Beyond Recovery: Towards 2030


Our Evolving Response 

UNDP positioned itself early to support the Government to effectively manage the crisis and lay the foundations for an effective recovery.  Our investment focused on: strengthening the capture and analysis of key data to inform the health response and better understand the multi-dimensional impact of the crisis; rapidly demonstrating the viability of digital platforms like mobile wallets to expedite payments to the poorest of the poor; and establishing crisis coordination and management structures in BARMM

UNDP’s COVID 2.0 offer – Moving Beyond Recovery and Towards 2030 - now enables us to further build on these core investments as well as support the Philippines’ capacity for anticipatory governance to enable it to shape a resilient future in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world and regain its momentum towards the attainment of the SDGs.


UNDP's Offer 2.0 



The pathways to 2030 are now less certain than ever before.  Compounding shocks and the VUCA world we are confronting require deep capacities in  anticipatory governance, with the ability to adapt and innovate rapidly, and to consistently use data to understand risk, opportunity and impact. Public resources are now at a premium as public debt increases and fiscal space shrinks to enable the Philippines to respond, recover from COVID and move forward to a more sustainable future.  Transparency and accountability for expeditious and efficient expenditure is now even more critical.

Building capacity for Anticipatory Governance 

Important decisions that will shape the trajectory of the country’s recovery when it comes to the medium-term future of vital systems such as food, education, employment, transportation, production and consumption, environmental management, digitalization are being taken right now. A national summit will be held to dive deeper into these areas and will examine opportunities for cross-society collaborations to demonstrate innovative alternatives. Through the guided application of foresight methodologies and with the aim of undertaking rapid experimentation, this initiative will co-design and implement several demonstration projects. For example, a demonstration project on the future of education could entail government officials applying data driven insights on education trends, exploring different potential futures through a simulation or a speculative installation (“the school of the future”), and co-designing and implementing experiments with the private sector, academe, students and teachers and community groups to test the operability of the speculative installation. In undertaking these collective ‘whole-of-society’ deliberations and demonstrations, the existing capacities and capabilities for anticipatory governance will be assessed for further strengthening or the option of establishing a new institutional structure for cross-sectoral anticipatory governance examined.

The Pintig Futures Lab 

Leveraging the work of UNDP’s data lab (‘Pintig Lab’) which was established to help the Department of Health and the Inter Agency Task Force on COVID-19 manage the health and economic crisis, UNDP will now focus the lab on supporting the National Government to better assess and respond to any longer term regressions in achieving the SDGs and to examine new opportunities for alternate futures that may now present themselves.  The Lab would ensure that critical data from various sources are made available for timely and evidenced-based policies and decisions. Data will be derived from traditional (administrative) and non-traditional (“Big” and “Dark” data) sources looking at both lagging and leading indicators. Disparate data will be housed in a common platform, analyzed using AI and machine learning, and processed and visualized to support the design and delivery of critical government policies and programs that are future ready.

Enhanced Local E-Governance 

The increasing delegation of the design and delivery of programs to Local Government Units (LGUs) with concomitant additional resources (the Mandanas Ruling which will take effect in 2022 will provide increased revenue allotments to LGUs) will not always translate into more effective planning and service delivery.  UNDP is in a strategic position to help LGUs transition from manual processes to digital and technology-based solutions. Technical assistance and capacity development will be provided to help LGUs effectively use digital platforms to inform planning and programming and for SDGs monitoring.   Service delivery business processes will be assessed to increase speed and efficiency and converted to digitalized processes where possible.  Digitally-enabled citizen monitoring platforms to increase accountability and transparency will also be established.  LGUs can then become the locus of innovations in community resilience to future shocks and accelerated pathways to the SDGs.

