Call for Research Interns

Step Up Consulting Services is in need of research interns who are willing to conduct field and desk research for at least 10 hours a week. The interns should be college students at their junior year and has taken at least 12 units of English subjects. For those interested, please send your CV and letter of intent to While internship at Step Up is unpaid, the learning experience is very enriching. After 100 hours of work, Step Up management will decide whether to retain the intern for a modest hourly pay. Send your documents now!

AFNA Book a Success

Mr. Canares' book, Accounting for Non-Accountants sold 50% of its original published copies. The book, released in June 2011 this year and published by the Holy Name University Publication Office, was even made as text book for students at the Philippine Maritime Institute - Tagbilaran City campus. The book is also made as reference at the library of Sacred Heart College in Misamis Occidental.

UN University publishes Mr. Canares’ work

The United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research based in Finland published recently the work of Step Up Managing Consultant as working paper and available for download at the UNU-WIDER site ( The study entitled "The Excluded Poor: How Targeting has left out the Poor in Peripheral Cities in the Philippines" talked about two cities - Butuan in Mindanao, and Tagbilaran in Bohol.

Mr. Canares’ work published by Oxford University Press

The Oxford University Press will release in April 2012 a book entitled Urbanisation and Development in Asia: Multidimensional Perspectives ( edited by Ravi Kanbur, Jo Beall, and Basudeb Guha-Khasnobis. Step Up Managing Consultant Michael Canares' work appears as Chapter 14 in the edited volume. For more information on the book please visit the link provided.

Ilog Kinderhome Proposal got EU’s nod

Michael Canares was hired as a consultant for project development by Kindernothilfe-Germany to help develop the Empowering Indigenous Communities for Inclusive Development project. The said project seeks to help the indigenous communities in Antique province through a programmatic intervention largely based on the self-help approach.
The project was approved for funding by the European Union and is currently implemented in the province of Antique.

Book Assisted by Step Up Now Out!

Step Up Consulting Services assisted PROCESS-Bohol Inc. in the production of its 25th anniversary commemoration book. The book entitled "Journeys to Empowerment: PROCESS-Bohol @ 25" was launched last 2nd March 2010 on the occassion of the organization's anniversary. Michael Canares, Managing Consultant of Step Up worked with the organization staff in writing, editing, and finalizing the book.

Book Project on Early Childhood Education Soon to be Published

Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation - Integrated Development Center of Cebu City, commissioned Step Up Consulting Services to write a process documentation of its Early Childhood Education project in Agusan del Sur late last year. The outcome of the research project is a book entitled "Through the Eyes of a Child: Lessons from an Early Childhood Education Program in Agusan". The said book is currently being printed and will soon be distributed to JPIC partners in the Philippines.

Step Up Strategy Advisor Keynotes University Academic Forum


Holy Name University held its university days last February 13-18 2018 with the theme “Honoring Traditions, Celebrating Milestones”.  Step Up strategy advisor, Mr. Michael Canares was invited to keynote the Academic Forum held at HNU Main Campus on 15 February 2018. The theme of the academic forum was “Realizing Dreams of Financial Stability”.

Mr. Canares dedicated his well-received talk to Atty. Mia Manuelita Mascarinas-Green, his teacher in both accountancy and law school. Atty. Mia, who died a gruesome death on 15 February 2017, exactly a year ago, is one of the university’s esteemed professors.  In his talk, Mr. Canares emphasized on key strategic and operational financial skills that every person should possess to ensure not only financial stability, but more importantly, financial sustainability.

The academic forum was attended by close to 200 university faculty members and staff.  It can be recalled that Mr. Canares has also taught in the university for 10 years. His teaching stint was capped by the Most Outstanding Finance Educator of the Philippines award conferred to him by the Central Bank of the Philippines, the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, and Citibank.


Step Up Trains Phil-Am Fund grantees on Outcomes Reporting Using RBM

IMG_1576Step Up Consulting strategy advisor, Michael Canares, was engaged by the Gerry Roxas Foundation to train its grantees on outcomes reporting using a results-based management lens (RBM). The training was conducted in Belian Hotel in Tagbilaran City on February 6-7 2018.

Gerry Roxas Foundation manages and implements the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) grant facility called the Philippine-American Fund or Phil-Am Fund. Phil-Am Fund finances “local activities that support economic growth, good governance, anti-trafficking in persons, child and adult literacy, and environmental objectives of USAID in the Philippines”.

A total of 56 participants attended the training composed of roughly around 12 grantees of Phil-Am Fund.

Results-based management is a key expertise of Step Up Consulting. In the past, the firm has been engaged by international organizations as Louis Berger, Woord en Daad, Fundacion Ipade, SABIC Belgium to conduct monitoring and evaluation work.

Step Up Facilitates Team Building for HNU Employees

hnu team building

The participants in one of the team-building activities.

Step Up Consulting was tasked by Holy Name University to conduct a series of team building activities for its employees. The team building workshop was held in two batches – on 16 January 2018, and another one on January 19, 2018.  The activities were held at the Mercederian Retreat House in Dauis, Bohol.

The workshop was mix of physical, mental, and emotional activities designed to surface key issues affecting the effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability of teams in work-settings.  The activities ranged from personality assessment, team temperature diagnosis, role-playing, mental and physical games that the participants enjoyed.

