Roundables to Reform – InnovateGov Consultative Dialogue on Good Governance

Jul 22, 2018


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InnovateGov’s Consultative Dialogue held July 5, 2018 in Cagayan de Oro is the first part of two good governance dialogues scheduled in Luzon and Mindanao for the coming National Governance Summit.

The Cagayan de Oro dialogue brought together advocates of participatory governance including the youth, media, business, public officials and civil society organizations.

“We need ordinary citizens. We need participatory mechanisms. But sometimes, it starts with having a network of champions-within a city or a municipality. It is very important for champions to work together to improve the ecosystem,” said Dr. Francisco Magno, Director of the Jesse M. Robredo Institute of Governance at De La Salle University.

The one-day InnovateGov National Summit will be joined by good governance advocates and stakeholders from various sectors to discuss challenges and solutions to strengthening and mainstreaming good governance practices in the country by drawing greater media attention and public awareness on good governance indicators, performance standards and framework for greater public-private dialogue.

“Accountability can only be expected from those whom people chose to vote in power. Thus, the pursuit of good governance has always been seen as the responsibility of who holds position,” said Ryan Patrick Evangelista, regional coordinator of the Center for International Private Enterprise and InnovateGov Project Head.

InnovGov Project Head Ryan Patrick Evangelista moderates the FDG on Economic Freedom (RMB)


“This dialogue looks into some of civic society’s innovations to contribute to effective public service, and continuous development,” he added.

Members of the advisory council chose Cagayan de Oro city because of its strong foundation of think tanks, academe, civic engagement, and local government- a pool of resources which can best extract the local realities and possible initiatives that contributes to participatory governance.

 “The key to effective participation depends on all the stakeholders agreeing to co-share and co-own the responsibility to attaining good governance. This means taking these outputs to the right avenues that will sustainably institutionalize them in the rule of law,” Evangelista stressed.

“In essence, the roundtable discussions promote appreciation of local data for policy analysis, which are then streamed to advocacy networks to support champions who can convert these ideas to actions and actual reforms.”

“A knowledge-driven leader uses evidence to understand and collaborate in addressing collective action problems. Lessons from history are studied to prevent repeating the mistakes of the past,” Magno stressed.

In her discussion with Magno and Outgoing Oro Youth Development Council Chair Ernesto Neri prior to the break-up sessions, Ma. Teresa R. Alegrio, Phil. Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Regional Governor for Northern Mindanao, shared her views on stakeholder engagement in government projects, emphasizing the role of the business sector in community development.


PCCI 10 Gov. Ghaye Alegrio speaks on stakeholder engagement in government projects during the recent InnovateGov Consultative Dialogue on Good Governance.


“The dilemma of infrastructure development is the lack of consultation,” Alegrio noted. “Development calls for involvement in the planning, execution, implementation, evaluation and monitoring. We look at the comprehensive development plan, because we need to align efforts of the sectors in helping the local community.”

For his part, Neri stressed the need for transformative leaders who would challenge mindsets, systems and behaviour to break the cycle of transactional politics.

“Poverty perpetuates because most of us treat governance as a transaction. You give because I gave.” 

Following the Open Forum, the participants were divided into four focus discussion groups (FDGs) to discuss the four dimensions of the TrustedGov Framework : Institutional Development for Good Government (Institutional Strengthening)Sustainable Economic Development (Economic Freedom); Inclusive Social Development (Access to Social Services); and, Sustainable Environmental Development (Environmental Governance).

Roundtables to Reform

The FDGs sought to collate the perceptions of various sectors on-ground to come up with case-studies, policy recommendations and/or amendments as inputs for the Citizen Engagement Playbook, meant to provide ordinary citizens with guidelines on how they can effectively ensure good public service from their government.

The dialogue also evaluated and critiqued the current standard of local governance- a critical stage in shifting from the present to the ideal government. From this, the networks and the initiatives that address realities in the grassroots were linked. The database of the participants’ collective experience and expertise would serve as inputs to future policies, reforms, and further development programs.

“Basically, the dialogue underscores the importance of public citizen engagement in effecting positive change in the government by vetting the precepts of democracy- upholding the rule of law, maintaining citizen participation, strengthening economic security, and ensuring transparency and accountability,” Evangelista said.

“These dimensions and components form part of the roadmap to eventually coming up with the on-ground insights of the citizens to be materialized as recommendations.”


The Innovations for Good Governance (InnovateGov) project aims to promote innovative approaches in policy-advocacy through performance-based standards for public institutions and multi-stakeholder participation for effective good governance.

It envisions contributing to the ecosystem of ideas that support the Philippines’ broader sustainable and long-term development agenda that solicits “confidence-building by being clean, fair and citizen-centered public institutions” while “building open, responsive, and accountable” government-civic engagement that harnesses democratic principles of citizen participation, economic freedom, rule of law, transparency and accountability.

The project supports the development of a long-term agenda that elevates the discussion of good governance reforms to a collective level of nation building. The Philippines’s development blueprint AmBisyon Natin 2040 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals #16 (SDGs) of Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions serve as ideal anchors to support initiatives for good governance.

InnovateGov is a joint project of Institute for Solidarity in Asia, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, National Competitiveness Council, De La Salle University Jesse M. Robredo Institute of Governance, University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance, Security Reform Initiative and Center for International Private Enterprise.


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