Posted tagged ‘capacity building’

EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT & CAPACITY-BUILDING

October 9, 2010

EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT & CAPACITY-BUILDING

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good day to all ye fellow global citizens, peace & development advocates!

I have just writ a series of articles about physical regimen and capacity-building. The topic stresses the central import of developing multiple intelligence to capacitate oneself for achieving diverse goals—from physical to spiritual. Let me then continue the trajectory of the topics to focus this time on emotional development.

To start with our discourse, high ‘emotional quotient’ or EQ contributes immensely to the building of our individual capacities. Conversely, low EQ determinately incapacitates us, thus disabling us from achieving our goals in life. This goes true for folks who aspire to graduate from low quality to high quality of life.

Emotional intelligence’s core is attitudes, which could be summed up as the integration of our capabilities to empathize, sympathize, and enact goals from an affective facet. Learning attitudes are particularly foremost in any change program. Good learning attitudes can lead one to succeed in achieving one’s goals, while bad learning attitudes could debilitate one from achieving short- and long-term goals.

Any person who aspires to be a change catalyst for whatever purpose should be equipped with the sufficient level of EQ, otherwise the person involved could be a liability to the change program. Not only should the catalyst be foremost in demonstrating good learning attitudes, the catalyst should also demonstrate the capacity for empathy that begins with good listening, and for sympathy that is exhibited by building sincere rapport and camaraderie.

A catalyst who demonstrates high levels of empathy and at the same time has the knacks for counseling—both the one-on-one and group levels—is a model for one who has high EQ. Such a person has unlearned a childish Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD, or has kept the latter weakness as residual if ever. S/he is sufficiently equipped to handle and manage a change program.

A catalyst who has weak listening abilities (low empathy) but who just the same counsels a client is a bad catalyst. The counsel could be psychosocial interventnion, or financial counsel for livelihood clients, or advisory to an entire poor village for community development, or pro bono legal counsel by grassroots paralegal. Counsel without sufficient listening (with sincerity, goodwill) is intrusive type of counsel.

The message of developing good EQ for grassroots clientele is equally important too. After doing grassroots work for so long a time in my life (beginning with my adolescent years yet), I could readily exhibit to you a long list of defects of the folks that are largely traceable to bad learning attitudes.

Take the case of marginal planters. I’ve heard too many complaints of marginal farmers about miserable living conditions, about inability to raise money to build a decent home, and so on. Yet I see the same folks smoking, drinking, and gambling! I could very easily demonstrate to any poor folk who is afflicted with those vices, that if s/he would take off smoking & drinking at least, s/he could save enough money to build a decent home and buy a service mini-truck.

I’d tell the folk that a Marlboro or equivalent cigarette which sells P35 a pack would total almost P500,000 in four (4) decades, assuming that the folk smokes a pack of cigarette a day, an amount than can build a decent and spacious low-cost house. Meanwhile, if the same person saves the P1,000 a month spent on beer/gin & delicacies, then in four (4) decades s/he could save P500,000, enough to buy a very decent service vehicle for farm use. [P44 is U.S.$1]

Not only are many poor folks afflicted with vices, they also don’t save money for the rainy days. Saving behavior is a huge development challenge in this country, in as much as Filipinos as a whole don’t save. The change is now moving towards the right direction, but the pace of change towards adopting saving is too slow. This situation partly contributes to the low level of national savings in this country compared to the East Asian neighbors.

Let’s take the case of a fisherfolk, who at the end of a fishing schedule offshore makes around P1,000 post-sales. Instead of saving part of the money for the rainy days, the same person would buy some gin & delicacies + cigarettes, calls on kins and pals, and play poker or so with the latter. Comes the start of schooling, the same folk would end up complaining of not having funds for the kids’ schooling needs. Well, what do you expect from a consummate spender!

If a change catalyst (e.g. social worker) would counsel the same folks to begin saving and deposit the same in the bank, the folks would grumble and exclaim “those banks would just rob our funds!” which is indicative of the low attitude for trusting financial institutions. Without extra funds on their account, the same folks would be at the mercy of usurers who charge 20% interest on short-term loans (it’s called 5/6 in my country). Charge it to bad learning attitude!

Now, just by reflecting on bad learning attitude (low EQ) as factor, you can understand why 33% of Filipinos are very poor. The figure was already down 28% in 2001 yet, then it went up again to reach 33% in 2006 (the last time we had systematic poverty studies nationwide). To factor government corruption alone as the cause of ballooning poverty—‘bad governance in public policy jargon—is utter non-sense to me.

