2 Caraga towns train on grassroots documentation, reporting

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/28 Oct) — Ten participants from the town of Esperanza in Agusan del Sur finished the Grassroots Documentation and Reporting Training organized by the Mindanao News and Information Cooperative Center (MNICC) while 12 more are attending the same program in Lianga, Surigao del Sur starting Friday (Oct. 29).

The training for Esperanza participants was held Oct. 15-16 in the municipality of San Francisco in Agusan del Sur. The Lianga leg will be on October 29-30.

The MNICC, the publisher of MindaNews, organized the GDRT in 2005, as its outreach arm to help train citizens in Mindanao’s communities to learn how to document and report on their issues, concerns, desires, and aspirations.

The GDRT has been organized in four areas, namely, in Caraga town in Davao Oriental in 2005; Upi, Maguindanao in 2006; Tandag, Surigao del Sur in 2007; and in Cotabato City in 2008.

The recent GDRT engagements in two towns in Caraga are organized in cooperation with the German Technical Cooperation agency (GTZ) based in Butuan City.

The GDRT is conducted in three phases, from the pre-training consultation, the training proper, and the post training evaluation.

Participants are chosen during the consultation stage mostly from groups of farmers, fishers, cooperatives, women, local church social action arm.

Trainers from MindaNews facilitate three basic components of the GDRT — Basic Reporting, Basic Documentation, and Basic Photography.

The two-day training is conducted in a mix of lectures, workshops, hands-on and critiquing sessions.

At the end of the training proper, participants spend time to plan how to practice the skills they learned.

In the post-training evaluation, the GDRT training team returns to assess the implementation of the participants’ plan to apply what they learned in the training.

MNICC organizes the GDRT as part of its outreach for people empowerment through media. This is through getting the citizens involved in documenting, and if necessary, reporting on the issues they are facing.

In the context of the Caraga region, GDRT is useful in helping address the peace building needs of the priority and select communities. Based on the findings of the “Participatory Conflict Analysis conducted by GTZ in Selected Areas of the Uplands, Lowlands and Coastal Zones” in the region, there were identified peace building needs and opportunities for conflict transformation in the area.

GDRT’s desire to empower the communities in documentation and reporting will help address peace-building needs such as transparent and responsive government, platforms for dialogue and consultations, support for multi-stakeholder mechanisms and processes, support for plans and programs for resource rehabilitation and protection, enforcement of laws and ordinances, and continuing Information and Education Campaign. (MindaNews)