The Regional After Action Review (AAR) Validation and Experience Sharing Workshop under the program: “COVID-19 Country Support to Asian Preparedness Partnership (APP)” took place on 25 February 2021. The virtual event was held to validate key findings of the AARs conducted at the country level and as an opportunity to share the experiences from the APP countries.

The APP National Preparedness Partnerships carried out activities between June and December 2021. The aim of these activities was to strengthen the emergency preparedness and response systems for engaging the COVID-19 pandemic through locally-led actions. The main focus for this objective also focused on strengthening National Emergency Operation Centers (NEOCs) and Public Health Operations Centers (PHEOCs).

Each of the member countries presented the achievements, challenges, and lessons identified for effective preparedness and response for public health emergencies. The members concluded their presentations with observations on how they would carry out future activities as they go forward. This was followed by a presentation of regional synthesized findings based on the information collected in each APP country and the APP regional secretariat. The session concluded with participants being divided into two breakout groups. These groups would collectively brainstorm how to further some of the partnership’s goals.

A number of recommendations and lessons learned from the COVID-19 response in the respective APP countries were identified for integration into ongoing APP activities. As the partnership progresses, it will emphasize fostering the partnerships developed during COVID-19, build a more comprehensive compendium of resources within the web portal, and promote knowledge sharing among APP countries with a wider range of stakeholders. Once available, the consolidated findings and documentation of the AAR review will be shared with key stakeholders in the APP network.

Mr. Sisira Madurapperuma, Director of the Preparedness for Response and Recovery Department, ADPC, provided an overview of the COVID-19 activities under the program.