Updated: Aug 11
The Universities and Councils Network on Innovation for Inclusive Development in Southeast Asia (UNIID-SEA) is pleased to announce the selection of 20 IID Fellows from eight ASEAN countries. Under this pioneering small grants program, these IID champions will develop and share teaching and learning packages featuring innovative and inclusive approaches to pressing social concerns such as sustainable livelihoods, food security, climate change, water and sanitation, and special education, among others.
Launched in April by UNIID-SEA – in cooperation with the ASEAN University Network (AUN) – the IID Fellows Program aims to recognize and connect IID advocates in the region. In so doing, the program will help reduce the internal development gap among ASEAN member countries by facilitating the sharing of knowledge and innovations that address common development issues.
One of the program's unique aspects is to target the poor and marginalized as partners. While most modules and courses are geared towards students in formal institutions, the IID Fellows Program tailors teaching and learning packages to answer the needs of grassroots communities. Their feedback is also seen as crucial in the further improvement of the instructional materials.
For example, IID Fellows based in Cambodia, the Philippines and Vietnam are producing learning modules and courses to help improve water supply and sanitation facilities in local communities. In Malaysia, Tan Huei Ming is developing a course that will teach communities how to address food security in an urban farm setting. And in the Philippines, Milton Norman Medina's module will build the capacity of indigenous people to identify and document flora and fauna in their ancestral lands.
In the educational realm, Dr. Hui Min Low's module provides training for teachers on how to enhance the communication skills of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), while Viengdavong Luangsithideth's course will improve the literacy of young women in remote areas of Lao PDR. For a complete list of the IID Fellows and their projects, see: “Annex 1: List of IID Fellows and teaching/learning packages.”
The IID Fellows are now undergoing mentorship with IID experts from the UNIID-SEA network to develop and refine their teaching and learning packages. Once ready for release, these modules and courses will be shared with the public via the Inclusive Innovation Hub. This web-based knowledge and networking hub is currently under development, and will be formally launched by the last quarter of 2014.
What is innovation for inclusive development?
Despite economic growth, rising inequality in Southeast Asia has made the poor even poorer. Over the past 10 years, measures of income dispersion have deteriorated in the Philippines, Singapore, Lao PDR and Malaysia. This does not mean, however, that other Southeast Asian countries have fared better.
In order for the poor and disadvantaged to catch up, they must develop faster than the rest of society. How do we do that? By introducing innovation for inclusive development.
Innovation for inclusive development is broadly defined as “innovation that aims to reduce poverty, and enables as many groups of people, especially the poor and marginalized, to participate in decision-making, create and actualize opportunities, and share the benefits of development.”
As the United Nations, key donor agencies and governments promote more inclusive and sustainable development, current discussions and initiatives are looking into new technologies and ways of doing things that take into account not just strategic but also interdisciplinary innovation to address social needs, especially of the poor and disadvantaged.
IID Fellows selection process
After launching the IID Fellows Program, UNIID-SEA accepted a total of 104 proposals from target applicants in all 10 ASEAN member states: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Out of the 104 applications, a total of 20 IID Fellows were selected following a rigorous screening process.
The winning proposals were chosen for their excellent demonstration of IID elements: responding to the needs of the poor and marginalized, solution seeking, open and collaborative, scalable, and sustainable. The quality of the proposed teaching and learning package – including its design and usability, content, responsiveness to target users, flexibility and replicability – were also considered.
The Universities and Councils Network on Innovation for Inclusive Development in Southeast Asia (UNIID-SEA) is a project of the Ateneo School of Government (ASoG), in collaboration with the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP). UNIID-SEA works with universities and research councils in Southeast Asia to promote action research and facilitate the development of programs that support innovation for inclusive development. UNIID-SEA is supported by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
For more information about the IID Fellows Program and UNIID-SEA, see: