Community Livelihoods And Civil Society Organisations In - UNDP

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Community Livelihoods And Civil Society Organisations In - UNDP

Community Livelihoods and

Civil Society Organisations

in Papua, Indonesia

A SNAPSHOT BY

LOCAL NON-GOVERNMENT

ORGANISATIONS


This document represents a summary and interpretation of the findings from four

independent assessments of community livelihoods and civil society organisations’

capacity to support improvements in community livelihoods. The UNDP provided initial

guidance to the organizations that conducted the assessments and effort has been

made to accurately represent the findings from the assessments. Nevertheless, the

information gathered and issues associated herewith do not constitute a decisive data

set and do not necessarily represent the views of UNDP.


Executive Summary

Papua, Indonesia’s eastern-most region is characterised by high ethnic, geographic and

ecological diversity. It is considered one of the richest areas in terms of income per

capita, and yet there is a large proportion of the population who do not yet have access

to public education and health services and who are in many regards considered ‘poor’

or, as some Papuans prefer, ‘not yet fortunate’. In 2004 the Government of Indonesia

requested that the UNDP facilitate a needs assessment as the basis for a long-term

development programme for Papua. An important part of the Papua Needs Assessment

was a review of community livelihoods and of civil society organizations’ capacity in

general, but particularly related to supporting livelihood improvement. To develop a

snapshot of the situation at community level and from different communities’

perspectives, four local non-government organizations (NGOs) undertook such studies

in fifty-six villages across sixteen kabupatens that represented the four main agro/ecosystems

found in Papua, namely coastal, inland, swamp and mountain areas. The

villages were purposively selected to focus on the lives of indigenous Papuans, the

majority of whom live in villages at varying distances from provincial and district centres.

The four NGO reports contain a wealth of information, which is summarized in this

document. Due to the difficulty of assimilating information about such culturally and

ecologically diverse areas as exist throughout Papua, it is important that the source

reports be referred to for greater detail. The reports contain detailed village profiles, as

well as broader, contextual information and analysis pertaining to the kabupatens and

civil society functions.

Amongst the four NGO reports, common findings about the communities surveyed are

that:

• There is a pattern of difference between villages that are far from towns or

centres of activity and those that are close or have easier access. The disparities

are found across all the areas of Papua that were covered in this assessment.

• The vast majority of people exist on a near subsistence basis and are thus

extremely reliant on the surrounding natural resources for their existence. In this

sense, a ‘near subsistence existence’ does not mean the villagers have no

experience with or interest in the cash economy. Indeed people are part of it and

impacted by it, however they do not use cash to fulfil the majority of their basic

needs. As the basis of their material existence is overwhelmingly the

surrounding environment, they live on a mostly subsistence basis.

In the villages further away from towns, the natural resource base is in better

condition and local people are able to meet their basic food and shelter needs

from the surrounding environment. In the areas near towns or centres, the

quality and quantity of the resource base is deteriorating and local indigenous

people have become both culturally and economically vulnerable.

In villages far from towns, natural resources are the sole source of income and

access to capital is limited. People are highly dependent on the traders that come

to the village to buy their products. Where there are facilities such as roads, the

costs of transport are still relatively high and this affects the profitability of many

small income-generating activities. Considerable resource potential in many

areas is yet to be developed to the benefit of the local people. In villages near to

towns/centres of activity people’s source of income vary and are improvised

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through a variety of business activities, rather than depending entirely on natural

resources. For example, people work as construction and port labourers, in

shops, and there are women who work as house wives but also trade in

homemade foods such as cakes. There are also many women who work as

labourers in the palm oil plantations, for example.

• Villages away from towns or centres have homogenous populations and still

maintain their cultural norms. However in areas closer to towns, outside

influences are resulting in changes in the ways communities perceive and

respond to issues. The influences are from both migrants and

business/extractive industry activities that operate, and affect people, more so

closer to towns but in some cases in the more isolated areas as well. Indigenous

culture and customary law, ‘adat’, is still of central importance in peoples’ lives

but their knowledge of it, and respect for it, tends to be weakening.

• Impacts of development are seen by many local people as threatening the

natural resources in their traditionally owned areas. Adat institutions, both formal

and informal, focus mostly on resolving resource conflicts and peoples’ personal

problems and are increasing in number. These institutions are seen locally as an

appropriate way to organize people around their common interests and concerns

as indigenous people and to struggle for justice. Within these organizations, and

amongst the people more generally, there are changes occurring as a result of

formal education and outside influences, which shape their thoughts and

behaviours, and for better or for worse, distance people from their traditional

norms and values.

• At the same time, the pressure to secure cash incomes and the social tensions

occurring suggest that adat is not merely undergoing change, but is at a critical

juncture in terms of its role in guiding and sustaining indigenous Papuans

communities (both people and their environment).

• Almost no villages in the NGOs’ assessment have year-round access to clean

water or power. The majority have school buildings and health posts, but in

areas away from towns or centres, these are un-staffed or understaffed and do

not function properly, if at all. People in villages near to towns or centres make

use of the health and education facilities if they have money, and use the town’s

market facilities. Villages further from town may not be far but as there are no (or

no affordable) transport options, they are isolated. Access to markets and to

education and training opportunities are the common priorities noted in nearly all

villages.

