Structure and leadership
The ACT Philippines Forum is a platform for ACT Alliance member organisations that support development, advocacy and humanitarian activities in the Philippines. The Forum was formally established on July 31, 2013 (although regular coordination meetings had been taking place amongst members since 2009). It brings together organisations that are committed to the mission, vision, and values of the ACT Alliance in humanitarian, development and advocacy work, and are bound by a commitment to empower communities, and build their resilience to cope and overcome risks.
The Forum’s mandate is to strengthen coordination and cooperation among ACT Alliance members in the Philippines, so that members work as an alliance in emergency preparedness and response, development, and advocacy. In working collaboratively, the ACT Philippines Forum seeks to increase the efficiency, effectiveness and impact of our ecumenical humanitarian and development response, and to create a bigger voice for our advocacies hand in hand with partners and communities.
Emergency preparedness and response planning
Shortly after its establishment in 2013, the ACT Philippines Forum was tested by the massive destruction brought by Super Typhoon Haiyan. With support from ACT member churches and agencies, and in collaboration with local partners, the ACT Philippines Forum undertook emergency responses in 16 provinces affected by the super typhoon.
Since then, the ACT Philippines Forum has collaborated in responding to the needs of communities affected by other disasters (Typhoons Lawin and Nock-ten, and the Marawi Conflict).
These are responses in faith to the command to “give them something to eat”, and a demonstration of how two fish and five loaves can be shared not only to feed thousands but to ensure the re-establishment of loving and caring communities.
The ACT Philippines Forum believes that our interventions should be built on local initiative, and the knowledge and resources of disaster-affected, poor and marginalised communities, and of organisations and churches closest to those communities, to enable and ensure the most appropriate and effective preparedness, emergency, rehabilitation, and recovery responses.
More than three years after the Haiyan response, the ACT Philippines Forum remains committed to sustaining, improving, and expanding our humanitarian work. The ACT Philippines Forum will continue to pursue a shared vision of building a platform for humanitarian action amongst faith-based organisations (FBOs):
•Strengthening the capacity of FBOs and their constituencies, up to the local level
•Enhancing the quality of humanitarian responses through stronger adherence to standards
•Engaging in advocacy for people-centred and locally-led humanitarian action
Resourcing and Sustainability
The ACT Philippines Forum is also committed to helping ensure the sustainability of local organisations through helping them build capacities and mechanisms for resource generation. Individual members of the ACT Philippines Forum will support and undertake capacity-building initiatives for resource generation and fund management of local organisations.
Practise/ Policy (innovative, replicable): ACT Coordination Center sustained beyond the emergency project period
- Coordination of activities; Purposive collaboration on projects (https://issuu.com/sylwynsheenguevarraalba/docs/act_ph_haiyan)
- Strategic Planning not just response-based or project-based joint action; but based on the reflection on Ecumenical Diakonia and the ACT Global Strategy
- Consensus decision-making practise (competition over funds avoided during joint appeals)
- Internal and external communications facilitated
- Readiness to pilot new ACT Humanitarian mechanism