There are variegated tools available today for improving one’s own emotional intelligence, and I do highly recommend such tools to catalysts and clientele. They’ve worked for so many people who tried them, so why not try them (again there’s the attitude question of whether to try or not).

If your emotional problems are deep-seated, or that they are of a dysfunctional level, then please consult a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. It’s best to undergo testing, as the test tool can reveal the extent of dysfunctional syndromes. Anybody with deep-seated emotional or affective disorder syndromes is advised not to attempt at all to be a change catalyst.

To conclude, emotional intelligence is among the factors that contribute to capacity-building. Never miss out on the chance to fortify your EQ as this can capacitate you in no small measure to achieve your core goals in life. The tools are out there waiting for you from some sort of ‘fairy Godmother’ expert or specialist, please go for it for your own sake.

[Philippines, 28 September 2010]

 

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

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FITNESS PROGRAM & CAPACITY-BUILDING

October 2, 2010

FITNESS PROGRAM & CAPACITY-BUILDING

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Magandang umaga sa inyo! Good morning to you all!

Let me re-echo the theme of physical fitness in this note, with my contention being that fitness regimen contributes immensely to capacity-building. Conversely, the neglect of a fitness program—sustained across time—would incapacitate a person in no small measure, leading to even greater risks of physical degeneration and short life-span.

I have already tackled fitness programming numerous times in the past, notably in speeches on development, health and wellness. I’ve likewise wrote notes about the matter, with one note posted in my wisdom & self-development blogs (“Health & wellness: promoting longevity, prosperity, harmony,” in http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com, http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com).

Rest assured, I shall never get tired of re-echoing the theme. Whatever one wishes to use fitness program for, whether for advancing one’s material well-being (profession, craft, business) or spiritual self-development, the lesson should be as clear as the most transparent water: build and sustain a fitness program to capacitate you for your short- and long-term goal attainment.

To note, urban life and the rat race are skyrocketing to take up the largest chunks of peoples’ attention, and that chunk of attention includes neglecting fitness in favor of conspicuous consumption and toxin build-up of the biophysical body. Every kind of rationalization is advanced by the working folks to justify the neglect of fitness program, and they’d blame every external factor (work, their boss, career, money…) to cover up for their personal weakness in neglecting a very basic practice in life: fitness regimen.

I do resonate with the physical education professors, such as Prof. Mar Panganiban of the University of the Philippines Manila (a former colleague at my home College of Arts & Sciences), when they cogitate that “the amount of inputs ingested in the body should be commensurately followed by an equivalent quantity of outputs.” Input means, of course, sums of food intakes; outputs, the burning of calories and detoxification through physical exercises.

To take the argument further, “should you put excessive inputs in the body but output is less than the input, than you build up unwanted fats and toxins.” That is classic systems analysis, where a system breakdown if the output can’t churn out much to correspond to high input levels.

So the logical conclusion is: ensure that output level (exercises and related detoxifications) should catch up with, or level with, the level of input. If a person inputs 2,000 calories per day or 14,000 calories per week, but output consists mainly of work routines and mobility exertion routines (driving or riding to work and back home), then chances are that the output is lower than the input.

The average weight for that calorie level is middle weight (for man or woman), or approximately 145-160 pounds. So if a person of this weight range ingests such levels of inputs, the demand for output is clear: let fitness exercise be added on top of your work regimen and mobility exertions. Aside from that, find ways to detoxify through regular drinking of herbal teas averaging two (2) mugs a day.

Avoid sweets, carbonated drinks (eliminate them if possible) and junk foods. If it can’t be avoided that you take caffeine (to waken up for the day) accompanied by sugar, then that’s alright, provided that you burn the sugar and detoxify the excess through herbal teas at night time (they can serve as beverage accompanying dinner).

And please drink enough water every day. In my experience, I drink a minimum of fifteen (15) glasses/mugs of water daily. That includes water used for mixing my coffee before breakfast, milk choco accompanying breakfast, two (2) coffees in to go with afternoon snacks, and the two (2) mugs of herbal tea at night. My last glass of water is consumed in sips every time I wake up at night to pee. The coffee and herbal teas that I drink are diuretics that aid the water to be released, taking out the toxins in the process.

