The E-Participation 2.0: Connecting Diverse Philippine Populations for Disaster Risk Management with a Toolkit Integrating Text and Speech Analytics or simply E-Participation 2.0 is a two-year research grant by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) through its Philippine-California Advanced Research Institutes (PCARI) program. Started in 2015, the e-Participation research project seeks to design, implement and evaluate a next-generation e-participation digital toolkit to be utilized in the area of Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM).
As spearheaded by the University of California-Berkeley and National University, researchers from the fields of social sciences, computer science and engineering developed Malasakit (meaning ‘sincere care’ in filipino). Malasakit is a digital participatory assessment platform that will help streamline the collection of quantitative and qualitative responses on disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies. Among its unique features is its ability to be scaled up in different locations using local dialects or languages. Moreover, Malasakit toolkit can also be modified and customized depending on the research area of interest.
For its 2nd year, the project team piloted a local version of the platform named as Kalahok 1.0 (meaning “participant” in Filipino). While Malasakit focuses in assessing Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) strategies, Kalahok is intended for the use of Barangays or village in the collection of suggestions to aid local disaster risk and reduction management planning.
Both Malasakit and Kalahok Toolkit comprised four (4) sections, namely- Demographics, Quantitative questions, Peer to Peer and Qualitative questions. The peer to peer section is the most unique section of the toolkit as it offers the respondents the opportunity to rate suggestions of other respondents based on its usefulness.
The eParticipation 2.0 project deployed Malasakit and Kalahok in a total of eight (8) barangays namely, Barangays 402, 412, 429, 432, and 434 in Sampaloc Manila, Barangay 177-Cielito Caloocan, City and Barangay Taguba-as in Antequera, Bohol. It was also implemented in Simon of Cyrene, one of the local organization for persons with disability in Daraga, Albay.
In order to ensure learning and adjustments, the activities were divided into four (4) for each of the site which are the following:
(1) Capacity Building Session. In this activity, selected community members and local officials are given orientation about the project as well as training on the use of the Kalahok digital toolkit.
(2) Pre-mobilization or Information dissemination. This activity is carried out as a promotional activity to encourage community members to participate in the field test. Information materials in the form of leaflets and flyers were distributed containing the project and field test schedule. The pre-mobilization activity was conducted immediately after the capacity building sessions.
(3) Field test proper or the actual data collection activity. In this activity, participants were gathered in a venue to answer the Kalahok digital toolkit loaded in tablets. The participants may choose to answer the toolkit by themselves or with the assistance of enumerators in the field site.
(4) Public presentation and Policy-making workshop. In this activity, the findings of the study are disseminated through public presentation attended by barangay administrators and community members. After the presentation, a policy-making workshop is held with the barangay officials to help them integrate the findings in their respective barangay disaster risk reduction management plan.