Archive | July 18th, 2013

DSWD’s KALAHI-CIDSS program wins International Development Award (Re-posted)


Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS), one of the poverty alleviation programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in partnership with the World Bank, was chosen as one of the awardees of the U.S. Treasury’s second annual Development Impact Honors Awards, beating over 40 other candidates.

The award will be given on July 25, 2013, at the Main Treasury Building in North Washington, USA. Aside from the awardees, attendants of the event include members of the U.S. Congress and other U.S. government agencies, as well as representatives from the developmental sector.

The Development Impact Awards recognizes the different projects supported by multilateral development banks all over the world. The awards are meant to distinguish development-oriented programs, such as those that fight poverty, hunger, and disease. The entries were judged based on criteria such as quality of results, focus on priority sectors, innovations used, and risk mitigations strategies utilized.

Kalahi-CIDSS was chosen as one as the awardees out of the other entries because it is “especially high-impact and noteworthy,” according to U.S. Secretary of Treasury Jacob J. Lew in his letter to Worldbank President Dr. Jim Kim.

Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the three core social protection programs of DSWD in combating poverty. It uses the community-driven development (CDD) strategy to empower ordinary citizens to actively and directly participate in local governance by identifying their own community needs, planning, implementing, and monitoring projects together to address local poverty issues.

Some of the results of Kalahi-CIDSS include improved access of communities to basic services, increased community involvement, and positive impact in household wellbeing.

The World Bank has been a partner of Kalahi-CIDSS since its inception in 2003. John Roome, World Bank Sustainable Development Director for East Asia Pacific, is pleased with the award, saying, “One of my first field visits was in Kalahi-CIDSS sites. From those early visits, I could see the impact of the project on people’s lives.”

He added that with the advent of the National Community-Driven Development Program (NCDDP), which will scale up the CDD strategy utilized by Kalahi-CIDSS, there will be even greater impact to communities in the country.

From the 364 municipalities covered by Kalahi-CIDSS, NCDDP will be targeting 900 of the poorest municipalities in the Philippines. It was approved by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board last January 18, and will be launched in late 2013.

Secretary of Social Welfare and Development Corazon “Dinky” Juliano-Soliman was delighted with the recognition. “We are honored to have Kalahi-CIDSS chosen as one of the awardees by the U.S. Treasury,” she said. “We are optimistic that with NCDDP, we will be able to help even more families and communities rise from poverty”, she added.

Last year’s awardees of the Development Impact Honors Awards were the African Development Bank for the Mali-Senegal Road Project, the Asian Development Bank for the Afghanistan Telecom Development Company Project, the Inter-American Development Bank for its Basic Nutrition Program, and the World Bank for their Amazon Region Protected Areas Program.

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Bayanihan” or the spirit of communal unity and cooperation has been a Filipino heritage for generations. The image of a group of people carrying a native hut is one of the images we as Filipinos oh, so dearly patronize. But do we still practice this tradition right now? Do people on this day and age of Candy Crush and iPads still relinquish traditional practices that have for so long been a part of our lives? Or has bayanihan been minimized to just a thing of the past; a form of folklore we only speak of during our “back in my days” stories we tell the younger generations?

People have forgotten this priceless gesture of solidarity; a simple show of camaraderie and genuine act of care for those in the neighborhood. Today, majority of people have belittled this gallant act, and have even tagged it as “old school” or “baduy” (out of style or out dated). But what this tradition has goes beyond trends. It goes beyond what is new and hip.  It is a simple gesture of oneness and compassion for others but it ensures strengthening of relationships within the community.

Indeed this is an old thing; an old thing that still works pretty well in bringing the community together and sure enough gets things done even with the odds going against the community. Take for instance the success of the Barangays in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte implementing the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA), the national government’s program and framework for peace and development which is being implemented in areas affected by conflict and communities covered by existing peace agreements. Through sheer determination and bayanihan, several communities get to finish program sub-projects with just limited budgets.

The PAMANA Project, being implemented by the Kalahi-CIDSS Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development provides barangays of qualified municipalities Php 300,000 to fund sub-projects that would answer to the direst needs of the barangay that would address conflict issues in their respective communities.

For several people, the Php 300,000 funding for any sub-project is not enough to accommodate sub-projects such as potable water systems, peace centers, farm – to – market roads, and the likes.  But this shortage of funds has challenged the community, bringing about the best ideas from community volunteers implementing the PAMANA. For optimistic persons, the limited funds only open more opportunities to venture into, just to be able to make things work.

Barangay Tugar and Paiton were among those whose most pressing need was potable drinking water, and they saw PAMANA as an opportunity to do something about their problem.  Yes, Php 300,000 was limited for a Gravity Driven Potable Water System (Level2), and may only cover the basic materials for the sub-project, but this was more than enough to start providing solutions to their problems. They showed that when there was strong will, especially from the beneficiaries, there was a sure way to handle the matter.

To compensate for the deficiency in the exact total budget costs, the community volunteers came up with a pretty good idea that would totally solve their problems.  Aside from the Php 300,000 budget from PAMANA, the Local Cash Counterparts form the MLGU and the BLGU, the community decided to revive the bayanihan spirit.  But this will only be effective if everyone believed this would work and bring about success in the project implementation.

It was time to awaken a long-time dead tradition; which was for the community, the only way to deal with the matter.  They all agreed to do “Pahina” or free/voluntary services to complete their water system sub-project.  All the families in their barangay would be willing to dig ditch holes and work on the water reservoir without pay. Everyone was in a schedule to do labor until the job was done.  For those who were not available, they were to provide meals for those working, which is pretty much fair enough according to those doing labor.

Everyone agreed and the rest was history.  Work was finished in just about 5 days; better than any contractual work by any professional.  Indeed the community has proven once and again that in unity, there is definitely success. The bayanihan spirit has once again proven itself worthy even in modern times.

What is wonderful about the success of the project was that it empowered communities to work for a common goal, one that definitely solves their most pressing needs.  Kalahi-CIDSS believes that to empower the communities, there must be enough room for the community to be creative in thinking of solutions for their problems. This is an important matter in empowering them; to let them be responsible for their own sub-projects.

Again, is bayanihan dead in modern times? The answer is definitely and absolutely NOT.  It just needs to be applied in a proper place and time.  The Gravity Driven Potable Water System (Level2) of Barangays Tugar and Paiton, Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte are true testaments of the value of bayanihan.

All it takes is a little bit of unity and cooperation, a bit of will and determination, a sprinkle of sacrifice, and then you have a completed and operational Gravity Driven Potable Water System (Level2) for all the community to enjoy. A little bit of bayanihan goes a long way towards empowerment and self-sufficiency.

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July 2013