. At future events, I want to learn more about how donors, governments and inter-government agencies perceive anticipatory action, for example the ASEAN Secretariat.
Phetvilay: I can assure you that joining this event was the most enthusiastic experience for those who are implementing anticipatory action. I got to explore new ideas and concepts that I was yearning for, and also made new connections with anticipatory action practitioners across the Asia-Pacific region.
I would recommend continuing to organize a similar event every year, in order to provide a platform for practitioners, scientists and government representatives from across the region to share knowledge, identify gaps and scale up collaboration on anticipatory action.
Lao PDR sees an opportunity to form a multistakeholder working group on anticipatory action, considering that this approach should be inclusive of everyone, with multiple partners implementing anticipatory action.