Conference Presentations

2012: Helsinki, Finland -  Climate Change and Development Policy in Helsinki, Finland

Michael Canares' presentation at the recent conference on Climate Change and Development Policy at Helsinki can be accessed using the link below:

Managing Consultant of Step Up Consulting Services, Mr. Michael Canares, presented a paper in the recently concluded conference on Climate Change and Development Policy in Finland last 26-28 September 2012. The conference, attended by more than 150 participants from all over the world was held at the Marina Congress Center in Helsinki and was sponsored by the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research.Mr. Canares presented his paper entitled “The Sudden Shift: What Causes Increased Local Government Response to Climate Change Challenge in the Philippines” in the session on Climate Change and Local Governance. The paper argues that incorporation of the climate change agenda is more of a result of top-down incorporation than as an agenda understood and owned by local stakeholders.The paper received mixed reviews with other scholars arguing that the climate change challenge is better responded by macro-actors and instruments especially in the context of mitigation. Mr. Canares, however, argues, that it is important that local stakeholders are well-informed of the issue and the options for response because ultimately, adaptation measures need to be incorporated to local plans and processes.

2012:  Lausanne, Switzerland - Technology for Sustainable Development: A Way to Reduce Poverty?  

Michael Canares, Managing Consultant of Step Up Consulting Services was invited by the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne as one of the presenters in the conference “Technologies for Sustainable Development: A Way to Reduce Poverty?”. The conference was held in the beautiful city of Lausanne, in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, and was attended by close to 250 participants from around the globe.“The conference was multi-disciplinary and I was fortunate to be the only Filipino in the conference”, Mr. Canares commented. He mentioned that in the conference, there were economists, political scientists, agronomists, architects, urban planners, biologists, neuro-scientists, medical doctors, among others, who wanted to answer the question as to how technology development can be advanced so that it can respond to the challenges of poverty, more particularly in the global South.Mr. Canares presented his paper, “Difficulty to Connect: Impediments to Collaboration for Knowledge Creation Among Developing Country Scholars” in the session on Education and Cooperation. The session was chaired by Helvetas Board member Dr. Rudolf Dannecker. Other presenters were from India, Moldova, and Vietnam.Mr. Canares was among the 25 scholars awarded full conference grants to attend the conference and present their work.

2011:  Yogyakarta, Indonesia - Climate Change, Disaster Management, and Social Justice Response

Michael Canares was invited by the Indonesia Social Justice Network to attend the conference on Climate Change, Disaster Management and Social Justice Response” held at Jogjakarta Plaza Hotel in July 12-15, 2011. Mr. Canares was also one of the presenters in the panel session on Climate Change and Policy with his paper “The Sudden Shift: what prompts greater local government response to climate change challenge in the Philippines?”.
At the end of the conference, Mr. Canares headed the team to formulate the end-of-conference statement which was presented to Indonesian media. He sits at a panel together with Mary Zurbuchen, director for IFP Asia and Russia in the press conference and presented the “Unified Statement for Social Justice in and Era of Climate Change”.

2011: York, UK - Rethinking Development in an Age of Scarcity and Uncertainty

Step Up Managing consultant Michael Canares attended the joint conference of the Development Studies Association and the European Association of Development Training Institutes last 19-22 September at York University in the United Kingdom. Mr. Canares presented a paper in the Gender and Development working group on his work on women’s access to economic opportunities.

The conference theme was “Rethinking Development in an Age of Scarcity and Uncertainty” and was attended by more than 75o academics and practitioners. There were four plenary sessions, over 100 panels, and more than 400 papers presented. The conference sought to find new ways of doing things, new approaches in development work, no theories from which to learn new ways of doing.

Mr. Canares’ paper was entitled “Investing in the Local: Rethinking Gender Mainstreaming Approaches for Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Philippines”.

2009:  Quebec, Montreal, Canada - 3rd International Conference on Community Development

Mr. Canares was invited to present in the recent international conference on community development hosted by the University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada last October 28-30.

Two paper by Mr. Canares were presented in the conference. One was on the Eskaya Tribe and other one was on the Rajah Sikatuna Protected Landscape. Both research papers were written in close partnership with staff from the Soil and Water Conservation Foundation.

Mr. Canares' participation was funded by the University of Quebec and the Commission on Higher Education.