Social protection

Effective social protection systems are crucial to safeguarding the poor and vulnerable when crisis hits and to building resilience to future crises. The Philippines enjoys a broad-based system reaching the poorest of the poor. Yet, much of the system remains ‘analog’ in nature and lacks the digital infrastructure that can support ease and speed in beneficiary identification and cashless transfers. Financial and digital literacy is low amongst beneficiaries.  There are also opportunities to expand the conditionalities for social transfers to go beyond health and education concerns and to also capture environmental protection and ecological services.

Adaptable Digitally Enabled Post-Crisis Transformation (ADEPT) 2.0 

UNDP will support the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to provide mobile wallets to its Conditional Cash Transfer beneficiaries. This will cover around 5 million poor households—almost all of which are unbanked and many with low levels of financial and digital literacy. UNDP will support DSWD with the contracting of Mobile Money Operators (MMOs), test the interface of the National ID onboarding process with the Know Your Customer onboarding required to secure a mobile wallet, develop financial and mobile money literacy training programs, work with MMOs to make products more attractive to the poor, and support knowledge management, including behavioral insights and impact evaluation studies. UNDP will also work with the Central Bank of the Philippines in formulating a road map for a cashless transaction ecosystem which will provide the basis for financial and digital inclusion of the unbanked and poor.   The road map could involve a phased approach, starting with shifting to digitalized cash transfers, and then expanding progressively to a suite of transaction opportunities from retail to services (G2P-P2G-P2P).  

Greening Social Protection 

Key conditionality for social transfers to the poor has been focused on ensuring that vaccinations and participation rates for schooling are increased.  While these conditionalities remain critical to prevent inter-generational poverty, there is also an opportunity to tailor these for particular population groups to also include habitat and biodiversity conservation. Conditionalities that focus on indigenous communities involved in conservation actions shall be developed. These could take the form of conservation agreements, work programs as wardens and rangers to combat illegal wildlife trade, and forest protection. Strengthening of the National Greening Program and the existing coastal environment program to include conditional social transfers will also be examined.

Green economy

COVID-19 has catalyzed considerable reflection on how best to restore a balance between people and planet. These no longer need to be seen as trade-offs.  Prosperity can go hand in hand with responsible custodianship of our planet.  While the Philippines is not a major emitter of greenhouse gasses, the nature of its cities and transport systems, the heavy reliance on fossil fuels as an energy source, rapidly depleted forest cover, and accelerating habitat and biodiversity loss all provide an opportunity to make brave new choices that move away from unsustainable growth and allow the country to grow economically within its ecological boundaries.

Better Business for a Better Philippines 

UNDP’s seminal publication ‘Better Business, Better World Philippines’ (2019) identified an economic prize in the SDGs worth more than US$82 billion by 2030, alongside large environmental and social benefits that can be achieved through the shift to sustainable business models. The report details the most significant business opportunities aligned with the SDGs in four key areas of the Philippine economy: cities and mobility; energy and materials; food and agriculture; and health and well-being. These opportunities have the potential to create 4.4 million new jobs by 2030. While all these key areas have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, these sectors also represent key opportunities to bounce back better. UNDP will work with businesses to transform and succeed after COVID-19. UNDP will undertake research and preparation of sector specific market intelligence that can translate country level SDG gaps and priorities into private sector investment opportunities. The private sector will also be assisted to manage and measure their impacts on the SDGs. This includes developing the type of    governance, data collection/management, and reporting practices needed to make investments “SDG-enabling.” UNDP will also facilitate investor forums that can align global impact capital with specific SDG-aligned businesses and facilitate dialogues between businesses and government to overcome barriers in investing in the SDGs.

Mineral Wealth Fund 

The BARMM government potentially will be the beneficiary of vast amounts of revenues derived from the mineral wealth within its boundaries.  These revenues, if used wisely, can secure the well-being of a future generation of the Bangsamoro and provide a critical buffer against future shocks that would enable provision of comprehensive amelioration payments while preserving investments in key development programs.  UNDP will work with the BARMM government on a framework for responsible mining and options for a ‘bespoke’ Universal Basic Income, and the establishment of a Wealth Fund capitalized from mineral extraction revenues.

