DOST-NCR Mines Untapped Innovations from Metro Manila Communities

Filipinos are inherently creative, especially in coming up with practical solutions for day-to-day problems. Taking this cue, the Department of Science and Technology came up with a program that will identify knowledge or innovations generated from communities and bring these to wider public awareness through the Grassroots Innovation for Inclusive Development (GRIND) Program.

The SalikLakbay program is being implemented in collaboration with the DOST Region XI and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The term “SalikLakbay” is derived from the words “saliksik” (research) and “lakbay” (journey), which encapsulates the essence of this initiative.

To prepare the SalikLakbayers or field researchers for the job ahead, the DOST-National Capital Region (DOST-NCR) successfully completed its four-day SalikLakbay Solutions Mapping Trainer’s Training and Immersion last June 20 to 23, 2023 at the Prime Hotel in Quezon City.

Representatives from government agencies, non-government organizations, academia, private institutions, and the media made up the participants for the activity. Mr. Kyle Douglas “Kulas” Jennerman of Becoming Filipino and GRIND Program Ambassador, Mr. Juan Gabriel Daray of UNDP Accelerator Lab, Engr. Howell Adrian Ong of DOST-XI Innovation Support Section, and the DOST-NCR staff also shared their own immersion experiences with the participants.

Guided by the overarching goal of empowering communities by enhancing grassroots innovations (GIs) in urban settings, the first day of the program focused on trainer’s training. Participants were provided with valuable insights and pro tips on solution mapping, equipping them with the necessary knowledge before immersing themselves in the communities.

During the subsequent days of the program, the SalikLakbayers ventured into selected communities in Caloocan and Manila. This enabled them to map and identify various GIs, primarily focusing on the circular economy, crafts, and recipes that contribute to urban resource sustainability. This invaluable experience shed light on the untapped and under-recognized local urban innovations present in the marginalized communities, thereby fostering inclusivity and dynamism among diverse socio-economic groups in Metro Manila.

On the final day of the program, the SalikLakbayers conducted a productive Focused Group Discussion (FGD) to assess the nature, type, category, and status of the GIs that they had identified, as well as to share their observations. Following the FGD, each group undertook an initial Grassroots Innovation Evaluation Scoring process to gain an overview of the criteria for selecting GIs for funding. The scoring was based on six criteria, ranging from zero (0) to five (5), with the total score divided into six to determine the Decision category under which the GIs would fall. The SalikLakbayers then presented the identified GIs per barangay.

The DOST-NCR, in collaboration with DOST Region XI and the UNDP, commends the dedicated efforts of all the participants, including the Pentahelix stakeholders, in making the SalikLakbay Solutions Mapping and Immersion program a resounding success. The knowledge, insights, and innovations generated during this program will undoubtedly contribute to the advancement of inclusive development and empower local communities throughout the region.

By: Michaela Adrienne Canicula, TOD

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