By: UNYPAD ComTeam
COTABATO City / March 2 – The Conciliation Resources (CR) and its partners, United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD) and Teduray Lambangian Women’s Organization Inc. (TLWOI), implement a European Union (EU)-funded project aimed at empowering communities in the Bangsamoro to resolve local conflicts and improve local governance in collaboration with government authorities.
The undertaking called Public Empowerment and Community Engagement for Good Governance (PEaCE for Good Governance) Project builds on the results of a previous EU-funded action (2013-2016) “Promoting Public Participation in the Peace Process” which included the pilot testing of community Security Working Groups (CSWG) in two locations in Central Mindanao.
This project will consolidate the results of the pilot test and replicate the experience in ten new locations within a period of three years working alongside communities, local and regional governments and civil society organizations.
The overall objective of the project is a strong and vibrant civil society that promotes peaceful communities and responsive local governance in Mindanao contributing to the achievement of national development goals in the Philippines.
UNYPAD and TLWOI, both CR’s partners for this project, are expecting that communities would increase their capacities to engage local authorities in jointly undertaking implementation of local governance policies, programs and processes that are responsive to community needs.
The project implementers are also looking forward that the learning from the project implementation would encourage future replication of similar undertaking in the Bangsamoro through local initiatives.
The project would help the ARMM in promoting good governance, along with notable national and international efforts for peace and development, amidst poverty and political tensions that persist leading to insecurity and poor governance.
According to recent statistics, the ARMM remains at the bottom of the list in the Philippines in terms of family income and expenditure and the poorest region in the country.
The autonomous region has the highest illiteracy rate and the highest number of malnourished children in the country.
Local government units in the ARMM are among the weakest in the country, beset by corruption and inefficiency in service delivery with limited human and fiscal resource capacity.
For the smooth and efficient project implementation, an inception workshop was conducted on February 18 to 24 2018 at Dolores, Tropicana resort, General Santos City.
In the said activity Gender issues and conflict analysis was tackled which was facilitated by Sophia Close, a CR senior adviser on Gender.
Moreover, David Elliott, CR monitoring and evaluation officer facilitated lecture and workshop for the monitoring and evaluation while for the project management cycle, it was handled by Paul Adolfo, the CR Program Manager for the Philippines.
The week-long workshop equipped the project staffs with knowledge and skills strengthening their self-confidence in engaging with the target communities as well as government authorities in the region down to the barangay level.
Additional capacity-building initiatives for the staff to be conducted in the future include participatory governance and human rights-based approach, conflict management and resolution, leadership and organizational management skill trainings and among others.