The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) and the Socio-Economics Research and Data Analytics Laboratory (SERDAL) kicked off the "Strengthening Policy Analysis in the Regions: Mentoring on the Development of Policy Research Proposals" (PA Mentoring Program) with an online orientation on July 3, 2023.
The three-month mentoring program, being held from July 3 to October 6, 2023, will help selected mentees develop their policy research with the guidance of their mentors, who are esteemed figures in policy research. The program aims to enhance the capacity of DOST-PCAARRD's consortia network in examining policy issues in the regions. Mentees were chosen from the participants of the DOST-PCAARRD and Socio-economics Research and Data Analytics Centers’ (SERDACs) "Strengthening Policy Analysis in the Regions" training series conducted in 2021 and 2022.
The orientation, the first of three plenary sessions, aimed to provide an overview of the program, introduce the mentors and mentees, and set goals and expectations for the one-on-one mentoring sessions. The mentees’ final outputs after the program are policy research proposals that can be submitted to DOST-PCAARRD for possible project funding.
Dr. Agham C. Cuevas, Dean of the College of Economics and Management (CEM) of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), welcomed the mentors and mentees during the orientation. He expressed SERDAL’s commitment to providing capacity-building programs on data analytics and policy analysis. With the esteemed pool of mentors, Dean Cuevas shared that he is confident the mentees will produce quality policy research proposals.
DOST-PCAARRD’s Socio-Economics Research Division (SERD) Director Ernesto O. Brown, expressed his gratitude to the event organizers and mentors for their instrumental role in facilitating the mentoring program. He also acknowledged the mentees from various agencies and encouraged them to use their learnings toward advancing policy research in their respective regions.
Dr. Melodee Marciana E. De Castro, Training Coordinator from SERDAL, introduced the mentors and mentees. The esteemed mentors are Dr. Isabelita M. Pabuayon, Dr. Zenaida M. Sumalde, Dr. Dinah Pura T. Depositario, Associate Prof. Amelia L. Bello, and Assistant Prof. Paul Joseph B. Ramirez.
The selected mentees are from the Bureau of Animal Industry, Cebu Technological University, Eastern Samar State University, Mariano Marcos State University, Mindanao State University, National Economic and Development Authority Region 2, Partido State University, University of Southern Mindanao, and University of the Philippines Tacloban College.
To enhance the mentees’ knowledge and methods of developing and implementing policy research, Asst. Professor Ramirez lectured on the Theory of Change. This was followed by a discussion on developing policy research proposals by Ms. Mia Baraba Aranas, head of SERD’s Policy Analysis and Information Management Unit (PAIMU).
Each mentee presented their concept proposal, and the plenary provided their comments and suggestions. After the orientation program, the mentors and mentees started their first one-on-one session. The session served as a venue for them to discuss the mentee’s proposed policy research in detail and identify goals for succeeding mentoring sessions.
The mentors and mentees will have mentoring sessions in the next three months. The second plenary session for the midterm review is scheduled in August, while the final plenary session for the presentation of the mentees’ policy research proposal is set for October.
SERDAL is a research facility that offers researchers’ access to licensed statistical softwares, results of previous research, and technical assistance on socio-economics research. It is currently lodged in CEM, UPLB. The Laboratory conducts capability-building activities through hands-on training and data analytics application in addressing policy and research issues, encompassing a range of commodities.