You are on page 1of 16

Role of Academe in Convergence

and Local Economic Development

Presentation to the National Level Deepening
Workshop for External Convergence
November 7, 2012
Subic Bay Travellers’ Hotel, Olongapo City
• Traditional role of academe in development
• Expanding roles of academe in local development
and convergence
– Resource in terms of policy and program research
– Resource in terms of providing support services
– “Service learning”
• Considerations in linking with the academe

Role of Academe
• Traditional roles of academe:
– “Human resource” producers for employment in industry/
business, government, non-government organizations and
– Producers of knowledge that would enable graduates to
better understand and possibly provide solutions to “real
world” problems, especially at the local level (Goldstein
and Drucker, 2006)
– Development of curricula within and outside the university
setting in order to develop new skills, knowledge and
orientation of individuals

Role of Academe
• However, universities are faced with an increasing demand to
better serve national and local objectives (Commission on
Higher Education, 2011)
– ‘Zonal’ (regional) research centers have been appointed to generate
technologies that can enhance the productivity of members of poorest
– ‘Relevant and responsive’ research and development for improving
productivity, promoting peace, empowering women, reducing disaster
and alleviating poverty, including in NAPC identified areas
– Increasing participation in the ‘National Greening Movement’ and in
disaster response and other related activities
• Thus, the academic community has to respond to the needs
of government and the community
Role of Academe
• What are possible ways in which the academe may coordinate
with governmental efforts?
• Academe as a resource institution for new thinking in order to
respond to the research issues that government is facing
• Case: Poverty and Welfare Research Network (PWRN) of the
National Anti-Poverty Commission in 2001- 2003
– Created in 2001 to respond to some of the questions raised on poverty
reduction strategies and necessary policies that would be undertaken
by a new administration
– Multi-sectoral group composed of academic researchers and NGOs
that have been undertaking research on poverty-related issues for a
significant period

Role of Academe
• PWRN network: Some of the initial questions faced by the NAPC
secretariat on strengthening and deepening poverty reduction
are the following;
– Given the poverty definition in Republic Act 8425 (Social Reform and
Poverty Alleviation Act), what are the dimensions of poverty that need
to be prioritized in terms of response?
– How can the government’s anti-poverty strategy be strengthened in
terms of its gender and development?
– How do we move forward with developing the ‘People’s Development
Trust Fund’ (PDTF), a capacity building fund for microfinance and micro-
– How do we strengthen the participation strategy of government in
undertaking anti-poverty programs?
– What could be the institutional arrangements for poverty reduction at
the local level? 6
Role of Academe
• PWRN network: Resources for the network were sourced from
grants from official donors, a modest contribution from the
NAPC (from its MOOE) and counterpart from the academic/
NGO institutions; these funded the following:
– Studies on developing answers to the research questions; these were
in the form of technical studies, and authors were not limited to single
– Conferences to discuss the results of the studies among the network
members, and with the members of the NAPC secretariat and other
government agencies
– Seminars on different research topics and other papers being
undertaken on poverty
– Meetings for updating the network members on the poverty reduction
accomplishments and further plans of NAPC
Role of Academe
• PWRN network: Results/ accomplishments of the studies
undertaken by the network:
– Development of gender and development framework for the NAPC
– Options for the NAPC full commission on how to move forward the
– Possible ways to improve participation in the KALAHI-CIDSS program
which were suggested in the K-C board
– Possible means for coordination between NAPC and other ‘sectoral
bodies’ (i.e., National Youth Commission, Philippine Commission on

Role of Academe
• PWRN: Lessons learned in coordinating with academe:
– Not all members of the academe would be interested in the issues
that government agencies face; but it would help if there is a cross-
disciplinary interest in the policy and program dilemmas government
– Involve the academe in setting plans and programs, and then
identifying further issues
– Academe members can also contribute not only resources but also
time and knowledge in answering research questions
– A ‘coordinator’ (either institution or individual) could help in
developing linkages

Role of Academe
• Second, the academic community can also provide specific
services to the government and development groups
• The basic infrastructure is already in place through the
National Service Training Program (NSTP) and through student
• NSTP already provides the following:
– Relief and rehabilitation programs following natural disasters
– Tutorials for school children and young adults
– Volunteer services for social welfare institutions and communities
– Training services for community organizations (i.e., Gawad Kalinga)
– Etc.

Role of Academe
• However, these voluntary activities can also be transformed to
support governmental actions:
– Training programs undertaken by business organizations for recipients
of the Sustainable Livelihood Program?
– Monitoring of the DSWD program outputs and outcomes?
– Audits of Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries?
– Coordination in terms of disaster responses undertaken by the
Protective Services Bureau?

Role of Academe
• Third, the integration of research and service provision can be
undertaken through “service learning”
– “A credit-bearing educational experience in which students participate
in an organized service activity that meets identified needs of a social
development entity or cultural institution and reflect on the service
activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course
content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced
sense of civic responsibility” (Bringle and Hatcher, 1996)
– Service learning represents a paradigmatic shift away from models
that emphasized either professional/academic training or social
– Students in a service learning course help identify a problem or solve
an issue using the tools discussed in a specific course and receive a
grade for this
Role of Academe
• Service learning: increasingly recognized in the Philippines as
a pedagogical methodology for undergraduates
– First national service learning conference was undertaken last
September participated by more than 30 higher educational
institutions in the country
– Leading institutions include Silliman University (Dumaguete) and
Xavier University (Cagayan de Oro)
• Some of the models for service learning include the following:
– Xavier University, together with Catholic Relief Services: Assisting
development processes and community partners in four Bukidnon
municipalities through different disciplines (business, ICT, economics,
– University of St. La Salle: Strengthening communication programs of
selected POs and NGOs
Role of Academe
• Service learning: at the Ateneo de Manila, various courses
have integrated some form of service:
– Theory and Practice of Social Development, Economics Department:
development of feasibility studies for local community organizations
– Managerial Accounting, School of Management: proposals to improve
financial ratios of social enterprises
– Introduction to Information Systems, Department of Computer
Science: developing databases for environmental groups
– Health Sciences Program: program for improving local health
institutions in Caloocan and Quezon City in Metro Manila

Role of Academe
• Service learning: Lessons learned in coordinating with
– Identify activities which can be undertaken easily by students within a
period of one semester (four to five months)
– Importance of person that would link with academic community; there
may be also a counterpart in the university that also links with the
– Community or government institution, which facilitated service
learning activity, is also important in terms of monitoring and
evaluating work of students

Role of Academe
• Some considerations in working with the academe:
– Universities work within a given time frame (one semester) which may
be different with the government’s own timetable
– Importance of identifying activities which can be done by in a short
(vs. longer) period, and which can be done by other types of service
providers; the activity should take into consideration the incentives
faced by the academic community
– Investing in a person (i.e., recent graduate)/ institution that could link
with academic sector is also important
– Work with regional networks, i.e., zonal research centers, may also be
more strategic rather than working with one institution/ center; may
encompass a more multidisciplinary approach