DSWD KALAHI-CIDSS Program for Filipinos

Poverty has been a prevalent issue in the Philippines since time immemorial. It’s no secret that poverty is a major contributor to many of the country’s problems, including crime and violence in urban areas. For these reasons, the DSWD has implemented a program called KALAHI-CIDSS (Kapit-bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services), which aims to strengthen community structures and improve the quality of life of people living in poverty.

DSWD KALAHI-CIDSS is a national government program that aims to reduce poverty in selected areas in the Philippines through community-driven development. As poverty remains a challenge in many parts of the country, the DSWD is committed to continue implementing Kalahi-CIDSS to reach out to more families in need.

Find out how this program addresses poverty in the Philippines and the programs and services under the KALAHI-CIDSS. Keep on reading to learn more.

dswd kalahi cidss program


KALAHI-CIDSS is a DSWD program that aims to reduce poverty in the Philippines by strengthening community networks and improving the quality of life of people living in poverty. It was launched in 2011 as an extension of the government’s “Ending Poverty Is Possible Through Community Empowerment” campaign.

The Kalahi-CIDSS is a program of the DSWD that aims to provide comprehensive and integrated social services. It is carried out through the use of a community-driven development approach. This strategy aims to achieve service delivery and good governance.

The NEDA Board approved the scale-up of the program on January 18, 2013. It was implemented from 2003 to 2013.

Through a community-driven development approach, this program helps communities in poor municipalities identify challenges around reducing poverty and make informed decisions on a range of locally identified options for development.

The program gives control of resources to address local poverty to communities, builds the capacity of both state (including local governments) and civil society stakeholders to provide assistance and respond to calls for support from poor communities as they implement development initiatives, and helps them understand the role that each party plays in supporting community-driven development initiatives.

The goal of the Kalahi-CIDSS is for communities and barangays to become more empowered to participate in the planning and implementation of local government services.

Brief History

Originally named as “Kapangyarihan at Kaunlaran sa Barangay (KKB)”, the concept of the Kalahi-CIDSS is to provide comprehensive and integrated social services through the use of community-driven development. This approach involves implementing local solutions to address the poverty and other social issues in the communities.

The concept of the Kalahi-CIDSS was derived from the strategies and lessons learned from the various national programs that have demonstrated their effectiveness in reducing poverty. These include the Philippine government’s comprehensive and integrated social services program and Indonesia’s Kecamatan Development Program.

In July 2002, the Kalahi-CIDSS piloted the concept of the 16-step process of the community empowerment activity cycle. This was conducted in a municipality in Quezon, which is a fifth-class area. The project was funded by a grant of PhP1.8 million.

The pilot program was conducted in six of the municipality’s 14 barangays. These areas included Manggahan, Bulakin 1, Cabatang, Putol, Pinagdanlayan, and Dagatan. The field team for the project was composed of Irene Malong, Jay Arribay, Ray Camiling, and Consuelo Aranda.

The six-month pilot program provided the necessary feedback and guidance to the local government units that decided to adopt the CDD approach.

The World Bank approved the funding of the Kalahi-CIDSS project in 2003. Undersecretary Corazon Soliman served as its first national director. Clifford Burkeley was the project’s deputy director, and Alexander Glova was its first national project manager.

The project’s parent organization, which was composed of 200 local government units, ended in 2010. In 2010, the government provided the organization with a bridge financing of another three years to prepare for the implementation of CDD operations.

Through the project’s additional financing, which was supported by the World Bank, 182 local government units were able to implement the CDD approach. The Millennium Challenge Corporation also provided a grant to help 164 municipalities implement the program. Out of the 182 municipalities that were covered by the grant, 102 of them were new municipalities.

Due to the increasing number of local government units and communities supporting the project, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) proposed expanding the CDD program’s scope by creating a national program called the National Community-Driven Development Program (NCDDP).

NCDDP is guided by the LET-CIDSS framework:

Localized decision-making. Projects are implemented based on a community’s decision-making process.

