NRCP scientists, researchers and secretariat with research assistants from UPLB and UPD and ACB officers and representatives. Seated (from L-R) Ms. Teofila Zulaybar, UPLB University Researcher;  Dr. Auxencia Limjap, FEU Scholar-in-Residence; Dr. Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay, NRCP Executive Director; Atty. Roberto Oliva, ACB Executive Director; and Dr. Wilma Reyes, PNU Vice President.

Recognizing the need for scientific knowledge generation and research translation, thirty-two (32) scientists, researchers, and members of the secretariat of the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) took part in a capacity building activity entitled, “Policy Brief Writing Workshop.”

Representatives from the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) led by Dr. Filiberto Pollisco, Jr, served as resource speakers of the three-day event which was held on October 6-8, 2016 at the NRCP Auditorium in Bicutan, Taguig City.  The workshop aimed to introduce the participants to the importance of policy briefs to research information dissemination as well as to the provision of scientific evidence in aid of policy making.

Both the Executive Directors of NRCP, Dr. Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay and ACB, Atty. Roberto Oliva were in attendance in the Council’s first ever Policy Brief Writing Workshop.

A policy brief is a summary document of particular issues with relevant policy options and recommendations targeted at government policy makers, agencies and other institutions who may influence policy directions particularly on issues of national concern.

From stay-in-shelves to policies
NRCP has a significant number of researches from the hard sciences to the social sciences and the humanities which have policy implications. However, while some get published in scientific journals, there are those whose utilization has yet to be maximized.  “We do not want to watch excellent research studies conducted by our member-researchers and scientific experts left standing beautifully in the shelves” said Dr. Sumagaysay. “We will transform those thick write-ups into something chewable and readable by stakeholders who have not much time to read long documents.  We will translate the technical research results into two-pager policy briefs.”

For his part, Atty. Oliva further highlighted the importance of having policy briefs as they have brought millions of dollars to ACB. “To convince lawmakers, possible partners, and other intended audiences, translating your lengthy studies into crisp and concise policy briefs can be the first step”, said Atty. Oliva.

Productive workshop and content participants
Participants of the workshop were divided into groups. On the third day, they were able to produce five (5) draft policy briefs from wide-ranging fields of nanotechnology, education, natural preservatives, and environmental protection in lakes.

As designed by the NRCP secretariat, the workshop participants came from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.  There were representatives from UP Los Baños, UP Manila, and UP Diliman, the Philippine Normal University (PNU), Far Eastern University (FEU), St. Paul University, and from the Visayas State University (VSU) – Tolosa, the Caraga State University, and the Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT).

Realizing the importance of policy briefs, Dr. Franco Teves from MSU-IIT and Dr. Teresita Jocson from VSU-Tolosa said that they will echo the workshop to colleagues in their respective universities.