• The facilities and services in the new kabupatens are generally worse than in the

older ones, however distance from centres is more of a factor in the degree of

services enjoyed than the status of the village, district or kabupaten. In general,

the communities do not maintain the existing infrastructure and in many cases it

is not used. They do not feel ownership of it, as they are not usually involved in

its development. Other community assets include communal and customary

houses, canoes, wells and piers. Community-built infrastructure such as roads or

schools is rare but where it exists it tends to be better cared for. Churches exist

in nearly all villages, are locally built, and are used and maintained.

• People’s health in the villages away from towns is poor. The study teams

considered this to be due to environmental conditions including poor housing and

water supplies, as well as to low awareness of sanitation, nutrition and disease

prevention. Traditional treatments are widely used, as local people have

extremely limited access to government health services and cannot afford to pay

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for them. In villages close to towns, services are accessed in conjunction with

traditional therapies.

• As well as commenting on the political motives of ‘pemekaran’ (establishing new

administrative areas), the NGO reports emphasise that in all the villages away

from towns there is a dire need for health, education and economic development

activities, including natural resource management, skills training and extension

services by government.

• Most villages have never received any form of training or technical assistance,

whether from government or civil society organisations (CSO). The few cases

that had were considered unsuccessful because they did not respond to priority

needs and were not appropriate in terms of local conditions and duration. Poor

planning and implementation of government programs, including the funds for

village development and OTSUS allocations, have not succeeded in fostering

productive or sustainable activities in the communities. Confusion, apathy, and in

some cases conflict, have resulted from poorly coordinated and implemented

activities at village level. Where NGOs have worked in a community, the main

achievement noted was raising critical thinking skills and motivation.

• There are examples of gender equality in certain ethnic groups, however a norm

of male domination is entrenched in the majority of groups. Women’s

participation is greater in church-related activities than in adat or local

government forums, and their role in household and village economies is critical.

Amongst the four NGO reports, common findings about civil society organisations are:

• The family and clan are the most basic units considered as community-based

organisations in Papua. Every ethnic group in every village assessed has a

customary institution (‘lembaga adat’) that deals with resource boundaries,

compensation and personal problems related to marriages, moral deviances and

‘adat matters’.

• Religious-based organisations are present at the village level and are mostly

involved in providing basic education services and spiritual guidance.

In the villages further from towns, the church (building) is often the only piece of

village infrastructure that is used on a regular basis. This suggests the high

regard that most local people have for the church (organisation) and its role in

their lives.

• The number of active NGOs is far smaller than the number of registered NGOs.

In the Bird’s Head. In particular, there has been a growth in the number of NGOs

that do not exist to develop communities or to influence policy development, but

rather have formed to take advantage of the financial opportunities they perceive

in government programs and in private sector activities.

• Of the active NGOs, a small proportion is present at district or village level. The

vast majority are based in provincial and kabupaten towns and are dependent on

donors for their funding. Their activities at the village level tend to be driven by

the agendas and schedules of outside agencies and thus are not usually able to

have the desired effect. The communities that have been accompanied by

NGOs consider their support beneficial and desire better, longer engagement

with outsiders that can help them develop their social and environmental

potential.

• The quality and duration of technical assistance, support and partnership

(‘pendampingan’) provided to communities by outside parties is critical to the

successful achievement of any program or activities’ objectives.

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• Local NGOs in particular have low organisational capacity and struggle to retain

capable personnel, who are enticed by better conditions offered for government,

international NGOs and private sector jobs.

• There is a general consensus that civil society organisations need to engage

better with local government in order to benefit local communities. The need for

multi-stakeholder dialogue and collaboration resolving key, interrelated issues of

resource rights and economic security is emphasised in all reports.

Investing in local human resources, including local facilitators, community

organisers, teachers and skilled people to develop their own communities and

villages is seen as a priority by the CSO community in Papua.

For UNDP, the significance of the Community Needs and CSO studies was the

description of the real voices, views, and perspectives of community members

themselves as they recounted their experiences and aspirations for the future. In this

context, communities and their traditional beliefs, knowledge, practices, and institutions

are not viewed as ‘sources of problems and constraints’. Although there are many

challenges faced by people at the village level, the people and their culture – in the

broadest sense – should be seen as sources of durable, practical, and sustainable

solutions to daily livelihood issues and to overall development practice.

The studies carried out by local, Papuan NGOs are an important contribution to the

overall Papua Needs Assessment and will be used in the planning and implementation

of a long-term development cooperation programme. The findings complement those

from the other studies undertaken as part of the needs assessment. Importantly, these

studies are the one place where actual voices from people, communities and community

organizations, and Papua Civil Society in general, have been heard and considered indepth,

at some length, and using various open and inclusive methodologies. At the

same time, the findings are one part of a series of information-gathering exercises and

should be seen not as a definitive picture of community livelihoods and civil society

organisations. Rather, this snapshot may serve as a starting point from which

considerable further work can proceed.

