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Asia Foundation, Australia, and PCAARRD Collaborate to Guide Research Scientists in Policy Reform Initiatives

June 10, 2023 — Twenty-eight learners. Six policy advocacy teams. Four weeks. One hybrid learning course.

The Asia Foundation, along with the Australian Embassy in the Philippines and the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD), launched the hybrid course on Development Entrepreneurship: 12 Keys to Successful Policy Reform from May 8 to June 5, 2023.

Using entrepreneurial principles, development entrepreneurship propels policy reforms towards transformative change. Since 2021, this globally accessible program has graduated over 400 learners from 22 countries.

The debut batch of this hybrid course, blending online modules with on-site sessions, included six policy advocacy teams from the University of the Philippines Los Baños’ College of Forestry and Natural Resources, College of Public Affairs and Development, and School of Environmental Science and Management.

At the ceremonial opening on May 8, 2023, at R.D. Guerrero Hall, DOST-PCAARRD, Los Baños Laguna, Dr. Ernesto O. Brown, DOST-PCAARD’s Socio-Economics Research Division director, expressed the Council’s dedication to science-based policy reforms in the agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources (AANR) sectors. He believes the Development Entrepreneurship course will support the advocacy teams in achieving their goals.

A key component of this hybrid course was the technical workshop. It equipped participants to draft, discuss, and hone their plans and projects. DE Mentors Kriszia Lorrain “Krish” Enriquez, a disaster risk reduction advocate, and Filomeno “Men” Sta. Ana of Action for Economic Reforms provided valuable insights on concepts like theory of change (TOC) development, crucial metrics, coalition mapping, and political action plans. After mentor consultations, participants crafted their TOCs and coalition maps and presented them for feedback and strategy refinement.

At the course’s Commencement Ceremony on June 5, 2023, Sam Chittick, country representative for The Asia Foundation in the Philippines, celebrated the learners’ upcoming policy reform journeys. “What will happen in the next two decades largely depends on the country’s sustainable management of its agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources. We cherish our partnership with PCAARRD, collaborating with individuals who offer both scientific and sustainability perspectives.”

Moya Collett, deputy head of mission of the Australian Embassy in the Philippines, emphasized Australia and the Philippines’ shared belief in the AANR sectors’ significance. “Through science, technology, and innovation, we can ensure that resources are used sustainably and contribute to national development. Australia shares the vision to improve Filipinos’ access to safe and nutritious food and ensure that small farmers and fishers have sustainable livelihoods. We are pleased to be able to bring different parts of the Australian Government together to support your priorities and maximize synergies.

Reynaldo Ebora, executive director of DOST-PCAARRD, stated, “We’re excited to see our teams transition from research scientists to policy reformers.” Since 2020, the Council has intensified its focus on policy reforms in areas like coastal/marine resource management, watershed governance, and research and development financial management.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives and expanding opportunities throughout Asia and the Pacific. Informed by decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work is focused on governance, women’s empowerment and gender equality, inclusive economic growth, environment and climate action, and regional and international relations. The Foundation works in over 20 countries through 18 offices across Asia and the Pacific.

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Related locations: Philippines
Related programs: Good Governance
Related topics: Coalitions for Change, Development Entrepreneurship

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Eelynn Sim, Director, Strategy and Programs
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