As a testimony, it was my fitness programs (swim & jug in the 80s, powerlifting since 1990) that capacitated me to work longer hours daily. Without a fitness regimen, I would already feel fatigued before 5:00 p.m. (I really felt such a bad state in 1981 & ‘82 as a starting young professional). With fitness program in hand, I can begin work at 6 a.m. (prep for breakfast & work) and end up at past 10 p.m. (I’d be meeting fellow professionals or development clients, or drafting documents).

After decades of fitness regimen, my body has become so primed up that today I had cut down on exercises and still remain physically adroit the whole day. I’ve also cut down on inputs (diet) to accompany my cutting down of burning regimen. Whereas I used to gym for four (4) days a week, today I sustain it with only two (2) days plus another three (3) days of walking (at least 45 minutes leisurely walk).

It surely pays to listen to your body, conscience and experience that are your teachers along your way. And, it pays never to listen to your ‘inner demon’ that would do everything to get you out of a fitness regimen, make you lazy and rush you to hospitals later for repetitive ailment attacks.

So the choice is really yours. Change your lifestyle now, include fitness regimen in it, or retain your lazy bone lifestyle and deposit as many fats and toxins in your system. Go ahead and make the choice.

[Philippines, 18 September 2010]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

ENLIGHTENING ARGONZA WRITINGS SURGE WORLD TOP BLOGS!

September 23, 2010

ENLIGHTENING ARGONZA WRITINGS SURGE WORLD TOP BLOGS!

Good day to all endeared readers, friends, fellow global citizens!

A truly gladdening news has been breaking the cybersphere of late. Prof. Erle Frayne Argonza, a social analyst and self-development guru from Manila, has been continuing to gain mileage in his magnanimous efforts to enlighten humanity about the current social and cosmic issues.

To date, dozens of online newspapers and magazines across the globe have featured Prof. Argonza’s writings on their very own websites. Championing the causes of peace and global cooperation, Prof. Argonza has continued to reach out to enthused readers, writers and spiritual seekers. The latter contributed to the upsurge in the numbers of citations of Argonza’s writings aimed at accelerating awareness-raising.

For your reads and exchange of notes about Prof. Argonza’s blogs, please visit:

SOCIAL WRITINGS:

https://unladtau.wordpress.com, http://erleargonza.blogspot.com

WISDOM WRITINGS:

http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com

ART & POETRY:

http://erleargonza.wordpress.com, http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com

Join now the growing numbers of global citizens who find Light in Prof. Argonza’s englightening blogs!

Argonza & Associates Consulting

September 2010

TOP BLOG SITES:

http://thedailyreviewer.com

http://humanitariannews.org

http://www.nonprofit.org

http://sociology.alltop.com

http://clpl-india.com

http://pul.se

http://asiafinest.com

http://newestnews.net

http://topcityblogs.com

CITED ARGONZA BLOGS FOR DIVERSE THEME DISCUSSIONS & ANNOTATIONS:

http://adamsmithlegacy.com

http://alltop.com

http://asean-society.org

http://blog.searchaid.info

http://awakento1.org

http://boardreader.com

http://cantbustme.com

http://castasiaforum.org

http://conceptsinproduction.com

http://deepmarket.com

http://eeeph.netbooks.ph

http://globalbalita.com

http://leathernews.myip.org

http://mixx.com

http://mmsnews.cz.cc

http://nuip.net

http://online-profitsnow.com

http://origin-bx.businessweek.com

http://peacocksandlilies.com

http://petites-phrases.com

http://pipl.com

http://pirs08.webs.com

http://www.rehabfromdrug.com

http://revspeech.proboards.com

http://surchur.com

http://www.toluu.com

http://trendbuzz.com

http://webpac.lib.nthu.ed.tw

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com

http://www.answerbag.co.uk

http://www.ask.com

http://www.blogged.com

http://www.blogsope.net

http://www.carboncapturereport.org

http://www.cnn.com

http://www.deepmarket.com

http://www.familycommitment.org

http://www.finir.org

http://www.icerocket.com

http://www.iyou.me

http://www.mynewsdigest.com

http://nisim-tw.com

http://www.onlineobchody.com

http://www.pointsdevente.com

http://www.psychantenna.com

http://www.pubsub.com

http://www.samepoint.com

http://www.spiritbond.com

http://www.tapatt.net

http://www.theakan.com

http://www.topix.com

http://www.usforcenews.info

http://www.wealthyauthority.com

http://www.westpalmferrari.com

http://www.wopular.com

http://yoga-experts.info

FORESTRY SECTOR & SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: GHANA CASE

October 18, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

 

Magandang umaga! Good morning!

