Last summer term, in relation to our subject Business Policy and Strategy, our professor required our class to attend a seminar about the programs being held by a non-government organization, which is the Development Action for Women Network (DAWN). At first, I don’t even know that an organization like this exists and I don’t have any idea on what is it all about, or what are the activities it is engaged into. Before going to the seminar’s venue, I had a presumption that it will be about how to develop a good business strategy, or some kind of an inspiring speech from someone successful.
Upon arriving at the venue, I’m quite disappointed because the seminar is almost halfway through. I already had the mindset that I wouldn’t learn anything from it because, in addition to the fact that we were late, we were also had no choice but to take the seats at the last rows of the venue. But, when the speaker said something about the Filipino women and their half-Japanese, half-Filipino children, it stirred my curiosity and tried really hard to listen, to concentrate and to cope-up with the talk.
And that’s when I have learned what DAWN is all about. Based on the speeches of those people involved with DAWN, their main advocacy is to help promote human rights and welfare, particularly of those Filipino women who migrated in Japan and their Japanese-Filipino children. I was disturbed by the specificity of their objective, I mean, why for Filipino women who migrated in Japan only? Then, I came to realize that maltreated and violated Filipinas from Japan are very common, so why not? I became interested to learn more about DAWN because their vision and missions are inclined to the promotion of equality between men and women and also the protection of women rights for the betterment of their families. Of course, this is a very important matter for a woman like me.
I was also amazed by the number of programs they have to provide services to their clients, like providing health assistance, legal and paralegal assistance, educational assistance, temporary shelter, case management services, and even air/travel assistance. But more than these programs, the speakers also mentioned about their other activities that would provide long-term help to their clients. These are the alternative livelihood programs they’re implementing, like the Sikap Buhay (SIKHAY) and the DAWN Multipurpose Cooperative Inc.
Through these, their clients can start rebuilding their lives, and at the same time regain their sense of dignity and self-worth through participating actively in productive activities. One of the speakers also mentioned that DAWN also provides further assistance to interested women clients in acquiring new skills that are apt to the changing times, such as hands-on computer training.
These helpful programs show that DAWN is really willing and is committed in helping their clients. So, I think, that was the seminar is all about – to inform us about DAWN and its undertakings and to encourage us to support, and if possible, to participate in their activities. But the main objective of this paper is to be able to relate what we’ve learned in the said seminar to our subject, Business Policy and Strategy.
So, the question is, how can we incorporate a good business strategy into DAWN’s activities? I can see many possible ways. One good business strategy is to use their advocacy to promote possible profit-oriented programs. The use of ideals or principles that promote, for example, human rights, will enhance the image of a company, and will in turn, may attract investors, sponsors, or even customers. Another strategy is to build a separate branch or a firm that will provide the same programs (i.e., training, counselling) to other group of people that has the capability to pay for such services.
They have an advantage because they already have experience and are already known in providing those kinds of services. Another strategy is to use their network groups in promoting their possible “profit-oriented” activities. Since they have developed and maintained strong linkages with their fellow NGOs and also to some government agencies, they can utilize it to have better access to resources and to the market. And besides, their relationship with the other organizations also adds to the credibility of the company. Finally, another strategy that I can think of is the proper utilization of their research and development facilities to be able to expand and improve the business.
This is also a possibility and can likewise provide an advantage because DAWN has established an extensive network with research institutions for ready access to vital research findings as well as for immediate response to needs for other areas for research. It is an edge over their competitors who don’t have established relationships with research institutions. And that is how I see the relationship between DAWN and business strategy. I therefore conclude that no matter what your line of business is, there can always be a good strategy available for you to have an edge over the others. All you have to do is to utilize what you have and be the best in it, just like what DAWN is doing.