Think Pieces

Browse Think Pieces and other opinion articles published on G-Watch as well as other websites. 

9 March 2020
On Elite Capture, the Poor and Patron-Client Networks

By: Joy Aceron

In my continuing readings of evaluation studies on participatory reforms, I noticed that the concept of elite capture is repeatedly pointed out.

I like how one material (Saguin 2018) differentiates elite control vs. elite capture and the measures to address them using existing literature.

21 February 2020
Why the Need for Accountability Education?

Last February 14, Valentine’s Day, G-Watch had its 3rd Ako, Ikaw, Tayo May Pananagutan (AIM-P) Awareness-Raising Campaign Day with the theme “Kabataan, Pusuan ang Pananagutan.” This year’s campaign focused on engaging young people in accountability conversations, especially officials of Sangguniang Kabataan (Youth Councils).

All over the world, today's youth are leading collective actions to address pressing issues such as social injustice, corruption, abuse and climate change. In the Philippines, participation of the youth is given so much recognition and importance that it has now been institutionalized in every barangay through the SKs. However, SK as an institution needs strengthening and support. G-Watch aims to contribute to this by engaging SKs in accountability work

21 February 2020
Ano ang Pananagutan? Isang Repleksyon sa G-Watch Ako, Ikaw, Tayo May Pananagutan 2020

By: Francis Isaac

(Ang sulating ito ay batay sa talumpating binigkas noong 14 Pebrero 2020 sa Batasan Hills National High School, Lungsod Quezon sa pagpapasimula ng Spoken Poetry Competition bilang bahagi ng Ako, Ikaw Tayo may Pananagutan Awareness-Raising Campaign ng G-Watch.)

9 December 2019
Reclaiming the Inclusivity Agenda: Further Notes on the ‘Reform-Revolution Continuum’

Inclusive politics and governance, inclusive development and growth, inclusivity, inclusiveness –these are the most recent buzzwords within development community and among political elites these past few years. In the Philippines, even the military and police are arguing for their greater involvement on the premise of inclusivity.

16 August 2019
Why Sovereignty Should Concern Every Filipino Today

The government needs to reclaim being the government of this country that protects and cares for its people by asserting and advancing Philippine sovereignty on the West Philippine Sea. Filipinos need to remind the Duterte government of what their being the government for and who ultimately owns the power that those in government temporarily hold. 

16 August 2019
How Participatory Reforms Can Enable Voice But Fall Short Of Transformation

Reforming the budget process to be more open and participatory to civil society and citizens has become a popular approach around the world. This trend represents great potential for democratic transformation, especially in countries where the allocation of public resources has long been left in the hands of a few. However, attempts to undertake such reforms in the Philippines have had mixed results. The Philippine experience with Bottom-Up Budgeting (BuB) offers valuable insights into the pitfalls that must be avoided for participatory reforms to be transformative.

17 June 2019
How International Solidarity Forged Filipino Nationalism

By Francis Isaac and Joy Aceron

13 May 2019
My List of the Good and Worse about the 2019 Philippine Elections

Overall, huge reasons to be worried and disappointed about, with little positive to hold on to.

31 January 2019
Bangsamoro as a "New Unity"

Last January 21, parts of Muslim Mindanao held a plebiscite to determine what will form the new Bangsamoro entity created through the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), a landmark piece of legislation that is a product of decades of struggle of Moros for their right to self-determination. 

There is a critical misconception that is quite common even to those who would opt to give peace in Mindanao a chance. Some people who are mostly doubtful of the peace process are under the impression that the ratification of BOL is a victory for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that comes with a reward, including (to some, at least) the power over the to-be Bangsamoro entity itself. This is wrong. It is a big misconception and a misunderstanding. 

13 December 2018
‘Closing Civic Space:’ A Space for a New Movement-Building

The agenda ‘closing civic space’ has been taken up extensively of late in transparency, participation, accountability, open government and anti-corruption spaces. I have been asked to give talks on this topic in three separate international events, namely the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit in Tbilisi, Georgia in July; the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Copenhagen in October; and this week in UNODC’s workshop in Bangkok, Thailand. This is recognized as a key issue in the Philippines. In the event of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in the Philippines that G-Watch attended in Tagaytay several weeks ago, the challenge of ‘closing,’ ‘shrinking,’ ‘constraining’ civic space has been pointed out in all workshop groups when asked what are the main challenges confronting Philippine civil society today.