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120The Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), in partnership with Making All Voice Count (MAVC) and HIVOS International, conducted Negotiations and Communications, and Data Interpretation and Management Workshops for the “Developing technology-based innovation platforms at provincial level: Supporting Bottom Up Budgeting (BuB) projects for 2015 in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to identify context specific tech-based innovations to support with making the BuB reporting and monitoring more feasible and information accessible to civil society organizations, provincial government and communities at large” in Surigao Del Norte and Abra on March 9 and March 15-16, 2016 respectively.
ULAP Programs, Plans and Policies Manager Crystal Eunice Dela Cruz together with Project Officer Irish Generoso welcomed participants from the Municipalities of San Isidro and Malimono and the Province of Surigao Del Norte. Technical Officer Norbert Peter Indunan joined the team for the Abra workshop with participants coming from the Municipalities of San Isidro and Langiden and the Province of Abra.
The brief orientation on the current BuB monitoring and reporting mechanism as well as the overview of the project and previously implemented activities were presented by Ms. Dela Cruz in Surigao del Norte and Mr. Indunan in Abra.
ULAP Executive Director Czarina Medina-Guce served as resource person for the Negotiations and Communications Workshop held in Surigao del Norte on the morning of March 9. The session started off with a role playing game simulating a situation requiring communication and negotiation between 2 groups. A short discussion followed as the simulation was processed by the speaker. The session ended with another simulation, this time requiring negotiation between 7 groups with different advocacies and agenda. The processing of the simulated negotiation was a free flowing discussion of learnings from the entire workshop. The same session was conducted by Ms. Dela Cruz during the Abra workshop.
The Data Interpretation and Management for Surigao del Norte was facilitated by Department of Budget and Management – Open Data Philippines, Program Assistant Miss Raisa Perez, while the Abra workshop was facilitated by her colleague Citizen Engagement Officer Ms. Michelle Manza. The session started with a short lecture on offline and online data management. This was followed by two simulation exercises which focused on the application of all things they learned from the workshop where they were given data sets to appreciate, interpret, visualize and present. The participants were even given the task to translate these data into policy recommendations and actionable points.
The workshops were designed to develop the skills of both representatives from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Local Government Units (LGUs) on negotiations and communications, and data interpretation and management. The need for these trainings was identified during the design thinking workshop and monitoring visit of the ULAP project team to the project site. The improved capacity to negotiate and interpret data is in preparation of the upcoming prototype testing for the BuB 911 hotline prototype which aims to improve BuB reporting and reporting through the province as info-mediating platform.
For both areas pre-tests and post-tests were conducted, which were categorized based on familiarity per subtopic and session. The evaluation had a range of 1 to 5 with 5 being ‘extremely confident’ and 1 being ‘least confident’. Results showed that more participants became more confident on the topics after the training. Pre-test for both workshops ranged between 2-5. Post-test for the negotiation and data interpretation workshops registered an increased score range between 3-5.