Step Up Trains Community Leaders on Enterprise Management

A participant explains the asset and opportunities map during the enterprise development session.
A participant explains the asset and opportunities map during the enterprise development session.

PROCESS Bohol, Inc., commissioned Step Up Consulting to train its community leaders in Ubay, Bohol the basics of financial management.  The training, attended by more than 30 community leaders, was intended to assist the organizations manage their enterprises better and prepare them for eventual phase-out of PROCESS support.

Step Up has more than 10 years of conducting community-based trainings with different audiences – farmers, women micro-entrepreneurs, non-profit leaders, and local government leaders.  It uses participatory approaches in conducting its capacity building programs and makes use of “games” in order to “teach concepts”.  As one of the women leaders in this training remarked – “It is the first time that I understood complex financial management concepts in an easy, phased way”.

In the training, Step Up taught the community leaders the basics of enterprise management, how credit management is critical to business operations, and the different steps in ensuring that business decisions can be made based on available financial data.

Step Up Conducts Risk Management Training

Risk Management Training for BUSWACC
Risk Management Training for BUSWACC

Step Up Consulting was contracted by the Bohol United Sectors Working for the Advancement of Community Concerns (BUSWACC) to conduct a risk management training for its assisted entrepreneurs and entrepreneur groups last 28-29 November 2014. The training was conducted at the FCB Foundation Training in Tagbilaran City and was attended by more than 20 participants coming from different organizations and from different parts of Bohol.

Risk management is one of the key expertise of Step Up’s financial management division.  As a process to ensure achievement of company objectives, risk management is about the identification and evaluation of company risks with the intention of avoiding these risks or managing them to minimize impact. In recent years, risk management is at the core of management function and has been used also in  ensuring better internal audit and internal control.

The training was conducted by Arlen Salgados-Canares, Step Up’s lead consultant for financial services.

Step Up Facilitates Center for Community Transformation Board Retreat

Board and Staff of the Center for Community Transformation during its Board Retreat.
Board and Staff of the Center for Community Transformation during its Board Retreat.

Step Up consulting was contracted by the Center for Community Transformation (CCT) to facilitate its Board Retreat.  The strategy workshop of the organization was held at the CCT Retreat and Training Center last 21-22 November 2014. The event was attended by around 30 board members of the big CCT Family and approximately 30 members of its senior management. The topic for this year’s board retreat is ‘mentoring’.  A resource person provided the overall context of the event, Mr. Peter Lees of Sharpeting Stone (Australia).

CCT is an organized Christian response against poverty and social injustice. This is carried out through the fusion of social development initiatives and evangelical mission in a uniquely Filipino context. It serves urban and rural poor communities throughout the Philippines, in pursuit of its desire to see changed lives, strong families, and transformed communities centered on the Lordship of Jesus Christ. From a single organization years back, CCT is now a group of 12 ministries or companies focusing on health, education, skills training, and spiritual transformation.

CCT’s board is composed of Christian businessmen who are at the helm key businesses in the country and engaged in property development, pharmaceuticals, car dealership, food and beverage, and retail supermarkets.

Step Up assists Visions of Hope Christian School

VOHCS board and staff during the workshop.
VOHCS board and staff during the workshop.

Step Up assists Visions of Hope Christian School (VOHCS) in its strategic planning exercise conducted last 13 October 2014. The workshop was held at the Ascott Hotel Makati and was attended by the Board members and staff of VoHCS headed by Board President James Tioco.

The Visions of Hope Christian School provides free pre-school education and shares the Gospel to children and youth from poor families. VOHCS has established 27 community based kindergarten schools. VOHCS also runs three residential schools. Two of these schools, in Magdalena and in Puypuy, hoise children from the streets. The third one, in Sarangani Province, houses children from the B’laan and Taga Kaolo tribes.

VOHCS is part of the bigger Center for Community Transformation (CCT) family.  According to CCT’s website, CCT “is an organized Christian response against poverty and social injustice. This is carried out through the fusion of social development initiatives and evangelical mission in a uniquely Filipino context. It serves urban and rural poor communities throughout the Philippines, in pursuit of its desire to see changed lives, strong families, and transformed communities centered on the Lordship of Jesus Christ.”

 

It was founded in 1992 by development practitioners who believe that development strategies could best be achieved by enriching the spirituality of a person. Over the years, the Lord has enabled the organization to deliver wholistic, sustainable, and community-based programs and services that cater to the needs of the whole family. These services have opened opportunities for the community partners to grow and reach their full potentials as individuals created in the image and likeness of God

 

 

Step Up Conducts Most Significant Change Training

MSC Participants - CCT Tagaytay.
MSC Participants – CCT Tagaytay.

Step Up was commissioned by Woord en Daad to conduct the Most Significant Change (MSC) Training for its partners in the Philippines and Bangladesh.  The training was conducted at the CCT Tagaytay Retreat and Training Center last 24-26 September 2014 and was participated in by 9 participants from the Philippines, 4 from Bangladesh, and 1 from the Netherlands, a representative of the commissioning organization.

Woord & Daad is an international development organization, established in the Netherlands, working in 20 countries with 29 partner organizations. A number of its partner organizations is interested in increasing capacity on learning through participatory methodologies. For this training, Woord en Daad chose Most Significant Change as the method to be implemented by two of its partners in the Philippines and one partner from Bangladesh.

