SEAMEO Secretariat organised the SEAMEO Centres Policy Research Network (SEAMEO CPRN) Conference on 30-31 January 2019 at Four Wings Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand. The objectives of this conference are to strengthen the SEAMEO Centres Policy Research Network initiatives and the regional and international agenda, to provide capacity building for SEAMEO Centres on key research areas, and to update research priorities and opportunities of SEAMEO Centres and Units on CPRN Action Plan 2019-2023. All SEAMEO Centres were invited to join this event, and SEAMOLEC took part in it through the participation of SEAMOLEC Director Dr. Alpha Amirrachman and SEAMOLEC Marketing and Publication Division Manager Ms. Aline Almandha.
The SEAMEO CPRN was initially introduced as a component of the SEAMEO College, a project launched in 2013. The Network is established to enhance relevance and sharpen responsiveness of SEAMEO Centres and the Secretariat to the needs of education leaders for policy research to address regional human resource development issues in Southeast Asia.
This was the third event of SEAMEO CPRN for the sustainability of its network. The first workshop was conducted in 2016 by the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) in Los Banos, Philippines, and the second one was SEAMEO CPRN task force meeting held in 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand.
On the first day, series of resource persons delivered the previews of international and regional research agenda. Speakers were coming from Korean Educational Development Institute (KEDI), UNESCO Asia Pacific Regional Office, UNESCO Asia Pacific Regional Office, and ASEAN University Network. Participants found their sharing very useful and responded actively. The session became a regional think tank to leverage the skills and knowledge about research within the region.
The sessions followed by updates of the CPRN task force meeting in 2017, which covers 4 areas of previous discussions: Inter-Centre Collaboration, Research Agenda, Capacity Building Programmes, and Knowledge Exchange and Sharing Impact. The four areas were represented by SEAMEO RECFON (Regional Center for Food and Nutrition), SEAMEO INNOTECH (Regional Centre for Educational Innovation and Technology), SEAMEO TROPMED Network (Regional Cooperation Network for Education, Training and Research in Tropical Medicine and Public Health), SEAQIM (SEAMEO Regional Centre for QITEP in Mathematics) and SEAQIS (SEAMEO Regional Centre for QITEP in Science).
Day one was closed with a session on “Communicating Research and Development through Policy Briefs” by Prof Dr Ma Sandra B Tempongko, Deputy Coordinator, SEAMEO TROPMED Network, and “Making More Sense of our Research Results for our Stakeholders” by Dr Jesus C Fernandez, Deputy Director for Programme, SEAMEO RECFON. Those two sessions were also reaping a lot of responses and queries from participants.
The next day saw SEAMEO Secretariat presenting a revisit to CPRN Action Agenda 2018-2020. SEAMEO Secretariat reviewed that the Inter-Centre Collaboration activities should be initiated by the Secretariat, meaning the Centres should manage the rest of the areas. All participants were then divided into 3 groups discussing ideas and possible collaboration to explore the remaining 3 areas. SEAMOLEC joined groups of Research Agenda and Knowledge Exchange and Sharing Impact.