Community Capacity and Governance – New Approaches to Development and Evaluation
Interestingly, there were 66.1% more positive responses than negative responses (responses
to “what could be better?”). 30.6% of the responses were related to the unfavorable economic
condition in Pagudpud. 25.8% of the responses indicated negative sentiments toward the space
and security of the community, particularly in terms of environmental integrity with 75% of
those responses being related to cleanliness and the environment. It should be noted that
although the percentage of negative responses related to space and security is higher than the
positive responses (25.8% negative versus 18.4% positive) this is related to the total responses to
each question. There were actually 16 negative responses compared to 19 positive responses
related to space and security. There were two negative responses related to residential stability
and trust between community members. A few other responses to these questions are related to
other contextual influences. These results suggest that the positive/negative dichotomy on the
contextual influences of residential space and stability and space and security may balance out
and have a neutral impact on Pagudpud’s community capacity.
One response indicated some lack of political stability and three responses reflected poorly
on the location of the community, particularly in terms of transportation infrastructure.
According to the data, the remaining contextual influences may have little impact on Pagudpud’s
community capacity. However, with the generalness of the questions and the small amount of
responses, it is hard to speculate.
These are the general results from the FPQ and are discussed more specifically and analyzed
in relation to community capacity in a later section.
Although there were numerous unstructured interviews that were used to help build the
picture of community capacity in Pagudpud, there were a few formal, in-depth interviews (IDI)
that were conducted to get a directed and accurate response from some key informants. This
section will outline the key informants that were interviewed and give them voice as they
describe their view of community capacity in Pagudpud.
Interviews that could be conducted appropriately in English were conducted by me and the
ones that needed to be conducted in the local language were conducted by Ms. Linda Viola. IDIs
were conducted from April 28 – May 3, 2008 at the home or business of the respondent, the
home of Ms. Linda Viola, or a community event. The interviewer administered the questions and
wrote the responses. Due to the length of the interview, some repetitiveness of the questions,
and the complex nature of some of the questions interviewers were advised to use their best
judgment to obtain the most correct and useful information from the respondent. The IDI
includes the basic questions that are in the FPQ, as well as more specific questions correspondent
to the various criteria related to the components of the A-A-A.
Seven respondents volunteered and were interviewed for the IDI in Pagudpud. The
respondents were chosen based on their willingness to participate in the survey and their position
in the community. This makes the sampling for the IDIs purposive and opportunistic (Weiss,
1998, p. 164). One interviewee, Edimar Ubasa, was recommended by the mayor because of his
civic activity, making the use of snowballing (Weiss, 1998, p. 254).
Each IDI is nine pages long and took at least one hour to complete; therefore finding
respondents hardy enough to complete the interview was a challenge. Furthermore, the
respondents were chosen to provide a wide breadth of views to be somewhat representative of
the community at large.
The occupations of the respondents are typical of the norms in Pagudpud. The ages of the
respondents range from 32 to 55 and covers the largest age demographic of active adults within
the community. The areas in which the respondents hail from was also considered in the
selection of the respondents, so that as many areas of Pagudpud could be represented and to see
if there were any special considerations based on locale within the municipality (incidentally,
there were special concerns regarding transportation in Pasaleng and Pancian). Table 35 displays
the relevant demographic data of the IDI respondents. The results of the IDIs are detailed in the
following sub-sections and incorporated into the analysis of community capacity in the next
Table - IDI respondents
Name Occupation Age Sex Barangay Interviewer
55 Male Pasaleng Cindy Banyai
Housewife 33 Female Unknown Linda Viola
32 Female Unknown Linda Viola
Fisher 36 Male Balaoi Linda Viola
Furniture maker 44 Male Pasaleng Linda Viola
Marlon Sales Mayor 42 Male Poblacion 1 Cindy Banyai
Edimar Ubasa Construction
38 Male Tarrag Cindy Banyai
Like the FPQ, the IDI questions were administered orally and translated into Ilocano, when
necessary to ensure clarity and intent of the questions. The interviewer asked the questions and
wrote the responses, leaving the sole responsibility of the interviewee to tell their story and
opinions. The IDI respondents answered most of the questions in the interview template, except
for Lourdes Farriano and Malita Lagundino, who answered only half of the questions due to time
Table 36 shows the breakdown of the questions and their related SCOR indicator and
Community Capacity Attribute
Table - IDI attributes categories, indicators and questions
Indicator - Relevant Questions
S - Sense of Community
C - Commitment
O - Ability to set and achieve
R - Ability to recognize and access
Overall goal/vision – Can you identify a shared goal or
vision of ____?
