Step Up Participates in ODDC Meeting in Berlin

ODDC network participants during the network meeting in Berlin
ODDC network participants during the network meeting in Berlin. Mr. Canares (center of picture, speaking) shared his insights to the other network members.

Step Up Consulting was in Berlin last July 14-18, 2014 to attend two activities related to the Open LGU Research Project that the firm completed successfully this year.  Michael Canares, the project’s team leader and Mr. Joseph de Guia, research associate represented the Step Up team in the Open Data in Developing Countries (ODDC) network meeting in Berlin last July 14-15. They also attended the Open Knowledge Festival (OKFest) on July 16-18.

Since June 2013, researchers from the Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries research network have been carrying out case study research into the supply, use and outcomes of open data in various countries and contexts across the world. Network members coming from Asia, Africa, and Latin America met for a workshop in Berlin on 14th and 15th July to bring together their research findings. A public research sharing event was done on the 15th of July at the Wikimedia Center – Germany. Mr. Canares was one of the panelists on the session on the demand for open data.

Mr. Canares and Mr. de Guia also represented Step Up in the OKFest held at Kulturbraueri, Berlin.  The Open Knowledge Festival 2014 was considered the biggest open data and open knowledge event to date. It was attended by over 1,000 people from more than 60 countries who shared skills, experience, research findings and tools to “further the power of openness as a positive force for change”.  Mr. Canares was the lead facilitator in the Ground-Up Intermediaries session where colleagues from India, Nigeria, South Africa, UK, and Kenya also acted as co-facilitators.

Step Up Managing Consultant assists LGSP-LED

Mr. Canares during a workshop with LED focal persons coming from the 9 participating provinces.
Mr. Canares during a workshop with DILG, program partners, and LED focal persons coming from the 9 participating provinces.

Michael Canares, managing consultant of Step Up Consulting, was contracted by the Local Governance Support Program for Local Economic Development (LGSP-LED)  to advise on results measurement and reporting processes since September 2013. Currently, Mr. Canares is now on the final phase of the consulting engagement which will culminate with the preparation of a manual on measuring local economic development that local government units can use.

“The Local Governance Support Program for Local Economic Development (LGSP-LED) is an eight-year (July 2008-July 2016) CAD $18 million collaborative project of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Philippines. It is implemented by a consortium of the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) acting as the Canadian Executing Agency (CEA). The CEA is working in partnership with the Philippine Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). The Program purpose is to reduce poverty by strengthening local governance and supporting sustainable economic development. The Ultimate Outcome is expected to be improved local economic development for Filipino women and men.”(Dorotan and Frick, 2012, page 5).

LGSP-LED seeks to improve the measurement and tracking of local-level economic outcomes in the program, in particular those related to impact of the program’s activities on investment attraction, business formation and growth in enterprises (MSMEs).  Mr. Canares’ work was to assist the CEA in developing a set of indicators (along with the related methods for collecting baseline data, data sources for ongoing tracking, collection methods, frequency and responsibility) that could be easily tracked by LGUs and/or their private sector partners (chambers of commerce, local business clubs).


Step Up Helps Strengthen Internal Audit of Davao del Norte

ddn for websiteThe Provincial Road Management Facility contracted Step Up Consulting to conduct the capacity building activity for the Internal Audit Services Division (IASD) of the Province of Davao del Norte, one of its partner provinces. The engagement was designed to assist the IASD in developing and implementing an Internal Audit Plan for the identified  road rehabilitation and maintenance systems and processes in order to come up with an Internal Audit report with doable and useful recommendations. Step Up Consulting team was composed of Managing Consultant Michael Canares, resource person Marilou Bueno, and documenter Cleofe Ambulo.

As a result of the engagement the IASD was able to plan, implement, write and present the audit report on one of the key risks in local road management to the risk owner, the Provincial Engineering Office. IASD was also able to craft a simple audit recommendations monitoring system to ensure that auditees will comply with audit recommendations and improved internal control processes in their daily operations.

One of the activities of the mentoring process was an international online course on internal audit where four of the IASD staff members were enrolled in.  After the course, the auditors completed an online assessment where two of the staff members got a 100% rating in the examinations.

Step Up made use of a mentoring-focused approach where capacity development needs were assessed on a regular basis so that interventions designed will be able to sufficiently meet competency gaps and produce the desired outputs.  The engagement was conducted in April to June 2014 with a mixture of on-site and on-line mentoring. This was also the first time that Step Up used Facebook as an online-mentoring tool where mentees can directly ask questions from mentors and where files are shared and outputs are submitted and commented on.

IASD staff members appreciated the whole mentoring approach and the engagement was rated very satisfactory by the participants.