On 21 February 2023, AF held a Local Governance Orientation for the mentors of the LEAD to Serve Course participants in South Cotabato. Officials and staff of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) of Region 12 served as resource persons. The LEAD to Serve Course in South Cotabato is the pilot course under the Civil Society Organization (CSO) Academy in Region 12. It is funded by the South Cotabato Provincial Government. A total of 20 scholars are expected to complete the course in December 2023.
Under a partnership with AF, DBM, DILG and Mahintana Foundation, the CSO Academy is established to help local government units (LGUs) enhance CSO engagements in various local governance bodies. CSO effective and efficient participation becomes even more critical following the implementation of the Mandanas Ruling where LGU resources are expected to significantly increase.
The CSO Academy is the first foray of AF into local governance through the LEAD to Serve Course.