Digna Manzanilla

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Digna ManzanillaDigna is currently a Scientist 1 (social sciences) at the International Rice Research Institute under the Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environments (CURE). She is now the new CURE coordinator managing the consortium, particularly in the coordination of consortium-wide activities in implementation and monitoring progress against milestones. She was CURE associate coordinator for 2010 - 2013 until her designation as the coordinator in November. She undertakes capacity building for the NARES in the social sciences concepts and tools, in participatory varietal selection (PVS) and technology evaluation, participatory project documentation, knowledge management, and research-to-impact pathways. She is involved in documentation of models in community-based seed systems and technology diffusion strategies, and supporting the training needs of the NARES partners on various topics in seed systems and its up-scaling and out-scaling strategies. She contributes to the coordination of CURE gender-related activities with partner organizations, as CURE’s focal person, as a member of IRRI gender team, and as representative to the IFAD Philippines Gender Network (IPGN).

As a social scientist, she leads the research on the socioeconomic dimension of technological innovation implemented by partner-NARES in unfavorable rice environments in South and Southeast Asia under CURE. These studies generally cover assessing the performance of new varieties at varying field conditions; eliciting feedback from men and women farmers on their varietal preferences; better understanding of a household’s economy in stress-affected areas; and undertaking assessment of factors that determine the adoption and diffusion of CURE technologies in target areas. Her research interests also cover impact-pathway analysis; and evaluation of outcome and benefits of technology adoption. The main objectives of her research works are to identify suitable strategies and recommendations for rapid delivery and sustainability of adoption of technologies; and fostering relevant impact pathway networks with NARES, private sector, civil society groups, ARIs, and others.

Digna is also engaged in a project in drought-prone areas of Southeast Asia on the factors determining household choice of adaptive and coping mechanisms (social networks, social capital, and reducing the vulnerability), household characteristics and vulnerability to drought impacts, and with special reference to gender related issues.


  • Socioeconomic dimension of rice research in unfavorable environments
  • Technology validation and dissemination strategies
  • Participatory and gender issues in rice sector
  • Research-to-impact pathways, capacity building, and knowledge management


  • PhD in Environmental Science and Management minor in Social Theory, Environment, and Development Communication, University of the Philippines Los Baños, Philippines (2011)
  • MS in Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Hawaii Manoa, USA (1987)
  • BS Agricultural Economics minor in Marketing, University of the Philippines Los Baños, Philippines (1982)


  • Scientist I (social sciences), and Associate CURE coordinator, Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environments (CURE) (2010-present)
  • Post-doctoral fellow, IRRI, Project on “Dissemination of submergence-tolerant rice varieties and associated management practices in Southeast Asia”, “Implementation plans for the dissemination of submergence-tolerant varieties to Southeast Asia” (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) (2007-2010)
  • Director, Agricultural Resources Management Research Division (ARMRD), Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD), DOST (2002-2009)
  • National Program Coordinator, NEDA-KR2-PCARRD National Program for Sustainable Upland Farming through the Establishment of “Barangay Sagip-Saka” or Conservation Farming Villages (CFVs) (2007)
  • National Coordinator and member of the Steering Committee, ASIALAND Network Project, “Management of Sloping Lands for Sustainable Agriculture in the Philippines”, Partnership among Philippines, Malaysia, China, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia, under IWMI-SDC Program on sloping land management (Jan 2002-Dec 2004)
  • Team Leader, Development of Impact Assessment Protocol – for the ASIALAND Network/partner countries – International Water Management Institute (IWMI) (2005)
  • Consultant, Participatory Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation of Conservation Farming Communities; focus on community sustainability indicators (CSI) under CARE Philippines, Incorporated (2005)
  • Consultant and team member for Institutional Aspects, Philippine Team implementing the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Project on “Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development - Farming Systems Evolution (SARD-FSE). Implemented by SEARCA, FSSRI, ANGOC, PCARRD, with participation of DA, DENR, DAR and other stakeholders (2003-2005)
  • Assistant Director, Planning and Development Division (PDD), PCARRD (1996-1997)
  • Supervising Science Research Specialist, Planning and Development Division, and the Office of the Deputy Executive Director for Research, PCARRD (1991-1993, 1995)
  • Senior Science Research Specialist, Planning and Development Office, PCARRD
  • Consultant, Agricultural Credit Policy Council, Department of Agriculture, Philippines (1987-1988)


