SDRC Participates in SERP-P Network Biennial Meeting

Welcoming member-institution representatives to the 4th SERP-P Network Biennial Meeting, Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) on December 6, 2016, President Dr. Gilberto Llanto pointed out that the group’s efforts would be exerted in “the era of post-truth,” at once posing a challenge to all present. According to him, “In an era where changes are coming (in) many different ways, the value of organizations like SERP-P becomes more pronounced. SERP-P is about the truth; it is about empirical evidence and producing policies that are evidence-based.”
Held at the new PIDS offices at Centris North Tower in Quezon City, the Biennial Meeting was the first gathering of Socioeconomic Research Portal for the Philippines (SERP-P) member institutions—29 of which were in attendance, including DLSU-SDRC, represented by Publications and Research Dissemination Coordinator Connie Maraan and Research and Information Assistant Maria Catherine Domingo—since 2014.

SERP-P Technical Adviser Dr. Aniceto Orbeta, Jr. described the Portal as a repository for sharing knowledge with users—similar to a continuous research fair on the web. He pointed out that it allows users to keep abreast with publications in their field and to avoid duplication; it also helps researchers to identify possible areas of collaboration.

SERP-P Project Manager Dr. Sheila Siar presented the accomplishments of the project since the 2014 biennial meeting. With the contributions from the SERP-P Network, the Portal is now home to more than 5,600 materials. To resolve challenges currently confronted by the project, Dr. Siar reported that the SERP-P team at PIDS continuously conducts coaching sessions in using the SERP-P content management system (CMS), as well as reorientation and promotion programs to raise awareness of the Portal.

Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Executive Director Dr. Janet Lopoz then spoke about the partnership between PIDS and MinDA, demonstrating how a prolific partnership between SERP-P and another member-institution goes beyond contributing material to the Portal. She centered her discussion on the Mindanao Knowledge Center (MKC), whose goal is to serve as the leading resource of policy research and experts on Mindanao, and to share research studies among academic institutions, government agencies, and international organizations.

image2The afternoon session was spent on developing short-, medium-, and long-term visions for the SERP-Project (i.e., for 2018, 2020, and 2022, respectively). Strategies in the form of activities and policies to achieve these visions were discussed. Divided into five groups, the participants developed future pathways for SERP-P. Ms. Maraan and Ms. Domingo were part of a group that included representatives from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS), the UPLB Center for Strategic Planning and Policy Studies (UPLB CSPPS), and the UPLB College of Development Communication (UPLB CDC).

For 2018, the general vision is for a more strengthened and engaged SERP-P Network, with members fully committed to contributing materials to the Portal and to promoting the open access agenda. In 2020, the participants envision the SERP-P website as being a leading open access repository of research materials in the country, with a wider reach and expanded research coverage. In 2022, on SERP-P’s 20th Anniversary, the participants envision that the Portal will find its way into the global arena, with the goal of establishing a research culture among its primary stakeholders.

(with reporting from SERP-P Coordinator Mark Vincent Aranas)