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary........................................................................................................ 1

List of Figures and Tables............................................................................................... 1

Terms / Definitions.......................................................................................................... 1

1. Introduction............................................................................................................. 2

1.1 Brief background and overview of this report .......................................................... 2

1.2 Overview of the NGOs and study areas.................................................................. 3

1.3 Overview of the methods used................................................................................ 5

2. A Snapshot of Community Livelihoods.................................................................... 6

2.1 Villages far from towns and centres......................................................... 6

2.1.1 Natural capital....................................................................................... 7

2.1.2 Physical capital..................................................................................... 7

2.1.3 Social and cultural capital ..................................................................... 8

2.1.4 Human capital....................................................................................... 9

2.1.5 Financial capital.................................................................................. 10

2.2 Villages close to towns and centres....................................................... 11

2.2.1 Natural capital..................................................................................... 11

2.2.2 Physical capital................................................................................... 11

2.2.3 Social and cultural capital ................................................................... 12

2.2.4 Human capital..................................................................................... 12

2.2.5 Financial capital.................................................................................. 13

2.3 Cases and exceptions, highlighting differences between areas ............. 13

2.3.1 South-southeastern Papua ................................................................. 13

2.3.2 Central highlands................................................................................ 14

2.3.3 Cenderawasih Bay and Biak-Supriori ................................................. 15

2.3.4 The Bird’s Head and southwestern area............................................. 16

2.3.5 Northern areas.................................................................................... 16

3. Summary of findings by ‘sector’ – A Snapshot of infrastructure, health and

education in the villages assessed....................................................................... 17

3.1 A Snapshot of infrastructure issues at community level ......................... 17

3.2 A Snapshot of healthcare issues at community level ............................. 19

3.3 A Snapshot of formal education issues at community level.................... 20

3.4 Other issues raised................................................................................ 21

4. A Snapshot of civil society - summary of findings on CSOs................................... 23

4.1 General profile....................................................................................... 23

4.2 Distribution of CSOs .............................................................................. 25

4.3 Examples of CSO activities ................................................................... 26

4.4 Issues.................................................................................................... 27

4.5 Recommendations from NGO reports.................................................... 29

5. References Cited .................................................................................................. 30

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List of Figures and Tables

Figure 1. Assessment locations in Papua................................................................... 3

Table 1. NGOs and the study areas .......................................................................... 4

Table 2. Key infrastructure problems – an overview of common findings ................ 18

Table 3. Key health service problems – an overview of common findings ............... 19

Table 4. Key formal education problems – an overview of common findings........... 21

Table 5. Estimates of CSOs active in the assessed villages (excluding LA/LMA).... 26

Terms / Definitions

The following are basic explanations of the meaning of selected terms in the context of

this document.

Adat – custom or culture, held by each ethnic group and comprising knowledge,

behaviours, rules, laws and systems for explaining and regulating individual and life in

‘adat communities’.

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) – a range of organisations including non-government

organisations, ethnic organisations, religious organizations and community-based

organizations.

Community economics – local subsistence and productive activities (agriculture,

livestock, fishing and community/multi-stakeholder forestry).

District – the government administrative area referred to as district in this document, and

in the NGO reports upon which it is based, is known elsewhere in Indonesia as

‘kecamatan’ or sub-district. Similarly, whereas villages (administrative areas) are known

elsewhere in Indonesia in as ‘desa’, in Papua they are referred to as ‘kampung’.

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – a set of poverty reduction goals, with targets,

that have been endorsed by the world community for achievement by 2015.

OTSUS – Special Autonomy for Papua, a political and economic change that occurred in

2001, but has yet to be fully implemented.

‘Snapshot’ – a picture that is necessarily simple, partial and fixed in time.

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1. Introduction

1.1 Brief background and overview of this report

In 2004 the Government of Indonesia requested that the United Nations Development

Programme (UNDP) facilitate a needs assessment as the basis for preparing a longterm

development programme for Papua. The assessment included a review of local

government capacity to deliver basic social services, carried out by local universities,

and specific studies on gender, environment and fiscal management issues. As part of

the needs assessment, UNDP also engaged four (4) non-government organisations

(NGOs) to:

1) Develop a genuine picture of community life and needs in villages around Papua;

and

2) Review the extent and capacity of civil society organisations (CSOs) to provide

and support community livelihoods in Papua.

This document presents a summary of the findings of the Community Needs and CSO

studies. It is therefore a companion document to the stand-alone reports prepared by the

NGOs that conducted the studies. The NGOs’ reports provide further detail on all the

issues covered in this report. The reports are the sole source of information in sections

in this document, which outline the study areas and methods (Section 1), provides a

‘snapshot’ of community livelihoods in the each of the study areas (Section 2), a

summary of key findings related to infrastructure, education and health (Section 3). A

‘snapshot’ of civil society presence and capacity in the study areas is presented in

Section 4, summarising the NGOs findings on CSOs and their recommendations to

communities, local government, CSOs and donors. As implied above, the findings

summarised here represent one part of a series of information-gathering exercises and

should be seen not as a definitive picture of community livelihoods and civil society

organisations, but as a starting point from which considerable further work can proceed.

In a separate document, opportunities for improved donor support for Papua are

discussed.

