Focus Area: Social Protection


UNFPA launched Babaenihan in 2015, a campaign that aims to raise awareness about the pressing issues that impact on the health and well-being of Filipino women and girls, and how each member of society – from the community to the national government – can contribute to improving their future. It aims to raise awareness on the urgency of addressing teenage pregnancies through investments in education, health, and economic opportunities. The campaign is a partnership between UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and the Office of the Vice President (OVP) of the Philippines based on a mutual goal of empowering Filipino girls in marginalized communities.


ASSIST is providing UNFPA strategic support in producing the campaign’s multimedia requirements including the conceptualization and design of the full campaign strategy and plan, development and production of communications materials, and the execution of the campaign plan. The project also held a nationwide campaign launch and is empowering women through the anti-poverty program of the OVP called Angat Buhay.

Situation Analysis of Children in Ho Chi Minh City

The development of a Situation Analysis (SitAn) of Children’s Well Being is a key part of UNICEF’s international mandate for strengthening evidence-based policy planning and decision-making to promote human development and the fulfillment of children’s rights. In the specific context of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, the SitAn would be of great importance for identifying the gaps in child rights implementation and priorities for children to inform evidence-based planning and budgeting for children through the city’s socio-economic development plan (SEDP).


To develop the SitAn, ASSIST collected primary and secondary information from provinces in Ho Chi Minh City, and data mining from existing data/information sources, including stakeholder consultations. Consultations were undertaken with key stakeholders, including children, in Ho Chi Minh City before a final SitAn report was submitted to UNICEF.


The collected lessons learned and good practices of Ho Chi Minh City on child care and social protection will be used for possible replication in other provinces in Vietnam. Likewise, the SitAn will lay the groundwork for HCMC’s application of the Child-Friendly City approach in the coming years.

Inter-Agency Social Protection Assessment (ISPA) Learning Strategy Development

World Bank IFC initiated an Inter-Agency Social Protection Assessment (ISPA) program that aims to support its key development partners ensure that social protection standards are implemented. ASSIST designed a comprehensive learning strategy on ISPA helping users to fully understand the ISPA initiative and learn to use its tools. The learning materials (face-to-face and e-learning) were meant for the key staff of international development partners as well as social protection agencies of target countries. It aimed to ensure consistent implementation of the tools across users, ensure standardized documentation of findings of ISPA assessment and contribute to quality assurance processes.


The project included the conduct of half-day training on the ISPA framework, two 3-day training on individual tools and a 5-day course with rapid training on at least one ISPA tool development by each suite. ASSIST designed online pre-training and post-training activities, the First ISPA Fall one-week course and two types of self-guided online training courses. The interactive e-learning tool included an English narration and can be used offline as well.

USE RA 9262 – Undertaking Survivors’ Experiences in Accessing RA 9262

Republic Act No 9262 of 2004 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act provides protection for abused women and their children against their partners, former male partners or those they were/are dating. Although this is a welcome change, its implementation and impact have not been very extensive especially, for the very women who should be benefitting from it.


Through funds coming from the European Union’s European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), ASSIST partnered with the Women’s Crisis Center (WCC) and the National Network of Family Violence Prevention Programs (NNFVPP) for a project entitled “USE RA 9262 – Undertaking Survivors’ Experience in Accessing RA 9262.” The project aimed to establish a monitoring system on RA 9262 anchored on women’s experiences and on the enhanced capabilities of non-government organizations handling domestic violence, leading to the effective implementation of the law that works for female victims/survivors in reclaiming their rights.


The project was able to accomplish a number of activities during its run. Surveys and forums were conducted to raise awareness and determine the root causes of violations – an Alternative Monitoring System Portal was created and became a platform of information exchange between stakeholders & gauged the implementation rate of RA 9262. Capacity building trainings were also conducted to ensure proper use of the system and strengthen institutions. Furthermore, a gap assessment report, a training manual for service providers and a web portal were released through which region-based advocates encoded details on VAWC cases.

Multi-Stakeholder Approach towards Mainstreaming Rights-Based & Gender-Sensitive Justice and Healing for Survivors of Gender-Based Violence

In 2008, the Philippines National Police (PNP) reported that there has been a 21% increase in the number of cases of Violence Against Women (VAW) from that in 2007. Although the Philippines enacted several laws against Violence Against Women, access to and full implementation of these laws leave much to be desired. In August 2009, the government passed another Act – the “Magna Carta of Women (RA9710)”, with the expectation for it to be an umbrella legal enactment to promote gender equality and ensure the protection of women. The Magna Carta calls for training on human rights and gender sensitivity for all government personnel involved and all local government units (LGUs), and to establish a violence against women (VAW) desk in every barangay to ensure that VAW cases are fully addressed in a gender-responsive manner.


ASSIST, in partnership with WFS (Women’s Feature Service Philippines), WomenLEAD (Women’s Legal Education, Advocacy & Defense Foundation Inc.) and WCC (Women’s Crisis Center) collaborated to produce the “Justice and Healing Project” with the main goal of educating & capacitating the various components of the judicial system to be able to deliver rights-based and gender sensitive services with respect to VAW cases. The activities carried out to achieve these include barangay forums, stakeholder mapping and training for public-private prosecutors, paralegal and legal practitioners on the issue at hand. Moreover, the project included the development of both Legal Monographs on Gender Legal Issues and Protocol for Legal Service Provision.


Through the sessions provided by the project, NGOs are now better equipped & united to offer legal & psycho-social assistance to female victims. They are in constant dialogue and have worked closely with the government for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. Prosecutors, lawyers and other members of the judiciary are sensitized & capacitated to adopt a gender-sensitive, victim-centric, CEDAW compliant, inquiry process while local authorities, the police, and communities at barangay level are united and continuously working towards a violence-free barangay.

EMPOWERING – Enhanced Monitoring System on Poverty Watch for a More Effective and Responsive Approach in Governance

The Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) is a tool introduced by UNDP and DILG to local government units to diagnose the extent and causes of poverty in an area, to help in formulating policies and programs, to aid in identifying target beneficiaries and to facilitate assessment of the impact of those policies and programs. In Misamis Oriental, which registered a 28.5% poverty incidence, 14 municipalities have started to adopt and implement the CBMS to attain poverty reduction. However, those municipalities cannot fully utilize the system due to lack of capacity and resources to validate and process the data into a development planning tool with a geographic information system.


Jointly funded by STEAG State Power Inc. and DEG, EMPOWER aimed to achieve economic growth in the region by enabling local government units to acquire necessary technical skills and know-how in utilizing development tools. The project addressed the gaps in fully utilizing development tools particularly, in transferring and sustaining practical knowledge in using CBMS and GIS.


The project’s focus was on updating the database and information system of the Provincial Planning Office of Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro City Planning Office. Six municipalities from Misamis Oriental namely, Tagoloan, Jasaan, El Salvador, Medina, Opol, and Laguindingan, had been designated to be pilot areas for CBMS implementation considering the areas’ strategic importance to the industrialization and eco-tourism potential of Northern Mindanao. The works under this project include Training and Assessment of CBMS implementation, Determination of GIS requirements and correspondent GIS Technical Trainings, CBMS and GIS integration, data processing, analysis and publication of case studies.