The UP Open University (UPOU) Master of  Public Management (MPM) Program under the Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS), held a webinar on Voluntary Sector Management Education Amidst Global Trends: Meeting the Challenges of Gender Equality and Pro-People Development with speakers from University of Cork (Ireland), University of Applied Sciences (Dresden, Germany), and from the UPOU MPM Program. This is part of its 25th Anniversary celebration with the theme Online, Open and Onwards Meeting the Challenges Ahead!.

Asst. Prof. Juvy Lizette M. Gervacio delivered the opening remarks to welcome guests and discussed the objectives of the anniversary webinar. Dr. Féilim Ó Hadhmaill, Program Director, Master of Voluntary Sector & Community Management Program of the University of Cork, delivered a presentation about “The Voluntary Sector and the State,” where he raised and explained several key questions about the nonprofit sector or the voluntary sector and its role in society. 

Dr. O’Hadmaill viewed the voluntary sector as a space where people in civil society organize attempts to do something viewed as worthwhile or important, for them and their community/society. He added that values are considered to be at the heart of the sector and guide what voluntary organizations do -– protecting vulnerable people or groups, helping people deal with poverty and inequalities, or campaigning to save wildlife or to protect the environment. 

According to Dr. O’Haidmaill that while the non-profit sector was built by civic groups, government oversight, is still obviously necessary to protect rights and prevent abuse of people and funding. With such oversight, it can limit the independence of the sector and its ability to do its work based on its agenda and following its values.

Dr. Maik Arnold, Acting Vice-Rector for Research, Innovation & Transfer, University of Applied Sciences, Dresden German, on the other hand,  highlighted the “Social Work Management Education – Preparing the Students for the “Glocal Challenges” in the Voluntary Sector.” He shared the future skills that students and those who work in the social work sector need, which are high-order thinking skills, dialogues skills, digital and stem literacy, values, self-management, lifelong learning, enterprise skills, leadership, and flexibility. 

Moreover, according to Dr. Arnold, discipline-specific higher education didactics are understood as special general didactics. These are positioned between cooperative and knowledge cultures, are characterized by certain didactic elements like learning and teaching cultures, and are carried out by different actors of cooperative cultures, everyday culture, disciplinary culture, and academic habitus; thus, consider the specifics of the professional field. 

The final resource speaker, Ms. Maria Victoria D. Bautista, Senior Lecturer of UPOU’s MPM Program gave highlights on the Voluntary Sector Management (VSM) program of the University. The VSM track was approved under the MPM Program by the UPOU University Council on 5 April 2009, which was patterned after the VSM program of the UP National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) that was offered in 1998. 

She discussed the context of the VSM program that emanated from the 1986 People Power Revolution. Its development framework involves the participation and empowerment of the marginalized sectors of society. She further emphasized that VSM has been changing the landscape through an increased capacity of voluntary sectors, participation of the Local government units (LGUs), and other VSM-concerned institutions. 

The program was concluded through closing remarks by Dr. Joane V. Serrano, Professor and Dean of FMDS. The webinar was hosted by Mr. Julliano Fernando Guiang, Lecturer of the UPOU-MPM Program. 

The program was held live on 24 February 2023 via UPOU Networks – Multimedia Center Facebook Page. The recorded event can be viewed on the said social media page.

Written by  Alessa Shainne HOstalero

Edited by Myra C. Almodiel and Anna Cañas-Llamas


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