Written by: Fely M. Baday and Maribel F. Larracochea
The Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) once again tapped the Philippine Statistical Research and Training Institute (PSRTI) in building the capacity of partner agencies and academic institutions on data processing and analysis of volunteerism data from the Labor Force Survey (LFS) through a 5-day training held on 16-20 October 2023 at the PSRTI in Quezon City.
Attended by 40 participants from regional offices of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), as well as from various higher education institutions (HEIs) in the country and from PNVSCA, the training aimed to (1) provide the participants with a comprehensive understanding of key concepts related to volunteerism and volunteer work data; (2) identify, select, and operationalize relevant indicators for volunteer work data; and (3) acquire practical skills in applying Stata commands to generate volunteer work data, including data cleaning, variable creation, and summarization. Volunteer-related data, findings, and conclusions generated from LFS will contribute to evidence-based decision-making, policy formulation, and volunteer program development in the country.
In the Opening Ceremony, PSRTI Division Chief of Training, Ms. Maria Praxedes R. Peña delivered the Welcome Message on behalf of PSRTI Executive Director, Dr. Josefina V. Almeda. She thanked the participants for joining the training and expressed her hopes for them to be able to apply their learnings in their respective fields. PNVSCA Executive Director Donald James D. Gawe, on the other hand, gave a brief overview of volunteerism, especially in the Philippine setting, and presented the Agency’s efforts in generating statistics. He also expressed his hopes for the participants to actively support and advocate volunteering for development by helping PNVSCA in processing and analyzing the volunteerism data that will be gathered from the LFS.
Subsequently, training resource person Prof. John Carlo P. Daquis of the UP School of Statistics engaged the participants in learning sessions and workshops following what he called as the “four-element framework” composed of volunteering, statistics, capacity building on the statistical software STATA, and labor force survey.
The training participants have had meaningful discussions and hands-on experience in processing and analysis of volunteer data from the LFS such that at the end of the 5-day training, participants expressed their appreciation and gratefulness to PNVSCA and PSRTI for providing the opportunity because the training served as a platform not only for knowledge sharing and capacity building but also for networking.
As Ms. Christine Tanan-Gamuzaran of West Visayas State University put it, “the training design is substantive; there is a tactful balance in the resource person’s delivery ensuring that everyone can follow and grasp [the topics] considering the diverse background of participants; the session topics are learning-focused which encourage active participation, collaboration, and hands-on application; the training venue stimulates engagement and ambiance of learning; the food is appetizing; and more importantly, the training was well coordinated.”
PSRTI Executive Director Josefina V. Almeda joined the participants in the Closing Program and expressed her gratitude to PNVSCA Executive Director Gawe for conceptualizing such kind of customized training to enhance the capacity of government agencies and academic institutions on volunteer research and statistics. She also thanked all the participants for devoting time to learning and skills development on data processing and analysis. She added that the training is timely as PSRTI is identifying partners from the HEIs to help with statistical research and as resource speakers.
The Training on Data Processing and Analysis of Volunteer Data from the Labor Force Survey ended with a pledge of commitment from the participants to actively support and advocate volunteering for development and share their expertise by serving as a resource person or trainer on data processing and analysis of volunteer data both in their organization and in the region; and conduct, support, and/or publish research on volunteering, whenever possible. The participants from NEDA, PSA and HEIs also committed to support the programs and initiatives of PNVSCA as it works to coordinate and promote volunteerism as a way of life for every Filipino.
The authors are currently Volunteer Service Officers at the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency.
(Visit PNVSCA website (www.pnvsca.gov.ph) and PNVSCA Facebook (facebook.com/PNVSCA) for the COVID-19 response survey link, stories and information on volunteering in response to COVID-19).