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1.2 Overview of the NGOs and study areas

The NGOs that undertook the Community Needs and CSO studies were selected

through an open tender process that was established after consulting with different civil

society organisations and government agencies in Papua. The studies were undertaken

by well-known, Papua-based (and non-international) NGO’s experienced in

assessments with both communities and civil society representatives in selected districts

and kabupaten. All had some experience in the areas of governance, poverty

reduction/human security strategies, environment and community-based natural

resource management. The NGOs delineated their study areas according to their

geographic and cultural knowledge, and considering the need to present realities from a

cross-section of the diverse sub-regions of Papua.

The NGOs and their study areas are shown with village population figures in Table 1.

Figure 1 presents a general map of the locations where the assessments were

conducted.

Figure 1.

Assessment locations in Papua

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Table 1.

NGOs and the study areas

Spatial area Kabupaten Villages where

study conducted

South –

southeastern

Papua

Bird’s Head and

southwestern

Papua

Cenderawasih

Bay, Sorong and

Biak-Supriori

North coast and

central highlands

Merauke

Mappi

Asmat

Boven Digoel

Fakfak

Teluk Bintuni

Manokwari

Onggaya

Poo

Okabe

Tagaepe

Obaa

Muin

Mur

Sumur Aman

Syuru

Yamas

Erma

Buetkuar

Sokanggo

Mawan

Awayanka

Tinggam

Kabubur

Tanama

Yaru

Sara

Mokwam

Aipiri

Official population

(village official data

reported by NGO)

296

288

780

351

983

1,180

1,522

272

1,221

389

1,522

228

1,687

260

230

546

176

724

246

164

739

706

Kaimana Coa 348

Sorong

Teluk Wondama

Biak-Numfor and

Supriori

Wamena

Jayapura

Keerom

Sarmi

Maladofok

Malaumkarta

Baingkete

Werabur

Mamisi

Kaprus

Yomakan

Yop

Soryar

Wadibu

Komboy

Yeruboy

Pudori

Wesaaput

Kama

Muliarma

Holkima

Arobodat

Lapua

Sebum

Soskotek

Ibub

Nembugresi

Bring

Pupehahu

Tablanusa

Kendate

Tablasufa

Banda

Skanto

Syaratesa

Holmafen

Liki

Warembori

317

312

134

361

117

275

241

134

370

340

234

456

340

2,972

1,017

957

1,579

790

1,282

239

249

249

243

298

501

570

412

668

624

411

216

848

374

383

Total 16 56 33,371

NGO responsible

Yayasan Almamater,

Merauke

Pengembagan

Masyarakat dan

Konservasi

Sumberdaya Alam

(PERDU), Manokwari

Yayasan Lingkungan

Hidup Humeibou

/Perkumpulan

Lingkungan Hidup

Papua (pt.

YALHIMO), Manokwari

Yayasan

Pengembangan

Masyarakat Desa

(YPMD), Jayapura

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1.3 Overview of the methods used

At the outset of the Community Needs and CSO studies, the four NGOs participated in a

workshop with the UNDP, where the purpose and methods for the studies were agreed.

Principal methods used in all studies were:

1) Focus group discussions with mixed participants;

2) In-depth interviews with key community figures and with members of CSOs;

3) Informal discussions and conversations with community members; and

4) Direct observations.

Although the studies involved gathering and analysing both primary and secondary data,

given the lack of reliable, relevant secondary data, the findings were overwhelmingly

comprised of original records and observations made during the studies. Certain of the

studies drew more heavily on kabupaten government statistical reports than others, however

at the village level, quantitative data was reported only in terms of the village profile

(demographics and infrastructure). As all the study reports provided descriptive data

gathered directly in villages, the summary provided in this document only presents

qualitative data.

The parts of the studies that focused on community needs involved using participatory rapid

appraisal (PRA) approaches, including mapping village space, facilities and natural

resources in transects and sketches, developing daily and seasonal calendars. The

Sustainable Livelihoods Analysis (SLA) Framework was used to focus parts of the studies

on existing community assets and vulnerabilities, in order to understand both constraints

and opportunities for development. In particular, the SLA Framework conceives of

community livelihoods in terms of social, human, natural, financial and physical capital. In

these studies, livelihood issues were approached with an emphasis on natural resources

and their use, education, health, infrastructure and community organisations.

In the study methods, accessing women’s perspectives was emphasised and these were

sought deliberately. Overall, of special

importance was listening to the real

voices, views, and perspectives of

community members themselves as

they recounted their experiences and

aspirations for the future. In this

context, communities and their

traditional beliefs, knowledge,

practices, and institutions were not

viewed as ‘sources of problems and

constraints’, but rather as sources of

durable, practical, and sustainable

solutions to daily livelihood issues and

to overall development practice.

The NGOs selected the kabupatens and villages for their studies based on diverse criteria

including ethnic and lifestyle characteristics, such as the differences in geographical position

and features (coastal and inland), the diversity of natural resources used, and the location

relative to transport (villages near to district towns and areas that are further from towns or

centres and are difficult to access). In all study areas, the majority of populations were

indigenous Papuans (‘orang asli Papua’).

