SDRC Receives Grants for Women and Sustainability, IP Ancestral Domain Claim Studies

The Social Development Research Center has been the recipient of two new grants for studies being conducted during AY 2009-2010.

The first study, on "Women and Sustainable Technology: Scaling Up Vermicomposting among the Talaandigs," is supported by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives. The study aims to increase the Talaandig women's awareness of vermicomposting, eventually inducing upscale of its use. The increased adoption of the technology is intended to lead to savings in farm inputs and an increase in environmental consciousness. The benefits of the technology and the increased involvement of women will guarantee the sustainability of vermicomposting in the community. Its objectives are to increase knowledge and awareness of vermicomposting as a sustainable upland farming technology; to promote the adoption of vermicomposting as a cost-saving and environment-friendly strategy; to encourage women to actively engage in vermicomposting; and to scale up the adoption of vermicomposting in the community.vermicomposting

The project site is Bol-ogan, a predominantly Talaandig community in the barangay of Songco with a population of about 72 households. Songco is one of the villages in Lantapan, a third class municipality found within the Kitanglad Mountain Range in Bukidnon Province of northern Mindanao. Lantapan is known as the "vegetable basket" on the island, with farming as the main occupation of residents. The Talaandigs of Bol-ogan are among the poorest residents of Songco.

The Women and Sustainable Technology study is headed by Ma. Elena Chiong-Javier as project director, with Leah Veneesa Valbuena, Ma. Teresa de Guzman, and Dindo Café as research associates, and Graeme Armecin as research assistant. Duration of the study is from October 28, 2009 to March 31, 2010.

The second study, entitled "Piloting a Participatory Process and Tool to Establish Indigenous Peoples' Household Database for Ancestral Domain Claim," is being conducted through a grant from the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and the Upland NGO Assistance Committee (UNAC). It seeks to develop and pilot test a participatory process and tool for collecting current demographic socio-cultural, poverty, and biodiversity perceptions at the household level in IP communities that require household baseline data for ancestral domain application. The pilot activities are being done in an UNAC-assisted area with the principal thrust of helping the IP in claiming ancestral domain.

womean and technologyThe main objectives of the IP study are: 1) to identify and document the participatory process (i.e. steps) in the construction, revision, pilot texting, and assessment of the household census tool; 2) to determine, with the involvement of IP community leaders, the nature and extent of IP participation in this process; 3) to develop and pretest an appropriate prototype of the household census tool covering baseline demographic, socio-cultural, poverty, and biodiversity perception data; 4) to train local researchers to collect household data using the prototype tool; 5) to pilot test the prototype tool by gathering household data in one pre-selected IP barangay covered in an ancestral domain application; 6) to process, analyze, and write up the household data obtained from using the prototype tool; and 7) to synthesize the major experiences and lessons in participatory tool development for future replication in KASAPI priority IP areas, for scaling up with local government, and/or ultimately for advocacy with NCIP.

The pilot study sites are in the barangays of Acacia and San Fabian, located in Kayapa, one of 15 municipalities in the province of Nueva Vizcaya. Kayapa is a fourth-class municipality in the Central Cordillera Mountain range and an enclave of IP groups, predominantly those of the Kalanguya, Ibaloi, I-uwac, and Kankanaey. The IP organizations in Kayapa are KASAPI members. A total of 320 households-160 per barangay-will be covered by the study. In piloting the household census tool, the household head (male or female) will be interviewed.

The IP study is being undertaken by a research team headed by Dr. Ma. Elena Chiong-Javier as project director, with Cristina Rodriguez and Alvaro Calara as research associates, and Graeme Armecin as research assistant. Duration of the study is from November 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010.