The Department of Educational Communication of the UPLB College of Development Communication (DEC-CDC) and  UP-CIFAL Philippines inked a collaboration on developing a storybook to raise children’s awareness about the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on 19 March 2024 in the CDC Conference Room.

The initiative, titled “Stories for Sustainability: Promoting Children’s SDG Awareness through Storytelling,” aims to develop a media-based learning project to educate children about the importance of sustainable development. 

UP-CIFAL Philippines partnered with DEC through a DEVC 144 (Media-based Learning Systems) laboratory class under the mentorship of Dr. Liza A. Cabrera, CDC College Secretary and DEC faculty member. DEVC 144 is an undergraduate course which trains students to develop media-based instructional materials such as educational storybooks, board games, and electronic learning modules for partner learning organizations in the formal and nonformal education sector. 

Representatives from DEC-CDC and UP-CIFAL Philippines held an exploratory meeting to discuss the core thrusts of their respective units, future collaborative opportunities, and the nature of said storybook project.

The representatives from DEC-CDC were Dean Maria Stella C. Tirol, Mr. Elijah Jesse M. Pine (DEC Officer-in-Charge), Dr. Mildred O. Moscoso (CDC Extension and Public Service Committee Chair), Ms. Renz Frances D. Abagat-Manrique (University Extension Associate), and Dr. Cabrera. The UP-CIFAL Philippines representatives were Dr. Michelle R. Palumbarit (UP-CIFAL Philippines Director), Ms. Toni Serrano-Soriano (Junior Project Manager), and project staff. DEVC 144 students were also present during the meeting. 

Both parties signed a letter of agreement (LOA) that signified the beginning of the collaboration. UP CIFAL Philippines also expressed their interest in partnering with DEC in the future through EdComics, an arm of DEC dedicated to utilizing online comics as an informational and educational medium. 

During their visit, Dr. Cabrera’s DEVC 144 laboratory class also presented to UP-CIFAL Philippines the initial results of the learning needs assessment (LNA) they conducted, which provided insights on the visual design, storytelling method, and SDG of focus of the storybook project. 

UP-CIFAL Philippines is a center established in 2016 through an agreement between the University of the Philippines and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). It is a hub that focuses on advocacy, capacity building, and research on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with focus on themes such as gender equality and migration. 
DEC is an academic unit under CDC that focuses on the potentials of communication in facilitating the learning process towards achieving development outcomes. It regularly conducts research and extension and public service initiatives related to education and development. (Desiree Mindanao & Elijah Jesse Pine)