Recognition of mutual circumstances – Would you say
that you are in a similar situation as the other members
of ____? What are some things that people in ___ have
Evidence of trust amongst members – Would you say
that it is easy to trust people in ___? Are there any
people or groups of people that you are cautious of?
Positive relationship between members – How often do
you gather with other people from ___ (i.e. celebrate
special occasions, have food or drinks) either in your
home, the home of others, or in public?
Shared sense of identity – How would you identify
yourself (ethnicity, religion, locality, etc..)? Do you feel
that many people in ___ identify themselves similarly?
Responsibility taken for community situation - Do
people in ___ take responsibility for the things that
Members recognize themselves as stakeholders - Are
people committed to ___?
Active participation in community activities - Do people
in ___ generally pursue interests in ___ or do they feel
they need to go outside of ___? What kind of activities
do you participate in?
Issues/desires identified – What are things that you
would like to see done in ____?
Plans for action in place – In regards to your ideas, are
you or others taking steps towards accomplishing those
goals? What other kinds of actions are being undertaken
Progress made towards goals – Do you feel that progress
is being made in regards to the desires of the
Some past objectives achieved – In the last 2 years, have
you noticed any changes in ___? What were they?
If someone speaks of change in ___, how likely are
things to change?
Is ___a place where things get done?
Variety of types of resources – What types of things can
one find in ___?
Multiple ways to access various resources – How do you
get the things you need in ____?
Recognition of indigenous resources - What kinds of
assets are there in ___?
Use of indigenous resources – Do you use resources
from within ___ or do you rely on resources outside of
For the IDI, I formulated the questions from the modified A-A-A, which is based on the
Chaskin Framework and Miyoshi & Stenning (2008). The questions are open-ended to be
consistent with qualitative research practices and to allow the respondents to exercise their voice,
but also provide data relevant to the assessment. Furthermore, the questions in the table leave a
blank space for the definition of the community. During the administration of the IDIs,
Pagudpud was referred to as the community and inserted in the blanks in the questions.
Table 37 shows the IDI agent indicators that served as prompts during the interview. There
were no specific questions to accompany specific indicators, rather questions such as “can you
name some ___?” were asked to guide the conversation.
Table - IDI agents indicator prompts
Formal leaders in government, businesses,
organizations, or movements
Informal leaders (e.g. people of reverence, clout, or
high civic standing or activity)
Established groups (e.g. social organizations,
commercial associations, religious groups, agerelated
groups, government sponsored
Informal civil society organizations (e.g. recreation
leagues, neighborhood constellations)
Interpersonal networks (through families and
Source: Author, based on Chaskin et al., 2001
The categories, indicators, and questions related to actions in community capacity are
presented in Table 38. These questions were posed in the same fashion as the questions relating
to the attributes of community capacity.
Table - IDI actions categories, indicators and questions
Indicator – Relevant Questions
Production of Goods
Local administrative functions (oversight of situations within the locality
and public goods and services, response to citizens, accumulation and
reporting of local data) - Does the local government respond to citizens
Project planning and execution – If a project is announced in __, what is the
likelihood that it will be complete? Useful for the local people?
Participatory methods utilized for planning and evaluation – Are the
community members of ___ consulted by the local government in order to
make improvements to the community?
Locally made goods for local markets – What kinds of local goods can be
found in local markets?
Locally made goods for external markets – What kinds of locally made
goods are sold elsewhere?
Basic services provided locally – What kinds of services can be found in
Production of secondary (beyond basic) goods – What kinds of things must
be purchased outside of ___?
Various modes of interpersonal communication – How do you stay in
contact with your friends and family members?
Technology-based communication – How often do you use telephone?
Email? How easy is it to access telephone? Email?
Public modes of mass communication – Where do you get your information
about __? About the rest of the world?
Avenues through which information can be disseminated (free from censor
or repression) – What other forms of communication do you use in ___?
How confident of this information are you?
Development of local groups to serve local needs and issues – What local
organizations are you familiar with? What local organizations are you
Freedom of association – Are there any restrictions to the places or ways
that people can gather together in ___?
Issue-based groups and communications – Are there any groups in __ that
are concerned with particular issues? Do they provide information to the
public that is relevant to their cause?