Empowering. People are empowered to better manage community issues and problems within the framework of a project’s planning, mobilization, implementation and resource management.

Transparent. A multi-tiered monitoring system has been established, in which the government will monitor its own programs while NGOs and other groups oversee their implementation.

Community prioritization. Each barangay participating in the MIBF is responsible for developing a proposal outlining how the funds will be spent. The community selects among these proposals and prioritizes which ones will receive funding.

Inclusive and multi-stakeholder. Everyone in the barangay is involved in every stage of project implementation, from creating the proposal to managing it once implemented.

Demand-driven. Communities should be allowed to decide how their own needs will be met and are encouraged to prioritize them.

Simple. Project procedures and components are designed to be as simple and understandable as possible to make all stakeholders comfortable participating.

Sustainable. All barangay projects will have viable long-term plans for their operations, maintenance, and sustainability.


The National Community-Driven Development Program aims to empower barangays/communities of targeted municipalities to achieve improved access to services and participate in more inclusive local planning, budgeting, and implementation.

The National Community-Driven Development Program aims to empower communities by treating them not as passive recipients of assistance and services but as partners in development; improve local governance by improving people’s engagement with and access to their LGUs, thereby making it more democratic and participatory; and reduce poverty by implementing barangay-level projects that respond to the communities’ felt needs and problems.

The NCDDP is expected to provide the following community benefits:

  • better access to basic services
  • Improve important local poverty indices in project municipalities;
  • Increase the proportion of households in project municipalities reporting increased knowledge, skills, and confidence in collective participation in local governance activities.
  • Increase the representation of members of marginalized groups in barangay assemblies.

Laws Related to the DSWD KALAHI-CIDSS Program

The goal of the CDD Bill is to establish a framework for implementing the principles of community-driven development. The whole government must adopt these principles in its various projects and activities.

The CDD Bill aims to empower the country’s marginalized, vulnerable, and disadvantaged sectors by promoting community participation.

What is Community-Driven Development (CDD)?

Through a community-driven development approach, community members can have a say in the development of their local areas. This type of development allows them to manage their resources and make decisions.

This development approach takes into account the various stakeholder groups in the development process and encourages them to become more involved in local development.

Communities are given the power to prioritize their needs through CDD, and they can then implement and manage solutions.

What are the key features of the CDD Bill?

The CDD Bill aims to institutionalize the concept of the national strategy for the reduction of poverty and the development of inclusive and sustainable national development. It also provides for establishing an advisory council composed of social welfare and development secretaries and local government.

Members of the advisory council include representatives from various government agencies such as the National Anti-Pillar Commission, the Department of Budget and Management, and the Department of Agriculture. They also include officials from the Education, Health, and Human Settlements and Development Departments.

Non-government organizations that are accredited as part of the national strategy for the reduction of poverty and development may also serve as members of the council.

The CDD Bill establishes a comprehensive resource and knowledge institute that will serve as the advisory council’s policy, research, and training arm.

The KRI will support various activities, including establishing a comprehensive research and technology institute, capacity-building, and monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the CDD Bill.

How will the CDD be implemented?

CDD embraces the principles of participation, transparency, and accountability.

Through participation, CDD aims to enhance the participation of local communities in developing their communities. This process should involve the participation of both the government and the community in identifying and addressing the various issues affecting their communities.

Through participation, transparency can be maintained by allowing the community to participate in decision-making. This process can be carried out through the implementation of community-based projects.

Through participation, CDD also aims to enhance the accountability of its projects by allowing the community to participate in the evaluation and monitoring of the projects. This process can be carried out through the implementation of participatory projects.

In order to ensure that communities are actively involved in the development process, the national government agencies and local government units must develop policies for enhancing participatory governance practices, tapping community organizations, particularly the basic sectors, and responding to community needs.

These agencies should also provide information on government intervention, technical assistance, and support to partner communities for more effective community-driven planning and implementation.