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2. A Snapshot of Community Livelihoods

In all the NGO reports, across each of the areas, kabupatens and villages considered in the

Community Needs and CSO studies, there is an inherent but clear distinction between the

villages that are far from, or have great difficulty accessing, towns and centres, and those

that are close to district or kabupaten towns and centres. The understanding of descriptions

‘far’ and ‘near’ (or ‘close’) need not be quantified, as in many cases specific distances are

not known and are not particularly relevant. Rather, underpinning the understanding of a

village being far or close to towns is the issue of access and, along with this, the amounts of

time, effort and costs involved in reaching the nearest towns or centres of activity. For the

purpose of this document, arbitrary indicators of a village being far from town are the nonavailability

of infrastructure, including transport, and/or effort requiring more than half a day

travel. According to ‘Papua in Figures’ (2002), of the total 3,361 villages in Papua, 106 are

classified as ‘urban’. Of the 56 villages assessed by the NGOs, approximately half are

considered near and half are considered far from towns or centres of activity.

The findings from all areas reveal a consistent pattern of differences between villages near

and far from centres of activity, whether those centres are district (kecamatan) or kabupaten

towns, or the provincial capitals, and whether the villages are in coastal, inland, swamp or

mountain areas. As such, in this section of the summary document the findings about

community livelihoods and needs are considered based on those two broad distinctions. A

general picture of livelihoods and community assets in villages near (Section 2.1) and far

from towns (Section 2.2) is provided, followed by brief discussions of cases and exceptions

from the different areas covered in the assessment (Section 2.3).

Describing population composition according to livelihoods involves identifying the ways

people meet their consumption needs, for example from farming or gardening, fishing,

trading, offering services, being a government or private sector employee, wage labour and

so forth. However the Sustainable Livelihoods Analysis (SLA) Framework not only

conceives of community livelihoods in terms of the natural resources used for sustenance

and income, but also considers the financial and physical resources that are essential to the

ways communities can sustain themselves. This approach also considers communities’

social and human resources that are similarly integral to livelihoods, and include the social

systems, norms, networks, organisations, and levels of health and education that prevail

amongst a group of people. This holistic understanding of communities is the basis of the

following snapshots of community livelihoods in the villages far from and nearer to towns

and centres. Based on the SLA approach used in the assessments, common findings are

described under the headings of natural, physical, social and cultural, human and financial

capital.

2.1 Villages far from towns and centres

In general, the villagers in the NGO assessments live from a combination of

farming/gardening, gathering, fishing and hunting. Although a few households in most

villages receive a meager income for their services as government employees, such

households also rely mostly on subsistence activities like the rest of the villagers do. They

may have some small financial reserves, which they use to trade small-goods such as

sugar, instant noodles or flour from a home-based kiosk. Unlike in the villages closer to

towns or centres, where part of the population derives some cash income from labouring

activities and from trading, in the villages far from towns and centres the people are, for the

most part, entirely reliant on the natural resource base.

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2.1.1 Natural capital

The natural resources around villages far from towns and centres are generally still

abundant, in good condition and therefore provide for people’s basic needs such as food

and shelter. In these villages, people access natural resources in the areas where they

have traditional rights. Shared access to resources is usually negotiated between the

different clan and tribal owners or custodians that have traditional rights to particular areas.

However while in most cases at least one of these is abundant and in good condition, there

is no clear or guaranteed market and so local people do not exploit them commercially. In

many cases villagers wait for mobile traders to come to the village to purchase things from

them, so they have little or no control over the prices paid. They often lack knowledge about

market prices and do not have knowledge or skills to process, preserve or add value to their

raw materials in a way that is commercially attractive. Efforts to increase production have, in

many cases, been abandoned due to the lack of market access and opportunities. There

are examples from each area in Papua where established plantations are not being tended

or harvested because people do not receive sufficient economic benefit from doing so.

In some areas there is commercial exploitation of forestry and marine resources but the

benefits to local villagers are minimal. Access is often negotiated in terms of a single

compensation payment to the rights holders, or local people are engaged to exploit the

resource to supply to the trader or company but can be mislead about prices, regulations

and their rights. Other natural potential, for example related to tourism, is undeveloped, due

to a combination of lacking information, knowledge, skills and infrastructure. People’s

traditional knowledge and skills related to their natural resource are an integral part of their

existence, however they do not necessarily equip people to deal with commercial

exploitation and the resource management regimes that are required for commercial

extraction and use to be sustainable. No villages have received such advice or assistance

from government, and very few had contact with appropriate non-government organizations

to this end.

2.1.2 Physical capital

At least some infrastructure assets generally exist in the communities assessed, albeit in

extremely minimal quality and quantity. Some villages have received government housing

assistance, although only ever enough for a small proportion of the villagers to build homes

or upgrade their existing dwellings. Shared toilet/bathrooms (MCK), government buildings

such as a health post and village office also exist in most of the villages, however in general

they are in average to poor condition and tend not to be used. Health posts exist in most

villages, along with some form of health personnel, however their scope is generally limited

and the basic range of medicines is in short supply. School buildings are present in all the

villages assessed, but they do not all have the appropriate number of classrooms, most

have little or no supporting facilities and equipment and most do not have adequate

numbers of teachers. The schools are ‘SD’ (primary/elementary school) and the number of

teachers reported per village assessed varies from zero to four.