Evidence of actions taken in response to issue-specific advocacy – Is there
an example of a local organization successfully accomplishing a change
within ___? Does the local government work together with local
Table 39 outlines the categories, indicators, and related questions on the contextual
influences affecting the A-A-A. Since the FPQ glossed over the contextual influence,
considerable attention was paid to them through the IDIs to ensure a comprehensive picture of
the situation in Pagudpud. Like the attributes and actions, the contextual influence questions
were delivered in a similar way and formulated by me.
Table - IDI contextual Influences categories, indicators and questions
Indicator – Relevant Questions
• Ease of access to transportation hubs – How easy is it for you to get around __?
Out of ___? What methods of public transportation are there in ___? How often do
you use public transportation?
• Ease of access to production centers – How easy is it to access the places for
production in __?
• Ease of access to external markets – How easy is it for you to get your products to
markets outside of __?
• Difficulty of terrain – Are there any physical aspects of __ that make transportation
of people or goods difficult?
• Propensity of natural disasters – How often are there natural disasters in __? What
• Hard infrastructure – Are the roads/railways in __ in good condition most of the
• Changes in land use – Has there been any change in land use (i.e. conversion of
farmland to commercial land, changes of ownership of land) recently?
• Prevalence of crime – Is there a lot of crime in ___? What kinds?
• Notion of security – How safe do you feel generally in ___?
• Rate of migration to/from community – Have you noticed people moving in or out
of ___? For what reasons?
• Comfort community members feel with one another – How comfortable do you feel
with your neighbors? Other people in ___? Are there any people with whom you
have difficulty or feel uncomfortable with?
• Similarity/dissimilarity of economic circumstances among community members –
In relation to other community members of __, do you feel that you are better off,
worse off, or the same?
• Relative access to resources – How easy is it for you to get what you need in ___?
• Blatant imbalances of power – Are there any groups of people in __ that you feel
have an advantage over others?
• Ethnic, religious, or class divisions – What are the various kinds of ethnicities or
religion that can be found in ___? Are there any notable issues between these
• Historical group relationships – In the past, has there been any difficulty between
groups of people in ___?
• Colonial effects
• Historical land divisions – Have there been any grievances over land in __?
• Powerful families – Can you name some families in __ that have power (economic,
• Relations with external entities (other communities or organizations) – Are there
any other places in which __ has had issues with in the past?
• Sentiments towards sites, events, or ideas - Are there any places in __ that have
historical or cultural value? Are there any special events in ___? Are there any
ideas or concepts that people in ___ find to be unanimously valuable?
• Significant historical events – What kinds of significant historical events have
happened in ___?
• Local traditions and values – Can you name some important local traditions and
• Constraints on opportunities – Are there groups or activities that you are not
allowed to partake in? Why?
• Necessary relationships for local success – Are there certain people in __ that you
need to know or get along with in order to be successful?
• Disenfranchised groups – Are there any groups in __ that are noticeably less welloff
• Relative level of income – Do you feel that people in __ have about the same
amount of income or are there some people that have noticeably more? Who?
• Progression of economic growth – Do you feel that __ is becoming more or less
• Instances of poverty – Does there seem to be a lot of poverty in __?
• Vulnerable facets of local economy – Are there any industries in ___ that are
• Structure of organizations – Of the organizations that you are familiar with, do they
have good organization?
• Stability of group membership – Do those organizations have a relatively stable
• Effectiveness of organizations (ability to achieve outcomes) – What kinds of things
has your organization achieved recently?
• Nature of civil society organizations (issue-oriented, advocacy and empowerment
oriented, long-term) – What kinds of issues does your organization deal with?
• Administrative stability – Do you feel that the local administration is largely stable?
• Administrative accountability and organization – Do you feel that the local
administration is largely accountable? Organized?
• Administration’s response to citizens – If a request is made to the local
administration, what is the likelihood that something will be done?
• Official’s leadership capability – Do you feel that the government leaders in __ are
capable or able to help the people in __?
• Prevalence of community participation in political matters – How often do you vote
in local elections? National elections? Have you ever made a request or complaint
to the local government? What was the result?
• Effort of polity to enact participatory governance – Has the local administration
asked your opinion about community matters? Has there been any action taken on
• Community’s understanding of legal rights and local political situation – How
involved in local politics are you? Do you feel you have a good understanding of
your legal and political rights?
• Amount and function of independent institutions – What kinds of institutions
(schools, hospitals) are there in __?
• Structural and practical development of government and civil society organizations
– How easy is it for you to get something (license, accreditation) from the local
• Norms conducive to community progression displayed by institutional leadership –
How do you feel about the leaders of local organizations and government in __?
Are the ethical? Compassionate? People to be emulated?