They should also enable community members to meaningfully participate in the development process, ensure that community members are prioritized in receiving employment opportunities brought about by project implementation in the community, and ensure that identified community priorities are sufficiently funded.

Who will benefit from the CDD Bill?

The goal of the CDD bill is to empower Filipinos to become more involved in the society. It recognizes the right of individuals to participate in all levels of political, economic, and social decision-making.

The bill aims to provide opportunities for Filipinos who are vulnerable, marginalized, and poor to participate in the planning, budgeting, monitoring, and evaluation of community-based programs and activities.

Who is Eligible for the DSWD KALAHI-CIDSS?

The primary beneficiaries of this program are those from the sectors most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  • homeless/street families
  • no income or low-income families
  • returning overseas Filipino workers
  • indigenous peoples
  • person(s) with disabilities
  • families in conflict-affected communities
  • indigent or individuals/families in especially difficult circumstances

The Project’s beneficiaries are picked from a list of the poorest provinces compiled by the National Statistics and Coordination Board (NSCB). A provincial forum of numerous stakeholders selects the 25% poorest municipalities in a province using Municipal Poverty Mapping.

Once chosen, the Project Grant is available to all barangays within the designated municipality. The total sum is computed by multiplying the number of barangays by the P300,000 allotment for each barangay.


Construction of Classrooms for Lumads (CCL) – This project collaborates with the Department of Education and the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples. The aim of this project is to provide a conducive learning environment for the Lumads. The construction of classrooms aims to enhance and promote education among the Lumads in selected communities in Mindanao.

Community Driven Development Program for Indigenous Peoples (IP-CDD) – This project is spearheaded by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, both agencies of the government, to provide educational assistance programs for indigenous people in Mindanao as well as health insurance coverage.

Kapangyarihan at Kaunlaran sa Barangay (KBB) – The project focuses on supporting livelihood-related priorities allowing households to generate and diversify their income, especially in times of pandemic when opportunities are limited.

DSWD National Community-Driven Development Program (NCDDP) – This project is one of the three core poverty alleviation programs of the DSWD, alongside Patawid Pamilyang Pilipino and the Sustainable Livelihood Program.

National Community-Driven Development Program Additional Financing (KALAHI-CIDSS NCDDP AF) – This aims to influence LGUs to adopt CDD principles and elements in the local planning process to promote community empowerment and better local governance. The additional financing will also support the implementation of projects and activities aligned with the NCDDP objectives and priority areas. The DSWD expects this additional financing to help reduce poverty incidence by at least 15% in all LGUs.


DSWD’s Kalahi-CIDSS program empowers communities to develop their own growth and development. In this video, we see how this project has benefited these communities.


Despite the progress that society has made in promoting equality for women, there is still a long way to go before we can fully realize this goal. To help strengthen the capacity of women in various areas such as Baculongan Norte, Buguias, and Sito Pugo, the DSWD continues its efforts to improve the lives of women and children in the community. The DSWD also aims to promote gender equality by providing opportunities for women and their families to achieve self-reliance.

Infographics: Details about DSWD Cash for Work Program

Here are some more details about the KALAHI program Cash-For-Work Program for your awareness:

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the key features of KALAHI-CIDSS?

The KALAHI-CIDSS program is the government’s response to the needs of communities in disaster-affected areas. It helps communities prepare for disasters and ensures that they are able to take care of themselves in a crisis without relying on outside aid. The program provides funding, training, and community grants to help communities become self-sufficient in their ability to respond to disasters.

The KALAHI-CIDSS program has five main features:

1) Assistance for social preparation and capability building training for LGUs and communities

2) Support funding through community grants. The funds will be released directly to the community accounts.

3) Transparency and Accountability Measures. Citizens other than public officials are involved in local planning and decision-making.

4) Community-chosen priorities are turned into projects, plans and activities and feed into the budgeting process, planning and programming of LGUs and NGAs.