Team-building activities draw inspiration from Matthew 7:7 (“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock, and it will be opened to you.”) and consisted of four fast-paced discussion and team activities infused with games that teach.

teambuilding journey

The conduct of team-building activities is one of Step-Up’s core services. It has a dedicated team that facilitates these activities for organizations, corporations, and associations.

Step Up Assists Bohol Consortium on Humanitarian Assistance

BCHA workshop

A participant reports on the results of project implementation using the OECD-DAC evaluative criteria.

Step Up Consulting Services facilitated the project-end evaluation workshop of the Bohol Consortium on Humanitarian Assistance (BCHA).  The evaluation workshop reviewed the implementation of the  Strengthening the Capacities of Local Consortium towards Effective Humanitarian Assistance project participated by BCHA members, namely, the Bohol Integrated Development Foundation, Inc. (BIDEF), Social Action Center (SAC),UB Community Development Foundation, Inc. (UBCDFI), and Philippine Center for Civic Education and Democracy (PCCED). The workshop was conducted on 11-12 January 2018 at Bohol Bee Farm, Dao, Dauis Bohol.

The province of Bohol is highly vulnerable to various natural and manmade calamities. It is often ravaged by typhoons which appear to be increasing in frequency and strength each year. Monsoon winds that produce storm surges, heavy rainfall and sea level rise also pose threats to the province. More importantly, the province has various known faults that have the capacity to generate massive earthquakes similar to the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the province on October 15, 2013.

The occurrence of these hazards is inevitable. Hence, a group of local organizations that managed to raise funds during the great Bohol earthquake in 2013 initiates to organize and forge themselves to become a local consortium for humanitarian assistance aptly named BCHA.  However, this newly organized group has to be strengthened and capacitated in order to become effective in their goal of coming and working together for humanitarian aid to disaster affected communities/individuals.

Implemented in 2016 to 2107, the Strengthening LC Project (Strengthening the Capacities of Local Consortium towards Effective Humanitarian Assistance) aimed at improving and strengthening the capacity of the consortium members to become effective in providing assistance to communities and individuals affected by natural and man-made disasters.

The workshop was able to identify significant changes that was caused by the project at the individual, non-government organization (NGO), and consortium levels.

At the individual level, the three most significant changes are the (1) Change in attitude more particularly in having more patience to deal with challenges; (2) Enhanced knowledge and skills on humanitarian response; and (3) Increase in the level or nature of assertiveness of project team members.  At the NGO level, the three significant changes include (1)the building of credibility and confidence of each organization trained in performing disaster risk reduction and humanitarian related activities; (2) enhanced coordination and linkaging among BCHA members and other organizations; and (3) Services rendered are based on lessons learned from the capacity building activities, including improvements in systems and procedures (e.g. finance, monitoring and evaluation, among others). At the consortium level,  the project was able to (1) equip the personnel on how to respond to disaster with clear and focused direction; (2) inspire the consortium to pursue development programs together as they were able to achieve a lot by working together; and (3) capacitate the consortium to network and link with other humanitarian assistance groups and pursued its commitment to extend its services beyond Bohol.


Step Up Produces Book on Natural Resource Management

nourishing book coverStep Up Consulting Services was contracted in 2015 by Soil and Water Conservation Foundation to document and publish into a book the natural resource management practices that its projects in Bohol implemented.

The project began with a participatory book conceptualization workshop that was facilitated by Step Up in order to define the details of the book, including proposed title, theme, concept, content, length, writers, among others. The intention was to ensure that the book represents the project, including the views of those who were impacted by it.

The book was finally completed with SWCF’s Executive Director Bill Granert writing part of the chapters and reviewing the whole book content.  Publication was done in the middle of 2016 and printed copies was distributed to SWCF partners.

If you want a hard copy of the book, please contact Marilou Sale at

If you want to read an online copy, please visit



Step Up Facilitates Consultation Workshop of Plan PH on youth employment and entrepreneurship

planPlan Philippines (PLAN Ph) conducted a 2-day consultative workshop with its key partners working on youth employment and entrepreneurship on February 28-March 1, 2017 to solicit ideas and strategies, identify programmatic areas of convergence on youth employment and development, discuss gaps and challenges on youth employment solutions,  and identify opportunities for labor market initiatives and industry development. The result of the consultative workshop will be used by PLAN Ph in developing a possible future proposals on youth employment and entrepreneurship in Region VIII.

PLAN Ph has implemented  the Igniting Youth Employment and Livelihood Opportunities in Typhoon-affected Areas project funded by Accenture and Plan Netherlands since 2014. The project is a multi-stakeholder intervention delivering technical/vocational and employability (soft) skills to marginalized youth between the ages of 17 and 30 in Guiuan, Salcedo, Balangkayan, Hernani and Tacloban municipalities severely impacted by Typhoon Haiyan.

Step Up Consulting was contracted by Plan Philippines to facilitate and document the workshop held at Leyte Park Hotel and attended by more than fifty participants, including youth representatives.




Step Up Facilitates Ilog Kinderhome Strategic Planning

IMG_20170112_165518Ilog Kinderhome Foundation, Inc., a long time all of Step Up Consulting, conducted its strategic planning workshop last January 4-5 2017 at Zaycoland Resort in Kabangkalan City, Negros Occidental.  The workshop, attended by board members and staff of Ilog Kinderhome,reviewed its four-year strategic direction and charted a new strategic plan up to 2020.

Step Up Consulting was contracted to facilitate the activity.  Step Up has been working with Ilog Kinderhome since the time that it implemented an EU -funded project for children in the province of Antique.