Advisory Group Upbeat about COLLABDev

July 29, 2021

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Advisory Group Upbeat about COLLABDev

A lot of auspicious things seem to happen when the month of August sets in. For the COLLABDev project, the morning of August 3 kick-started this auspicious month with the first meeting of its advisory group.

Composed of 10 esteemed men and women from various walks of life (see “About” tab in this website), they all have a lot to offer in terms of putting in systems for good governance and partnerships using data as solid starting point.

The main role of the Advisory Group is to provide recommendations, insights and inspiration to the Project. This can be in the form of

  • Suggestions for the project in general and the partnerships in particular
  • Support in different aspects of the project
  • Local and national data linkages
  • Strategies to promote data-driven development
  • Looping in the private sector in the local coalition’s identified issue/work plan
  • Identifying quick wins for the project
  • Strategizing sustainability: scaling-up and replication of project design/objectives in other areas
  • Advice on public engagement/education

During the meeting, the project team happily reported to the Advisory Group that there were 56 local consultations, including three (3) appearances before local Sangguniang Bayan or Sangguniang Panglunsod. These activities involved the LGU and SUCS partners and 31 CSOs in inception meetings and focus group discussions (FGD), as well as preparatory and debriefing meetings for these activities.

The meetings and surveys conducted initially drew out inputs on the various capacities of the stakeholders on data generation, management, storage, among others and gauge their exposure to concepts like freedom of information and data privacy. But the significant achievement of these meetings were the identification of the thematic focus for each project site and the articulation of the various roles of each member of the local coalition. As a major first step all ten LGUs that are involved in each project site were able to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that spells out the various aspects of the technical assistance and cooperation that will take place between the LGU and Action for Economic Reforms.

“It looks like this project is off to a good start,” Lot Felizco from Oxfam Pilipinas observed.
Helpful tips were given by the Advisory Group in terms of navigating the project in the run-up to the 2022 elections.

“Yes, the buy-in of the Mayor is critical to get things moving within the LGU bureaucracy, but it also helps to establish good relations with the LGU bureaucracy itself, say the Municipal Planning and Development Officer,” says former Tacloban City administrator now Vice Chair of MRC Allied Inc. Jimmy Yaokasin, Jr.

“Other exciting ideas that can enrich the project’s potentials, how it will be done, anticipating funding constraints and work-around challenges will be drawn from this powerhouse group, that’s for sure. And we hope to share all of that as the project goes full-steam ahead,” COLLABDev Partnerships Lead Jessica Reyes-Cantos.

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