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Shannon Doyle - Blog Post 3: Fast Forward Six Months

Shannon Doyle - Blog Post 3: Fast Forward Six Months

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I have not spoken very much about my role at CMA although I have been active in a number of things. For my last blog I am going to talk about what I have participated in and done at CMA. The last six months here have been very full and have passed very quickly. 

I am only just beginning to realize the wealth of knowledge I have acquired from my time with CMA. I have had several epiphanies in the past two weeks and I am really beginning to understand how everything connects, in terms of migration in the Philippines and the interaction between civil society and government.

Research and analysis has mostly encompassed my last six months. Since June, I have worked on three major topics; migration and the link to the MDGs & the Stockholm agenda; migration and women in the context of disempowerment and empowerment; and a comparative analysis of regional and global dialogues on migration vis-a-vis the perspective of civil society, and the governmental and institutional perspective. In addition, I have been fortunate enough to help with a UPR for Kuwait, and advocate for civil society’s position in regards to migration and the 2015 ASEAN integration. I have also given a couple of presentations, and while presentations are not my favourite thing to do, it is something I wish to become more comfortable with. Effective public engagement and advocacy require strong public speaking skills.

I have also been fortunate enough to attend many interesting meetings, forums, workshops, book launches, social events, dinners, and celebrations, as well as participate in many salient causes. These experiences at work have influenced me in ways I had not considered and pulled me in interesting and unimagined directions. For example, I discovered I am really interested in gender and would like to somehow incorporate more gender-related work in my future. This past week, I was fortunate enough to attend part of a workshop on how to conduct a CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women) based legal review in regards to Philippine laws on migration and trafficking. This was put on by the Asia regional office of UN Women.

In addition, CMA focuses a large portion of their efforts on public advocacy and policy change. As such, I have been able to attend several Congress sessions with the Special Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs in the House of Representatives. While much of my background is linked to political science, I have not had that much exposure to the actual functioning of government. That said, it has been extremely interesting and enlightening to be able to sit in on Congress sessions and watch the interaction and engagement between civil society and government at a policy level, as well as gain a better understanding of the technical aspects of passing resolutions and bills. 

My last six months with CMA have provided me with a rights based perspective of migration. I am very glad to have had an opportunity to be introduced to migration through this perspective and I look forward to continue to apply a human rights framework in my future work. 

On a last note, and from what I have been witness to in the last six months, I can say that civil society in the Philippines is exceptionally strong, healthy, and active. In my last days I am currently digging my heels into the enchanting atmospheric charm here, all in an effort to prolong what is left. I am sad for this opportunity to be over, but also excited for what has yet to come.  

Big thanks to CAPI and CMA for a wonderful six months.