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POVERTY IN URBAN AREAS: OLD PROBLEMS, NEW LENSES 
IMPLICATIONS TO SOCIAL SAFETY NET PROGRAM IN THE PHILIPPINES

Project Director:          Exaltacion E. Lamberte
Funding Agency:        East Asian Development Network (EADN)

The study sought to answer these questions: (a) What are the characteristic features of urban poverty in the Philippines? (b) What are the factors contributory to the persistence of poverty in urban areas? (c) What implications for social safety net interventions could be drawn from the findings?

Poverty is defined as “pronounced deprivation in well-being” or “a deprivation of essential assets and opportunities to which every human being is entitled.” In this research, poverty in urban areas is what is referred to simply as urban poverty. Using a multi-dimensional lens, urban poverty was examined along several dimensions and these were: (a) income; (b) health; (c) security; and (d) social inclusion.

The study made use of three types of data collection strategies, namely: (a) re-analysis of the data sets of the nationwide surveys conducted by the Philippine National Statistics Office, specifically the 1997 and 2000 Family Income and Expenditure Surveys (FIES), the 1999 Annual Poverty Indicator Survey (APIS) and the 2000 National Census and Population Survey; (b) Conduct of a Micro Community Survey in two cities in Metro Manila; and (c) use of documents and statistical reports.

Urban poverty is generally a periphery and center-periphery phenomenon. Small children are a common sight in urban areas and most of the families in urban poor communities have very young children aged less than 15 years. Family structure is generally extended; households are generally large composing not only the core and nuclear family members but relatives as well. Crowding is a common phenomenon.

The study concluded that, based on the selected data collection strategies, poverty in urban areas has persisted. Despite aspirations and hope for improving their lives, the poor have experienced little or no improvement at all. The very poor were unable to generate much income, gain access to the basic services necessary for the development of human as well as social capital.

Key words: Urban poverty, social safety nets, Philippine National Statistics Office, data collection strategies

 

ASIA HIV/AIDS RESEARCH FOR ACTION NETWORK (AHARAN) MEETING/WORKSHOP
Project Director:          Exaltacion E. Lamberte
Funding Agency:        Department for International Development-Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

The aim of the workshop was to provide an Asian perspective of HIV/AIDS and STI that considers migration patterns, country border activities and political events shaping the region.

The medium-term output is a collaborative proposal among Asian countries for STI/HIV/AIDS research that will add to the knowledge-base and have direct implications on regional policy formulation and implementation of effective interventions. The workshop closed with participants identifying an Action Plan as the basis for the establishment of a new Asia HIV/AIDS Research for Action Network (AHARAN).

Key words: HIV/AIDS, STI, policy formulation, research for action

 

BEHAVIOR CHANGE COMMUNICATION COURSE FOR PROGRAM MANAGERS FOR REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND ADVOCACY
Project Director:          Exaltacion E. Lamberte
Funding Agency:        UNFPA-Department of Health

The Center conducted a five-day intensive workshop entitled "Behavior Change Communication (BCC) for Reproductive Health for Program Managers engaged in RH and Advocacy” from May 24 to 28, 2004 at the Charles Huang Conference Center in Calaca, Batangas. The workshop aimed to improve the communication management of 18 facilitators from the Department of Health. After a series of lectures on practice principles of person-centered BCC, the workshop culminated with a sharing of communication and action plans.  These plans will eventually be implemented in the facilitators' respective departments.

The training included sessions on the framework and problem-solving; effective interpersonal communication and helping skills; communication channels and message development; process and strategies; and issues and desired behavior in RH.

The training was the last in a series that began in December 2003. The program resulted from a joint campaign by DLSU and UNPF to stabilize population growth and reduce poverty.

Key words: Reproductive health, behavior change communication, effective interpersonal communication, message development, population growth

 

ASIAN REGIONAL WRITESHOP/MEETING IN RELATION TO THE HIV/AIDS STI KNOWLEDGE PROGRAMME OF THE LIVERPOOL SCHOOL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE
Project Director:          Loyd Brendan Norella
Funding Agency:        Department for International Development-Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

The Asia HIV/AIDS Research for Action Network (AHARAN) was established in July 2003 when delegates from China, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, India and the Philippines met in Manila for the 1st Asian Regional Writeshop/Meeting in Relation to HIV/AIDS and STI. The aim of establishing the Network was to provide an Asian perspective of HIV/AIDS and STI that considers migration patterns, country border activities, and political events shaping the region.

