Report: The After Action Review/ Lessons Learned Workshops Typhoon Bopha Response


Typhoon Bopha (locally known as Pablo), hit eastern Mindanao on the morning of 4 December 2012 causing havoc in its wake. Over 6.2 million people were affected, 230,000 homes destroyed, and 1,146 people lost their lives while 834 people remain missing. President Benigno Aquino III accepted an offer of support and the international community alongside the government delivered humanitarian assistance to those most affected.

Funding was available through the government’s Calamity Fund (CF) and Quick Response Fund (QRF)2 with an appeal through the Bopha Action Plan (BAP) launched by the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) on 10 December 2013. The UN rapidly provided US$10 million through its Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the HCT set up a field presence in Trento, Cateel and Nabunturan to respond to coordination needs, through life- saving clusters instigated at local level.

With an opportunity to learn from the Bopha experience, a decision to conduct an After Action Review (AAR)/Lessons Learned Workshop (LLW) was agreed with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the HCT on 8 February 2013. The AAR explored best practices and lessons learned from the first three months of Typhoon Bopha response, in the four worst affected provinces of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental, both in Region XI; and Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur in Region XIII.

Three workshops were conducted to elicit the views of those responding to the emergency and three days of community consultations also took place separately to garner feedback from people directly affected. This was the first time the community were asked to provide feedback. With full participation and support of senior government officials from the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), local government units and agencies, and governors in Regions XI and XIII, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Trento, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley coordinated the workshops and consultations to ensure a broad range of views were elicited.

The impact of the typhoon varied from area to area; for example in Barangay (village) Andap in Compostela Valley province the equivalent of one million trucks filled with rocks decimated homes and caused most deaths, while in Davao Oriental wind gusts of 220 km per hour caused most damage, felling about six million coconut trees. Due to varying levels of devastation and different levels of response and preparedness from barangay to barangay, feedback from the workshops and consultations are varied and sometimes seem inconsistent.

A summary of the common key findings, come under three sections; best practice, challenges, and recommendations; under the broad headings of preparedness/ mitigation; initial response, response and coordination; and information management, reporting and assessment. The community consultations were in the form of focus group discussions and centred around two key themes: preparedness and early warning, and response and delivery of humanitarian assistance.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit