DOST-PCAARRD has long recognized the importance of socio-economics, especially in understanding how science technologies and innovation (STI) could impact on the general welfare of the society. Through the years, DOST-PCAARRD funded several socio-economics and policy research, and findings and insights from those initiatives have been vital in improving strategic planning, research and development (R&D) governance, and S&T development and diffusion.
DOST-PCAARRD however saw the need to address the issues that are faced by our socio-economic researchers, especially in the regions. Among them are the lack of proper equipment/facilities, restricted access to proprietary software and peer-reviewed journals, and limited proficiency in the use of economic and statistical tools and handling big data. And in a number of R&D projects, use of tools like profitability analysis, partial budget analysis, or cost and benefit analysis, which would have established the viability of technologies, are limited.
To address these limitations, DOST-PCAARRD funded the establishment of Socio-Economic Research and Data Analytics Centers (SERDAC) in three major universities in the country—Central Luzon State University (CLSU), Visayas State University (VSU), and the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP). As an institutional innovation, SERDAC aims to enhance socio-economic research in the regions and provide technical assistance to researchers who are working on research for the development of the agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources sectors.