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Reform Advocacy Campaigns in the Philippines and Beyond

Since 2012, I have been providing advice and analysis to the Coalitions for Change (CfC) program in the Philippines, a program which operates through a partnership between the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and The Asia Foundation (TAF). Inspired by the ideas of 'doing development differently' and 'thinking and working politically' promoted by critics of mainstream development policies and programs, Coalitions for Change in the Philippines sponsors and supports a wide range of advocacy campaigns focused on reforms in a wide range of policy areas. CfC has sponsored or supported advocacy groups and coalitions working for various kinds of economic reform, education reform, electoral reform, housing reform, land governance reform, tax reform, transport and infrastructure reform, disaster risk reduction and management, and conflict resolution in the southern Philippines. 

My role in CfC has been that of 'action research' and provision of advice and analysis, undertaking periodic visits to the Philippines to examine ongoing reform advocacy initiatives and activities, to suggest ways to enhance tactics and strategies, to evaluate proposals for new reform initiatives, and to analyse -- both in medias res and retrospectively -- the conditions and processes which have variously enabled and constrained CfC's efforts to promote policy reforms in the Philippines. Here the goal is not only to assist CfC in its work in the Philippines but also to amplify the

Thinking Working Politically Book Cover.

lessons learned from CfC's experience for other development practitioners and reform advocates elsewhere across the Global South, such as those I have also advised in the past through the Ford Foundation in Indonesia and Oxfam in Vietnam. 


My work has included several published reports as well as a full-length book co-authored with Jaime Faustino, Program Director for Economic Reform and Development Entrepreneurship at The Asia Foundation office in the Philippines:


(with Jaime Faustino) Thinking and Working Politically in Development: Coalitions for Change in the Philippines (San Francisco, CA: The Asia Foundation, 2020). 


Cleared for Takeoff: Coalitions for Change and the Development of Clark International Airport (San Francisco, CA: The Asia Foundation, 2019). 


Promoting Land Governance Reform in the Philippines, 2000-2017: Long-Term Linkages, Legacies, and Lessons (San Francisco, CA: The Asia Foundation, 2017). 


Creative Modalities for Addressing Complex Development Challenges: Alleviating School Congestion in the Philippines (San Francisco, CA: The Asia Foundation, 2017). 


(with Michael O’Keefe, Heather Marquette, Chris Roche, David Hudson, and Niheer Dasandi) Using Action Research and Learning for Politically Informed Programming (Birmingham: Development Leadership Program Research Paper, September 2014). 


Achieving Reforms in Oligarchical Democracies: The Role of Leadership and Coalitions in the Philippines (Birmingham: Development Leadership Program Research Paper, April 2014).  

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