What we did: We supported efforts to engage with representative institutions in a democratic and effective way to improve public policy and practice for indigenous peoples in the Philippines.

What we achieved: We developed the capacity of Indigenous Peoples’ groups in the Philippines to advocate for their rights.

Who we did it with: Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG), Philippines’ Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and Cordillera Administrative Region

Impact area: Political Participation and Representation

Project: Indigenous Peoples Champions: Advancing Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in the Philippines

Donor: European Union

Award period: January 2021 to December 2023

Boundary partners: Civil society organizations

Forty people from 15 indigenous groups in the Philippines charted new paths for achieving rights through an International IDEA training programme, the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in Constitutions Assessment Tool.

The training prepared participants from the Philippines’ Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao and from the Cordillera Administrative Region to assess and utilize the Philippines Constitution and other national and local legal frameworks to advocate for Indigenous Peoples’ rights. 

From discussions on key concepts of indigenous rights, constitutional implementation and conflict mitigation, the participants were empowered to become constitutional advocates. The training also included strengthening relationships between participants through dialogues with local experts on key issues concerning the rights of Indigenous Peoples, underlining that there are shared histories and experiences despite tribal differences. 

During the workshops the participants fleshed out joint regional and national advocacy campaigns, aimed at influencing policy reforms and draft laws. Through these campaigns, Bangsamoro participants aimed to pursue recognition for its indigenous political structure, including the preservation of indigenous education, knowledge systems and practices, and cultural heritage. The Cordillera-based participants decided to focus on preserving cultural integrity and on issues surrounding ancestral land, good governance and the involvement of youth.