DILG cluster leaders trained nationwide, called to develop action plans to support Byaheng Pinoy

Some 169 Cluster Leaders of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) from provinces and cities in the Philippines have undergone 6-day leadership training workshops in Davao City, Cebu City, Tagaytay City and Baguio City, respectively, with the assistance of AusAID.

The Department has developed the objectives and results framework for this intervention, in collaboration with the Philippines-Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility, a 5-year facility by AusAID to assist key partner organisations of the Philippine Government develop organisational competencies and capacities.


Workplace development objectives and Byaheng Pinoy outcomes

In the case of DILG, the key objective is to enhance the leadership competencies of Cluster Leaders in DILG Provincial Offices, following the implementation of the Department’s Rationalisation Plan (RatPlan) in sub-national offices. Cluster structures were created under the RatPlan to deliver more effectively services to local government units (LGUs) to support the Department’s Byaheng Pinoy: Tapat na Palakad, Bayang Maunlad program.

The Byaheng Pinoy program has four outcomes areas, namely, (1) empowered and accountable LGUs; (2) competitive and business-friendly LGUs; (3) disaster-resilient LGUs; and (4) conflict-free and safe communities. All Cluster Leader-participants to the leadership training are currently developing re-entry action plans (REAPs) in support of any of the four outcome areas, in collaboration with cluster members and under the auspices of the Regional and Provincial Directors of DILG.

Another objective of the human resource and organisational development intervention for DILG is for Cluster Leaders to help improve organisational standards, systems and processes, particularly in relation to the effective operations of clusters in the field. The intended outcome is for Cluster Leaders to contribute to improved local governance and development in local government units (LGUs).

Cluster leadership competencies deepened

During the leadership training workshops, Cluster Leaders applied inclusive and non-judgmental language, methodologies and tools to discover their “natural gifts” or leadership strengths, including individual and team-based assets.

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The idea was to appreciate the collective leadership capital of Cluster Leaders and members, including local stakeholders, in order to co-own and co-create new ways of doing things in response to complex issues in the field and to produce new social arrangements in the community. In so doing, the Cluster Leaders and members are able to emerge their roles, competencies and accountabilities based on their collective strengths.

Among the leadership competencies emphasized was analysing complex issues in the community by using ‘causal loops’ out of stories and positions of various stakeholders. Cluster Leaders also mapped and analysed stakeholders to broaden alliances and manage resistance through communication, collaboration and ‘bridging leadership’ tools.

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Shared visioning was done through logical and creative methodologies, supplemented with a team learning exercise, where humble inquiry methodologies were applied by Cluster Leaders to broaden their vision.  Team learning exposed them to respect the contributions outside the team and to incorporate inputs to expand co-ownership.

Finally, a case clinic was done in the last day of the training.  A member of the geographical group presented a case involving a community dilemma or complex issue and other members acted as process consultants, using all methodologies and tools of Theory U covered in the 6-day leadership training workshop.

Live cases of local transformation, bridging leadership featured

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Emphasising the importance of co-sensing, co-ownership and co-creating in the community, three live cases were also presented in the four batches of leadership training. For the Visayas/Bicol and Mindanao batches, Romy Teruel of the Provincial Government of Bohol shared the LGU’s experiences in making Bohol insurgent-free. The provincial government built trust in insurgency-challenged barangays by mobilising volunteers and engaging local and national stakeholders such as local NGOs/POs, faith-based groups, the military, national agencies and local departments, to develop and implement a holistic anti-poverty program.

For the NCR and Region IVA batch, Sonia Lorenzo, former mayor of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija shared the transformation of the LGU from a fifth class to second class municipality by building trust and winning opponents and opposers to the LGU’s side through a consultative, program-based approach. Similar with the experience of Bohol’s volunteers, San Isidro mobilised and trained barangay health workers (BHWs) and local youth scholars to generate community profiles of local needs, particularly on health, education and agriculture.  These became the bases for program delivery, implementation and monitoring.

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The multi-stakeholder engagement produced positive results. San Isidro farmers were able to more than double the agriculture yield, which also contributed to increased local income for the LGU. The municipality also worked with the Land Bank to enter into a public-private partnership in developing a local water system to deliver inexpensive, safe drinking water to the municipality, the first LGU in the province to do so. It has also transformed the community to enter into social insurance under PhilHealth, with counterparting funds contributed by the families and the municipality. San Isidro has since been recognized as ‘best practice’ by PhilHealth and has been asked to assist other LGUs to replicate this success.

For the final batch of leadership training, the clean air transformation in San Fernando City, La Union was presented. By converting from 2-stroke to 4-stroke engines, tricycles contributed to transforming ambient air quality from unhealthy to fair. The city government provided financing to support the tricycle engine conversion program.

Apart from the live cased presented by key LGU officials, a video of Cebu’s Bantay Banay was also shown documenting a bottoms-up movement by an NGO and local communities to win the support of the city government to address violence against women and children.

Coaching, technical assistance and post-leadership training support pushed

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The AusAID assistance to DILG also includes post-leadership training support, particularly coaching Cluster Leaders in the workplace; conduct of cluster-building activities with cluster members who are municipal local government operating officers; purposive discussions with Cluster Leaders, Regional and Provincial Directors on REAP commitments, competency-based job descriptions, and feedback on change management and enabling conditions. Other outputs of the assistance include developing competency-based job descriptions for Cluster Leaders; Change Management Plan; and Sustainability Action Plan for DILG.

The coaches, also known as process consultants, have also undergone the 6-day leadership development workshop with Cluster Leaders to experience co-sensing, co-ownership and co-creating, and to foster trust-building and openness.  The tools and processes have been experienced during the leadership workshop in an environment of humble inquiry, team learning and collective wisdom—not through argumentation, expertise and authority or power.

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The technical assistance, among others, includes assisting the DILG develop competency-based job descriptions by generating field-level data from Cluster Leaders and assist in surfacing appropriate mechanisms and enabling conditions (i.e. budget, policy, communication and performance management, among others) in the field.

The HROD intervention for DILG started in December 2011 and will be completed in June 2012. Devconsult, Inc. in association with OCCI is the learning service provider for this intervention.