ASEAN Volunteers: Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Preparedness

Proponent : ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC)
Implementing Agency : ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC)


As part of its commitment to youth development, ASEAN launched its First Youth Development Index (YDI) in 2017. In reference to the First ASEAN YDI, the fourth domain, namely Participation and Engagement requires special attention in terms of policy development and interventions.  Volunteered Time1 was recorded among the lowest averaging indicators after banding in the YDI. Backed up by the evidence from the report, ASEAN Member States (AMS) seeks to increase ASEAN awareness through volunteering activities among the youth of ASEAN while addressing ongoing community building efforts.

Meanwhile, Southeast Asia, considered as one of the most vulnerable regions in the world, suffered over the past few years from multifold disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, typhoons, the rise of the sea level, volcanic eruptions, droughts, etc. Bearing in mind that the region is prone to natural disasters and to support the efforts in addressing the risks of climate change and natural disasters in vulnerable communities across the region, the project highlights Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction and Preparedness and brings together the youth from ASEAN to collaborate. The theme is highly relevant for Japan and aligned with the Revised Implementation Plan of the Vision Statement on ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation: Shared Vision, Shared Identity, Shared Future specifically under the following measures 3) Partners for Quality of Life; and 4) Heart-to-Heart Partners. This project will also involve Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE) as the Co-Implementing Agency together with the ASEC. The extensive experience of JICE in managing volunteers programme in Japan and other parts of the world would surely benefit the participants of this project even more.

What is the project aiming for?

The project endeavors to be a regional volunteering platform in realisation of Programme 29 in the ASEAN Work Plan on Youth 2016-2020: “ASEAN youth exchange volunteer programme (regional level).” The objective of this project is to foster the spirit of a caring and sharing community among the youth of ASEAN. More specifically, the following are the project’s main outputs:

  • Established mechanism to support ASEAN Volunteers; and
  • Deployment of approximately 100 ASEAN youth volunteers to 10 AMS.

The ASEAN Youth Sector will continue to promote a Community that recognizes the importance of youth as the future of ASEAN, and one with an enhanced awareness of ASEAN as a region. The focus on youth development in the region remains, with emphasis on youth leadership, volunteerism and addressing youth unemployment through, mutually beneficial exchange programme as well as robust life-long learning and capacity building programmes.

The Vision of ASEAN Education Sector
ASEAN Work Plan on Youth 2016-2020

Overall, the project ASEAN Volunteers: Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Preparedness contributes to ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025 specifically under Key Results – E.1.ix Encourage   volunteerism   among   AMS   to strengthen the ASEAN Community and D.1 A Disaster Resilient ASEAN that is able to Anticipate, Respond, Cope, Adapt, and Build Back Better, Smarter and Faster.

Due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, the project is expected to commence in Q4 2020 or Q12021 and will be implemented for a period of one year.

As of 31 August 2020

1 Volunteered Time is the percentage of youth in 15-29 year olds who answer “Yes” to question on volunteering: “In the last month, have you volunteered your time to an organization”.