Facilitating Behavior Change for Improved Competitiveness & Poverty Reduction
On March 11, 2010, Ivan Idrovo and Marian Boquiren of SDCAsia presented “Facilitating Behavior Change for Increased Competitiveness and Poverty Reduction: Experiences of the B-ACE Project in the Philippines.” The seminar was the 47th installment of the Linking Small Firms to Competitiveness Strategies Breakfast Seminar Series sponsored by the USAID Microenterprise Development office.
The presenters began by outlining the scenarios observed at the start of their project--low productivity of cardava farmers coupled with poor quality of product resulted in marginal farmer income, unstable supply and an inconsistent quality of chips. They discussed the types of training that work and do not work to facilitate behavior change; and that behavior change must often start with the facilitator himself. The importance of addressing barriers to behavior change was also highlighted, including that sometimes helping target groups see what they can potentially lose rather than what they can gain is a more effective technique.
A conclusion drawn from the B-ACE project is that action can be triggered through social comparison, thereby supporting the argument that competition is healthy. Recognition helps people to sustain the change process and spread interest among resistant groups; and feedback is helpful as a basis for iterative planning. The pair's presentation closed with discussion of the catalyst structure and how to to scale up.
Ivan Idrovo used to work in a multinational food processing company as an engineer before joining the development world. He has more than 18 years of progressively responsible experience as a resident consultant, short-term expert, lead trainer, and team leader in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams in various enterprise development projects in Latin America, Asia and the Philippines. He was among the pioneers in the implementation of the social venture approach/business center approach as the BDS National Chief Project under the Swisscontact program in Ecuador, and later as the Lead Assessor to the Country Managers of Swisscontact in Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Key areas of expertise include: subsector/value chain/cluster development, Corporate Social Responsibility, SA 8000/ISO Standards and Total Quality Management.
Marian Boquiren specializes in the design, management, and implementation of enterprise development programs focusing on the development and shaping of non-financial support structures for MSME development and value chain development. She has handled a range of training, consultancy, project design and evaluation, and technical advisory assignments with the majority in the agri-fishery and trade sectors in the Philippines, other Asian countries, and Costa Rica. Marian is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Enterprise Development and Microfinance Journal. Marian joined Swisscontact in 1998 and was the first local employee appointed as manager of the Swisscontact country program office. With the completion of Swisscontact’s program in the Philippines in 2003, Marian and Ivan led the establishment of a local non-profit organization now known as the Strategic Development Cooperation – Asia (SDCAsia).