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IBM volunteers push for improved SEARCA outreach via social media

  • 22 August 2016

The IBM CSC program in Los Baños kicked off at SEARCA on 28 June 2016, graced by officials of IRRI, SEARCA, Peace Corps Philippines, IBM Philippines, and PYXERA Global

LOS BAÑOS, LAGUNA, Philippines – Three volunteers from the International Business Machine (IBM) encouraged and coached the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) to exploit social media more fully in nurturing and reaching out better to its publics.  

The volunteers served as pro-bono consultants during IBM’s Corporate Service Corps (CSC) Program in Los Baños, where a total of 15 high-performing IBM specialists from various parts of the globe respectively worked in teams of three on a project at SEARCA and four projects at the International Rice Research Institute from 28 June to 22 July 2016.

At SEARCA, Ms. Adrian Mitchell (USA), Ms. Melissa Greco (USA), and Mr. Pedro Gutierrez Da Cos (Spain) worked closely with and responded to the request of the Knowledge Management Department (KMD) and IT Service Unit to harness IT tools and enhance the internal and external knowledge management practices and strategies of the Center. During their hand-off meeting at SEARCA on 20 July 2016, the three volunteers presented to SEARCA officials and selected staff led by Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr., Director, the Center’s social media metrics and the team’s recommendations of adopting key tools and platforms for improved workforce efficiency through cross-departmental support and other IT requirements.

Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr., SEARCA Director (second from right), presents SEARCA’s token of appreciation to IBM and certificates of appreciation to (L-R) Mr. Pedro Gutierrez Da Cos of Spain and Ms. Melissa Greco and Ms. Adrian Mitchell of USA


They derived these after designing and facilitating a social media workshop among SEARCA staff on 18 July 2016, where the staff practiced posting enhanced content and cross-post relevant information to internal and external clients of the Center. The workshop also encouraged them to use social media to increase awareness and digital impact among SEARCA’s audience and by setting growth metrics, monitoring benchmarks, and implementing eNurture best practices. Meanwhile, Mr. Gutierrez additionally oriented selected SEARCA heads and staff on the functionalities of Microsoft Project, for which SEARCA has a corporate user license.

The 15 IBM Corporate Service Corps (CSC) volunteers hail from the US, Canada, Brazil, South Africa, Slovakia, Italy, Spain, Mexico, India, and the Netherlands. The CSC is IBM’s pro bono consulting program, which was created in 2008 to help solve some of the most challenging problems in communities around the world while providing IBM employees with unique leadership development.

PYXERA Global, a non-governmental organization that leverages partnerships between corporations, governments, social sector organizations, educational institutions, and individuals to enhance the abilities of people and communities to solve complex problems and attain mutually beneficial goals, coordinated the 2016 IBM CSC Program in Los Baños. (Avril dG. Madrid)