AUSTRALIA SUPPORTS WB'S SEARCH FOR INNOVATIVE PRO-POOR PROJECTS
Counsellor Angus Macdonald of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) announced that the Australian Government will once again provide grants to selected winners in the World Bank’s Panibagong Paraan, a search for innovative and sustainable pro-poor project ideas, policy proposals and other creative entries.
Panibagong Paraan, now on its second staging, is organised by the World Bank and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and supported by the international donor community, civil society, and the private sector. The theme for the 2006 competition is Development with Equity.
World Bank Philippines Country Director Joachim von Amsberg said, “The theme is very relevant to the Philippines because inequity limits growth and limits the benefits the poor get from growth. Yet, this topic is seldom a part of national debates in the Philippines. Development with Equity means reducing inequality and exclusion, tapping the potential that lies in all Filipinos, expanding opportunities of Filipinos who have the least voice and access to resources, and enabling all members of society to have equal chances to share in the fruits of development.”
Mr Macdonald said, “Australia’s involvement in Panibagong Paraan 2006 is a clear expression of our commitment to help reduce poverty and promote peace and sustainable development in the Philippines. The projects that the Australian government supported under the first Panibagong Paraan directly benefited around 18,000 people and are now generating employment, providing social services, caring for the environment, and promoting gender and development”.
In the first staging of Panibagong Paraan, 21 out of the 59 winning projects were funded under the Philippines-Australia Community Assistance Program (PACAP) of AusAID.
“We are pleased that many have heeded the call, especially projects constrained by limited resources. Each innovative idea will be measured based on its ability to be replicated and scaled up, in hopes of bridging economic disparities on the national and local level,” said DSWD Secretary Esperanza Cabral.
Panibagong Paraan 2006 urges people to look at equity issues such as increasing incomes and income opportunities; improving access to social services, infrastructure and utilities; improving access to and control of land and other assets; improving access to and ensuring fairness in market and financial structures and systems; strengthening participation in decision-making; and improving access to and ensuring fairness in political and justice systems.
Eighty finalists from Aparri to Jolo have been chosen from more than 900 concept ideas presented to a technical working group of experts on income and opportunities, assets, voice and participation, and access to social services. The finalists were chosen based on innovation, scalability and replicability, and potential impact. Fifty winners are expected to get a grant of around P1 million each to help them implement their project ideas.
The finalists have been invited to Manila to explain their projects to a distinguished group of jurors from various sectors in the country at the Second Philippine Development Innovation Marketplace to be held at the 5th floor of Building B, SM Megatrade Hall in Mandaluyong City on 26-27 May 2006. Winners will be announced in the evening of 27 May.
Supporting the World Bank and DSWD in Panibagong Paraan 2006 are AusAID-PACAP, Peace Equity Access for Community Empowerment Foundation, Inc., the United States Department of State, Embassy of Japan, The Asia Foundation–United States Agency for International Development, Mirant Philippines Foundation, Inc., Philippine Centre for Population and Development, International Finance Corporation, Asian Development Bank, Caucus of Development NGO Networks, Consuelo Foundation, League of Corporate Foundations, Makati Business Club, National Anti-Poverty Commission, Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement, and the United Nations Development Programme–Global Environment Facility/Royal Netherlands Embassy.
The event is open to the public. For the complete list of finalists and other details of the event on May 26 to 27 at SM Megatrade Hall, log on to www.panibagongparaan.com.