In 2011, in response to consultations with its key stakeholders and partners, the APC expanded its research to tackle the roots of inequality and how these hinder sustained reforms toward inclusive growth. The initiatives of the Center were motivated by the thesis that inclusive growth can only take place in a sustained manner if these fundamental inequalities are sufficiently addressed. The Center’s work focused on three important pillars – promoting an inclusive market economy, an inclusive safety net for society, as well as an inclusive and citizen-empowered democracy. With these three pillars in mind, the Center focused on three primary research thrusts: competitiveness, social protection and social insurance, and inclusive democracy.
Private sector agents spanning micro, small and medium scale enterprises to large corporations necessarily play a critical role in sustained job creation, innovation, and investment—all of which could fuel a more robust economic growth pattern. To play this role, they need to be able to compete in the national—and in many cases also international—levels. Part of their competitive edge could draw on entrepreneurship skills and the capacity to innovate at the firm level. However, other factors beyond the control of any one firm could also play a role. For instance, the provision of public goods spanning various regulatory, environmental, and other factors could also influence competitiveness, and the firm’s ability to expand, innovate and generate jobs.
Under this portfolio, APC conducted a series of studies that analyzed the role of the private sector in building national competitiveness. The Center continued its long standing partnership with the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in producing the World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY). It also conducted the AIM-ADB Enterprise Survey – a nationwide survey of SMEs in partnership with the Asian Development Bank that collected and analyzed quantitative and qualitative data on small and medium firms and the entrepreneurs managing them to obtain a better perspective on the major constraints facing growth and dynamism of MSMEs in the Philippines. Related to this is the Enterprise Closure Study in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) that looked into critical information on enterprise closure/exit in the Philippines. Finally, the Enterprise Performance in Asia program, in partnership with the International Development Research Center, supported researchers all over Asia to conduct studies pertaining to MSME development, particularly obstacles to growth, innovation, and vulnerability to crises.
Social Protection and Social Insurance
Developing countries are increasingly vulnerable to a variety of aggregate shocks, including domestic shocks such as those resulting from poor macroeconomic policies, political instability or conflict, and exogenous shocks such as those related to financial contagion, terms of trade, and natural disasters. Poor and low income households are typically the most vulnerable to the adverse implications of these shocks, and they are also the least equipped to latch on to any forthcoming recovery. Stronger social services and social protection thus might be linked to a more inclusive growth pattern.
In this area, the APC explored policy research and technical assistance in building the key components of a robust social protection system. Some of the projects implemented in this area were: 1) the Pinoy Youth Barometer Project, and 2) the Inequality, Hunger, and Child Outcomes project, both in partnership with UNICEF. The former studied the views of the youth on key social and economic policy issues, and provided answers to pertinent questions relating to youth, employment, and migration; while the latter looked at policy actions that can address issues concerning the relations of equity to child rights and inclusive growth.
In democratic systems, balancing the role of the state and markets in promoting social and economic goals is a challenge. It is critical to assess how this balance is struck and the extent to which democratic institutions are indeed able to foster the types of reforms necessary for more vibrant and dynamic market economies while also fostering a more inclusive growth pattern.
In 2011, the APC pioneered a study that assessed the extent to which political dynasties are helping or hindering the country’s social and economic objectives. The study was an empirical analysis of the patterns of dynasties across Philippine regions, and links across dynasties and various social and economic indicators over time.
KEY RESULT AREA 1: Collaborative Research Initiatives and Peer Reviewed Research Output.
The Center aimed to produce research that will complement the Institute's teaching programs and courses, and foster collaboration with AIM faculty on research projects. During this period, the Center was able to produce fifty-one (51) working papers, fifty (50) op-eds, and twenty-five (25) publications (3 books, 4 cases, and 18 peer-reviewed journal articles). Some of these papers have been generated in collaboration with AIM professors. During this period, the Center’s annual research output accounted for almost one third of the entire output of AIM.
KEY RESULT AREA 2: Technical Assistance.
The Center organized and/or participated in local and international policy forums that engage public and private stakeholders and experts in issues linked to economic competitiveness and competition, involving not just the lens of the Philippines, but also the ASEAN and Asian region. During this period, APC managed to expand and diversify its technical assistance portfolio, including to the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Asian Development Bank, World Bank, National Competitiveness Council, International Development Research Center (IDRC), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF Manila and UNICEF East Asia and the Pacific Offices), Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Regional Office in Tokyo, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP Philippines), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). In addition, the Center (through its Executive Director and staff) has provided briefings on key economic and political data and evidence to leading media agencies, as well as high ranking government officials.
As regards the impact and reach, the Center was able to track well over 250 print, online and television media articles and telecasts featuring and disseminating the Center's work. Center research works also spawned 69 local and international conferences, forums, and workshops during this period.
KEY RESULT AREA 3: Partnerships and Resource Mobilization.
The Center also mobilized resources and partnerships to undertake policy research and initiatives. As the AIM Center of Excellence with the leanest endowment, AIM RSN PCC has taken proactive steps to expand and diversify its original research portfolio in part by securing grants and strategically partnering with organizations and institutions with parallel research interests. During this period, the Center mobilized an additional PhP56.3 million in research grants. Most of the grants included an allocation for grant administrative expenses, amounting to a total of PhP3.8M during these years.
AIM RSN PCC Five Year Accomplishment Report, 2011 to 2015