On May 24, 2018, CODE-NGO were invited to be part of a panel with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), and the Provincial Government of Cebu to share our experiences on our current partnership with the Humanitarian Leadership Academy Philippines at the Global Network of Civil Society Organizations for Disaster Response (GNDR) Summit 2018.

The panel was chaired by the Partnerships Brokers Association and aimed to show best practices in multi-stakeholder collaboration. The summit was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on the 22nd-25th of May 2018 with the theme “Stronger Together: Connecting Communities”.

CODE-NGO’s partnership with the Academy entails a pilot of mixed learning courses on Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction Management and the conduct of a Service Continuity Planning Workshop for three sub-national DRRM hubs of CODE-NGO located in Benguet, Cebu, and Caraga. The project is called Blended Learning Approach to Strengthen Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (BLAST DRRM).

CODE-NGO is the largest coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) networks comprised of six national networks and six sub-national networks. Our member base is around more than 1,600 NGOs, people’s organizations and cooperatives across the country. Yet, we wouldn’t have been as big nor effective in our operations if not for the cornerstone of our organization which is our collaborative partnership with our member networks and organizations, and partners in development.

A challenge for Philippine CSOs not only in the field of disaster risk reduction (DRR), is capacity building and knowledge exchange. The Philippines, with its beautiful archipelagic islands, faces the challenge in logistics, resources and social and cultural differences. This is where our partnership with the Academy takes shape and adds value to our DRR initiatives.

Our organization has now changed gears in capacity building since last year to put focus on strategic ways to promote innovation and excellence in our capacity development, research, communication and advocacy work. The Academy has been a valuable partner in realizing these efforts. With the Academy supporting our BLAST Project, we have been able to shift our training delivery and introduce new ways of learning with effective use of technology.

Partnerships like the one fostered by the Academy with our organization has given us ways to experiment and innovate. This month marks a year into the partnership and I have nothing but good to say about the people I have worked with together at the Academy.

On a personal note, I am part of a generation which you would call a “millennial”. We have been known for being the quickest to adapt to technology and have the eagerness to think outside the box. CODE-NGO as an organization has never failed to support my non-traditional take on things and my favor to journey into the new and experiential.

The Humanitarian Leadership Academy as a partner fueled these innovative methods we presented and gave us a way to use a different approach in preparing and taking disasters head on. Working with the Academy is unlike working with a new set of people with different goals. We were able to harmonize by finding what we can contribute together to achieve a common objective.

While working on the project and during numerous collaborations, I’ve never felt discriminated due to age or experience, especially since I am quite new to the DRR Sector. The team instead encouraged me to bring out my ideas on instructional design to create the blended learning modules we will be using on the project.

CODE-NGO encourages more partnerships like these to be extended to CSOs in the Philippines — partnerships wherein there is genuine belief in a shared goal and one that encourages not only the completion of a project but also avenues for sustainable growth and innovation.

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