Dr. Kristoffer B. Berse of the University of the Philippines (UP) National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) was conferred the prestigious 2019 Virginia A. Miralao (VAM) Excellence in Research Award by the Philippine Social Science Council (PSSC) for his publication entitled “Cities as aid agencies: preliminary prospects and cautionary signposts from post-disaster interurban cooperation in Asia.” The VAM Award was established in 2010 to recognize the best article, book chapter or book written by a promising young scholar from among the member professions of the PPSC, a long-standing umbrella organization of professional social science associations in the Philippines.
Dr. Berse’s winning entry was a book chapter in “Crossing Borders: Governing Environmental Disasters in a Global Urban Age in Asia and the Pacific” co-edited by Michelle Miller, Michael Douglass and Matthias Garschagen (Springer, 2018). The PSSC selected his work for “bringing to light a new dimension in the ongoing discussion of disaster risk reduction and management concerns…. [as it] gave an excellent analysis of the effectiveness of local government ‘aid’ in post-disaster situations as opposed to national, cross-country or multilateral aid.”
The awarding ceremony took place on February 23, 2019 at the Philippine Social Science Center in Quezon City. Dr. Berse received a modest cash prize and commemorative trophy designed by Toym Imao.
It was the first time that the VAM Award was given to a public administration scholar. The Philippine Society for Public Administration (PSPA) under the leadership of Dr. Alex Brillantes, Jr. and Dr. Lizan Perante-Calina formally nominated Dr. Berse and his work. Previous VAM winners from UP include Marco Stefan Lagman and Dr. Kristian Saguin from the Department of Geography and Dr. Arnisson Andre C. Ortega of the UP Population Institute.
In 2018, Dr. Berse was selected as one of six inaugural Research Associates of the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA) and as Young Scientist of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR). Dr. Berse is currently Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator at UP-NCPAG, where he also holds the Rafael M. Salas Professorial Chair in Public Administration.