Learnings in managing an outreach project: The Case of CPU Katin-aran Center

By Edwin I. Lariza and DZ Patriarca-Lariza

At long last, we made it.  The final editing is done. I cannot help  but blog the abstract and acknowledgment of our research study, out of joy. Sooner, I will post the highlights of the study. Actually, we have successfully defended our research last October 2012. However, there were some technicalities involved including editing which was taken cared of  by the University Outreach Center.

This study was conducted  to describe the  growth and development of Katin-aran Center and its contribution to the community, as well as the University. It used the exploratory and descriptive design. A focus group discussion with pioneers and key players validated both primary and secondary data.

Katin-aran Center emerged as a response to the needs of the Department of Social Work for more field placement for practicum students. Soon it grew with established development concepts, framework and effective methods in organizing communities. Because of its track record,  the Center  earned recognition and respect locally, nationally, and internationally. It has reached its peak when it became a separate foundation implementing multi-million empowerment projects.  The impacts of the programs and services to personal lives of the Katin-aran members have been translated into community involvement in various forms and services.

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The following administrative factors are responsible for the development of the Center:   institutional support provided by the University;  participatory and integrated/ holistic development approach; and the charismatic qualities and management style of the pioneer director combined with highly committed staff. However, the same factors that sustained the operation of the Katin-aran Center created some organizational problems and issues, namely: ill defined structure, lack of a more definite framework for strategies, learning disability, and role confusion. Despite the problems it encountered and whatever negative experiences it has, there is no question that the Katin-aran Center has given us learnings on how to manage outreach projects.

This is so far the longest study we ever conducted, longer than our thesis requirements to finish respective masteral degrees. Like its  subject matter,  the study  has survived critical interludes including flood and my own illness. And just like the case of Katin-aran Center, all circumstances and crises have eventually contributed to  the intended result.  As the biblical passage explicitly describes: “All thing work together for good…” Indeed, it’s worth the wait.

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However, this study could not have reached its final stage, had it not been for the support of people to whom we express our sincere gratitude:

Dr. Reynaldo N. Dusaran, University Research Center Director, for his patience, untiring reminders and encouragement to continue;

Dr. Teodoro C. Robles, University President,  for his kindness to  assign me in his office for a semester to compensate my load units due to volatile health condition. The special assignment he gave me to assist  in data gathering for the Volume 2 of The Story of Central Philippine University has given me time and  opportunity for in-depth study of the history of Katin-aran Center;

Dr. Ida G. Borlongan and Dr. Margen A. Java, panelists, for  enlightening  comments and suggestions to improve the paper;

Dr. Anita  U. Illenberger, Dean College of Arts and Sciences, who might not  know it that her comment on the first draft presented has inspired me;

Professors Carol Kay C. Blando,  Kareen Jay D. Lozada  and Sarah M. Barayuga, our colleagues in the Department,  who have been supportive of this  study;

Rev. Melvin M. Mangana, former Director, University Outreach Center, for his undying support to the Katin-aran communities including this study;

Lastly, but most especially, the Katin-aran family for their whole hearted support in the process of data gathering including interviews and focus group discussion without them this study will never be completed. Led by  Ma’am  Ruth C.  Corvera, pioneer director of Katin-aran, the following former staff  and leaders are worth mentioning:  Freddie  Salvania, Jocelyn Funtecha, Mercy Bedona,  Emcy Sanchez,  Joan Militar, Trinidad Sorongon, Aida Soberano, Annabelle Martinez; Madeline, Jorge,  Josephine, Rey, Jimmy, Julie, Rubegilio, Elena, X Barrera, all the PO leaders and volunteers who shared with us their insights.

Lest we forget, our kids: Dazen Dawn, Edzil Ven and Krislenn Edz,  our joy, strength and motivation.

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

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One response to “Learnings in managing an outreach project: The Case of CPU Katin-aran Center

  1. Hi Edwin – I would love to read the Katin-aran Study if you’re willing to share it. As part of the leadership team under Manay Ruth, I certainly learned a lot of “do’s” and ‘don’ts” about how to manage an outreach project that I have applied in other settings in Asia, North America, and Brazil. Is the study posted on line somewhere?

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