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Devolution for democracy: good practice cases from the Philippines

The Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. (BMFI) employs a three-pronged strategy of (1) providing sustainable integrated area development, (2) developing mechanisms and technology for democratic participation of people and communities in localities and (3) facilitating agrarian reform implementation. BMFI's advocacy was formulated in the context of continuing poverty and powerlessness in the region. At the same time, BMFI's espousal takes as it backdrop a political environment that is more open and conducive to shared governance (sectoral, NGO participation in the finer aspects of regional governance). The policy environment within which BMFI operates is constricted by (the) well-defined ethnic differences as well as disturbing poverty that permeate across the region. The involvement of BMFI in development work is largely area-based, focused on at least five major levels of engagement (i.e., the barangay, the municipality, the province, the region and the nation). The study strongly suggests that to further enhance the advocacy efforts of the BMFI, the following capability-building needs must be squarely addressed: (a) technical assistance on revenue generation programs and economic promotion for local government; (b) training for micro-enterprise development; (c) continuing paralegal education; (d) training on program monitoring.


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