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Putting the Public Back into Governance: An Institute for Solidarity in Asia Open House


Public servants play a vital role in fostering good governance. They hold the responsibility to design, monitor, and execute sustainable programs that actively contribute to the realization of the Dream Philippines. In the journey of nation-building, they are bound to encounter numerous roadblocks and barriers. However, they can overcome these detours by establishing a safe and shared space for public sector organizations.

To help public servants acknowledge and get through these challenges, the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) conducted its first-ever “Putting the Public Back into Governance: An Institute for Solidarity in Asia Open House” event last April 19. The workshop was led by none other than ISA associate and Filipinas Dravo Corporation CEO Atty. Paolo Salvosa and attended by 27 delegates from 21 different organizations.

In public service, the importance of firm principles in driving performance cannot be overstated. Atty. Salvosa highlights that merely following a success formula is insufficient without a well-defined strategy. During his lecture, he emphasized the significance of the convergence of accountability and development, giving rise to the “Third Way” in the performance management revolution. This approach encourages taking proactive initiatives rather than relying solely on top-down directives to bring about substantial impact.

Delving into the barriers of governance, Atty. Salvosa sheds light on two common pitfalls within organizations. The first is institutional development, where leaders empower and nurture their followers to bring about lasting change. The second is the need for a clear purpose, strategy, and measurable goals.

To address these crucial factors, Atty. Salvosa presents five key elements essential for success. These elements enrich organization members and facilitate movement building for collective impact. They encompass community aspirations, a dedicated core team for change, inclusive community engagement, strategic learning, and high-leverage activities.

Capping off his lecture, Atty. Salvosa reminded the audience that addressing different challenges require different approaches. As public servants from an array of sectors that are all unique and uphold various mandates, organizations must strive to capacitate its member and provide them with different tools and skills for better problem-solving. 

“Having a framework or a playbook to go by, having different tools or skills is very important and we’re glad you are all taking the time to learn. […] As long as you are willing to work, you are willing to learn,” he said.

After Atty. Salvosa’s series of workshops, the floor was given to ISA Resource Development Unit Manager, Dana Juridico, who shared what ISA’s Skills Lab courses have in store for public servants across multiple sectors. 

During her presentation, Ms. Juridico highlighted common governance challenges, including bureaucracy and financial constraints. However, she emphasized that solutions are always within reach. ISA recognizes that while organizations may possess the knowledge to address these challenges, they may lack the practical means to implement their plans effectively. In response, ISA has developed the Skills Lab, a capacity development program to enhance various skills specific to an organization’s needs.

Ms. Juridico further emphasized that surmounting these challenges involves envisioning a future that brings prosperity to all Filipinos. This vision entails the construction of the Dream Philippines, where every government institution fulfills its duties, and every citizen actively participates and prospers.

“Dapat tandaan natin, in every change initiative, it is always the people who matter the most,” she said. 

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