  • Gamma Sigma Delta, the Honor Society of Agriculture, Member(since March 2000), Area Coordinator (2007)
  • Finalist for Best Paper Award for Socioeconomics category. FCSSP convention held in Bohol in May 2009, titled, “Reducing Production Losses through Participatory Varietal Selection in Submergence-prone Rice Areas in the Philippines”
  • Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Academic Performance in Pursuing Doctoral Degree, December 11, 2000, PCARRD
  • Most Outstanding Technical Employee Award (Senior Category), 1996; Certificate of Recognition as 1996 DOST-PCARRD Model Employee, 19 December 1996; Most Outstanding Technical Employee Award (Senior Category), PCARRD, 1994
  • East-West Center Certificate of Recognition for the Distinguished Service to the East-West Center Community, Hawaii, USA, September 1987
  • Certificate of Attendance to the Summer Program in Economics (Short Course), University of the Philippines Los Baños, College of Development Economics and Management, April-May, 1985


  1. D. O. Manzanilla, T.R. Paris, G.V. Vergara, A. M. Ismail , S. Pandey , R. V. Labios, G. T. Tatlonghari, R. D. Acda , T. T. N. Chi, K. Duoangsila, I. Siliphouthone, M. O. A. Manikmas, and D. J. Mackill. Submergence Risks and Farmers’ Preferences: Implications for Breeding Sub1 rice in Southeast Asia. Agricultural Systems 104 (2011) 335–347
  2. Manzanilla, D.O. Paris, T. R.,Tatlonghari, G.T; Gandasoemita, R., Labios, R.V.; Acda, R., Chi, TTN, Siliphouthone, I., Chamarerk, V., Bhekasut, P., Phuong, N.T. Integrating social and gender perspectives in breeding for submergence-tolerant rice varieties in Southeast Asia. 2011. Paper submitted to Experimental Agriculture journal. (in press)
  3. Paris, TR., Manzanilla, DO., Tatlonghari, GT., Labios, RV., Cueno-delos Reyes, A., and Villanueva, D. 2011. Guide to participatory varietal selection (PVS) for submergence-tolerant rice. International Rice Research Institute. Los Baños, Laguna
  4. Chi, TTN, Paris, TR, Manzanilla, D.O, Tatlonghari, G.T., Labios, RV. Tuyen, TQ, Lang, NT. Understanding farmers’ preferences through the participatory varietal selection (PVS) in the flood-prone rice areas of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Omonrice 18: 167-181 (2011)
  5. Chi, TTN, Manzanilla, DO., Pandey, S., Tran, TNM, Tran, Q.T., Velasco, M.L., Velarde, O., Lang, NT., Labios, RV. Characterizing flood events and its impacts on rice production in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Omonrice 18: 149-156 (2011)
  6. Quizon, A.B., Vargas, D.S., Garcia, A.G., Manzanilla, D.O., Del Rosario, B., Bravo, M., Monsalud, F. C., Ravanera, R.R., Agarrado, M. T. S. 2005. Participatory policy development for lowland rainfed rice-based farming systems toward sustainable agriculture and rural development: A case study in Nueva Ecija, Philippines. Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development and Food and Agriculture Office (FAO) Project
  7. Manzanilla, D.O., Armada, A., Domingo, O.F. 2007. Conservation Farming Village. Information Bulletin. PCARRD, Los Baños, Laguna
  8. Manzanilla, D. O. 2005. “Conservation Farming Village as Modality for Promoting Soil and Water Conservation Technologies”. Proceedings of the International Workshop on Newly developed Innovative Technologies for Soil and Water Conservation. Rural Development Administration and Food and Fertilizer Technology Center for the Asian and Pacific Region. May 31 – June 2. Suwon, Korea. Rural Development Administration (RDA). Korea

Digna ManzanillaDr. Digna O. Manzanilla
Social Scientist, CURE coordinator and CURE gender focal point

International Rice Research Institute
Los Baños, Laguna

+63 2 580 5600
ext 2620