Ili-based Community Organising: An Igorot Indigenous Peoples’ Concept for Grassroots Collaboration

Digna L. Adonis, Jen Couch

Abstract


The growing demand for participatory community development approaches has greatly influenced the need to involve community people as active partners, rather than passive recipients of programs, projects and services. Participatory approaches operate on the premise that the local people are the ultimate change agents of their own communities and that their culture is an asset to their own development. For Indigenous communities, their Indigenous cultural and knowledge systems serve as tools for sustainable collaboration.

This article discusses how the ili-based community organising concept was developed by non-government organisations while working with the Igorot Indigenous Peoples in Northern Philippines. Ili is an Igorot word for ‘home’ or ‘the land of one’s birth’, considered to be the Igorots’ source of identity, belonging and life direction. The ili-based concept uses traditional knowledge, values and practices to facilitate the formation of People Organisations (POs). The concept is part of a wider research project on community development amongst the Igorot Indigenous Peoples of Benguet Province, Philippines.

 


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