Philippine Government Officials Set to Develop Projects on Data Analytics

Australia Awards Short Course participants spent three months of full-time study at the Carnegie Mellon University-Australia (CMU-A). They are now back in the Philippines to complete a data analytics capstone project for their re-entry action plan (REAP).

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Eleven Filipino government officials are getting Australian training in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics (BIDA). The 6-month course supported by Australia Awards will help government agencies’ use data and technology to deliver public service solutions.

The participants are from  the National Economic Development Authority, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Budget and Management, the Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Civil Service Commission.  After three months of full-time study at the Carnegie Mellon University-Australia (CMU-A) in Adelaide, South Australia, the participants will complete the course part-time while back at work in the Philippines. 

“This is a great story of partnership between Australia and the Philippine Government. Technology and data analytics are powerful tools for governments to harness. I’m looking forward to seeing how Philippine agencies will use the skills they learn from this opportunity.” said Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven J. Robinson AO.

As part of the program each participant will develop a data analytics project with support from CMU-A. It will form part of a re-entry action plan (REAP) -  a key feature of Australia Awards courses. Through REAPs, participants apply their newly acquired knowledge to real-world projects that will provide practical benefits to their organisation.

“The participants in this program are being trained in cutting-edge analytic techniques and technologies. These new skills will help them strengthen their home agencies through the use of analytics,” said CMU-A Professor Murli Viswanathan, who supervises the development of the projects.

“In my Department, as across the whole of the public sector, there is a growing demand and need to automate administrative and financial transactions. With this training, I am in a position to be a key influencer and implementer of digital transformation in the Philippines” said Florante Igtiben, one of the course participants, a Director from the National Economic Development Agency, responsible for managing Information, Communication and Technology.  

Another participant, Assistant Director Legaspi, who works in the Export Marketing Bureau of DTI, said the short course in BIDA will help both her agency and clients.  “Utilising data science will help us understand export markets and opportunities, analyse current programs, and help us support clients as well as DTI management,” she said.

Another group of government officials completed a separate Australia Awards Short Course on Policy Research and Development also delivered by CMU-A in collaboration with De La Salle University’s Jesse Robredo Institute of Governance.  

Twenty-six policy officers from the Department of Budget and Management, the National Economic Development Authority, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Public Private Partnerships Center, the Philippine Competition Commission, and the Civil Service Commission took part in the short course.

Professor Emil Bolongaita, Head of CMU-A and Course Team Leader, said the course was results-oriented. “The participants learned critical analytical skills that will equip them to become policy entrepreneurs when they return to their agencies,” he said.

Faculty coaches from CMU-A trained participants to produce policy reform proposals that they can implement in their organisations. The course combined on-site and remote learning. At the conclusion participants presented policies they developed to senior managers in their departments.

As part of its broader development assistance program, the Australian Government supports the Philippine Government in its goal by providing capacity building and scholarships to civil servants.


Australia Awards Short Courses provide short-term training activities that respond to the emerging needs of select Philippine agencies. They are designed to equip agencies’ leaders and professionals with valuable knowledge and skills to help them drive change in their organisations and communities. While also building people-to-people links between Australia and the Philippines.