BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor home

"The aim of this project is to ensure that the East-Timorese people determine their own future.  In contrast, it is becoming increasingly evident that the development banks, and other development agencies are dictating the terms of reconstruction. We have been monitoring the reconstruction process with great concern." AID/WATCH

Project Proposal:  Timor Watch

An analysis and review of the development proposals of international agencies

Update 1:  November 2000
 

Background

AID/WATCH in consultation with East Timorese non-government organisations and the CNRT is launching a new campaign titled “Timor Watch”.

Almost a year after the ballot that resulted in East Timor finally achieving independence, the development processes continues.  While some positive news is evident, the development proposals of the official agencies and the behaviour of some of the international NGOs is increasingly raising concerns.

In our August 2000 bulletin, AID/WATCH raised the crucial issue of reconstruction in East Timor.  In reviewing developments in East Timor, we have been critical of the methods employed by the official agencies of the World Bank, United Nations, Asian Development Bank and AusAID, as well as a number of international non-government organisations.  For example, in analysing the World Bank's agricultural development proposal, we found that it prioritised the development of export earnings instead of fostering the self-reliance of East-Timorese communities.
 

Aims of the Project:

The aim of this project is to ensure that the East-Timorese people determine their own future.  In contrast, it is becoming increasingly evident that the development banks, and other development agencies are dictating the terms of reconstruction. We have been monitoring the reconstruction process with great concern.

Specifically, we are launching "Timor Watch" in support of the local communities to:

  1. Critique of projects/strategy of major development banks and other 'development' institutions.
  2. Critique of projects/strategy of International NGOs.
  3. Build the skills of Timorese activists (this would happen as an ongoing transfer of skills through the implementation of the project with Timorese groups/people).

Partner Organisations

This is a large and extremely complicated project, with no single agency having the ability to complete it without assistance.  AID/WATCH is currently holding discussions with East Timorese NGOs to form official partnerships. It is aimed that AID/WATCH will be the junior partner.

AID/WATCH is also seeking a number of international partner agencies to assist in achieving the goals of this project.  If you believe that your organisation can provide assistance through training, advice or reviewing aid proposals, please contact us so that we can discuss how are partnering arrangement can work.

It is important to note that Timor Watch will be an independent project.  By not accepting funding or donations from corporations or any government agency, we will ensure this independence is maintained.  All work undertaken will be available for review.
 

How can you help?

There are a number of ways that we are seeking help:
 

Who is AID/WATCH?

AID/WATCH is a community-based, not for profit, activist group that campaigns on Australian involvement in overseas aid and development projects, programs and policies.  As we ‘Monitor the Development Dollar’, we work to ensure that aid money reaches the right people, communities and their environments.

AID/WATCH works in conjunction with support partner groups and communities in low-income countries, predominantly in the Asia-Pacific, where people are adversely affected by Australian development activities.  This may occur through bilateral aid programs, multilateral development banks to which Australia contributes such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and Asian Development Bank, and Australian corporations including the government-owned Export Finance and Insurance Corporation.

The flow of aid money can be positive particularly in programs of emergency relief and health.  However, aid development projects can often have significantly detrimental impacts which are felt by communities overseas.  When this occurs, it is in the donor country that the decisions are made that lead to them.  So while AID/WATCH supports communities overseas, we also aim to inform the Australian community of how their aid dollar is being spent and what impact it is having.  AID/WATCH believes that increased awareness of the reality of international aid will lead to aid programs that truly benefit the local population.
 

Our Purpose

To support people and communities in low-income countries to determine their own development futures; to ensure that aid money reaches the right people, communities and their environments, and that aid projects are implemented with stringent environmental, ethical, social and cultural guidelines
 

For More Information:


AID/WATCH Monitoring the Development Dollar
AID/WATCH is a community-based, not for profit, activist group that campaigns on Australian involvement in overseas aid and development projects, programs and policies. AID/WATCH works with partners in low-income countries, including East Timor, where people are adversely affected by Australian development activities. This may occur through bilateral aid programs, multilateral development banks and Australian corporations. AID/WATCH also aims to inform the Australian community of how their aid dollar is being spent and what impact it is having, believing that increased awareness of the reality of international aid will lead to aid programs that truly benefit the local population.
Purpose: To support people and communities in low-income countries to determine their own development futures; to ensure that aid money reaches the right people, communities and their environments, and that aid projects are implemented with stringent environmental, ethical, social and cultural guidelines
Telephone from within Australia: (02) 9387-5210  Telephone from overseas: +61 2 9387 5210
Email: aidwatch@mpx.com.au  Homepage: http://www.aidwatch.org.au
AID/WATCH Newsletter:
August 2000 The Rebuilding of ETimor and Bougainville: http://www.aidwatch.org.au/news/20/index.htm
BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor home
Website: http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood Email: wildwood@pcug.org.au
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