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DA-SAAD CAR takes course on beneficiary needs assessment

BAGUIO CITY, June 5, 2023 – Dedicating the first year of implementation to laying strong foundation of program implementation through social preparation, the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program Phase 2 in Cordillera underwent Beneficiary Needs Assessment (BNA) workshop, aimed at improving the planning strategies. 

BNA is an approach that opens the planning stage through social research, a method that seeks to provide the most suited projects to the target communities. The weeklong training, held on May 23 to 26, 2023 was led by the Operational Planning Budget, Monitoring & Evaluation Unit (OPBME) team of National Program Management Office (NPMO) – Ms. Marie Abigail G. Dela Cruz, Social Preparation and Program Management (SPPM) Sub-Unit Lead and Engr. Jonalyn Racelis, Associate Project Officer. 

Emphasizing the role of implementers, 24 implementers from the Regional Program Management Support Office (RPMSO) and as well as representatives from the Research Division, Agricultural Program Coordinating Office (APCO), Planning Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PMED) attended the training. 

Utilizing the essence of BNA, Ms. Dela Cruz discussed the document review, interview and observation, and site validation and the approach incorporated to each tool. All mentioned tools will be triangulated to effectively validate collected information and arrive at the most objective project design of the beneficiaries. Through this, BNA serves and helps the farmers with their needs by giving them opportunity to communicate their socio-economic perspectives.

Importance of BNA on the ground 

To further experience first-hand, participants conducted BNA simulation in Balluay, Sablan and Basil Tublay, Benguet. They were divided into two (2) groups and were given the chance to rehearse the guide questions using the pre-identified projects such as poultry, livestock, and crops production. 

Regional Executive Director, Cameron P. Odsey, in his message, reminded implementers to  immerse themselves in the community in order to understand the farmers. “Dapat maintindihan natin na ang ating pinagtatrabahuhan ay isang project na may simula at may katapusan. Ang kagandahan ng pagkakataon na ito, pwede tayong maki-dialogue muna sa mga farmers. Mayroong panahon na kausapin sila at malaman ang kanilang priorities,” Mr. Odsey shared. 

(We must understand that what we are working on is a project that has a beginning and an end. We must help the FCAs toward greater sustainability. We must inspire them to continue the livelihood project.  The beauty of this opportunity is that we can have a dialogue with the farmers first. There is time to talk to them and find out their priorities.)

For the second quarter of 2023, SAAD CAR will conduct social preparation activities and beneficiary needs assessment in the identified 82 barangays of the municipalities of Abra, Benguet and Ifugao, while continuing to serve the provinces of Apayao, Mt. Province, and Kalinga from Phase 1. For Phase 2, DA-SAAD CAR targets to serve 2,280 farmers in the five (5) covered provinces. ###

Writer: Maria Elena G. Catajan, DA-SAAD CAR Information Officer 

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Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program Online ISSN: 2718-9791
Published by the SAAD National Program Management Office Editorial Board

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