The South-Eastern Philippines HEAL Project, initiated in February 2009, is a 3-year project funded by the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the Philippines, with a total fund of 779,227 Euro (€). To continue empowering its Implementation Team, the HEAL project, in partnership with Mahintana Foundation, Inc. (MFI), conducted a 2-day training on Documentation to a total of 21 participants, comprising of Project Officers, Community Extension Workers (CEW), Project Coordinator, and Office Staff from the six (6) partner-organizations namely: Allah Valley Development Foundation, Inc. (AVDFI), Maguindanaon Development Foundation, Inc. (MDFI), Tribal Leaders Development Foundation, Inc. (TLDFI), OND-Hesed, Sta. Cruz Mission School, Inc. (SCMSI), and MFI.  The training was conducted by certified and recognized Resource Speakers from the academe last November 22-23, 2010 at Malagos Garden Resort, Calinan, Davao City. The training aimed to teach participants the importance of documentation, identify the basic methods used, and enhance skills in data collection, resulting to a comprehensive and effective documentation.

Preliminary activities include getting to know each other to set a relaxed atmosphere among participants; leveling of expectations to evaluate strengths, weaknesses, and obtain participants’ commitment to cooperate and interact during exercises; and formation of host teams responsible for the day’s review of learnings, icebreakers, and reminders.

Topics covered for the 2-day training include Project Documentation, Basic Skills in Data Collection, Parts of Data Recording, and Elements of Data Reporting. These were learned through experiential activities, complemented by lecture-discussions from Resource Speakers. Exercises include answering questions ‘Why do we document?’ and ‘What do we document?’ carried out using Buzz Group; practiced Listening and Observation Skills carried out through Storytelling and Rumor Clinic; enhanced ability to Generate Questions and Draw Answers carried out through Pinoy Henyo; enhanced ability to Account Dialogues (who and what was said) conducted using Fishbowl: Reporting-Sharing;and enhanced ability to Recount Processes (what and how it happened) carried out using the Sociogram: Visuals and Diagrams. Participants also identified factors that promote and hinder communication as well as ways to improve levels of involvement among participants.

Highlight of the training was the presentation of group emulations based on the Fishbowl: Reporting-Sharing exercise. Through the activity, participants were able to improve their ability to draw insights, achieved through analysis and reflection of accounts. They were also able to lay down recommendations for the improvement of each one in preparation for the upcoming conduct of data collection, data processing, and data reporting in their respective communities.

The 2-day Documentation training culminated with the awarding of Certificates for the Participants and Resource Speakers. Present during the awarding activity were HEAL’s Project Director, Manager, and Coordinators. Sister Susan O. Bolanio, OND, Executive Directress of OND-Hesed was invited to give an Inspirational Message. She challenged the participants to consistently provide reliable, relevant, and accurate community-based information in the identification and implementation of proper interventions.

For the closing message, Mr. Martiniano L. Magdolot, HEAL’s Project Director, urged the participants to be orchestrators of development, negotiating for and behalf of the community, for they were tapped not as emissaries of the project but as Local Development Advocates (LDA). He hoped that by the end of project implementation, HEAL would be able to leave developed communities that are well-informed, well-nourished in mind, body, and spirit, and with well-involved community members.

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