The following sub-sections detail the interviews with each of the IDI respondents. A brief
description of the person serves as an introduction to their opinions on the community capacity
and situation in Pagudpud.
4.2.1. Villamor Ramos Calventas
Villamor Ramos Calventas is a 55 year-old high school principal from Barangay Pasaleng.
He has three grown children and is adjusting to life without his wife, whom he lost to breast
cancer in early 2008. Mr. Calventas is an outspoken and jovial man. He cares deeply about his
community and his students and is not afraid to say and do things that he thinks will lead to
improvement. Mr. Calventas considers himself a religious man, with most of his civic activities
involving the church. However, he also participates in the barangay court, which is a local
institution that helps officiate disputes within the barangay.
Mr. Calventas is not firmly in the mayor’s camp, but typically favors the vice mayor because
of her patronage relationships with the school and some of its students. It was his distance from
the mayor that made him a good candidate for the IDI, as well as his eagerness to contribute his
ideas about the community in Pagudpud.
Attributes – Related to sense of community, Mr. Calventas identified several shared goals
among the people in Pagudpud. They include the desire to develop the town into a tourist
destination, seeing progress overall, and maintaining a peaceful atmosphere by keeping out crime
and nightlife. As for a shared identity in the community, he says that they are a farming and
fishing community and that the people are peace-loving, industrious, cooperative and always
willing to help one another. Although Mr. Calventas says that he shares many characteristics
with other people in the community, he says that he is different from them because he wants to
stay in the community and contribute to it, rejecting a promotion to oversee education at the
provincial level to remain in Pasaleng. His comfort with his fellow community members is
further reinforced by his frequency of gathering with others, which increased to three times a
week after the passing of his wife. Mr. Calventas says that it is easy to trust people in Pagudpud
and he “hasn’t yet met a person in Pagudpud who wants to hurt another.” He did note that there
were some incidents that arose from quarrel.
Mr. Calventas reports that people are committed and responsible in Pagudpud, but in his
“honest assessment” most people are going abroad to work, but coming back to Pagudpud to
retire and buy property later in life.
Mr. Calventas supports the policy of tourism promotion, but does not want much night life
because it promotes “moral degeneration” and the community “won’t be able to avoid [local]
women becoming prostitutes.” He would also like to see refrigeration units to protect the
fishers’ catch and better irrigation rules. Overall, he thinks that progress is being made on the
objectives that are set in Pagudpud, but they are slow and he accepts “that change does not
happen overnight.” When asked if he felt that his wishes would be acted upon, Mr. Calventas
said “I expressed my opinion, but politicians think of themselves as the most powerful, but really
the citizens should be the most powerful.” To get things done, Mr. Calventas says that politics
play a big role and that “even good ideas will be ignored if they are on the wrong side of the
fence.” He also noted that people can expresses their desires in scheduled barangay meetings,
but there should be more so the people can express themselves more. Changes that Mr.
Calventas has noticed include an improvement in telecommunication beginning in 2001.
Primary goods can be found in Pagudpud, according to Mr. Calventas, but one must go to
Laoag to buy appliances. Mr. Calventas says that he goes to Laoag often for shopping, and that
people in Pancian and Pasaleng often go to the next municipality of Bangui to get their daily
goods because it is easier to get them there than to the Pagudpud town center. Local busses from
Pancian and Pasaleng do not do to the Pagudpud town center and private transport must be hired
to get there. Other resources that Mr. Calventas discussed included the natural resources, such as
timber, virgin forests, and the seas, as well as diligent and cooperative people.
Agents – Mr. Calventas cited the mayor and the vice mayor as the most important individual
community agents in Pagudpud and the Philippines because “in the Philippines, politicians make
things happen.” As for organizations, he said that the parent-teacher association (PTCA) is
important for educational development, as well as extra fundraising for local infrastructure and
special projects. Network agents enumerated by Mr. Calventas include the political networks of
the municipal councilors and the local (barangay) assemblies.
Actions – According to Mr. Calventas, the local government responds to the needs of the
people, sometimes. He said that he would like to see the power for local government officials to
recommend people for jobs and contracts reduced. The local government tries to avoid this
favoritism with special bidding on projects, but projects are still impede by tensions between the
mayor and the vice mayor. Mr. Calventas sees the twice yearly barangay assembly meetings as a
way for local people to voice their concerns, but he would like to see more meetings.
