As the permanent secretariat of the Philippine Academic Society for Climate and Disaster Resilience (PASCDR) and the academic sector partner of the Philippine Preparedness Partnership (PhilPrep), the UP Resilience Institute (UP RI) brought together leaders from the PASCDR and PhilPrep to a Roundtable Discussion last 20th of October 2022. There were a total of 26 participants online and 35 in-person throughout the event from different universities and organizations.
The discussion’s theme “Enhancing DRRM Practice With the Academe” focused on how DRRM leaders in different sectors can expand their collaborations and partnerships with the academe for the shared goal of strengthening DRRM in the Philippines. Through the roundtable discussion, the academic sector reaffirmed its internal linkages and collaboration with other humanitarian actors to effectively synergize DRR efforts.
Dr. Lourdes Portus of the Philippine Social Science Center (PSSC) gave the welcome remarks and Dr. Alfredo Mahar Francisco Lagmay, Executive Director of the UP RI, gave the opening remarks.
The discussion was divided into four plenaries, along with two in-person workshops and one online workshop conducted simultaneously.
During the first plenary, DRR sectoral representatives from PhilPrep shared how the academe can enhance and respond to their DRRM practices. They shared their previous experience in working with the Academe and elaborated on possible collaborations and opportunities to work with the sector in the future.
The Academe responded and shared their resources with the DRR sectoral representatives in the second plenary. Projects of the Academe and how they were utilized by different sectors (government, CSOs, private sector, etc.), the challenges they faced working with different sectors, and their best practices were discussed.
In-person and online workshops in enhancing DRRM practice with the Academe and an in-person workshop for research agenda in DRR-CCA were done simultaneously.
To enhance DRRM practice with the academe, discussion centered on existing strengths, challenges, and opportunities. Strengths included the institution of R.A. 10121, the willingness of local government units and non-government organizations to collaborate and work with the academe, and broader support from the Commission on Higher Education. Weaknesses, on the other hand, include the lack of funding, the need to mainstream research workers and their agenda, and the need to establish research protocols and ethics reviews. Finally, identified opportunities include making research outputs more relatable to by LGUs and the general public, mainstreaming and defining difficult terminologies, and encouraging community- and locally-led actions.
For a research agenda in DRR-CCA, nine key items were identified and discussed, such as harnessing volunteerism in DRR, convergence of DRR institutions, and underlying factors for the high disaster risk in the Philippines.
After the workshops, recommendations for the Second PASCDR Conference in 2023 were shared by the participants. Besides identifying sessions and forums that are inclusive of our multi-sectoral partners and shying away from traditional presenter-centered academic conferences, workshops for policy-oriented research and community-based methods were suggested.
The roundtable discussion ended with closing remarks from Dr. Emmanuel M. Luna, PASCDR’s National Coordinator.
The discussion was organized in partnership with the Philippine Social Science Center (PSSC), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), Asian Preparedness Partnership (APP), Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), Center for Disaster Preparedness (CDP), and Office of the Civil Defense (OCD). It was held at the PSSC Auditorium in Diliman, Quezon City, and made available online to PASCDR members and PhilPrep partners through Zoom.
(This article was first published in the UP Resilience Institute Website on November 2, 2022)