Step Up Celebrates 2013 with renewed optimism

Step Up Consulting Services held its pre-New Year party last 29 December 2012New Year Party at the Villa Alzhun Tourist Inn and Restaurant.  The party, attended by Step Up pool of consultants, their kids, and the trainees of the firm in the summer of 2012, was intended to celebrate the accomplishments of the firm in 2012 and also thank its main stakeholders within the firm in its contribution for the upcoming projects of the organization in 2013.

Step Up is now on its 9th year and its pool of consultants has significantly grown.  Its pool of consultants are researchers, local government practitioners, development workers, and professors who are committed to the the development of organizations, institutions, and communities.  Established as a social enterprise, Step Up is dedicated to assisting local communities, people’s organizations, local government units, non-profits, and business enterprises, in the delivery of services that benefits the society in general.

Step Up is also committed to training future leaders. As a strategy, it accepts five trainees each summer, selected from several applicants, to be trained in the provision of capacity building, financial management, and development research services to clients; these are the firm’s core services. Previous interns later became CPA board exam placers while majority now holds successful jobs within the country and elsewhere.

Step Up thanks its previous clients for believing in the capacity of the firm to provide quality services.  In 2013, Step Up plans to launch two programs that will benefit communities as well as children.

Step Up Assists PCW

PCWStep Up Consulting Services assisted the Philippine Commission on Women in refining the results chain of one of the components of a project it implements with the support of AECID.  This activity was done in a training workshop held in Manila last 19-21 November.

The training workshop was attended by representatives from 6 provinces, namely, Aklan, Albay, Iloilo, Mindoro, Saranggani, and Surigo del Norte as well as by representatives from the Project Management Office and the Philippine Commission on Women.

The objectives of the training-workshop were to make participants understand the  basic concepts and principles of RBM as a tool in project development and management; practice the use of the RBM tools using the three-year project target for LGUs; arrive at clear indicators for the 3 year-targets and provide an overview of project development and management including its planning methodologies and tools.

The participatory, inter-active, and activity-based learning sessions proved productive with the adult learners.  The participants were able to efficiently assimilate new concepts better because of this approach.  Likewise, the RBM workshops helped crystalize ideas of participants and made more explicit their theories of change in so far as the project is concerned.

The diversity of outputs is impressive in terms of sectors and themes.  Saranggani concentrated on indigenous communities and indigenous women, Aklan on VAW victims, Albay on disaster-prone communities.  Surigao del Norte and Mindoro focused on women entrepreneurs while Iloilo tried to cover several marginalized women groups.

Step Up will continue to assist PCW in this project.

Step Up in 2nd M&E Network Forum in Manila

Michael Cañares, Managing Consultant of Step Up Consulting Services attended the 2nd M&E Network Forum held at Bayleaf Hotel, Intramuros, Manila on 7-8 November 2012.

The forum, attended by more than 100 M&E practitioners, was the second series of the annual forum sponsored by the National Economic Development Authority and UNICEF. This year, the theme of the forum was EVALUATION POLICY: A GATEWAY TO IMPROVED PERFORMANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY, and it opened with the Keynote Address of Mr. Colin Kirk, the Director of Evaluation of UNICEF in New York. The first M&E Network Forum was held last year, on the same date, in Ortigas (please see photo).

There were four interesting sessions in the forum – In-Country Processes and Procedures for National Evaluation Framework, Evaluation Approaches and Methodologies, Innovations on M&E Approaches, and Evaluation as Undertaken by Stakeholders. Presenters coming from the development organizations as the Asian Development Bank, NEDA, Ibon Foundation, the National Statistical Coordination Board, the Department of Interior and Local Government, USAID Philippines, GIZ, UNICEF, and DBM, made the sessions interesting and insightful.

An interesting information was shared in the forum by NEDA Deputy Director Rolando Tungpalan regarding the updating of the Philippine Development Plan and the corresponding M&E framework that is expected to be publicly available by the first quarter of 2013.  The participants expressed appreciation for this new development as this would serve as a guide to various stakeholders in their work towards a better Philippines.

Managing Consultant of Step Up an Associate of ClimSystems

Mr. Michael Canares, Managing Consultant of Step Up Consulting Services, is selected as one of the associates of ClimSystems.

CLIMsystems was incorporated on 14 April 2003. The Directors of the Company are: Richard Warrick (Chairman of the Board); Peter Urich, Wei Ye, Thomas McClunie and Subramanyan Kanakasabapathy.

CLIMsystems and the SimCLIM software system have evolved from a research-based program called CLIMPACTS that began at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand.

CLIMsystems Ltd, a company based in New Zealand, is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art climate change risk and adaptation assessment tools and services for a wide range of clients.

Mr. Canares is one of the associates in Monitoring and Evaluation.