Mr. Calventas noted that there are several services available in Pagudpud, such as electricity
that is provided for from the province, the library, public Internet, market, and an extension
hospital in Pasaleng where a doctor from Bangui comes twice a week. However, he says that
there is no Internet in Pasaleng, instead he stays in contact with people through his cell phone
and gets his information from books, newspapers, magazines, television, and going to Municipal
Hall to ask people about projects and other community affairs. He goes on to say that satellite
news networks, such as CNN and Fox, are more reliable than local television stations.
Mr. Calventas states that residents can gather with anyone they like in Pasaleng, but that may
be different in other parts of Pagudpud. Overall, there are no groups of people that intimidate
Mr. Calventas further indicated that local government works with local organizations, and
local organizations have had some success, which can be seen in the actions and management of
a local consumers’ cooperative and another organization for land use.
Contextual Influences - It is easy to get around Pagudpud during the day if you are along
highway because there is a highway bus every 15-30 minutes, says Mr. Calventas. However, it
is difficult for those living in the interior barangays, because they must use tricycle or personal
transportation to get around Pagudpud. Mr. Calventas also notes that the bus to Manila only runs
in the afternoon from Pasaleng. Public transportation modes in Pagudpud include tricycle and
bus, which must be used by people going to the market everyday. However, Mr. Calventas says
he does not use public transportation unless he has to go the mountains, instead opting for his
personal motorbike. According to Mr. Calventas, other physical aspects of Pagudpud that make
transportation difficult are the interior barangay roads, which are not in good shape, but he says
that the LGU is trying to cement them.
Natural disasters that afflict Pagudpud include typhoons, landslides, droughts and the
occasional ocean disturbance says Mr. Calventas. Mr. Calventas states that there has been some
change in land use with some people reclaiming farm lands for commercial or residential
In regards to comfort with his neighbors Mr. Calventas had this to say:
“I am very comfortable, especially in my neighborhood because co-relatives [and I] share
land, but there are personal differences. There are some people with whom I have
difficulty with, but in general things are ok. There are minor difficulties with the
government and with people who have different beliefs.”
He feels that overall Pagudpud is safe, with little crime. Mr. Calventas says there is some
population influx to Pagudpud, especially in Pancian, but that also people are moving into Balaoi
where there is still land left. He said that there are disputes over land, but they are being settled
in court and that no one is “dying.”12
Mr. Calventas notes that there are two families that have more power than others, the Sales
and the Benemeritos, and that this contributes to political disturbances, especially since the
former mayor, Teteng Sales, killed the previous mayor, Benemerito. Mr. Calventas says that the
politics of those events are still in play, but that he “doesn’t really know what the difference is
[between the familial-political factions].” Otherwise, Mr. Calventas says that most other
households in Pagudpud have one income and are generally similar.
When asked about significant local culture or traditions, Mr. Calventas said that Filipinos are
clanist, meaning that there are strong feelings toward their group. Also, although Mr. Calventas
feels that Pagudpud is becoming more prosperous, he says that there is still poverty and some
people want to consider themselves in poverty because “some people just don’t want to work!”
However, he does note that those involved in farming and fishing are struggling because of lack
of access to appropriate technology, but that the LGU is trying to help with that.
Related to the organizations in Pagudpud, Mr. Calventas says that they have standards, but
differ on how they are managed and how stable their membership is. Since Mr. Calventas is
largely involved in religious groups, he says that they mostly discuss God and the relationships
between people, but not other issues in the community.
Mr. Calventas does not feel that the local administration is stable now, especially compared
to the past. However, he says that the local administration is accountable and that they follow
the rules, but there are problems because they do not agree on the procedures. According to Mr.
Calvents, a request for assistance to the local government will be well received if there is the
financial capability and you have the “right connection.” Overall, Mr. Calventas feels that the
local leaders are capable, but they need to settle the difference between them.
Mr. Calventas is an active citizen, voting in every election. He said “Yes, I have a good
understanding of my legal and political rights, but most people aren’t aware. Only 20% of
people in Pasaleng go to college, most people have only a primary school education and they
aren’t aware of their rights.” Mr. Calventas also said that the local administration asks his
opinion, but they have acted on his suggestions only one time. He says that he only has “an
advisory position in politics.”
Local service delivery is quicker and easier than dealing with the central government, says
Mr. Calventas. He said that obtaining things such as a driver’s license or a postal id can be done
easily at Municipal Hall, but things that need to be sent to Manila can take up to three months.
Mr. Calventas noted “I have yet to encounter problems getting something from the local
Mr. Calventas made this statement before an elderly couple was killed in a land dispute in September, 2008.