Servicing the needs of NGOs in the rural areas in general, the network has focused on the following competencies:
Agrarian Reform and Rural Development
Organizing rural communities, particularly, farmers (lowland), indigenous peoples (upland and forested areas), and fisherfolks (coastal communities) – building their capabilities for self – help and self – determination. Cutting across is the concern for gender – equity. Implementation of community – based projects using the SIAD framework, with particular focus on:
- resouce tenure (land distribution, protection of ancestral domains and indigenous people’s rights, coastal resource management),
- land productivity consistent with the principles of sustainable agriculture
- forest and environmental protection, and
- community based - enterprises
In 1989, the Tripartite Partnership for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (TriPARRD) program was launched, which utilizes a tripartite approach to active partnership among Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), People’s Organizations (POs), and Government Organizations (GOs) in order to expedite land transfer, build strong and viable POs, and increase farmers’ income through improved productivity and optimal land use. Initially, it operated in the provinces of Antique, Bukidnon and Camarines Sur that expanded to include the provinces of Iloilo and Davao del Norte (now Compostela Valley).
Taking off from this approach is the Tripartite Partnership for Upland Development (TriPUD) model that ensures meaningful participation of upland communities in developing and implementing community-based upland resource management plans. TriPUD’s areas covered the provinces of Sorsogon, Davao del Norte and Leyte.
Later on, the Tripartite Partnership for Marine and Aquatic Resource and Rural Development (TriMARRD) model sought to secure the use of municipal waters for small fishers by influencing local ordinances, and the passage of relevant laws (e.g. National Fisheries Code).
People’s Participation in Local Governance
Developing the capacity of rural communities through organized groups, in order to effectively participate in local governance processes and bring their development issues into the mainstream of local government decision – making.
The Local Governance initiatives of PhilDHRRA aim to engender responsive democratic institutions with greater citizen participation in local development and governance.
One of its anchor projects, the Governance and Local Democracy (GOLD), enabled the citizenry, through organized groups (NG0s, P0s, and Private Sector), to effectively participate in the local governance processes. The project was implemented in nine provinces, two cities, and 27 municipalities. Later on, PhilDHRRA implemented similar projects, namely, the Local Government Support Program of CIDA, and the 10.10.10 Project of DILG in cooperation with UNDP.
Cutting across these program are a wide range of on-the-ground community based activities:
- Resource tenure improvement;
- Protection of ancestral domains and indigenous people’s rights;
- Upland, lowland and coastal community-based resource management;
- Sustainable agriculture/Propagation of appropriate technology;
- Community organizing/ Empowerment of grassroots communities;
- Gender and development;
- Cooperative development;
- Income-generation and management;
- NGO/PO participation in local governance; and,
- Policy advocacy for agrarian reform and rural development and participative local governance.
Participation and Linkage Building
Catalyzing processes that would gather various stakeholders to collaborate on common objectives; following the principles of continuing dialogue, mutual respect, transparency, and accountability.