In the majority of villages, neither market places, nor communication (telephones) and clean

water supply systems exist. Communities use rivers, wells or rainwater depending on their

availability and the quality of the water, which typically varies with the seasons. Most

villages do not have appropriate power source: some have diesel generators but regularly

there is no supply of fuel or people cannot afford it; in other villages there is no power

infrastructure but there is potential for solar or other forms of power to work there. Existing

infrastructure such as roads and bridges tend to be in poor condition, and in some areas

there are no roads, so the villages are accessed by sea or air. In these villages, affordable

7


transportation does not exist and government workers, traders and religious organizations

thus have better, more frequent access out of the villages than other villagers.

The infrastructure that is built voluntarily by the community tends to be more used and

maintained than that which is built by outsiders. This happens because people are

responding to an identified need, they determine the location and style or dimensions, use

(at least some of) their own resources for the construction and so feel ownership of that

infrastructure. Every village assessed has a place of worship (usually a church), which in

many villages tends to be the only ‘public building’ that is used on a regular basis.

2.1.3 Social and cultural capital

In the villages far from towns or centres the village populations are highly homogenous, both

in terms of ethnic composition and in terms of wealth distribution. Where there are

outsiders or people from a different ethnic group, they are very few in number and have

usually married into the village. These people are sometimes the ones who have slightly

better education and more money than the majority, and may operate small kiosks or fill the

roles of teacher, midwife or clergy-person, although not necessarily.

Social and cultural capital in the villages far from towns or centres include their kinship ties

and the unity they display by working together when needed, whether as members of a

family, clan, ethnic group or church congregation. In many villages there are active groups

of people who cooperate for worship or community service, in the context of the church. In

every village there is at least one cultural organisation or customary institution (‘lembaga

adat’) and the role of adat is still central in guiding peoples’ lives, from how they think, to

where they live, how they exist in the environment and how they relate to other people.

There are a range of practices, as well as objects, that represent cultural capital throughout

the villages, however in many cases they are not well recognised as such by the local

people.

In most villages far from town there is some degree of formal village government, in that

positions of village head, secretary and so forth are known, however in most villages people

refer more to the leaders who have authority within the cultural system and the church

congregation. The village government institution, BAPERKAM and other formal

government-initiated organisations such as the family welfare group PPK exist in most

villages in name, but the degree to which they are functional or important depends greatly

on the cultural position and personalities of those involved, and of course on the particular

politics of any given village.

8


The situation concerning the status of women is similar in some regards. There is an

entrenched norm of male domination in the majority of cultures in Papua: Papuan women

have limited voice in the public sphere; generally they bear a disproptionate amount of the

burden in maintaining households; they have poorer access to education and have less

rights to inheritance in many adat systems. At the same time, the actual relations between

individuals of different genders can depend greatly on personalities, and there are some

examples where gender differences are respected and genders are perceived as equally

important. In all the villages assessed, there have been almost no programs or activities

specifically for women, although the women are very keen to gain knowledge and skills that

might help them improve their family’s situation.

In villages where the same individuals are in both cultural, government and/or church

leadership roles, there is usually harmony and consensus on issues and their resolution,

although the rules and style of issue resolution varies greatly between ethnic groups. In

other situations, people tend to refer to the person and the role or function that is most

relevant to the issue. For example, a land rights complaint is usually seen as within the

domain of adat, and so adat leaders are used to resolve it. However to obtain an identity

card, the village head is consulted.

2.1.4 Human capital

On average, people in villages far from towns have relatively poor health. Respiratory

complaints, skin infections, gastrointestinal problems and poor nutrition are common in all

areas, whereas malaria is endemic everywhere other than the mountains, where there are

cases but it is not widespread. In some areas there are high rates of sexually transmitted

diseases and in most places, awareness of preventative behaviours for all kinds of diseases

is low. In certain village populations there is a marked difference in gender ratio, with

notably more males than females, although no explanation for this is offered in the studies.

In all the villages far from town, people make use of traditional health care providers and

also treat themselves. They rely heavily on traditional medicines, which they can access

directly or obtain without needing contact with the formal system. For these villages, the

formal health care services are difficult to access and is unfamiliar.

The low productivity in several of the assessment locations is related to the standard of

health that people experience. Health factors such as nutrition are fundamental to human

productivity, for example in terms of childrens’ strength and capacity to benefit from learning

at school and beyond. On average the level of formal education in the village communities

is elementary/primary (‘Sekolah Dasar’/SD). Many children do not attend school regularly

because of the lack of teachers, facilities, family finances and in some cases, to do with

culture. Many youths do not continue to intermediate school (SMP or SLTP) because of the

distance and costs involved in accessing the district (or kabupaten) town where the next

level of schooling is available. In a small number of villages parents’ attitudes toward formal

education is not conducive, not so much because they do not want their children educated,

but because they do not understand their role in relation to the formal system. School

committees for example do not exist in the villages far from towns, and parents are given

little or no guidance, for example in terms of homework supervision. In some villages there

are high school and even university graduates that could be used to improve basic

education. None of the government’s programs for school dropouts or adult education

services exist in the villages far from towns and centres.

