Anniversary Program Features Forum on Kraft and Peace Corps Projects

Ms. Leah and Dr. YumThe Social Development Research Center celebrated its 32nd anniversary on April 7, 2011 with a program entitled "Forging New Avenues in Social Development Research" at the Yuchengco Building.  The program was highlighted by a research dissemination forum during which the findings from two on-going research studies were presented.

Behavioral Sciences faculty member and project director Leah Veneessa Valbuena gave the opening presentation entitled "Kraft Foods Philippines' Corporate Reputation Survey: Infusing Cultural Sensitivity with Market Research," during which she discussed findings in relation to the consumer sector.  Based on knowledge and awareness of Kraft products as opposed to competing brands, the Kraft Foods study established that the concept of a product was directly related to its mother company, and the brand of a product was directly related to the company’s reputation. Advertisements promoting products resulted in knowledge of the products and what they were associated with, which then established the company’s reputation. Ultimately, consumer preference and the decision to purchase a product, based on the study, were determined by the product’s price.

The discussant for the Kraft Foods study was OIC for the Office of the CLA Vice Dean and Filipino Department faculty member Dr. Feorillo Petronilo Demeterio III. He noted that while the Kraft Foods study centered on its marketing survey, the work of the team was commendable as a means of supporting the company's efforts to improve its corporate social responsibility (CSR) program.

Dr. Tess and Dr. DagmangThe second presentation, "Pagiging 'Natural' sa Usaping 'Pangkultural': Isang Pagbabahagi sa Ginawang Impact Assessment Tungkol sa Projektong Pang-Edukasyon ng Peace Corps Philippines," was made by project director Dr. Ma. Teresa de Guzman, also of the Behavioral Sciences Department.  Through the presentation, Dr. de Guzman shared the experiences of the research team in conducting the impact assessment of the Peace Corps education project. Among the significant points shared was the team’s utilization of a "natural" approach to data gathering, which helped in making respondents feel more relaxed in sharing information, as well as enabled them to remember more and reflect at a deeper level with regard to their experiences in participating in the Peace Corps project. She also cited problems the team encountered in the data gatheri ng, including the informants' providing responses through "liminal calibration," or answers that were vague or inexact; and the difficulty of interpreting non-verbal responses such as physical gestures or facial expressions.

audience and staffReacting to her study was Theology and Religious Education faculty member and SDRC Director Dr. Ferdinand Dagmang, who affirmed the finding that, in the Philippine context, researchers must look beyond what an informant says, and seek the underlying meaning in responses that are given.

Among the guests in attendance during the anniversary program was Ms. Anya Nuyda-Mayor, Program Assistant of Peace Corps Philippines

Coinciding with the dissemination forum was an exhibit on current SDRC projects, held at the Yuchengco Lobby.