MSC involves the collection of significant change (SC) stories emanating from the field level, and the systematic selection of the most significant of these stories by panels of designated stakeholders or staff. It intends to capture project outcomes, and in some cases, impact without having to use project or program indicators.

The participants were very impressed with the results of the training.  The post-training evaluation of participants showed that Step Up scored very high in training facilitation, logistics, planning, and design.  The main trainer was Michael Canares and Step Up handled all training logistical arrangements, from the design of training bags to the choice of training materials.  Step Up will also provide post-training support to the organizations as they conduct their pilot implementation of MSC in their respective organizations.

 

Step Up Facilitates Strat Plan for FCB Foundation

FCBFI
FCBFI Team during the workshop

Step Up Consulting was contracted by FCB Foundation, Inc. (FCBFI) to facilitate the process of crafting the strategic plan of the organization to 2020. This was the first time, after almost twenty years that the foundation reviewed its vision, mission, and goals. Executive Director Panfilo Asares said “It is important that we now revisit the directions of the foundation to make it relevant to the changing needs of the times”.

The process, which began with a review of the accomplishments of the foundation in the last five years, an analysis of the emerging trends of the country and the world, culminated in a workshop attended by the Board of Trustees of the foundation and its management committee. The workshop was held on 21 August 2014 at the board room of the First Consolidated Bank, the parent organization of FCBFI.

The strategic document, the output of this process, was consolidated by Step Up Consulting, aptly titled FCBFI 2020. This document outlines the directions of the foundation up to 2020.

FCBFI was very pleased with the outcomes of the process and thanked Step Up Consulting for its work.

Step Up Consulting Assists EU/KNH EIPID Project

IKFI planning
Participants during the EIPID Sustainability Planning Workshop

Step Up Consulting Services was contracted by the Ilog Kinderhome Foundation, a partner of Kindernothilfe (Germany) in implementing an EU-funded “Empowering Indigenous Peoples for Inclusive Development” Project (EIPID Project), to conduct its sustainability planning workshop. The project ends this year and thus the need to craft a hand-over strategy to the different EIPID partners. The project is implemented in the province of Antique, more particularly the towns of Lauan, Valderrama, Tobias Fornier, Anini-y, and Hamtic.

The goal of the project is to empower the Iraynon-Bukidnon and the Ati households and communities so that they can proactive engage in local development processes. To date, the organization was able to assist more 800 IP households through the self-help approach – where they save, engage in business, and undertake social/community action activities.  It resulted to positive changes more particularly to mothers and their children in terms of capacity to care and participate in local governance processes, and in terms of education and health, respectively.

The Sustainability Planning Workshop was held in Iloilo Business Hotel last 24-25 April, 2014.  It was attended by the members of the Board of Directors of Ilog Kinderhome Foundation, KNH representative in the Philippines, provincial officials of the Province of Antique, representatives from national government agencies as TESDA, DILG, and NCIP. Step Up Consulting planned and facilitated the two-day event.

Step Up Consulting Assists Ilog Kinderhome

IMG_00000516_hdr
IKFI Participants during the Annual Planning and Evaluation Workshop

Step Up Consulting assists its long-time client Ilog Kinderhome Foundation, Inc. (IKFI) in two engagements – in training its project staff in the use and conduct of Most Significant Change (MSC) as a monitoring and evaluation tool, and in facilitating the conduct of its Annual Evaluation and Planning Workshop.

The training on MSC was attended by project staff of the Empowering Indigenous Communities for Inclusive Development Project (EIPID).  EIPID, funded by the European Union through Kindernothilfe, is implemented in the province of Antique in order to empower indigenous communities socially, economically, and politically.  The workshop was held at the CICM Retreat House in Talisay, Negros Occidental in October 28-30, 2013.

It can be recalled that Step Up Consulting assisted KNH in the writing of the EIPID concept note and full proposal some five years ago and was also the evaluation and planning consultant in the early part of the project.

The Annual Planning and Evaluation Workshop, on the other hand, was held at Natures Village Resort Hotel in Talisay, Negros Occidental last 2-5 January 2014.  The workshop covered the planning and evaluation of three projects of IKFI – EIPID, Child-Focused Community Development implemented in Kabankalan, and WIP Project implemented in Ilog, both in Negros Occidental.

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 Vincentian Missionaries Social Development Foundation

Payatas dumpsite, courtesy of Sean Miller’s blog at seanmillerblogs.com

Step Up signs recently a consulting contract with the Vincentian Missionaries Social Development Foundation, Inc. (VMSDFI).  The non-government organization is based in Quezon City and has tasked Step Up to formulate a business plan for a community enterprise that it helped establish in Payatas.

The Journal of Environment and Urbanization (1998) described VMSDFI as “a church-based organization which has been working in the urban slum community of Payatas, Quezon City, since 1991, in pursuit of community development goals for the lowest 20 per cent of the urban poor population.”  Its office is located at 221 Tandang Sora Avenue, NIA Road, Quezon City.

In the initial fieldwork, it was observed that while technical skills and assets are available at the level of the people’s organization assisted by VMSDFI, management skills that would make a community enterprise sustainable is wanting.  Step Up envisions to refocus VMSDFI’s efforts in assisting the organization through the preparation of a business plan suited to the context of both the beneficiary group and the assisting organization. The beneficiary group, in this case, manufactures different products made from waste and other materials.

Lead consultant for this engagement is Mr. Alvin Luis Acuzar assisted by research associate Anthony Tanio.