NCRFWNational Commission on the Role of Filipino Women
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Several factors inspired the redirection of the NCRFW under this new leadership based on government-NGO partnership (Honculada 2000, 43).
This was because of the government's appointment of WAND members to the NCRFW and their membership in other networks working with the CIDA (Guerrero, Lele and Miralao 1995, 33-42).
Some activists and women's organisations interpreted the denial of funding to the second phase of the DIWATA, in contrast to continued funding of the NCRFW ISP, to be the product of 'behind closed doors' government-donor agencies negotiations.
DAWN later became a nonprofit organisation assisted by the DIWATA, the NCRFW, Pilipina, the Canada Fund, the Centre for Legislative Development (CLD), and the Asia Foundation (Barrameda 2000, 145).
As the former director and chief planning officer of NCRFW noted, elitism and patronage in the political culture pose early obstacles to effective representation of women (Valdeavilla 1995).
As shown in the WID NGO Umbrella Project case study, the appointment of many NGO activists to the NCRFW leadership--and the recruitment of many more as consultants and regular staff--and their readiness to use foreign development to attain feminist goals certainly changed the course and contours of debate around state-civil society relations in the Philippines.
The national-level impact of the WID NGO Umbrella Project is best seen in the role played by women NGOs in assisting the NCRFW in government policy development and implementation.
As shown in the case of the NCRFW and DIWATA projects, gender mainstreaming through government-civil society cooperation may produce meaningful results when state and the larger society protect women's basic rights and support the progressive visions of leaderships in these agencies.
The NCRFW and Philippine women's NGOs have played very important roles in challenging dominant social structures and political cultures.
Clearly, in the DIWATA and ISP projects, the CIDA, the NCRFW and Philippine women's NGOs have emerged asking similar questions around the role of gender and development aid in women's empowerment and organisational capacity-building.
Lastly, the CIDA, the NCRFW, the Philippine government and Canadian and Philippine women's NGOs have not yet maximised the resources and spaces available for greater transnational GO-NGO collaboration and transnational civil-society interaction and social learning.
I also thank my contacts in Negros, the NCRFW, Philippine women's NGOs and the CIDA, who provided valuable data for this research, particularly Cecile del Castillo, Peachy Cuenca-Forbes, Roque Hofilena, Dorothy Lele, Wendy Miller, Maggie Patterson and Carol Sobritchea.