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Investing in Small Steps Stability through Rural Development Christopher Dureau 13 districts, 65 Sub-districts, 442 Suco and 2500 Aldeia 80% mountainous Timor-Leste is largely Rural: 70 % of population live in rural areas 80% of workforce are in rural communities The current situation - More about poverty than politics - More about seeking to be noticed than about seeking to be destructive. So: Increased peoples access to participate in the development process will lead to improved security greater stability and peace • engage more in the sub-district and village level. • through small and participative ways for rural families to be ‘busy’ • in learning and doing things to improving their situation. • I want to argue that despite plenty of rhetoric about what should and could be done to promote pro-poor and bottom up development. • With the exception of Health Services (incl water supply) and by default possibly basic Education, • Far too little is happening at the rural community level, where most of the population live and most of the remainder of the population have their family ties. • People do not feel the government, and to some extent the civil society groups are with them as they try to work out how to be involved in their own development. • Almost 50% of pop live in household farms with minimal resources leading to vulnerability and poverty. • 64% of the population currently suffer from food insecurity Presidents Dream • A country of people working their farms benefiting the whole community through their efforts. • “The culture of cooperation among farmers can be a way to enable them to raise production through the acquisition of agricultural inputs and selling of their surpluses” (Kay Rela Xanana Gusmao Jan 2006) • Government or civil society groups will need to apply their resources and expertise to help bring this about. • The President dreams of a rural and pro poor led development process for Timor Leste. – So too does much of the thinking in the Sector Development Plans (SIP). Confirmed in the recommendations of the UNDP Report 2006. – Some examples now exist – but they are not the norm. The Economic Advisor to the PM agrees: • Increasing farm food crop productivity is a critical aspect of a poverty reduction strategy for Timor Leste • Carlos R. Risopatron. UN Economic Advisor at the Prime Minister's Office ‘if the country is poor, a rural development program must be designed early in the peace building operation, as a basic requirement for increasing food productivity, reducing extreme poverty in the short term and aid-dependency in the medium term’. » Carlos R. Risopatron. UN Economic Advisor at the Prime Minister's Office, East Timor Missed opportunity: ‘there were many opportunities to help develop a more vibrant rural sector. The markets were there but they were not used: For example, the UN Transitional Authority (UNTAET) did not take the creative initiative to develop small scale and cottage type industry in meeting its own needs while in Timor-Leste. For example the UN imported bananas and vegetables from Australia.’ Jose Ramos Horta responding to the UN Head of Mission The reality: An urban not a rural bias: The reality: urban not rural bias: Most of the funding (CFET) goes to Dili: • 90% of all public expenditure is planned and managed out of Dili • 66% of the public expenditure is for urban areas (with 20% of the population) • 80% of goods and services are going to the cities. • 60% of civil service staff are based in Dili » (World Bank, 2003 UNDP 2006) The Non Rural Sector Driver “The challenge is to promote rapid growth in the non-food private sector, which currently employs about 70,000 workers at much higher average levels of productivity. Rapid growth in the latter will allow for a gradual shift out of low productivity employment in rural areas. With rising levels of labor productivity, the incidence of income poverty will decline.” – Overview of Sector Investment Programs – Volume 1 Agriculture a case study. • Agriculture is the primary economic activity in Timor-Leste • Yet only 2.1% of CFET allocations have been allocated to MAFF for FY. 06/07 Funding for Agriculture • Allocation of funds for 2000-2004: – $ US 66 million for all MAFF activities: – 30% for the coffee industry and studies about commercial agriculture – 14% on food security – 10% on service delivery (helping village farmers improve outputs). Agriculture • Projected allocation of funds for 2005-2009: – $ US 41m total – 30% for food security – 19% on service delivery Agriculture – $ US 10m for 5 year period from CFET allocations – 18 key programs for food security still waiting external confirmed funds • Infrastructure investment is also favoring the minority in urban population: The case for rural development • Rural development is considered by many of the policy advisors, to be an inadequate driver of development because of its low productivity. • but in fact many would argue that rural development must be the foundation of urban development in countries like Timor Leste> The road map is in place: UN Economic Advisor at the Prime Minister's Office says: • increase the food yields per hectare and quickly end chronic hunger. • focus on fertilizers, improved agriculture technology, green manures and cover crops, water harvesting, small scale irrigation and improved seeds. • A road network interconnecting the districts. • A village truck and storage facilities would allow the villages to sell the grain over the course of months getting more favorable prices. • Electricity could be made available to selected districts using a cost effective method (coal power plants and/or non fossil technologies). • Safe drinking water and sanitation, investments in basic health and education in most critical districts – UNDP Model: Rural development as the primary driver • UNDP argues that Pro-poor rural development requires a lower growth rate and less average annual input. ($65m as against $48m annually) Integrated rural development • UNDP Report outlines four options for greater engagement with local communities. • Develop government services- more public servants working directly with communities • Encourage local organisations – cooperatives, user groups and village managed community initiatives • Involve NGOs – so that they can provide technical support, services and facilitation of community engagement • Encourage the private sector UNICEF on Youth The UNICEF Proposal for a National Youth Policy in Timor-Leste recommends such an approach. The two