 

It is interesting to examine how state players can somehow enable the social responsibility field by enforcing rules on certain market players to recognize the social responsibility criterion in their areas of operations. One such appropriate case is the country of Ghana, where logging firms must follow the same criterion through an instrument called ‘Social Responsibility Agreement.’

 

A summary of the report about the country case is shown below.

 

[07 October 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to Eldis database reports.]


 

 

Social responsibility agreements in Ghana’s forestry sector

Authors: Ayine,D.M.
Produced by: International Institute for Environment and Development (2008)

In Ghana, legislation requires logging firms to commit a portion of their financial resources towards the provision of social amenities to local forest communities. Logging firms must perform this legal obligation by signing and implementing “Social Responsibility Agreements” (SRAs) with forest communities. This report is about legal arrangements for enabling forest communities in Ghana to participate better in the benefits generated by timber activities.

The document considers whether SRAs serve as effective vehicles for the sharing of benefits between local forest communities and investors. It reviews experience with Social Responsibility Agreements, and looks at what difference they have made to forest communities. In addition the author assesses the design, implementation and outcomes of Social Responsibility Agreements in the forestry industry in Ghana, drawing on a number of SRAs concluded between timber firms and local communities. Conclusions include:

  • Ghana’s experience may provide interesting lessons for other countries that are looking into developing arrangements to promote benefit sharing in forestry or in other sectors
  • the positive features of SRAs include clearly laid out minimum standards, explicit legal backing, and consideration for the conditions laid out in SRAs in the selection process for competitive TUC bids
  • wthe legal framework provides an enabling environment for the negotiation of SRAs, the actual practice of negotiating and implementing these agreements leaves much to be desired
  • Social Responsibility Agreements may become a more effective tool if local groups are better equipped to negotiate them. This requires establishing mechanisms to broaden community representation, so as to minimise local elite capture of SRA benefits. 

FORESTRY EDUCATION & TRAINING UPDATE

October 6, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Forestry education is among those human development engagements that are urgently being delivered today.

A study done in Kenya, by Temu A & Kiwia A, examined how future forestry education can respond to expanding societal needs. The study is summarized below.

[04 October 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to Eldis database reports.]

Future forestry education. Responding to expanding societal needs

Authors: Temu,A.; Kiwia,A.
Produced by: World Agroforestry Centre (2008)

Forestry education in recent years has largely failed to adequately respond to the dynamics in forestry practice, the demands of the job market and the challenges of new global forestry paradigms.

This policy brief consolidates recommendations of the first global workshop on forestry education held in September 2007, at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Nairobi, Kenya. Attended by 85 participants from 29 countries representing Africa, Asia, North and South America and Europe, the workshop deliberated on vital issues for guiding, coordinating and linking relevant institutions and stakeholders in the process of transforming forestry education. They agreed that:

  • increased investment in forestry capacity is imperative
  • improved coordination mechanisms are key at national, regional and global scales to reinforce the quality and content of forestry education and training
  • enhanced harmonisation of forestry with other related sectors is needed in order to achieve synergy of strategies and actions
  • regional and global mechanisms for collaboration in forestry education be established and sustained

The brief asserts that major changes in forestry education, research and practice are urgently needed to improve relevance and popularise forest science, technologies and practices. Obvious implications for neglecting forestry education are noted as:

  • schools of forestry will continue to produce inadequate graduates, lacking the required expertise to handle the emerging complex societal and environmental challenges
  • forestry professional ethics could deteriorate further, leading to indiscriminate destruction of natural resources – the backbone of human livelihood
  • due to the link between agriculture and forestry, the destruction of forests may lead to water flow challenges impacting on food security
  • our knowledge and capacity to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change will remain weak, further accelerating global warming, flash floods and droughts
  • further losses of biodiversity will deny the world of important plants and animals with the potential to solve health and other problems

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=39445&em=240908&sub=enviro

US GENERAL: AFGHANISTAN’S A FAILURE, STRESSES DEVELOPMENT

August 22, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Good day!

A retired US general recently spoke about the overall conduct of war in Afghanistan. To the surprise and chagrin of defense experts and officials, the general most candidly declared that Afghanistan was a disaster.

The retired general spoke more like a development expert than a uniformed defense official. Accordingly, there is no military solution to Afghanistan’s problems. The ideas proposed by the same (ret) uniformed official combine relief and rehab, infrastructures, and capacity-building efforts, or those solutions that have to do more with a total development package. This is a clear departure from the demented thinking in Pentagon and DC that tend to exacerbate the destructive facets of US engagements in Afghanistan.

