The Development Academy of the Philippines, through the Center for Strategic Futures (CSF), held a two-day Foresight and Futures Thinking Online Stakeholder Consultation Workshop for some 72 members of the Sanggunian and planning and development officers  from various local government units (LGUs) across the Philippines on January 27-28, 2022 via the Zoom platform.

The workshop served as a mainstreaming process in creating a Practical Guide on Strategic Foresight for Policy Development in the Philippines to ensure that foresight and futures thinking methods and tools are integrated into the local development planning process. This activity allowed for active participation and engagement with local government officials in understanding the current landscape and potential trajectory of local development planning in their respective LGUs.

The first day of the workshop sought to gain insights on how the current policymaking and planning procedures work on the ground, and to solicit ideas on future-proofing and aligning foresight methods to the current policymaking and planning procedures. The second day focused on identifying and addressing usability gaps/enhancement areas in the foresight tools, considering the varied capacities and circumstances of LGUs.

The CSF will integrate workshop outputs into the said practical guide that it is currently developing for the use of LGUs and other government agencies.

The workshop is a component of the Foresight and Anticipatory Governance Program’s broader initiative to understand the existing local planning and policy-making frameworks’ readiness to thrive against disruption and uncertain futures. The program seeks to mainstream futures thinking, innovation, analytics, and digitalization in policymaking and management by integrating long-term strategic thinking in the process of policymaking and development planning.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the LGUs to continuously adapt and address the uncertainties to minimize further risks and maximize opportunities to recover. This initiative was specifically contextualized and structured to help LGUs to develop more agile, resilient, and robust mechanisms and forward-thinking approach in creating opportunities and minimizing risks in the face of uncertainties.