Enhancing Community Development Initiatives using STDM in the Phillipines

The continuing implementation of STDM in the Philippines has formed several linkages between the Philipines Alliance and professional organizations; local government units and academic institutions across the country in Metro Manila, Davao and Cebu.

The Philippines Alliance (LinkBuild Inc., Technical Assistance Movement for People and Environment Inc., and Homeless Peoples’ Federation Inc.) have undertaken several STDM training activities over the last five months in Iloilo, Cebu and Davao at national level and in Davao city at regional level. Previously, GLTN and the Philippines Alliance conducted a Trainer’s Training on the use and application of STDM in January 2016 at the University of the Philippines, in Quezon City. The training was conducted for key community, government and academia participants on the use of  STDM to capture land information and use it as input to improve project development initiatives in selected informal settlements in Muntinlupa and Valenzuela City.

Participants go through an STDM demonstration

Various local government units have also expressed interest in STDM and have committed to support activities towards addressing the need for comprehensive data on informal settlements.  The academia is also keen to study STDM, both as a tool and as a concept as a way to further students’ Research and Extension Programs through actual practice of participatory community work.

It is also encouraging to see the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor – Field Operations Division for Mindanao, which serves as the direct link to the government in policy formulation and program implementation addressing the needs of the urban poor also participating in these training activities. It should be noted that technical improvements on land governance such as the STDM only work where there is political will to make them effective and sustainable.

Submitted by John Gitau