top strategies are: • Mobilise young people to serve in their community – turning youth gangs into youth services • Build bridges from education to post school reality – relevant work opportunities – linking graduates to work opportunities in industry and service provision. Youth • Many of these either graduate in Dili (50% of all high school students) or move quickly to Dili to find work. • A pro poor and rural development program would aim to provide work related opportunities for youth outside the urban centres. Successful initiatives • State Administration coordinated: ‘Local Development Program’ – 3 pilot Districts & now working in Bobinaro – UNDP. • District Planning and service delivery in Health and in Water Supply and Sanitation • Many INGO programs such as Oxfam, WV, Care, CRS, Concern, Caritas • Many T-L NGOs – ETADEP, Timor Aid, Bia Hula, Gracia…. • Previously CEP & Respect What Timorese expect [Socio cultural reasons for a larger investment in the rural sector]. • Collectivism – group benefit • Respect – Relationship building • Immediacy – impatience for some results. • Ongoing support and encouragement - High risk aversion and intolerance for experimentation in uncertainty. • Collectivism – Dependent on tight integration across functional family groupings – Most people associate with family in the rural areas – Just as one family member in employment will be expected to support the whole family, so too one part of the community experiencing development will be considered beneficial to the rest of the community. • Respect and Process Learning – Decision making requires substantial and apparently time consuming consultation with all relevant community members – Conflict resolution and peace building requires process as well as outcome – the people must be provided with the opportunity to put their case first. – High reliance on formal processes and ritual • Immediacy and impatience for some results. – The time gap between thinking about development objectives and beginning to benefit from these is very small – Yet: Patience with the final outcome –seeing something happening is more important than getting results. • Ongoing support and encouragement – long years of political domination – trying not to be noticed! – fragility of agricultural returns has led to a low tolerance for risk and a lack of interest in experimentation and initiative. – requires considerable mentoring and long term partnering as they begin to engage in the uncertain path of development initiatives. – Using local knowledge and building on traditional successful methods is much more likely to be effective than introduced and very foreign technologies. The advice and the successful initiatives recommend investment in rural development should be • small scale, • resource intensive and • sustained Investing in Small Steps • Small Scale – Community led initiatives maximising community participation. – Promoting community ownership – Mobilising existing resources – Local level management – Multiple voc ed and life skills short courses – Multiple but integrated village activities. • Resource Intensive: – Community capacity building for Suco Leadership and Suco Councils – Organisational development for NGOs and community groups such as farmers associations, women’s groups and fishermen associations. – Skills development in relation to modernisation or development activities such as improved water and sanitation, repair of schools and clinics, improved agriculture practice and mechanical skills. • Sustained. – Continued opportunities for learning on the job, trial and error and repeated mentoring – capacity retention. – Maintaining the service till it becomes an accepted standard. Working within the community Community Engagement should be • Comprehensive – pro poor and gender inclusive • Cooperative – including government, civil society, private sector and media collaboration. Working in partnership with the community • Bubble effect – engaging large groups to mobilise the community. (getting out there and staying with the community). • Decentralisation of service management • Adequate resourcing of local government • Suco governance and councils collaboration and liaison • NGO/CSOs as facilitators of community engagement. • Private Sector • Media. Rural Development and Stability • We have all been preoccupied in trying to create an effective state without sufficient concern for the welfare and engagement of the people. • There is now an imperative for – greater balance and – a bottom first approach. Conclusion: Rural Development brings Stability • Rural Development will promote a greater sense of achievement and nation building than the past focus getting it right at the centre first • When there is gainful engagement in demand driven development at the rural level, coupled with skills enhancement and community empowerment – national stability and peace building will be better achieved. Uneven rural development • The World Food Program reports a severe situation of food insecurity in March 2006 in the western side of Timor Leste: Oecussi, Bobonaro and Covalima. Food insecurity is moderate in the central districts of Liquica, Ermera, Ainaro, Manufahi, Aileu, Manatuto and Dili. Food insecurity risks are low in eastern Timor Leste districts of Viqueque, Baucau and Lautem. The increasing gap between loromunu (western districts) and lorosae (eastern districts) represents an internal security threat that must be addressed to avoid a probable scenario where population expectations may not be met and could result (Risopatron (April 2006) Sources • The Path out of Poverty – Integrated rural development. Timor-Leste Human Development Report Jan. 2006 • Timor-Leste: Overview of Sector Investment Program, Volume II & Timor-Leste: Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Sector Investment Program • Lessons Learned for Poverty Reduction from the United Nations Peace Building Operation in East Timor . (Executive Summary) Carlos R. Risopatron. UN Economic Advisor at the Prime Minister's Office, East Timor. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Risopatron. • DFID, 2004, How to accelerate pro-poor growth: a basic framework for policy analysis, Pro Poor Briefing Note 2, Sept, Department for International Development, UK • Asian Development Outlook: Timor-Leste, http://www.adb.org/documents/books/ado/2006/tim.asp • Proposal for a National Youth Policy for Timor-Leste, Richard Curtin, Fernando Antoino da Costa & Zelia Fernandes, UNICEF, 30 March 2006.
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