The report Working Better Together: An NGO Perspective on Improving Australia’s Coordination in Disaster Response is a collaborative effort between the Asia Pacific Civil-Military Centre of Excellence (APCMCOE) and the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID). This collaboration reflects the strong partnership between the two organisations and our collective commitment to the promotion of best practice in disaster management.
The report offers us unique insights through the lens of the Australian NGO community into the challenges, opportunities and ways forward for multi-agency cooperation in disaster management. It reflects on what is currently perceived of as good practice and offers ways forward to enhance multi-agency cooperation in the future.
The report also serves as a timely reminder that disaster management is not only about enhancing civil-military engagement or whole-of-government engagement, but ‘whole-of-community’ involving governments, UN agencies, NGOs, international organisations, donors, national and international defence forces, police and communities themselves. The recommendations from the report reinforce the notion that we all have vital roles to play in disaster preparedness, planning, response and mitigation. What will drive us forward towards better practice in this regard is our commitment in principle and practice to stronger partnerships and our collective pursuit for excellence. The stakes are high, because ultimately we are talking about not only saving lives, but helping communities become more resilient to the impacts of disasters when they strike.