The DEVC 126 (Participatory Development Journalism) students of Dr. Wini B. Dagli were immersed in the ins and outs of working in the development sector through seminars held for them by development agencies Oxfam Pilipinas and RebootPH on 26 October 2023 at the College of Development Communication (CDC).
First to hold a seminar in the morning was Oxfam Pilipinas, an organization committed to advocating social justice and empowering communities to eradicate poverty, providing invaluable insights, and practical knowledge.
Two speakers from the agency facilitated a seminar via teleconferencing that aimed to equip future Development Communication practitioners with essential knowledge and skills to navigate potential risks and ensure safety in their future endeavors within the field.
They highlighted the significance of implementing safeguarding measures during fieldwork, which involve the set of procedures and policies to ensure the well-being of development workers in the field, as well as their partner communities and other stakeholders.
They also facilitated a workshop prompting students to identify potential security risks in the conduct of their fieldwork to be able to identify measures to mitigate them.
In the afternoon, an onsite talk was delivered by a representative from RebootPh, an organization advocating for clean, secure, and accessible electricity. They introduced their collaborative project on climate justice and just energy transition.
“Advocating for the objectives of the organization is inherent to DevCom students and doesn’t necessitate additional teaching or instilling,” he said.
He also conveyed an essential aspect of effective Devcom practice likened to the essence of the Oblation – “maghubad ka” (“to give oneself”), which symbolizes shedding personal beliefs and biases when engaging in fieldwork, preparing oneself to learn from the community earnestly.
At the end of the seminar, Dr. Dagli expressed his appreciation for the talks of the speakers.
“As an instructor, I am happy that we can update our pre-fieldwork guidelines in CDC as we partner with Oxfam Pilipinas and RebootPh this semester. Since the field of Devcom practice constantly evolves, our partners provided us with new information on how to mitigate better various types of risks that may emerge before, during, and after fieldwork,” he said. (Hannah Rito)