Government Agencies Participate in Urban Resilience Validation Workshop

Representatives from the Departments of National Defense, Environment and Natural Resources, and Interior and Local Government, the Local Government Academy, PAGASA, the Municipality of Tabaco, Albay, and the Australian Government Overseas Aid Program participated in a validation workshop for the project "Political Economy of the Use of Knowledge and Research Evidence in the Design and Delivery of Urban Resilience" held on May 7, 2012 at Bro. Andrew Gonzalez Hall.

The workshop featured presentations on the basic background of the project by Dr. Arnaldo Pellini of the Overseas Development Institute, who spoke on ODI's RAPID (Research and Policy in Development) programme, which links evidence-based knowledge with policy and development processes; a background paper on the project by research team member Dr. Melvin Jabar, who provided definitions of "urban resilience" and characterized it as being about "adaptability and not resistance," and involving "collective efforts since it is systemic"; and on the sites, methodology and research results by team leader Dr. Antonio Contreras, who cited the actions to be taken (foremost involving the need to document local knowledge and experiences), the opportunities and constraints stemming from the use of evidence-based knowledge, and the Theory of Change and E ntry Points (in which the participation of the major players—politicians, grassroots movements, and academe—was emphasized), as part of the study's recommendations.

Significant points arising from the discussion, moderated by team member Dr. Dennis Erasga, included successes achieved through the dissemination of hazard maps by PAGASA and its sister agencies, and trainings conducted for LGUs for interpreting the maps; the factors inhibiting LGUs to feed evidence-based knowledge into policy; the need for funding agencies to support the popularization of scientific knowledge; the importance of advocating behavioral change in relation to experience-based knowledge; the importance of ensuring sustainability in the light of changes in government personnel; and the awareness of the supply and demand sides for knowledge. Team member Dr. Robert Javier concluded the workshop with a synthesis of the discussions.