Policy forum for the enhancement of the CPAR Program held

  • By Darlyn R. Angeles and Jerrel Edric B. Mallari
  • 8 October 2020

The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), through its Emerging Innovation for Growth Department (EIGD), conducted a virtual Policy Forum on 26 August 2020 via Zoom platform to present its major recommendations on strategies for effective implementation of the Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) Program of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR). The forum participants were the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) Executive Committee members as well as representatives from different DA regional research offices.

DA-BAR commissioned SEARCA to conduct the project titled “Building Up from the Gains: Lessons from and Improvement for Effective Implementation of the CPAR Program” to assess the overall program cycle of implementation of CPAR. This project was implemented by SEARCA’s EIGD headed by Dr. Rico C. Ancog together with Ms. Imelda L. Batangantang and Ms. Ma. Christina G. Corales, both Program Specialists. SEARCA formed a project team led by Dr. Zenaida M. Sumalde with Mr. Paul Joseph B. Ramirez and Ms. Rowena A. Dorado as project consultants.

Policy forum for the enhancement of the CPAR Program held

Under said project, key informant interviews (KIIs) and focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted in regional research offices in the country to get the insights of the implementers and proponents as well as the farmer and fisher beneficiaries of CPAR Program. The gathered information on the involvement and experience of the correspondents in the program implementation. Challenges in the CPAR project execution were identified during the interviews but the respondents also cited opportunities and gave suggestions that can help further enhance the CPAR Program. All the information gathered from the field as well as from consecutive meetings and discussions with DA-BAR staff were incorporated in a policy recommendation for the CPAR Program.

During the presentation of the project findings, attendees actively participated in the discussions. Dr. Nicomedes P. Eleazar, DA-BAR Director, extended his warmest regards to the project team as well as to the regional partners and DA-BAR colleagues who attended the forum. He expressed high hopes that through the help of experts and partners from SEARCA, the Bureau will be able to craft and adapt sound policy recommendations for the improvement of the implementation of the CPAR Program as it fully shifts in adapting the results-based monitoring and evaluation framework. Mr. Raymond Patrick Cabrera, Project Evaluation Section (PES) Unit Head under Project Development Division (PDD) , said he really sees the need to mainstream the CPAR approaches and concepts to the farmer groups and strengthening them continuously. Mr. Ariel Agresor, Science Research Specialist from the Ilocos Region applauded the team for incorporating all the data gathered from the regions in the report presented. He participated in the KIIs and FGDs and was not dismayed seeing that all their recommendations were well-integrated in the reports.   

As one of the final outputs of the project, a policy brief will be published by SEARCA after incorporating all the final comments and suggestion in the policy recommendations.

Ms. Darlyn R. Angeles, Project Associate and Mr. Jerrel Edric B. Mallari, Project Assistant, both of EIGD, provided logistical support during the virtual meeting.