Below is the news item about the (ret) official’s pronouncements.

[18 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to Executive Intelligence Review database news.]

McCaffrey: Afghanistan Disaster, Unless We Send in the Engineers

Aug. 7, 2008 (EIRNS)—Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who often functions as an informal advisor to senior Army leadership on the current wars, reported on the disaster in Afghanistan following his July 21-26 trip to that country and to NATO headquarters in Belgium. In a memo dated July 30, addressed to the Social Sciences department at West Point, McCaffrey writes: “Afghanistan is in misery.” Sixty-eight percent of the population has never known peace, life expectancy is only 44, and Afghanistan has the highest maternal death rate in the world, he reports. The security situation, the economy (including agriculture, which is “broken”), governance, and the opium problems, are “all likely to get worse in the coming 24 months.”

There is no military solution, McCaffrey writes: “The atmosphere of terror cannot be countered mainly by military means. We cannot win through a war of attrition…. Afghanistan will not be solved by the addition of two or three more US combat brigades from our rapidly unraveling Army.”

Instead, McCaffrey argues that, in addition to building up the Afghan security forces, economic measures are also required. He calls for the deployment of a “five battalion Army engineer brigade… to lead a five year road building effort employing Afghan contractors and training and mentoring Afghan engineers…. The war will be won when we fix the Afghan agricultural system which employs 82% of the population…. The war will be won when the international community demands the eradication of the opium and cannibis crops and robustly supports the development of alternative economic activity.” McCaffrey pointed to the tremendous growth in the poppy crop since the US invasion in 2001 and warned that “Unless we deal head-on with this enormous cancer, we should have little expectation that our efforts in Afghanistan will not eventually come to ruin.” On Pakistan, McCaffrey warns against a US military intervention in that country from across the border in Afghanistan, which he says “would be a political disaster. We will imperil the Pakistani government’s ability to support our campaign. They may well stop our air and ground logistics access across Pakistan and place our entire NATO presence in severe jeopardy.” In dealing with Pakistan, “We must do no harm…” 

LOCAL GOVERNANCE IN SUSTAINABLE NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

August 22, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Various approaches and forms of intervention regarding sustainable natural resource management—soils, water, forests, biodiversity—were introduced across many developing countries over the past years. Some cases of experiences regarding those intervention methods that impact directly on the livelihoods of people would be fit for reflections.

Below is a case study on how local governance institutions dovetailed into sustainable natural resources management in three (3) African countries.

[10 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to eldis.org database news.]

Local governance institutions for sustainable natural resource management in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger

Authors: Hilhorst,T.
Produced by: Royal Tropical Institute (2008)

This paper reflects on experiences from research and interventions in the Sahel on management of renewable natural resources – soils, water, forests, and biodiversity – for the purpose of food and income generation. It focuses on local governance institutions in relation to natural resource entitlements, use and decision-making on management in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

The study explores the range of existing local governance institutions that is best managed at this level for each resource type, prevailing local institutions for governing natural resources and trends. Particular attention is paid to the influence of customary institutions, project interventions, and democratic decentralisation.

It is argued that development agencies can play a role in strengthening local governance institutions for sustainable natural resource management by:

  1.  
    • holding governments to account for the policies it has signed up to as part of agreements around sector and budget support
    • contributing to a more conducive policy context for decentralised management of natural resources and local governance institutions, by supporting the governments of the three countries in finalising the legislation that is being planned, developing the accompanying decrees and procedures, and supporting implementation and monitoring the effects, such as on women and marginal groups
    • encouraging policy alignment and harmonisation, for example through the linking of decentralisation policy with natural resource management, environmental protection and land administration
    • improving the quality of policy implementation through occasional support to pilot activities to promote the testing of new approaches on institutional solutions to natural resource-related problems in different contexts

The paper concludes that effective local governance institutions for natural resource management contribute to sustainability, local economic development, and conflict prevention. The need for such institutions is increasing, given the growing pressure on, and competition over, land and natural resources. The authors argue that policies in support of natural resource management benefit from pooling knowledge and research, joint strategy development and division of labour amongst development partners. Ultimately, they argue, such policies will be judged on the extent to which these strengthen local capacities to manage and use natural resources in a sustainably way and enhance justice in natural resource governance.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=38277&em=310708&sub=enviro