Remarks by SPC DDG A. Aumua at Launch of PIEMA Gender Equality and Empowerment Strategy & Learning Pathways

Launch of PIEMA Gender Equality and Empowerment Strategy & Learning Pathways

Remarks by SPC DDG, Dr A. Aumua


27/08/20: I am pleased to welcome you to the launch of the PIEMA project’s Gender Equality and Empowerment Strategy & Learning Pathways. I would particularly like to acknowledge those in the room representing PIEMA agencies within the Government of Fiji and our development partners.

While I see many familiar faces, I am pleased to see some newer stakeholders joining us today, and for those of you with whom I am yet to meet, my name is Audrey Aumua and I am the Deputy Director General of SPC here in Suva.

Within my area of responsibility is the Geoscience, Energy and Maritime (GEM) Division that sits the Disaster and Community Resilience Programme (DRCP). DCRP houses a range of humanitarian, disaster preparedness and resilience projects, including the project.

Over the few years, we have worked hard within SPC to ensure that DCRP is providing a responsive and adaptive service to the Pacific. The PIEMA Project’s ability to shift its focus and reorientate towards supporting NDMOs to lead humanitarian action is an example of how we have listened to your requests and turned them into action.

The World Humanitarian Summit in 2016 provided a blueprint for humanitarian reform across the globe, and particularly in the Pacific. A key part of this reform agenda is around localising humanitarian responses – the line is ‘as local as possible, as international as necessary’.

SPC takes these commitments seriously. Our goal is to support national and local actors with skills, capacity and technical assistance in times of need. This is why we are working with National Disaster Management Offices, and many other international, national and local stakeholders across the Pacific, to prepare for natural disasters.

We recognise the importance of ensuring that all actors in an emergency response are able to share information, communicate and work together. It’s about relationships, understanding, engaging and acting in a way that empowers each response agency, amplifies their voice and enables their contribution to a well-coordinated and effective response operation.

Strengthening effective disaster management is a challenge we face both now and into the future. Responding together is core to our culture across the Pacific

PIEMA is committed to this through enhancing and supporting equal access of both men and women across the sector. The development of this strategy for gender equality and empowerment will guide the PIEMA project in its engagement across the alliance agencies. To promote gender equality and support greater effectiveness in disaster response.

The strategy high lights what PIEMA wants to achieve, how it will work and, how it will measure its impact.

SPC strongly supports the key objectives of the PIEMA project in promoting the role of women as first responders before, during and after disaster, and in supporting the employment of women in disaster management roles.

The strategy is accompanied by the ‘Becoming a Leader’ learning pathways a semi-structured framework designed to help PIEMA agencies staff strengthen and enhance their leadership skills.

We are making learning a priority by focusing on professionalisation and sustainability of disaster management in several ways including training development and implementation, accredited training and the establishment of multi-agency disaster management training groups.

On behalf of SPC and PIEMA, I am happy to launch these two important documents

  • Responding Together: Strategy for gender equality in disaster management in the Pacific, and
  • Becoming a Leader: A leadership learning pathway for PIEMA member agencies.

However, the journey does not end at the completion of this launch. 

SPC will continue to work with development partners, training providers like the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC), UN agencies, and other regional bodies to implement the activities that are identified in the two documents.

As PIEMA agencies, I encourage your ongoing engagement with SPC in implementing these important initiatives, and I look forward to seeing the results of this good work. 

Thank you again for your participation in this important launch especially with the exacerbated pressures presented as we continue to respond to COVID-19 in our respective workplaces.