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Plan 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.
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).
Michael Canares, Managing Consultant of Step Up Consulting Services, speaks as guest lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal – Graduate School of Business and Leadership in Durban, South Africa last 11 December 2013. Mr. Canares was invited by Dr. Jennifer Houghton, academic leader of the Regional and Local Economic Development Initiative of the school. Mr. Canares and Dr. Houghton spent a fellowship together at Brown University in the US in June 2010.
Mr. Canares’ talk, attended by academics and graduate students of the school, was entitled “When Investing in the Local Does or Does Not Work: Case Studies from Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Philippines”. The presentation focused on four case studies and argues that there are defining patterns where investments in local development work and contexts where the power of the local can be harnessed to achieve desirable social ends.
In his introduction to Mr. Canares, Professor Stephen Migiro, Dean and Head of School expressed optimism that future partnerships can be explored by the school and Mr. Canares, as well as with Holy Name University, where Mr. Canares serves as managing editor of an academic journal.