Apart from formal education, communities’ informal education is very important in terms of

culture and is essential in the context of natural resource use and survival. Knowledge and

9


expertise passed from generation to generation include skills such as making bags, canoes,

building houses and buildings, hunting and traditional medicines. NGOs noted that despite

the importance of these skills and knowledge, outsiders and townsfolk in particular often

assume the villagers know nothing; they even refer to them as stupid (‘bodoh’). Their expert

knowledge of the environment and its sustainable, effective and efficient use over centuries

are not acknowledged, however this is an important human asset upon which to build.

Similarly, although the village populations do not have trade certificates, they usually

possess certain skills related to construction, cooking, music and so forth, and in some

villages there are people with skills in basic electronics or mechanics, driving, and

accounting, apart from the people who are trained (formally or informally) as midwives,

church workers and teachers.

2.1.5 Financial capital

The main source of financial capital in villages far from towns is external assistance,

comprising village development funds and OTSUS funds. As noted in relation to natural

capital, there is income potential in the natural resource base, however in most cases this is

not being exploited, or is exploited but not with significant benefit to the community. Apart

from having extremely limited incomes and savings, in most cases community access to

credit or loans is limited and not well understood. Banks and credit agencies are not used,

partially due to the long distance between villages and towns where they exist, but also

because most people in the villages far from towns consider banks and such institutions as

places for people with a lot of money. They have never considered using formal financial

institutions.

At the same time however, many of the communities have a long tradition of saving, as

gathering and relaying bride wealth (‘mas kawin’) has high cultural importance. Bride wealth

can be collected in many forms, including money, but essentially requires concerted effort to

gather and save over time, as well as requiring complex accounting of contributions, debts

and repayments. Many communities also have habits of saving for feasts, festivals and also

for church activites, including for example their savings and other resources mobilised for

the construction of the church.

The lack of guidance for village communities

to see these parallels, and to recognise the

meaning and benefits of saving are primarily

why financial resources are not well

managed. Other important reasons include

the lack of ownership and understanding

about the purpose of external assistance, and

the lack of any technical assistance and

guidance that is offered to communities when

‘government funds’ (including OTSUS) are

distributed. Some villages are not able to

differentiate between sources of funding, if

their village receives it, and the money from

government coffers that does arrive is often

divided amongst households and thus perceived simply as income. In many villages, such

‘assistance’ is taken for granted and in most villages it has not been used for any collective

purpose but rather is creating a form of dependency.

10


2.2 Villages close to towns and centres

The following summary or snapshot of livelihoods in villages close to towns and centres

assumes the reader’s familiarity with the situation in villages further from town, which is

referred to for comparison. Better description of the situation in isolated villages can be

found in the previous section (2.1). Similarly, the full NGO reports should be accessed for

detailed information about the district and kabupaten centres that are near the villages

whose livelihoods are discussed below.

2.2.1 Natural capital

Unlike in the villages further from towns where people’s livelihood activities

(farming/gardening, gathering, fishing and hunting) produce food and materials that they use

directly, in the villages closer to towns people rely on nature for their own, direct use but also

use the surrounding natural resources to derive incomes. Selling garden, fishing, hunting

and forest produce (typically raw materials such as timber, firewood, edible leaves) provides

income with which consumables are purchased and routine expenses such as education

and health care are paid.

Due to the greater population density, the demand for products and the increasingly

consumptive habits of village populations near towns and centres, the natural resource base

that people rely on is coming under pressure. The quantity and quality of resources that can

be exploited by local people is reducing and it is becoming harder for such populations to

meet their subsistence needs. For example, firewood, which is used for cooking and boiling

water, is becoming scarce in the villages nearer to towns, as it is used by the local people,

as well as being collected and sold to others. Apart from firewood use being part of some

people’s cultural norms their incomes, from this and other sources, are rarely sufficient to

purchase kerosene or other sources of power needed for drinking water and cooking.

Increased pressure on natural resources is causing increased examples of tension between

people over resources. Land claims and contested ownership status are increasingly

common and in some areas people are falsely using cultural or ‘adat’ rules to seek

compensation or make deals with outsiders. The incidence and potential for conflict in these

areas is therefore increasing. For the villages close to towns, the declining natural capital

relates to negative social and cultural transformations, and people are economically

vulnerable.

2.2.2 Physical capital

Villages closer to towns have better access to infrastructure than the villages further away,

although the infrastructure is often not in the village itself but rather in the nearby town

centre. In the towns or centres, the public infrastructure is generally better in quality and

quantity, as compared to what is provided in villages further away. In particular, having

roads and access to transport means greater use of education facilities (particularly middle

school (SMP, SLTP) and above), and of market places. People also have better access to

health services, not only by way of the community health centre (Puskesmas) and hospitals,

but also in terms of the village-level services such as integrated health service (Posyandu),

which is meant to be run or attended by Puskesmas staff and therefore almost never

happens in the villages far from towns.

In the villages close to towns, some housing is of a healthier standard, presumably because

of the availability of materials and ideas, however there are not clean water supplies and

only in some cases is there power.

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2.2.3 Social and cultural capital

In the villages close to towns or centres the village populations are heterogeneous, with

greater numbers of inter-ethnic marriages and more residents from other ethnic groups than

is found in the villages further from towns. The populations are also economically

heterogeneous, as there are a wider range of employment options and a higher number of

occupations including wage labouring and trading or business of various types.

