by Noudhy Valdryno
Singapore, 12 July 2017 – APC held the Philippines edition of the ASEAN Community Impact Funds workshop in Manila on 29 June 2017. This followed after the Jakarta workshop previously held on May 2017, with the same key objective of gathering insights and knowledge from sector experts to ensure effective utilisation of the ASEAN Community Impact Fund.
APC CEO Laurence Lien pointed out that one of the most pressing issues in the Philippines is scaling up successful interventions, he mentioned that “in the Philippines, there are so many players and there are so many interventions in place and if we see this, we think that the needle would have moved, but that is not the case. I heard that many are facing problems to implement and scale up comprehensive intervention. Collectively, we need to uncover the reasons behind this situation and resolve it”.
Participants to the workshop came from the different sectors involved in Nutrition and Education-to-Livelihood (E2L). From the Nutrition discussion, one of the key issues that emerged was how fragmented and uncoordinated interventions currently are – the lack of coordination between stakeholders leads to lack of cohesion in programming, and thus failure to effectively reduce stunting rate.
On the E2L side, there were repeated calls for data transparency on education interventions and more granular data on school leavers. There was a common sentiment that vocational training is still perceived as inferior to university education in the Philippines, therefore most youths have decided to pursue a more traditional degree rather than follow their interest in vocational fields.
Many participants also shared the concern that there is still a great capacity gap in the Local Government Units (LGUs), preventing interventions from being effectively comprehensive and sustainable. The leaders also advised APC to focus on building the capacity of communities to enable them to catalyse change, that way, participants argued that interventions will be more sustainable. APC aims to incorporate these invaluable insights to the fund’s programme design and ensure optimised impact of the fund in the Philippines.
Albeit a challenging path ahead, this workshop shows promise that many stakeholders in the Philippines are keen to work together to catalyse bigger change and accelerate social progress. APC is looking forward to build on the momentum from the workshop to foster new partnerships, as many participants have shown eagerness to collaborate.
Note: APC followed up with another workshop in Manila in December on Education – look out for for information on this research!