Going back to our Roots

Mabuhay FieldWorkers! So what have we been up to in Week 1? While Federico pursued an in depth field test of our methodology with Amina, Marcus and the team at Roots of Health on the island of Palawan, Chris followed up with several institutions in Manila and experienced the joys of the capital’s traffic.

FieldWorks’ aim is to build a trust ecosystem that allows both the supporters (those who give) and the local organisations to know that the information and commitment each gives to each other can be relied upon. This goes beyond simply “knowing where your money” went. Its about saying “i know you, I champion you”, both the supporter to their network, and the organisations to their peers.

So Federico spent this first week with Roots of Health openly and collaboratively walking through our “confidence profiling” which aims to take a snapshot of the overall ‘health’ of the organisation in terms of its intent, impact, integrity, and the inclusiveness of stakeholders and beneficiaries in all aspects of what it does. The input and feedback from Amina and her team was brilliant. We were able to put into practice what to date has only been a theoretical process. Most importantly though it was great to get back out to reality, to exchange ideas, and receive some critical feedback about the strengths and weaknesses of our concept.

Back in Manila Chris met with a diverse group such as social entrepreneurs, designers, NGO certification bodies and volunteer groups. The work they do was truly impressive, and made us realise all the more about the lack of awareness we have in “the west” of what exists on the ground. The narrative peddled at home in many cases leads us to believe that countries lack the infrastructure or capacity to respond on their own, thus justifying the influx of external aid goods and workers. But in the case of the Philippines there are approximately 30–80,000 civil society organisations from NGOs to POs (People’s Organisations). There is an NGO Certification Board (Philippine Council for NGO Certification), a charity in its own right, which every year certifies approximately 120 organisations to the status of NGO after a rigorous assessment and audit. A business-led social development NGO (Philippine Business for Social Purpose) that engages corporate citizenship to contribute to sustainable development, and provides organisations with capacity development. And finally an active volunteer community which continues to grow to engage Filipinos to support issues in the Philippines (iVolunteer).

The conversations have allowed us to build out our concept to consider that in many countries extensive partnerships could be possible, and that while there is an active movement, FieldWorks’s Profiling and subsequent Development Programme can provide a value added and not try to rehash existing concepts.

We, the Chief Dreamer and the Chief Sceptic are back together and about to head off to Bacolod City to meet with Quidan Kaisahan.

Till next time & don’t forget to follow us as we go on Instagram @thisis_fieldworks or on Facebook.

the Sceptic and the Dreamer


Originally published at fieldworks.info on October 10, 2016.