MDM students at Iligan-Marawi

My AIM-MDM experience has been one of the pillars of my formative years in development and I love it when I don’t know a lot. The fruitful learning experience in and outside the classroom shaped me as to who I am today in my understanding of “development”.

We are made for much greater purpose, the triple bottom line, profit, planet and people. One of the highlights of my stay in AIM was the Iligan-Marawi Field Research last October 15-19, 2017 which allowed us to apply our classroom learnings in the field of a conflict-stricken situation.


Nine brave students from MDM 2017 together with the Head of Stephen Zuellig Graduate School of Development Management, Dr. Kenneth Hartigan-Go with the help of AIM MDM Fellows Helen Palfreyman, Nour Alsalman and William Baang courageously took the risk and accepted the challenge to conduct a Field Research on the IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) in Iligan City where most of the more than 300,000 refugees were temporarily sheltered in schools, gymnasiums and home-based community shelters.


As Development Managers, we saw an opportunity to do our part in one of the most significant development crisis that our own country is facing, not just the war itself but the devastating effects in the lives of the internally displaced persons, especially in the most vulnerable sectors such as women, children and the old people. The Field Research aimed to conduct a rapid area assessment and uncover issues and gaps in the refugee camps and relief services and be able to translate it to an open policy forum and thereby be able to connect to critical stakeholders for possible collaboration to write caselets/ case studies and be able to publish a report for academic purposes.

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The Open Policy Forum was held on November 24, 2017 at AIM. The forum was aimed at targeting development thinkers from different fields to come together and analyze data, experience, and observations gathered on the ground by the MDM field researchers. The forum attracted participants from NGOs, human rights groups, government, and public sectors.

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We also put up a photo exhibit during the 1st Disaster Risk & Crisis Management Forum held on November 29, 2017 to share our insights.

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I am glad we all took the courage and went for this nerve wracking learning experience.

Students from Master in Development Program 2017: Nur-Ainee Lim, Trijune Ekaputra, Marikris De Guzman, Elenette Maamo, Din Mabanta, Allan Cuizon, France Noguera, Mel Alquizola, and Andy Clavel

Words by Andy Clavel from Master in Development Program 2017

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