Selection of Partners for the GREAT Women Project

Selection of National Government Partners

The GREAT Women Project engages the partnership of the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) with select national-government agencies and national-level organizations in addressing gaps and in strengthening the national enabling environment for women's economic empowerment.

NCRFW performs the major role of influencing policy implementers in national government organizations and their line agencies in mainstreaming gender in policies, programs, and institutional services on women's economic empowerment, more specifically on micro-, small and medium enterprise promotion.

National partners are selected based on their mandates and capacities to implement programs and provide services to promote enterprise growth and development, to generate information and links with providers of direct and auxiliary services, and to serve as resources for skills and training, technology and technical assistance.

Selection of Local Partners

For the first year of implementation, the Project opted to partner with clusters of LGUs to align with the development approach of One-Cluster, One Vision for Local Development. Under this development approach, geographically adjacent municipalities within the province promote partnership-building and resource-pooling so they will collectively address their shared major development concerns and requirements.

Working with cluster LGUs achieves three specific aims for partner clusters namely: addressing common needs and interests, improving service delivery and spurring socioeconomic development of the area.

Selection of cluster LGUs Metro Naga and PALMA Alliance as first-year project sites is based on three considerations. Chosen cluster LGUs have previously demonstrated (1) initiatives in improving local governance, local economic development practices and gender mainstreaming; (2) foundational work mainly in organizing, networking and alliance-building to further enable gender mainstreaming; and (3) expression of interest and willingness to learn the creation of a gender-responsive and environmentally sustainable enabling environment for the economic empowerment of women, especially for woman microentrepreneurs.

For the selection of partners for the second and third year of implementation, the GREAT Women Project undertook a four-stage selection process to determine the provinces that will be engaged as partners for the project's local component.

Stage 1: Identifying LGUs in the Poverty Priority Map

Aligned with government's poverty alleviation efforts, the GREAT Women Project used the National Anti-Poverty Commission's (NAPC) Poverty Priority Map in narrowing down potential partners. Out of 81 provinces, this poverty map identified 51 priority provinces considered to be the poorest in the country. These provinces formed the initial list of candidate sites.

Stage 2: Applying criteria to prioritize selected LGUs

NCRFW devised a set of criteria and ranking in consultation with the Project's key national partner agencies. The criteria for prioritization were as follows:

High potentials for development. Recognized as potentials for development in the criterion were the high demand/high market potential, export earnings, presence of facilities for accessibility, and the availability of human and natural resources supporting enterprise development.

Presence of women in business. Provinces with more women and organized groups of women in business, with a high percentage of women involved in high-value enterprises (ie. manufacturing, services, and experts) and are aligned with government thrusts articulated in the National Small and Medium Enterprise Development (SMED) Plan were duly considered.

Convergence of partner-agencies. Provinces with more national government agency partners operating were given higher scores. Shared responsibility and convergence of partners help ensure synchronicity in delivery and maximized use of resources for programs and services required by women entrepreneurs.

Poverty levels. The leading three priority provinces that required lesser investments than the poorest provinces were given higher ratings in view of the Project's resources and the results expected within the project timeframe.

Support for gender and development. Higher ratings were allotted to provinces with gender and development (GAD) policies, enabling mechanisms, and programs (ie. GAD code, GAD plan and budget, GAD focal person/GAD council) that manifest existing local government support to gender and development. Support to GAD enables the process of mainstreaming gender in economic empowerment policies, programs and services.

Peace and order. Data on crime rates and incidence of armed conflict or terrorism in the provinces present the level of the atmosphere's desirability to allow long-term and sustainable business operations. Preference was given to relatively peaceful and orderly provinces.

A simple scoring system was applied based on the following maximum allowable score for each criterion. The composite score of 100% is made up of these criterion scores:

Criteria Score
High Potentials for Development 30
Presence of Women Entrepreneurs 20
Convergence of Partners 20
Poverty Level 10
Support for GAD 10
Peace and Order 10
Total 100


Ensuring the geographic spread of Project results, six priority provinces were selected to represent the country's three main island groups. Identified as priority provinces with the criteria were Ifugao and Quezon in Luzon; Iloilo, Bohol and Leyte in Visayas; and Davao del Sur in Mindanao.

Stage 3: Conducting Project Orientation with identified priority LGUs

NCRFW initiated project orientations with identified priority LGUs, encouraging them to become local partners of the GREAT Women Project.

Stage 4: Conducting consultations and negotiations with key local players

NCRFW conducted consultations and negotiations with key local players in preparation for the forging of partnership agreements for the GREAT Women Project.