NHI’s Prof. Hun Hueon Cho chaired the last Parallel Session, 7B, which featured three different examples of empowerment – enabling participation from communities, capacitating government officials and upholding gender equality.
Professor Kenichi Nishimura of the Osaka University in Japan served as the first speaker for the session. His discussion revolved around People’s Participation and the Local Development Council (LDC), as illustrated by the Philippine Case with the primary aim of finding out how LDCs are operated, and how they contribute to the improvement in the performance of the LGUs. Conducting a survey in around 300 LGUs in the Philippines in 2010-2011 for mayors and city/municipal planning and development coordinators, Nishimura’s findings about LDCs have quite a number of implications contrary to the perception of inactiveness of the said council. Results revealed that LDCs are able to help formulate LGU development plans and programs, and are able to meet at least twice a year, as mandated by law. However, most LDCs proved to have difficulty in complying with the provision on representation to the councils. In terms of performance, Nishimura’s study indicated that NGO participation does not really have much to say about improving LGU performance, but in compliance to existing performance measures, more frequent meetings and presence of the mayor in the said gatherings give them higher ratings.
In the second presentation, Ms. Fatemeh Nadjar Shams of the University of Tehran, Iran shared the study made by Seyed Kamal Vaezi and In Pyo Hwang of NHI with regards to the experience of training of officials in Korea. Focusing on the efforts of NHI, she shared programs being promoted by the institution, especially making them internationally competitive and emphasized its current directions of expanding capacity-building in the international arena. The realization of the role of human resource development, as she mentioned, contributes greatly to the success of the (government) administration. The paper looked into training and development (T&D) tools for retention of desirable employees, and enumerated some of the innovative techniques employed by NHI such as development hubs, role-playing, idea development, ethics training, and talent pool management, among others.
The last presentation by Ms. Han Nu Ngoc Ton of Vietnam, who is currently studying at the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) of Thailand, brought gender equality into the spotlight in achieving SDGs. The study sought to introduce covering development policies in Vietnam, review the concept of gender equality in Vietnam, and analyze the achievements and challenges in gender equality. Focusing on the Vietnamese government’s action on gender equality by looking at its 2011-2020 national strategy and minimization of early and inbreeding marriage in the ethnic groups from 2015-2025, Ton recognized the nationwide efforts of gearing towards through guidelines formulated to ensure implementation, as well as supporting policies. She then cited achievements of women in four (4) domains – political, education and training, economic, and health care, particularly increasing ratios in the workforce, higher posts, and high participation rates in previously male-dominated sectors.