As part of the preparations for the publication of the SESAM Policy Brief Series (SPBS), the UP Los Baños School of Environmental Science and Management, through its Continuing Education and Training Division (CETD), conducted an in-house training on policy analysis and how to write policy briefs via online conferencing on 07 February 2022.
Through the webinar, SESAM intended to provide its faculty, Research, Extension and Professional Staff (REPS), administrative personnel, project teams, and students an enhanced capacity to write and produce policy briefs that can be applied for the promotion, adoption, and transfer of results, technologies, and innovations generated from its researches.
Dr. Rico C. Ancog, the Dean of the School, underscored the need for the School to engage even more on how it can further contribute in advancing science especially that SESAM is a Center of Excellence in Environmental Science recognized by the Philippine Commission on Higher Education.
Under the SESAM SAILS (Sustainability and Accelerated Innovation in Learning and Solutions)- the strategic intent that the School has been operationalizing since June 2021, three priority areas or the so-called three Is, namely, Instruction, Impact, and Infrastructure has been identified. The in-house training, Dr. Ancog remarked, is directly related to the Impact and he identified two routes for this. The first being the formulation of advocacy briefs in relation to a particular action that SESAM is championing. The second is the formulation of objective briefs, which, according to the Dean is crucial in giving balanced information for sound decision-making. SESAM is known as an academic institution that is “very much active in research work and thus, it aims to conduct policy and good science that would relate to advocacy work”, he explained.
Dr. Agnes C. Rola, a professor emeritus of the UPLB College of Public Affairs and Development and an Academician at the National Academy of Science and Technology, delivered the lecture on the overview of policy analysis and policy brief formulation. Dr. Rola, a well-published academic, is a well-known expert in policy analysis including the preparation, formulation, and publication of policy briefs. Even more so, policy analysis has been among the key studies championed by the UPLB CPAf.
In her lecture, Dr. Rola emphasized that policy briefs should afford policy goals that are actionable, cost-effective, and socially acceptable. She also shared how to make policy briefs more attention-catching for policymakers and other readers such as having a catchy/interesting title, credible authors, unique branding, good visual appeal, among other tips.
Dean Ancog also discussed the guidelines that SESAM will be using as reference for the format of the policy briefs that will be produced for the SPBS. The SPBS will be focusing on environmental issues and solutions relating to land, air, water, and people; and the contributions of the training participants in this particular endeavor of SESAM is being looked forward to.
The CETD is the extension arm of SESAM established to complement the academic, research, and extension programs of the School. SESAM is composed of 16 core faculty members, 11 REPS, 8 administrative staff, and at least 28 project staff to date. (Cherry S. Padilla)