About the Institute for Autonomy and Governance
The Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) is an independent and non-partisan think tank founded in 2001 to generate ideas on making autonomy aneffective vehicle for peace and development in the Southern Philippines.The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) was established pursuantto a constitutional mandate in 1989. Despite its operationalization after the 1996Final Peace Agreement between the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)and the Philippine Government, however, the new body was widely perceived asa failure in addressing the grievances of the Moros.The causes for the failure are many and complex: structural (lack of funding, weak bureaucracy, corruption, and unclear relationship with the national government)and attitudinal (leadership’s subservience to the national government, lack of vision,and unbridled struggle for personal power). But the stakes for making autonomyan effective instrument for peace and development in Mindanao are high. Its failurecan cause a resurgence in insurgency and terrorism, posing security problems forthe whole country and the Southeast Asian region.The IAG views autonomy as a broad and evolving concept that encompasses anypolitical structure that is less than an independent state. It sees the promotion of autonomy in the southern Philippines as strategic. Whatever is in store for thecountry’s Muslim minority in the future, whether a federal, autonomous orindependent state, institutional capacities for political and economic governancemust be developed now to ensure that evolving structures can effectively addressthe root causes of armed conflicts.Since 2001, IAG has conducted research, forums, roundtable discussions andconferences on the ARMM. It has published policy papers on political, economicand security issues that defined the much needed measures to be undertaken formeaningful autonomy in the region. IAG has been engaging the ARMM RegionalLegislative Assembly in capacity -building, focusing on legislative technology andprocesses and policy formulation and legislation. It has provided technical assistancein the crafting priority laws in the region and published two books on the ARMM:The ARMM Organic Law Annotated and Beyond Autonomy: Challenge in SouthernPhilippines.IAG is an institutional partner of the Konrad -Adenauer-Stiftung in the Philippines.