Convened by the Mindanao Studies Consortium Foundation, Inc., in partnership with GTZ, ACT for Peace Programme and CIDA, this first Mindanao-wide conference will gather peace advocates, policymakers, and development workers to exchange views and perspectives on various ODA-assisted peace and development initiatives in Mindanao.
Organizers said “Checkpoints and Chokepoints: Learning from Peace and Development Paradigms and Practices in Mindanao” will be a venue for “reviewing past and present development frameworks in Mindanao, to examine what has worked as opposed to what has not, towards the formulation of appropriate policy interventions.”
Among the expected outputs of the conference are an assessment of the peace and development frameworks as applied to various programs and projects in Mindanao; case studies and analyses of good practices, issues and concerns, lessons learned, as well as factors that contribute to the success of failure of a program or project; publication of the conference papers including good practices and lessons learned from the various peace and development initiatives; and policy recommendations to government agencies, development partners and civil society organizations.
The MSCFI is composed of academic institutions and development organizations that aim to “coordinate, facilitate, and disseminate researches and help bridge the gap between theory and practice in the pursuit of peace and development in Mindanao.”
Its member institutions are: Ateneo de Davao University, Alternate Forum for Research in Mindanao, Capitol University, Dansalan College Foundation, Inc., Mindanao Economic Development Council, Mindanao State University – General Santos City, Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology, Mindanao State University – Marawi City, Notre Dame University, University of the Philippines in Mindanao, University of Southeastern Philippines, and Western Mindanao State University.
MSCFI is chaired by outgoing UP Mindanao Chancellor Ricardo de Ungria.
A pre-conference in November last year noted that there is “much to learn from an island with so many peace and development programs going on simultaneously.”
Ungria told the pre-conference meeting in November that the conference is in line with the Consortium’s mission to “plan, implement, and evaluate the research agenda for peace and development in Mindanao in the next five years through multi-sectoral partnerships and collaboration;” and the group’s vision of having a community of institutions that will “coordinate, facilitate, and disseminate researches and help bridge the gap between theory and practice in the pursuit of peace and development in Mindanao.”
Fr. Albert Alejo, SJ, conference director, said the conference will discuss the “effects of interventions of donor countries in Mindanao.”
He said the conference is intended “not just to multiply data on the ground but also to analyze frameworks in Mindanao” and to look into “not just development paradigms but also practices.”
“All our activities are based on approved projects. Projects are based on planning. Planning is based on analysis. Analysis is based on frameworks,”he said, to emphasize the need for analyzing frameworks. He said there is a need to look into the “best
practices” and even the “failures” so people can learn from them.