Umbrella Programs

  • Umbrella Program on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation for Southeast Asia: Framework for Collaboration (2015-2020)

    In line with the overall thrust of SEARCA in its 10th Five Year Plan (FYP) of inclusive and sustainable agricultural and rural development (ISARD), the Umbrella Program on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation for Southeast Asia or Umbrella Program on CChAM has been developed to serve as a platform for collaborative research and development (R&D), and knowledge management and capacity development (KMCD) on climate change adaptation and resiliency in Southeast Asia.

    The Umbrella Program on CChAM is not an attempt to develop a new research agenda on climate change nor does it attempt to put all the existing research agenda of the partner institutions under one "umbrella program." In as much as institutions already have their respective priorities, focus areas on the subject matter, and accomplishments, this umbrella program identifies priority areas of convergence and collaboration at the regional and sub-regional levels, where institutions can work together, pool resources, and address gaps or move in directions where their joint efforts provide a strategic advantage for climate resiliency in SEA. It is hoped that the synergy created by the Umbrella Program can produce added value in terms of new knowledge, technologies, capacities, processes, and inputs to policies at the national and ASEAN levels than what is currently being generated by institutions working on their own specific research agenda.

    This Umbrella Program on CChAM is seen as strategic and is anchored on the ASEAN Multi-Sectoral Framework on Climate Change (AFCC) and reflective of areas where there is willingness to collaborate at the regional level among the participating institutions. It can also support the implementation of the ASEAN Vision for Food, Agriculture and Forestry (2016-2025) where climate change will be a crucial concern. It is likewise drawn from the work, experiences, and lessons of other institutions and research programs working on related subject matter. The framework for collaboration and the thematic/subthematic projects and activities laid out have been developed from a scoping study of frameworks, initiatives, and literature on climate change in the region and validated in the Regional Consultation Workshop held on 12-14 May 2015 in Hanoi, Vietnam with 59 participants, representing government, academe and research institutions, non-government organizations, and international organizations based in different countries.

  • Umbrella Program on Food and Nutrition Security for Southeast Asia (2014-2019)

    The Umbrella Program on Food and Nutrition Security for Southeast Asia is envisaged to serve as a platform for collaborative research on food security among the University Consortium members and partner universities/institutions from the other Southeast Asian Ministries of Education Organization (SEAMEO) member countries. It aims to align the program of work on food security of SEARCA and the University Consortium to the development needs in the region and to support ongoing ASEAN-level programs on improving food security. The priority areas of collaboration shall be addressed through three integrated components: research and development, capacity building through graduate education and training, and knowledge management.

    Participatory and bottom-up approach was observed in the development the Umbrella Program including consultations with the SEARCA senior fellows; benchmarking, scoping, and policy reviews; survey of UC members and other potential partners in the region; and regional consultation-workshop.

    Consistent with the currently accepted international food security frameworks and the Food and Agriculture Organization's definition, which in itself subsumes nutrition security and food safety, this Umbrella Program highlights the interrelations of the dimensions of food security as follows:

    FS Dimension 1 - Food Availability
    FS Dimension 2 - Physical Access
    FS Dimension 3 - Economic Access
    FS Dimension 4 - Utilization
    FS Dimension 5 - Stability

    The Umbrella Program's work scope will directly contribute to ASEAN-level initiatives on food security. It is guided by the strategic thrusts of the ASEAN integrated Food Security Framework, specifically Strategic Thrust 2: Promote Conducive Food Market and trade; Strategic thrust 4: Promote Sustainable Food Production; Startegic Thrust 5: Encourage Greater Investment in Food and Agro-based Industry to Enhance Food Security; and Strategic Thrust 6: Identify and Adress Emerging Issues Related to Food Security.

    In general, the Umbrella Program is guided by the following principles: inclusiveness and participation, collaboration, sustainability, supply and value-added chains, ecosystems approach, partnership with private sector, link policy, climate change risks, and vulnerability management. In its present form, the Umbrella Program considers current global issues and trends which recognize, inter alia, the ecological foundation of food security; Millenium Development Goals (MDG) and Post MDG or Sustainable Development Goals; a Green Economy; and equitable development pathways.

    The criteria for the Umbrella Program include the following: value-add-addresses gaps or under-researched areas; relevance and importance for the region; benefits from collaboration; balance of R&D, capacity building, and knowledge management; and convergence with donor institutions.