3 of 20 ASEAN fellows for “Innovation in Inclusive Development” are Mindanawons

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 3 Sept) – Three of 20 ASEAN fellows for “Innovation in Inclusive Development” (IID) are Mindanawons, all of them from Davao City.

The Universities and Councils Network on Innovation for Inclusive Development in Southeast Asia (UNIID-SEA) announced Wednesday the selection of 20 IID Fellows from eight ASEAN countries. Through a small grants program, the Fellows will “develop and share teaching and learning packages featuring innovative and inclusive approaches to pressing social concerns such as sustainable livelihoods, food security, climate change, water and sanitation, and special education, among others.”

The UNIID-SEA defines “Innovation for inclusive development” as “innovation that aims to reduce poverty, and enables as many groups of people, especially the poor and marginalized, to participate in decision-making, create and actualize opportunities, and share the benefits of development.”

Of the 20 fellows, 10 are from the Philippines, three of them from Mindanao; three from Malaysia, two from Singapore, and one each from Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia and Cambodia.

The three Mindanawon IID Fellows are Arlene Cosape, Dean of the School of Business and Governance of the Ateneo de Davao University; Glorypearl Dy, a graduate of the University of the Philippines-Mindanao, now CEO and President of Switotwins, Inc.: and Milton Norman Medina, Associate professor, Math and Science Department of the College of Arts and Sciences Education at the University of Mindanao.

Cosape’s project is the Badjao Registry Integration Development and Growth through Entrepreneurship (BRIDGE) program. Cosape’s module will focus on “including the Badjaos in the civil registry, explore their concept of and aspirations on livelihood, conduct an inventory of their skills, help them make a viable business plan and then implement it into a sustainable livelihood.”

Dy’s project is on digital storytelling and peacebuilding. Her project is “in response to the increasing need for peacebuilding through storytelling in Mindanao schools where indigenous peoples study” and the module aims to “initiate activities that give children a deeper understanding of how to manage emotions and express feelings towards peace using their own voice.”

“Despite being exposed to and/or enduring the consequences of physical, cultural and structural violence, many young people choose to engage in constructive initiatives to fuel advocacies that promote mediation, intercultural communication, conflict transformation and peace work projects,” Dy said.

Medina’s project aims to “provide community leaders and members with basic biodiversity protocols in order to give users a deeper understanding of their own biodiversity and allow them to assess the extent of damage, identify and note the importance of endemic species and, in the process, act towards conservation and protection.”

The seven other Filipino IID Fellows are Mynabel Pomarin, researcher at Anthropology Watch; Neil Oliver Penullar, Documentation Research and Technology Development Coordinator of the Center for Social Concern and Action of the De La Salle University; Rafael Guerrero III, Professorial Lecturer of the School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of the Philippines in Los Banos; Stephanie Cuevas, Operations Manager of Rags2Riches, Inc.; Anna Mae dela Cruz, Product Development Officer of the Mercado General Hospital, Incorporated; Gerson Abesamis, Teacher, Computer Science and Technology Unit or the Philippine Science High School; and Ma. Larissa Lelu Gata, Assistant Professor of the Department of Social Forestry and Forest Governance of the University of the Philippines in Los Banos.

Launched in April by UNIID-SEA – in cooperation with the ASEAN University Network (AUN) – the IID Fellows Program aims to recognize and connect IID advocates in the region to “help reduce the internal development gap among ASEAN member countries by facilitating the sharing of knowledge and innovations that address common development issues.”

The program aims to “target the poor and marginalized as partners,” and its teaching and learning packages aim to “answer the needs of grassroots communities,” the UNIID-SEA announcement said.

The UNIID-SEA is a project of the Ateneo School of Government (ASoG), in collaboration with the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP). UNIID-SEA works with universities and research councils in Southeast Asia to promote action research and facilitate the development of programs that support innovation for inclusive development. It is supported by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

The UNIID-SEA received a total of 104 proposals from target applicants in all 10 ASEAN member states, of which a total of 20 IID Fellows were selected following a rigorous screening process.

The winning proposals were chosen for their “excellent demonstration of IID elements: responding to the needs of the poor and marginalized, solution seeking, open and collaborative, scalable, and sustainable.” Also considered was the quality of the proposed teaching and learning package, including its design and usability, content, responsiveness to target users, flexibility and replicability.

The press announcement said IID Fellows are now undergoing mentorship with IID experts from the UNIID-SEA network to develop and refine their teaching and learning packages and that once these are ready for release, “these modules and courses will be shared with the public via the Inclusive Innovation Hub,” a web-based knowledge and networking hub that will be formally launched by the last quarter of 2014.