5) Allowable community projects follow an open menu system; however, there is a set of disallowed activities specified on the Negative List

2. What are the project components of NCDDP?

The KC-NCDDP has three program components:

Barangay Community Sub-Grants for Planning and Investment. This component would continue to provide planning and investment grants to 676 poor municipalities that are affected by COVID-19 pandemic and other disaster events.

Local Capacity Building and Implementation Support. This component would involve the roll out of the enhanced guidelines on barangay development planning (with sharper dimension on participatory disaster response) as jointly developed by the DSWD and DILG as part of the strategy to institutionalize CDD in local government. It will also support participatory disaster risk and recovery management, focusing on rapid assessment of COVID-19 effects, as well as management of community-based preparedness and early recovery/rehabilitation.

Program Administration and Monitoring and Evaluation. This component supports the hiring of project staff and other operational systems and activities at the regional and national levels that provide oversight, coordination, and overall management of the NCDDP-AF. This component would support enhancements and streamline of the NCDDP Disaster Response Operations Modality (DROM) for alignment with the DSWD program monitoring and evaluation system.

3. What are the roles of the municipal local government units in KALAHI-CIDSS?

The municipal LGU (MLGU) plays an important role in the Project.

The development of communities requires a conducive environment. This is why the MLGU must provide a conducive environment for the participation of residents.

Through its mayor, the MLGU is responsible for ensuring that the projects of the community are prioritized.

Through the mayor and the local government, the CDD can be institutionalized through the passage of policies and ordinances.

The MLGU should also play a leading role in promoting the participation of various stakeholder groups in the development of the CDD. The mayor can utilize various structures such as the MIAC and the MDC to provide technical assistance and oversight.

The local government units should also integrate the various action plans and community development initiatives into their local development plans. The roles of the MLGU in the Project can be included in the memorandum of agreement.

4. What is the role of communities in KALAHI-CIDSS?

Through the CDD program, which is known as Kalihi-CIDSS, communities are able to participate in the process of development. Not only are they given the opportunity to control the funds for their projects, they are also given the opportunity to make key decisions for their communities.

5. How are KALAHI-CIDSS and Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) related?

Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) is a national government initiative that ensures that the needs of poor cities/municipalities are taken into account in the preparation of agency budget proposals, which are developed through a participatory planning process involving basic sectors and civil society organizations (CSOs).

Both KALAHI-CIDSS and BUB cover the same municipalities.

A link is made between CDD operation and GPBP in municipalities covered by both KALAHI-CIDSS and BUB by providing adequate sequencing and complementarity between community-level action planning utilizing CDD and municipal-level statutory local planning and GPB-coordinated budgeting. Barangays will be specifically assisted in developing and implementing priorities in their local poverty reduction action plans (LPRAPs), which will be created through a participatory community and intercommunity social and technical preparation. Community priorities in barangay LPRAPs that are underfunded due to Kalahi-CIDSS financial constraints will be lobbied for inclusion in the municipality LPRAP, which will be proposed to the BUB.

Municipalities can continue to operate CDDs with BUB funding even after the four KALAHI-CIDSS award cycles have ended. Municipalities that have completed at least four cycles of the CDD (beginning with the KALAHI-CIDSS) can use the CDD as a platform to continue the pace, scale, sustainability, and quality of social development and poverty reduction in their communities by practicing participatory development, transparent governance, and responsive governance.

6. Who will manage the funding from KALAHI-CIDSS to implement community projects?

Volunteer management committees will manage the funds in the identified beneficiary areas.

