Baguio City September 24, 2020 – To kick off the capacity building component of the EMPOWER Project, a Module Development Workshop was conducted in Tagaytay City, Cavite, on September 14-18, 2020. The project team from ADRA and HI, and resource persons from different national organizations convened to create a module that will be used as a learning guide to training the partner CSOs and LGUs of Itogon, Benguet, and Pinukpuk, Kalinga on inclusive disaster risk reduction and climate change governance.
Five resource persons, who participated remotely in the workshop, contributed their expertise in the fields of DRRM, inclusion, and governance. They are Dr. Lope Santos III of the Disaster Risk Management and Institutional Strengthening of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG-DRMIS), Mr. Benedict Balderrama from the Partnership of Philippine Support Service Agencies (PHILSSA), Dr. Maureen Mata of Alyansa ng may Kapansanang Pinoy, Inc. (AKAP Pinoy), Mr. Haley Atienza from the Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (PhilDHRRA), and Dr. Marlon Era of De La Salle University – Jesse M. Robredo Institute of Governance (DLSU-JRIG).
Dr. Lope Santos mentioned that “not all LGU personnel are aware of the policies [on DRRM and CCAM]; while they know that there are laws, their specific roles are not clear”. Moreover, Mr. Haley Atienza said that “the level of participation that we really want to advocate in the community is one where opportunities for dialogue and interaction are happening, accurate and updated information is provided, and we aspire for more collaboration with organized groups in the community to effectively participate in DRR and climate risk governance”.
With the intention to enhance the capabilities of the CSOs in strengthening their organizations and participating in local governance, various topics are covered in the module. These include topics on laws and policies in DRRM-CCAM, good governance and social accountability, leadership, transparency, project development, financial management, disability and gender analysis in DRR, networking and partnership building, and policy advocacy and lobbying.
Once finalized, the modules will be used in the Training of Trainers for the selected ‘champions’ in the project areas who will serve as the forefront in attaining meaningful participation of the communities in DRR and climate risk governance.
EMPOWER Project aims to strengthen the resilience of high- risk communities by reinforcing civil society relevance in disaster and climate risk governance. This project has two outcomes:
(1) Disaster and climate risk governance is inclusive and accessible as a result of improved transparency and accountability of local government units and improved capacity of CSOs to participate in local governance; and
(2) the Municipalities of Itogon and Pinukpuk benefit from the strengthened capacities of communities to prepare for future disasters and climate risks.
EMPOWER is a joint project of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and Humanity and Inclusion (HI), with the funding support from the European Union (EU).