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PHILPREP-ALNAP collaborates for Adaptive Learning Session


The Center for Disaster Preparedness (CDP) conducted an interactive virtual discussion entitled, “Adaptive Learning Session: Supporting an Adaptive Approach to Disaster Risk Management in the Philippines” via zoom on December 10, 2020 participated in by various DRRM representatives from the government, private sectors, and civil society organizations. This is through the support of the Philippine Preparedness Partnership (PHILPREP) and in partnership with the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP).


Ms. Loreine dela Cruz, CDP’s Executive Director, opened the learning session by introducing the activity and the collaborating partners. This was then followed by the discussion of Ms. Alice Obrecht, ALNAP’s Head of Research and Impact, on Basic Concepts of Flexibility for Disaster Response through Adaptive Management and some key findings from a 2-year research project of ALNAP on adaptive management in modern humanitarian crises. Ms. Obrecht started her talk with concepts about flexibility for disaster response, its types, and some key considerations for improving flexibility in disaster response. She then further discussed the 2-year research project which was a 12-year review of humanitarian evaluations aimed to look at specific times when humanitarian actors needed to make a change in their plans or interventions and how well were they able to do it. In the review, it was found out that organizational flexibility is highly important in delivering the right kind of support at the right time, dealing with quickly changing environments/risks, using learning to drive improvements, and dealing with new or compounded crises.


From the points discussed, real-life application was shared by Ms. Maya Assaf-Horstmeier, World Vision International’s Head of Research and Impact Conflict Sensitivity and Peacebuilding, as she talked about their organization’s experience in implementing Adaptive Management. According to her, the realization that the linear approach that they have been using no longer adapt to the constantly changing environment made World Vision to shift to Adaptive Management.


Succeeding the discussions was an interactive activity wherein participants were divided into 10 breakout groups to answer a question about their organization’s flexibility and adaptive management. The participants actively engaged in the discussion with their breakout members and readily shared their answers in the plenary discussion.


“Gone are the days of the copy and paste kind of thing. Flexibility and adaptability are the new ‘in’ things in humanitarian action,” Ms. dela Cruz reiterated as she brought the session to a close.


The learning session is just a pre-activity in preparation for the real and exciting events on Adaptive Programming this 2021.


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