Evidence base for green policy and investments 

In the Philippines, where some 2.3 million Filipinos have no access to energy, improving energy access through renewable energy (RE) can power economic growth and provide green jobs, and enable off-grid connectivity which is much needed in a post-pandemic digital world.  UNDP will develop the evidence base to influence policy and accelerate investments in renewable energy and green jobs. An in-depth study of the impacts and opportunities in the RE sector shall be undertaken and will consider potential employment generation, the socio-economic impacts of energy access to impoverished households, and new inclusive business opportunities.  A macro level analysis of the impacts on energy resilience or energy security, vulnerability to shocks and foreign exchange fluctuations, changes in global oil and coal prices and other fiscal and economic impacts of the shift to low carbon energy solutions, including estimation of potential government savings shall be part of the analysis. A similar study will be undertaken on the economic costs and benefits of shifting to low carbon transport systems.  These studies will be complemented with the piloting of sustainable mobility solutions.

Innovative Green Finance 

As the Philippines seeks to tackle the climate challenge, access to finance has emerged as a critical element. Globally, private investors – often supported by public policy and finance – are already channeling significant amounts of money into the low carbon economy, but very little of this has found purchase in the Philippines and there has been little success in attracting private investment at the scale needed to reach their sustainable development and energy access goals.  UNDP will work with the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance network to design, pilot and promote financial instruments that can unlock billions for energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transport, climate-smart agriculture, and curbing deforestation, while also reducing private investors’ risks and improving their financial returns. A public-private partnership, the lab brings together and catalyzes broader government and private sector efforts to scale up climate finance.




Digital disruption

COVID-19 has had a major impact globally on political and economic systems, reconfigured ideas and theories, and imposed radical changes on our way of life.  Yet amidst this tumult, the Philippines has seen innovation and digital applications applied on an unprecedented scale.  A new digital-based era is emerging, creating new opportunities and disrupting old practices. We can now radically revisit the way we work, learn, buy and interact, and even deal with seemingly intractable problems.

Data for resolving Land Based Conflict 

The economic impact of the COVID 19 lockdown in BARMM has aggravated horizontal conflicts as tensions have grown over land and natural resources among leaders of armed groups and different ethnic communities. The attention to COVID-19 has left many farms unattended and weakened enforcement of access rights, opening up opportunities for land grabbing or unauthorized occupation. Since mid-March, heightened violence has led to 9600 new displacements in the province of Maguindanao alone. Many more are unreported and undocumented.  UNDP will work with the BARMM Government to demonstrate that data used effectively can significantly help to resolve land conflicts and facilitate securing land titles and usufruct rights. UNDP will carry out parcel mapping and document essential information on occupation, ownership, status, nature of conflicts. These will be layered against official records and maps to create a comprehensive case file of properties. A typology of disputed and conflict affected parcels shall be developed, and data provided to mediators, local leaders, sharia courts and local courts to support conflict resolution.  Data (including Big data) critical to establishing monitoring and early warning systems to prevent conflict will be identified.  The data generated shall be used by government to reconcile and update official records; create a complete property tax map; design titling program; and inform better regulation and development.

Digital Islamic micro-financing 

UNDP will work with the BARMM government and private sector entities to establish the digital infrastructure for providing sharia-compliant micro-finance options to clients in communities impacted by COVID 19 or undergoing post-conflict transformation. At least five rural communities in each of BARMM’s five provinces will be targeted as pilots for digitally enabled and managed micro-financing. Options could include loans, grants, and the ability to obtain credit against collateral. Local cooperatives will be supported to develop digitalized profit-and-loss-sharing contracts (mudarabah), financing the leasing contracts for capital assets (ijarah), and installment based repayment contracts for critical equipment for farming and other productive activities (muhabara).



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