15 December, 2019

ELATIA Partners Hold Series of Training on Community-Based Monitoring and Information Systems-Database Management System (CBMIS-DBMS)

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By: Nicky C. Batang-ay, CCAMP

A series of training-workshop on Community-Based Monitoring and Information Systems – Database Management Systems (CBMIS-DBMS) was conducted by the Tebtebba’s CBMIS team spearheaded by Mr. Nicky Batang-ay in Kathmandu, Nepal; Nairobi, Kenya; and Baguio City, Philippines on June 18-22, July 9-12 and July 23-26, respectively.  The aim of the activity was to Introduce and familiarize the usage of the computer systems to representatives from Center of Indigenous Peoples Research and Development (CIPRED), Indigenous Livelihood Enhancement Partners (ILEPA), Mainyoito Pastoralist Integrated Development Organization (MPIDO), SILDAP, Tebtebba Foundation and community representatives from the indigenous Dura, Maasai, Kalanguya, Mansaka and Applai communities.

Mr. Batang-ay who served as the main facilitator, discussed the framework and objectives of the CBMIS-DBMS and introduced the different computer programs used for the CBMIS database to manage, store, retrieve and analyze data for monitoring. He provided systematic instructions on the usage and navigation of the database system including the proper ways of filling-out the data forms. He also initiated the discussions on defining the terminologies in the DBMS while participants had the actual practice in encoding and analyzing their data on the five thematic areas of CBMIS– Land Territory and Resources, Traditional Knowledge, Traditional Governance, Indigenous Peoples’ Full and Effective Participation and Human Rights. During the hands-on exercise, participants redefined some terminologies according to their context, glitches in data management and inappropriate sequencing of data needed for information. These feedbacks were noted by the main facilitator.

“The database is not yet fully developed.  Tebtebba, together with our developer, Mr. Von Halip, worked on the functional DBMS in just a few months. We recognize that it is still incomplete and some content may be inappropriate or incorrect. This is why one component of the training- workshop is to introduce the computer system and gather comments, suggestions and recommendation from the partnership to make this as comprehensive and helpful instrument for our CBMIS works”, said Mr. Batang-ay.

While the training is in-progress, some of the participants expressed their initial satisfaction on the design and functions of the system. They find it user-friendly and a big support for them in managing their data. All of the participants also find the built-in analysis function, that allows them to come-up with analysis through graphical representations is the highlight of the DBMS.

“Information that are in graphs and pie charts are easy to understand. We can use them to easily explain to our members or to any audience the situation of our indigenous peoples on the ground.”, Ms. Eunice Nkopio of MPIDO articulated. Mr. Pasang of CIPRED seconded, “analysis function is very limited and I recommend that you work with our developer to modify it to accommodate three or more data sets for a more robust information that can be used for different purposes.”

In the opening session of the activity, participants were given a brief review about the CBMIS including the usage information to be acquired in the database system. Mr. Kimaren Riamit, Executive Director of ILEPA; Ms. Pasang Sherpa, Executive Director of CIPRED; and Ms. Helen Magata, Communications Officer of Tebtebba, emphasized that information in CBMIS are very useful in many ways. Information associated with factual data can be used to develop inclusive development plans, to guide formulation of community protocols, to be used as basis in asserting Indigenous peoples’ rights, to support for policy advocacy, in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals, and can be fed in to influence different processes like the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Human Rights mechanisms.

It was brought out during the activity that organizations including their partner communities have collected a lot of data and some are filed in papers and stocked in different storage areas including cabinets and/or office cupboards. They said that these kind of data storage systems are not secure and prone to fire and water hazards.

“We have collected a lot of data- from the CBMIS to the Indigenous Navigator. Everything is put on papers and filed and are just there sitting in one corner. With the CBMIS-DBMS we are excited to see what the final outcome is including the update on the analysis function. We are hoping that Tebtebba will be able to finalize the DBMS soon so that we can start using it. The CBMIS-DBMS is way for us, in general, for our collected data to become alive and use it!”, said Mr. James Twala of ILEPA.

“We are looking forward to the finalization of the system to be more constructive not only in data management but also in the analysis of data for useful information,” added by Ms. Nkopio.

The training-workshop ended with a positive feedback and eagerness of the participants to use the to-be-finalized-system.

The training conducted is part of the initial phase of the dissemination of the existence of the CBMIS-DBMS. Same trainings are eyed to be held with the remaining members of Elatia in the future.