These past few weeks have been truly inspiring and heartwarming given more opportunities to teach and facilitate programs at the Asian Institute of Management’s Zuellig School of Development Management (ZSDM). Teaching also brings with it many opportunities for informal coaching and mentoring. Teaching in AIM’s Development Management Programs is a small way of making a difference in the lives of Filipino Development Managers who are at the front line of initiatives, programs and projects aimed at addressing gaps and bridging social, economic, educational and other divides in the communities we live in.
In the Leadership for Project Management for Development, Philippine Air Force (PAF) personnel were keenly interested in learning to improve their project management skills to bear on the implementation of PAF’s Strategic Plan “Plan Velocity Portfolio of Strategic Initiatives.” We don’t usually think about our military, or at least I don’t, and it was encouraging to learn that they care a lot about protecting our country and have strategies and plans to improve our air force. The Philippines’ being an archipelago, the air force is an important resource to quickly reach areas that are not easily reached by land or water specially in times of a disaster and when help must be quickly provided to affected communities.
In the 17th Leadership and Management of Change for Development Managers, Bridging Leadership Framework, we had very young teachers from Teach for the Philippines, a non-profit organization “…that works to provide all Filipino children with access to relevant and excellent education.” Their passion for making a positive difference and strong advocacy for providing quality education for the Filipino youth was very inspiring.
While the “Bridging Leadership” projects varied from improving access to feeding programs, providing better sex education to youth in communities where this is still taboo, or providing quality information about how to avoid HIV and extend assistance to its victims, they all shared the goal of improving the lives of children and youth affected. Listening to their ongoing or planned social change projects to bridge social divides in their schools and communities gives us hope that we have many young talented leaders who have a strong public service calling.
We had some participants from businesses as well, and one of the “Bridging Leadership” projects a learning team wanted to address was how to help the Badjaos who have been dislocated from their homes by the sea and relocated to Pampanga. While help was being given by the local government, apparently many Badjaos were dropping out, thus the need to look more closely into what might be better approaches and services to help them live a quality life with dignity in locations that are foreign to their roots.
In the 2nd Leadership in Project Management for Development Managers, we have our leaders from local government units, non-profit organizations, and businesses. Designing development projects aimed at providing quality services to the public and getting these sufficiently funded require well thought out designs using the logical framework approach and problem tree analysis among other tools, whether these involve completing a new stretch of roads to connect an island like Tawi-Tawi from end-to-end, addressing environmental issues like perennial flooding due to rains and high tides coupled with land subsidence in Macabebe, Pampanga and neighboring provinces, municipalities and towns, or continuing improvement in rehabilitation facilities and programs for youth offenders in post-siege Zamboanga.
More power to everyone on their journeys of lifelong learning for better results and outcomes in their development projects!