2009:  Northern Ireland, UK - Current Crises: New Opportunities 

Michael Canares was invited to present his paper on climate change governance at the recent conference of the Development Studies Association of the UK. The conference was held at the University of Ulster, Coleraine Campus in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Canares' paper was entitled "It's Just a Buzzword from Above: Climate Change Challenge and Local Governance Indifference in the Philippines". It was also in this conference that Mr. Canares was interviewed by 
Panos London, a media group based in the UK.

2009:  Cairo, Egypt -  Impact Evaluation Conference

NONIE (Network of Networks in Impact Evaluation) sponsored the attendance of Michael Canares in the recent Impact Evaluation Conference in Cairo, Egypt. The conference was held at Semiramis Intercontinental Hotel on March 29 to April 3, 2009. It focused on the different approaches in assessing development effectiveness. 

2009:  Londonderry, UK - Entrepreneurship and Conflict

March 20, 2009 - Michael Canares was invited to present a paper in the recently concluded workshop on entrepreneurship and conflict at the history city of Londonderry in Northern Ireland. The event was sponsored by the UN University, University of Ulster, and the Households in Conflict Network.

2009:  Singapore - Impact of Economic Crisis on Children

Michael Canares was invited to attend as a participant in the UNICEF sponsored conference last 5-7 January at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, Singapore. The conference was about the "Impact of Economic Crisis on Children". He joined the expert working group on Social Policy in the conference's break-out sessions. 

The Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management held its international conference at the National University of Singapore last 7-9 January 2009. Mr. Canares was invited to present a paper in the poverty session in a panel composed of Peter Saunders, Martin Evans, and Keetie Rolen. Mr. Canares presented a paper which analyses the poverty targeting programs in the Philippines.

2008: Leuven, Belgium - Building Sustainable Futures: Enacting Peace and Development

Lueven, Belgium - The Catholic University of Leuven hosted this year the International Peace Research Conference on July 15-19 with the theme "Building Sustainable Futures: Enacting Peace and Development". My paper entitled "Achieving 'Peace' Through Poverty Reduction: Evidence from the Philippines" was accepted for presentation in two sessions - the Development and Peace Working Group and the Poverty as Violence Panel. For a copy of the paper, please write an email

2007:  Chiang Mai, Thailand - Future of Forests in Asia and the Pacific - Outlook for 2020

I started my work with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations last week (October 14). As part of my induction process, I attended a conference on the Future of Forests in Asia and the Pacific: Outlook for 2020 held in Chiangmai, Thailand.
The event was attended by more than 250 people representing different sectors concerned with the future of forests and forestry in the region. The conference sought to identify the primary drivers of change in Asia Pacific that will impact on forests and people in the next ten years.

2007:  Lucerne, Switzerland - 3rd International Congress on Community Development

Sept 26-28 - The Third International Congress on Community Development was held in Lucerne, Switzerland. I was granted a scholarship by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation to present my paper entitled "Combating Poverty: The Role of NGOs in Poverty Reduction in Bohol, Philippines" in one of the workshops in the conference attended by roughly 400 development academics and practitioners from around the globe. For a copy of the paper, please send a request letter to

2007: Oxford, UK;  Going for Growth?

"Going for Growth?" was the theme of the conference I attended at the Oxford University Examination Schools last September 11-13. The conference, attended by roughly 400 development practitioners and educators from around the globe was sponsored by the United Kingdom Forum for International Education and Training.

My paper presentation was entitled "Ownership, Not Prescription: Outsider Driven Development in an Indigenous Community in Bohol, Philippines." The paper scrutinizes a project implemented by Soil and Water Conservation Foundation in the Eskaya community in Taytay (Duero), Biabas (Guindulman), Cantaub (Sierra Bullones), and Lundag (Pilar). For requests on the full copy of the paper, please send an email to

2007:  Athens, Greece - 2nd International Symposium on the Environment

Aug 1- 5. Michael Canares presented a paper entitled "The Seaweed Tragedy: A Case of How Rural Livelihoods can be Disastrous to the Environment" during the 2nd International Symposium on the Environment. The event, attended by development practitioners from around the globe, was hosted by the Athens Institute for Education and Research.

The paper he presented was about the seaweed livelihood at CPG Island and how the tension between poverty and the existence of opportunity has posed significant effects on the environment.


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