History

The CSC began as the research component of the Development Studies Program of the Division of Social Sciences (now the College of Social Sciences). During its formative period, the activities of the Center were guided by the following key concepts:

§  A  multi-disciplinary approach to research

§  Close linkage with local communities to enable the Center to respond to social issues confronting the region

§  A vision of social science practice relevant to the process of social transformation

On June 26, 1980, the University of the Philippines Board of Regents approved its establishment as the research and extension arm of the Division of Social Sciences. The objectives of the Center later evolved into these concerns:

  • To provide a venue for the exercise of the faculty mandate to do research and extension work;
  • To contribute to internal faculty development;
  • To encourage collaborative and multi-disciplinary research;
  • To encourage attention to development issues with special focus on the needs and potentials of Cordillera communities; and
  • To promote a continuing dialogue among academics, social science practitioners, government officials and communities.

In its first 10 years, the Center primarily drew financial support from the Ford Foundation through three grants on agroecosystems research. Through these grants, the Center was able to establish a strong link with the Southeast Asian Universities Agroecosystems Network (SUAN).  Additional grants were received from the Asia Foundation which supported a project on “Issues on Cordillera Autonomy,” from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) which enabled the Center to initiate a research program on environment and resources, and from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which supported the research project on Ibaloy customary law.

In the 1990s, the Center embarked on a research program on natural resource management with funds provided by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada. In addition to these big projects, smaller research studies were conducted on economic, political and social institutions of local communities, indigenous knowledge and worldviews, local history, health, women and gender issues.

As can be inferred from this account, the Center focused on development issues in the Cordillera when it was operating as the research and extension arm of the Division of Social Sciences. As to be expected, its research personnel came mostly from the social science faculty. Nevertheless, although the CSC was then propelled largely by social science research, it was also able to accommodate the research interests of faculty from the humanities and natural sciences, with the Center providing assistance in the conduct of researches in these domains.

The move toward greater multi-disciplinary collaboration received an impetus when the CSC began operating as a College Research Center in June 1998, by which time the University of the Philippines College Baguio was no longer a regional unit of UP Diliman but an autonomous college directly under the Office of the President. To mark this significant change, the Center launched the Research Dialogue Series in 1998, and in 1999-2000 it conducted roundtable discussions on the following themes:

  • Local history and institutions
  • Governance and public policy
  • Indigenous knowledge, philosophy and worldviews
  • Environment and resources
  • Living traditions
  • Women and gender studies

In December 2002, the University of the Philippines Baguio became the 7th constituent university of the UP System. An integral component of the blueprint for UP Baguio as constituent university was the transformation of the CSC into the University Research Center. This was formalized in 2004. As University Research Center, the CSC has been given the mandate to realize the vision of developing UP Baguio into the lead institution for research in Northern Luzon. In late 2012, the adopted its current set of research programs, indicating a more conscious effort by the UP Baguio administration to encourage greater participation in research among the faculty of the three colleges of the University.

Last Updated: Monday, 25 April 2016 15:45

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