By Gisli Olafsson, Humanitarian Advisor, NetHope
During the first week of April, NetHope conducted its inaugural disaster response training (DRT) course for the Asia region in Makati, Philippines. Thirty-two participants from 17 member organizations and three governmental organizations were given hands-on training in emergency telecommunication networking, wireless distribution, TV white space, installation of VSATs, alternative power solutions, and mobile satellite communication. This training course is part of NetHope’s disaster preparedness and response strategy, which focuses on improving emergency telecommunication response capacity in disaster prone regions.
The five-day course combined classroom training, focused on considerations for deploying into humanitarian situations, with hands-on training in the use of the various technologies employed for emergency telecommunication deployments. The hands-on training was delivered with support of facilitators from NetHope’s partners, Cisco, Ericsson Response, Adaptrum, Eutelsat, and BambooSat, with additional trainers from NetHope and Save the Children and Save the Children Philippines. During the hands-on training, the participants were broken up into six different teams then given an in-depth training on each of the various modules.
On the last day of the training, the participants were taken through a simulation exercise where they were given the task of providing emergency connectivity to various response organizations in the fictitious Southeast Asian island of Ramenesia. The country had been badly hit by a Category 5 typhoon and communications systems were non-functioning. The participants organized into teams and successfully leveraged their previous days hands-on training to provide connectivity to the organizations responding. During the simulation exercise, the participants were observed by a group of VIP visitors from the Philippines and Indonesia.
The VIP were invited to attend the event as part of NetHope’s initiative to expand on its partnerships as part of its Disaster Preparedness Program of activities. The guests were presented with an introduction to NetHope, our recent involvement in emergency operations, and other projects globally.
The Asia DRT also attracted a few of the VIP agencies due to an equal interest in capacity building for emergency preparedness, particularly in the areas of disaster response and communications technology.
Having them witness the simulation provided a great opportunity for them to see these functions first-hand. We thank the following VIP organizations for their attendance:
- UNDP Philippines
- ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA Centre)
- Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT)
- Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB)
- Philippines Disaster and Resilience Foundation (PDRF)
- Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
- Microsoft Philippines
NetHope aims to run similar courses around the world during each quarter, bringing together NetHope members, partners, and regional and national response organizations.
Related blog posts:
- Designing a disaster: An interview with Gisli Olafsson
- Be prepared: Response training readies responders for disasters
- Planning a disaster: Details and expertise required for disaster preparation training