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BAYANIHAN SA PAMAYANAN AWARDS: Search for Exemplary Practices in Participatory Governance

October 12, 2009 Leave a comment

The Center for Popular Empowerment (CPE) , in partnership with Ateneo School of Government (ASoG), La Salle Institute of Governance (LSIG), University of the Philippines College of Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG), Active Citizenship Foundation (ACF), Barangay Bayan Governance Consortium (BBGC), and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) announces its call for nomination for Barangays and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) who are worthy of citation in promoting and practicing participatory good governance in Greater National Capital Region area. Awarding Ceremonies will be on November 27, 2009.

Overview

In a political system that has been dominated by elite traditional politics, governance has been almost been synonymous to patronage, where public goods and services are dispensed not as a matter of public duty but as a favor by a patron to his/her dependents. The business of local governments had been divorced from the quest for public good and has been hijacked to serve the political perpetration of those holding the helm of power. In a political setting like this, poverty, which breeds dependence, becomes a weapon to be used by those in government positions rather than a problem to be addressed in the pursuit of genuine popular development.

A host of reforms in local governance have been introduced in 1991 with the passage of the Local Government Code (RA 7160). The LGC sought to decentralize powers and functions from the national governments to the local government units. One of the major reforms introduced by the law was the recognition of the importance and the critical role of civil society in governance by establishing mechanisms and processes for popular participation.

Almost two decades after the enactment of the Code, the reforms that it has envisioned and mandated remains to be fully implemented and realized. Most of the traditional politicians holding local elective positions, at best, merely paid lips service to participatory governance while others have found ways to go around the provisions of the law.

There are, however, progressive local government officials, who not only abide with the provisions of the law, but in fact breathed life into the concepts and principles of participatory governance. These are the men and women who broke off from the traditional mold of governance and braved the untested waters of participatory governance. These are the local governments that used innovation, creativity and imagination in exercising popular participation and made it work for them.

Bayanihan sa Pamayanan Awards  seeks to recognize beacons of participatory governance. Through these examples, Gawad Bayanihan aims to  showcase that participatory governance practices are not empty concepts but are, in fact, workable, practical and effective.

Bayanihan sa Pamayanan Awards  salutes partnerships between people and their local governments. It celebrates the breaking down of barriers between the government and its constituents – barriers that prevent local governments from reaching out to community stakeholders in addressing their needs, interests and welfare, barriers that blocks community folks from taking part in the development of projects and programs that their local government implements on their behalf. Gawad Bayanihan bears witness to the exemplary initiatives that prove that people and government working as partners is an effective, efficient and liberative way of governance.

The Award Criteria

a. Innovativeness. Gawad Bayanihan seeks to recognize governance practices that displays creativity, and adaptability that has significant impact on its target communities.

  • New means / ways in doing traditional programs and projects
  • Trailblazing / pioneering work in new areas of governance
  • Introduction of new ways of partnership between local government, civil society and the community

b. Replicability. The initiative although, unique and trailblazing, may be replicated in other areas of similar situation and context.

  • Uses resources that are commonly available in different localities.
  • Responds to situations that is common across local government units.
  • Is not heavily dependent on outside resources that not not usually at the disposal of other local government units.

c. Sustainability. The participatory governance initiative may be maintained, expanded and further developed.

  • Makes optimum use of local resources that is readily available in the community.
  • Creates a sense of ownership among the stakeholders in the project so that they are willing to maintain the project beyond the project time period.
  • Mobilizes the resources of the people and civil society organizations and other stakeholders within the community

d. Transformative. The initiative has transformed power relations at the community level. The project impacts on the terms of reference between the local government and the community.

  • Elevates the target community and their organizations from being mere beneficiaries to stakeholders or co-owners of the project/program
  • Institutionalizes consultative, co-production and resource sharing mechanisms in program planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation
  • Transforms the role of the local government from being a benefactor to being a facilitator of goods, services and programs that responds to the needs and welfare of the target community
  • Develops a sense of accountability within the local government to the target community
  • Lessens the dependence of the community to outside interventions and increases their self-reliance
  • Has an impact on the distribution of control and ownership of essential resources / opportunities

Eligibility

Governance initiatives with the following characteristics are eligible for the awards:

(a)    Programs and projects that were initiated by the local government which gives meaningful and significant participation of civil society organizations and the target communities;

(b)   Civil society-initiated programs and projects that involved the processes and institutions within the local government that involved partnerships in the development and implementation of local government programs/projects.

(c)    Initiatives that were jointly initiated by the local government and its civil society partners in implementing local government programs, projects and services.

Selection Process

1. Submission of nominations (October 12-31, 2009)

Individuals/Organizations may fill up the nomination forms that will be provided and submit their nomination to the Bayanihan sa Pamayanan Awards  Secretariat.

2. Level I / Eligibility Screening (November 1-8)

The Bayanihan sa Pamayanan Awards  Steering Committee will review all nominations in terms of adherence to the eligibility criteria. The Steering Committee shall likewise make recommendations for all nominations that will be submitted to the Level II screening.

3. Level II Screening /Short-listing (November 1-8)

The Screening Committee shall review all eligible nominations together with the recommendations of the Steering Committee. They shall identify a shortlist of nominations that will be recommended for site validation and further documentation.

Site Validation / Interviews (November 9-18)

Teams composed of representatives from the Steering Committee and Selection Committee will conduct area visits to validate the claims submitted in the nominations. They shall also conduct panel interviews to address the questions and concerns raised on the nominees during the previous screening levels.

The Selection Committee will review the reports and recommendations of the area validation teams and shall select the awardees for the different categories.

email: bayanihansapamayanan@gmail.com

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