by Clare R. Fevidal

Determined to produce a frontline of Rural Development Managers, the National Convergence Initiative for Sustainable Rural Development (NCI-SRD) conducted the 1st Convergence Scholars’ Congress for the graduates of the NCI-SRD Convergence Scholarship Program or the Master in Public Management major in Rural Development (MPM-RD).

As an initiative of Batch 1 Scholars, the Congress was held last November 11-13, 2015 at Eurotel, Angeles City, Pampanga which aims to produce a national network of rural development workers involved with the policies and projects of the NCI-SRD and to enhance the organizational structure of the National Convergence Initiative through establishment of its mission and vision.


A total of 100 graduates from Batches 1 and 2 together with the NCI-SRD Technical Working Group Members participated in the Congress which was facilitated by the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), Lead school of the Educational Consortium for Rural Development (ECRD) under the Convergence Scholarship Program.

During the three-day activity, some of the best Rural Development Action Plan and Projects (RDAPPs) of the scholars were showcased to present gains and significant insights achieved by the convergence scholars after graduation.

As emphasized in her speech, Department of Agrarian Reform Undersecretary Rosalina G. Bistoyong urged the need to mainstream the implementation of the RDAPPs the graduates in the plans and programs of their respective agencies. She further challenged the graduates, as rural development implementers, on how the people will feel the grass roots of NCI-SRD.

To fully equip the graduates with the current assessment studies on NCI-SRD, Dr. Maria Faina L. Diola of the University of the Philippines (UP) also presented the NCI-SRD Organizational Development Assessment Report of 2014. Her report included policy recommendations for the NCI-SRD as an organization.

Updates on the current developments and accomplishments were also presented by Engr. Margarita Salvanera-Crizaldo, Head Secretariat of the NCI-SRD.

Convergence Scholarship Program is one of the flagship programs of the NCI-SRD to retool the frontliners of the four (4) rural development agencies (DA-DAR-DENR-DILG) in collaboration with the consortium of four academic institutions: DAP, Ateneo School of Government (ASoG), University of the Philippines – College of Social Work and Community Development (UP-CSWD), and Xavier University (XU). It aims to create a pool of transformative rural development leaders from the professional ranks of the NCI-SRD member agencies.

The program now runs its 3rd Batch with 67 of students and currently on its 4th term.