KALAHI-CIDSS will create and standardize the following technical, social process, broad transparency, and accountability procedures in all of its communities to provide protections and local checks and balances:

  • Orientation, training, and standard operating and procedure guides on the KC-NCDDP community social preparation, procurement, finance, and infrastructure to local communities, LGU authorities, and the general public;
  • The disbursement of funding to communities is divided into smaller sums and is separated into two or three tranches.
  • Local KC-NCDDP workers conduct preliminary assessment, due diligence, and co-signing of community requests, transactions, and reports;
  • Transparency in local decision-making and access to project information are achieved through community reporting of project information and progress at Barangay Assembly and community monitoring meetings, as well as public display of project information and physical and financial progress on community notice boards.
  • Oversight will be exercised by local government officials, members of the local development council, and the barangay treasurer by endorsing community initiatives and engaging in community debates, planning, implementation, and monitoring sessions.
  • Keeping the membership of various community-level project management committees diversified, with training provided in connection with organizational development on community procurement, basic financial management, project management, simple audit, and operation and maintenance.
  • Creating an accessible grievance and complaint system for members of the community and the general public to report any wrongdoing to the KC-NCDDP;
  • Providing feedback to community people and local government officials during on-site supervision, audit, and monitoring inspections carried out by KC-NCDDP staff at various levels and external supervising Missions;
  • Local inter-municipality audits of financial, procurement, and related transactions recorded in community records are being sponsored.
  • Implementation of the sanctions provision in the KC-NCDDP Memorandum of Understanding with Local Government Units and Sub-Project Agreements with Communities; and
  • Establishment of a computerized KC-NCDDP database containing information at the municipality level, as well as web-based reports on KC-NCDDP-funded community projects.

7. What are community projects eligible for KALAHI-CIDSS support?

The KC-NCDDP will operate on an open menu structure, allowing communities to choose the projects that best address their top objectives. The KC-NCDDP may fund the following types of projects:

Basic service subprojects. This includes communal water systems, educational buildings, health care facilities, and power.

Infrastructure for accessibility. Footbridges, access roads, and pathways are all included in this category.

Infrastructure for community common services. These include pre- and post-harvest facilities, as well as small-scale irrigation systems.

Conservation and protection of the environment. Flood control systems, sea walls, artificial reef sanctuaries, and soil protection structures are all included in this category.

Improvement of skills and competency. Ecotourism projects are among them.

Other products that are not expressly prohibited in the Negative List.

Sub-Projects and Activities Prohibited for KC-NCDDP Funding:

  • Weapons, chainsaws (unless used in an emergency), explosives, pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, asbestos, and other potentially hazardous goods and equipment are prohibited.
  • The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, Republic Act 8550, restricts fishing vessels and nets from exceeding the size and weight limits.
  • Road construction in protected areas
  • Using project financing to acquire or compensate for land
  • Microcredit and subsistence operations involving project re-lending
  • Maintenance and operation of project-funded facilities
  • Activities for which alternative financial sources have been offered in the past
  • Constant government expenditures (e.g. salaries for government and LGU staff)
  • Demonstrations, political and religious actions, and publications
  • Activities that pay children under the age of 16
  • The exploitation of women and men of any age Travel Consumption objects or occasions
  • Activities that contradict existing provincial regulations or policies, such as mining and logging
  • Qualifying sub-projects under the KC-post-disaster NCDDP’s activities can be expanded to include items such as the purchase and use of chainsaws to gather downed trees, shelters, and equipment acquisition.

8. What is the coverage of KALAHI-CIDSS?

The municipalities listed below are eligible for KALAHI-CIDSS National Community-Driven Development Program – Additional Financing (NCDDP-AF) funding:

According to the 2009 Small Area Estimates (SAE) of the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), 4th – 6th class municipalities were identified as “poor,” that is, with a poverty incidence higher than the national average of 26.5%; and 1st – 3rd class municipalities had a high incidence of poverty (40 percent or higher).


Marginalized communities often are overlooked in society, but the DSWD, through the Kalahi-CIDSS Program, aims to create a pathway for these communities to achieve sustainable livelihoods.

This can be achieved by providing social services such as education, health, housing and livelihood support programs. The DSWD aims to continue its efforts in reaching out to these communities and ensuring that they have the basic needs they deserve.

We hope you’ve learned a lot from this article and can now better understand the importance of the DSWD’s Kalahi-CIDSS Program.