The project seeks to create a regionally recognised certification scheme for professions in disaster management in order to ensure and promote higher standards and quality in the management of disasters in the region. It is intended to ensure the availability of competent disaster management professionals in the region with strong capacity to manage disasters to reduce the loss of life, respond effectively, recover more quickly, and decrease disaster risks throughout the ASEAN region wherever possible.

This initiative is part of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme 2016-2020, in which it is recognised as one of its top priorities under Priority Programme 8  (LEAD) component 2 ”Building professionalism in disaster management through standardisation and certification”, which will also contribute to the realisation of ASEAN’s goal to become a global leader in disaster management by 2025, as expressed in the ASEAN Vision 2025 on Disaster Management.

The project’s period is three years which will cover the pilot period of the implementation of the ASCEND Framework and Roadmap in collaboration with the Korean National Fire Agency (KNFA) of the Republic of Korea. The pilot will be critical for the development of ASCEND and during this period the AHA Centre will focus on the application of ASCEND Framework in identified ASEAN countries, which will be selected based on voluntary basis. The objectives of the ASCEND are as follows:

  • to enhance the capacity of the ASEAN countries in the implementation of ASCEND;
  • to establish regionally recognised training and competency standards covering 10 professions in disaster management;
  • to improve the capacity of the AHA Centre in order to serve as the ASCEND secretariat;
  • to promote understanding of the ASCEND Framework among the ASEAN Member States (AMS) and other sectors in ASEAN in order to facilitate the inclusion of ASCEND into the ASEAN Mutually Recognised Agreement (MRA).