The Manila meeting/writeshop was conducted with the following objectives: 1) to form an active core of Asian researchers for the Knowledge Program; 2) to assess knowledge on HIV/AIDS/STI among prospective Asian KP country partners; 3) to identify the existing knowledge base and needs for research activities, projects and programs related to HIV/AIDS/STI in Asia; 4) to promote regional cooperation and commitment among Asian countries related to HIV/AIDS/STI research; and 5) to identify common concerns and shared objectives of the group towards an HIV/AIDS Social Science Network database in Asia. The final output was a concrete collaborative research proposal that addresses the region's concerns. 

The research proposal marked the beginning of a unified project to be carried out in the participating Asian countries.

Key words: HIV/AIDS, STI, Asian region, knowledge programs, collaborative research

 

COMMUNITY-BASED FOREST MANAGEMENT PROJECT IN THE PHILIPPINES: THE CASE OF CAPOOCAN, LEYTE
Project Director:          Marlon DL. Era
Funding Agency:        Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

The In-Depth Case Study (IDCS) is a documentation of the Community-Based Forest Management Project (CBMFP) in Visares, Capoocan in the province of Leyte.  This undertaking is a component of the ongoing collaboration between the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Philippine Government through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).  The study attempts to provide a more comprehensive understanding of what set of conditions, factors and strategies enable the CBFM projects to succeed, and what factors constrain success or may even lead to failure.  Its focus is in the areas of organizational stability, forest area development and management, business and financial management, and policy and institutional support. A complementation of Focus Group Discussion (FGD), document review and Key Informant Interview (KII) has been utilized to gather and analyze the data.  Data interpretation, on the other hand, uses additional analytical constructs designed to address the issue of benefits, which concomitantly addresses the success/failure debate.

From the study, it was found that the DENR organizational structure at various implementing levels that will look into the CBFM Program implementation is not in place.  The jurisdiction over Visares is not even clear, whether it should be PENRO-Leyte or CENRO-Albuera that oversees the program implementation.  Moreover, the function of the local government of Capoocan in the CBFMP, although clearly stated in the CBFMA, seemed not to have been absorbed by the LGU.  They limit their involvement to the annual induction of UMACAP officers.

Despite the realities that the economic benefits of the program brought among the beneficiaries, the forest and its concomitant benefits—i.e., ecological and physical—remain to be the most significant rallying point of the sustained aspiration of the Visares community to continue the Project.  Future CBFM implementations could draw inspiration and lessons from the Visares experiences. 

Key words:  Forest area development and management, organizational stability, program implementation, business and financial management, policy and institutional support  

 

OPERATIONS RESEARCH TRAINING FOR THE MALARIA CONTROL PROGRAM
Project Director           Pilar Ramos-Jimenez
Funding Agency:        World Health Organization-Tropical Diseases Research
                       
SDRC, in collaboration with the World Health Organization Western Pacific Regional Office (WHO-WPRO), ACT Malaria, and the Philippine Department of Health, conducted an intensive twenty-day training on Operations Research (OR) for the Malaria Control Program on November 3-22, 2003. Fifteen participants from the Greater Mekong Region (Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and China) and Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand) attended the course.

The training was designed for malaria field personnel who are currently and directly involved in implementing malaria control programs. The goal of the course was to equip the participants with social science research skills to enable them to undertake small-scale OR studies in communities for improving existing malaria control interventions. At the end of the course, the participants were able to develop small-scale research proposals that focused on the behavioral aspects of malaria control. These products were intended as diagnostic or baseline studies preparatory to the development of full-blown OR studies carried out after the baseline studies were completed. The community baseline studies were implemented for eight months in 2004, with financial support from ACT Malaria. 

Various training methodologies were utilized during the training. Aside from lectures, participatory teaching methods—particularly workshops, discussion groups, individual oral presentation, role playing, and field practicum—were used. The participants from each country were also assigned to conduct icebreakers/energizers and to recapitulate the highlights of the previous day’s topic/s and activities at the beginning of each day’s morning and afternoon sessions.

 

Key words: Malaria control, operations research studies, training methodologies

 



 

 

 

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