The Asian Preparedness Partnership (APP) works towards advancing south-south learning and cooperation in South and South-East Asia. The South-South learning facility established through this collaborative partnership provides an exceptional opportunity to document, learn and build on the expertise available in the region and promote intercountry knowledge and experience sharing events for disaster resilience.

In its role as Regional Secretariat of APP, ADPC hosted a delegation from the Myanmar Preparedness Partnership (MPP) for a three-day exposure visit in Thailand from 24 to 26 April 2019. The 14 person delegation was comprised of representatives from all sectors which comprise the MPP, namely from Government, LNGOs and the private sector.

The MPP Task Force had included the exposure visit in its annual workplan based on the identified need to sensitize its members on effective approaches for emergency response across different sectors. Thailand was identified as a suitable destination since there is a commonality in the types of disaster risks which Myanmar and Thailand face on a regular basis. Moreover, many of the agencies working on disaster management in the two countries face similar challenges therefore maximizing the opportunities for peer learning.

The exposure visit schedule was designed to reflect the needs of the multi-stakeholder nature of the delegation, including visits to Thai Government agencies concerned with disaster management, private companies with model approaches for Business Continuity Management (BCM) as well as an institutional visit to the ADPC Headquarters.   

Participants interacting at the visit to Siam Cement Group (SCG)  

The exposure visit began with a visit to ADPC where the participants were given an overview and introduction of the organization and a briefing on ADPC’s thematic portfolio of work as an Inter-Governmental Organization (IGO) mandated to work on Disaster Management in the region. Next, the delegation visited Siam Cement Group’s (SCG) Corporate IT & BCM division who briefed about the company’s approach of implementing BCM and Disaster Reduction program. 

The MPP delegation at the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA)

The second day featured a visit to the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA). This was a unique opportunity for the tour participants to see how the state enterprise, which operates under the purview of the Ministry of Transport in Thailand, implements Incident Management and Disaster Management procedures for one of the country’s major public transport networks. Next, a visit to the Office of Hydrology and Water Management of the Royal Irrigation Department (RID) allowed exchange between the participants and RID officials on good practices for water monitoring and forecasting for disaster management. 

The MPP delegation were received by Royal Irrigation Department officials 

The final day of the exposure visit afforded an opportunity for the delegation to visit Thailand’s Department Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), Ministry of Interior with specific focus on Emergency Operations at the National Emergency Operating Center as well as briefings on DDPM’s approach to Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM). In the afternoon, the program at DDPM continued at the National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC) which facilitated knowledge exchange on respective approaches on Early Warning Systems, collection of relevant and reliable data and dissemination of information to the public.

Going forward, the delegation will provide feedback to the wider MPP task force and consider how the key learnings and knowledge gained from the exposure visit can be applied to the work carried out by their own organizations as well as the ongoing activities under APP at national level in Myanmar as well as elsewhere in the region.