Ateneo professor chosen as IID Fellow in the ASEAN

Ateneo de Manila University professor Anna Mae dela Cruz has been selected as one of the 20 fellows by the Universities and Councils Network on Innovation for Inclusive Development in Southeast Asia (UNIID-SEA).  Under this pioneering small grants program, these Innovation for Inclusive Development (IID) champions will develop and share teaching and learning packages featuring innovative and inclusive approaches to pressing social concerns such as sustainable livelihoods, food security, climate change, water and sanitation, and special education, among others.  

 The IID Fellows program aims to recognize and connect IID advocates in the region.  In doing so, it helps reduce the internal development gap among ASEAN member countries by facilitating the sharing of knowledge and innovations that address common development issues. This year’s IID fellows come from the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia and Cambodia.


Anna Mae dela Cruz
Anna Mae dela Cruz

 Cruz is a part-time faculty member of the Developmental Studies Program.  Her IID project is entitled “Public Health by Design: Training Undergraduate and Medical School Students on Innovative and Inclusive Methods of Keeping the Public Healthy.” It serves as an introductory health innovation course for students. For this project, Cruz is joined by another faculty member of the Ateneo de Manila, Ms. Lua  Pottier.  Cruz, though, is the designated project lead.


For Cruz and Lua, the project underscores their role as educators in the field of health.


“We wanted to provide them with solid training in public health systems, the discipline of design thinking and the experiences of business enterprises, so that they would have the tools and resilience to positively contribute to the changing needs of health system support. We also felt it is important to integrate this training directly into community structures, both as a way of strengthening the community organizations and to provide students with hand on experience putting theories into practice,” Pottier says.


Cruz adds that the module is a modification of a similar course they started three years ago.


Aside from Cruz and Pottier, another Atenean made the list.  She is Arlene Cosape, dean of the School of Business and Governance from the Ateneo de Davao University. Dean Cosape’s module is “Badjao Registry Integration Development and Growth through Entrepreneurship (BRIDGE) program. Her module focuses on the inclusion of Badjao in the Civil Registry as well as helping them make a viable business plan.
The IID Fellows are now undergoing mentorship with IID experts from the UNIID-SEA network to develop and refine their teaching and learning packages. Once ready for release, these modules and courses will be shared with the public via the Inclusion Innovation Hub ( This will be formally launched by the last quarter of 2014.
Cruz and Cosape, together with the rest of the 20 IID Fellows, will present their teaching and learning packages, in the UNIID-SEA Regional Conference: Making Innovation for Inclusive Development Happen in ASEAN, on 5 November 2014 at Jakarta, Indonesia.
UNIID-SEA is a project of the Ateneo School of Government in collaboration with the National Research Council of the Philippines. It is supported by Canada’s International Development Research Center.

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