Social and cultural capital in the villages nearer to towns is, in essence, of the same type as

in the other villages but different in its nature and quality. Although people have kinship and

other ties, they also have broader networks with the different people they come into contact

with in town. There are also church groups and cultural organisations or customary

institutions (‘lembaga adat’), but people’s participation in and regard for these tends to be

weaker in the villages nearer to town. In many of the villages assessed, adat is of less

central importance in guiding peoples’ lives, and the ties developed within and between

families over the generations are beginning to weaken. Adat history, rules and values are

starting to be abandoned and replaced with those of outside cultures. Cases of social

jealousy, suspicion, mistrust and politicking, including the false use of ‘adat’ to claim

traditional resource rights are occurring, and leaders that traditionally had authority within

the village are increasingly challenged or ignored by the villagers.

As in the villages further away, closer to town there are usually also village government

institutions, such as BAPERKAM and the family welfare group PPK, but the degree to which

they are functional or important depends greatly on the cultural position and personalities of

those involved, and of course on the particular politics of any given village. Similarly the

situation regarding women varies from case to case. In some situations women in villages

closer to towns have more leverage in the family and village as they have cash incomes

because of their access to market, but in general the cultural postion of women in society is

not different in the villages that are near or far from towns.

2.2.4 Human capital

Health levels in the villages closer to towns are slightly better than in the villages further

away, although the health complaints are the same and people continue to prefer traditional

remedies to modern cures that cost money. The difference is that people have access to

health services, so have options provided they can afford it. At the same time however,

some villagers explained that they had been denied treatment in the distict and kabupaten

centres. Closer to towns, people are neverthless more likely to have the option of attending

Posyandu and also have greater chance of accessing or being accessed by a civil society

organisation providing a service. The other difference is that people have wider access to

information in the villages closer to towns, even if that access remains largely informal.

Weak human resources in several of the assessment locations is related to the standard of

health that people experience. Health factors such as nutrition are fundamental to human

resource quality, for example in terms of childrens’ strength and capacity to benefit from

learning at school and beyond. Formal education levels amongst children and youth in the

villages closer to town are generally better than in the villages further away. The access to

schools with teachers and the access to higher levels of education are greater, as many

district towns at least have an intermediate school (SMP/SLTP). Adults’ access to education

and training remains limited in the villages nearer to towns.

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2.2.5 Financial capital

Although people have greater access to banks and credit institutions in the villages near

towns or centres, they do not have a tradition of saving in formal institutions and usually do

not have formal assets against which they can obtain loans. The availability of financial

services to people in villages closer to towns is greater in theory, however in reality the use

of these services is not noticeably greater

than in the more isolated villages. Closer to

towns people tend to have greater material

needs and desires, such that incomes tend

to be spent on education, and on nonproductive

consumable items such as

televisions, clothing and non-traditional

foodstuffs. Information on the use of

village development funds, including

OTSUS allocations, in villages near to

towns is inadquate to draw on for the

purpose of summarising a profile of

livelihoods in those areas.

2.3 Cases and exceptions, highlighting differences between areas

The summaries of community livelihoods in villages far from and nearer to towns or centres

draw on the common features reported across all areas assessed by the four NGOs in the

Community Needs and CSO studies. In addition to the commonalities, there are some

particular cases and exceptions that stand out in the different reports. These examples

highlight not only some of the broad differences between areas of Papua, but also the

variation in individual communities’ circumstances and needs. Selected examples of these

are presented below.

2.3.1 South-southeastern Papua

One of the villages assessed, Kampung Buetkuar in Asmat kabupaten, is extremely

isolated, at 3 to 8 hours motorboat time from the district town of Ayam and 5-10 hours from

the Kabupaten capital Agats. The population comprises 60 households, with 124 men and

104 women, and people from two clans of the Asmat tribe and people from Bugis and

Makassar tribes, Jawa and parts of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) province. These outsiders

have lived in the village for around 7 years and are mostly traders. Although there are many

high quality timber types available in the area, the villagers have no infrastructure for

transporting them to markets and do not exploit them.

The situation in Buetkuar village is quite unique as the high value commodity is uncommon

and its effect in the community is wide reaching. Since 1999, they have become involved in

trading frankincense or ‘gaharu’ wood and this has become the sole source of family

incomes. The price for frankincense is very high and the high cash incomes have led to

changes in community behaviour, to a highly consumptive lifestyle. The staple foods –

sago, bananas and tubers – are being replaced with rice and canned foods, as people are

earning very high incomes (10-50 million rupiah). With limited knowledge about how to

manage their money sustainably, people are tending not to invest it productively, spending it

on whatever they want and whatever the traders supply, until it is all gone and they must

13


wait for the following season to collect frankincense again. Their dependence on this

resource is very high and dominates the entire community’s activities.

The majority of the Buetkuar villagers have very low education and cannot read, write or

count. Motivation for education amongst the young generation is very low and parents are

not supportive of it. People’s skills are also low as there have been very few and infrequent

visits or efforts by the government to develop the community. No semi-formal institutions

operate in the village, as all families are busily involved in searching for frankincense.

Classes have started to run in the primary school over the last six months, as there is now

one teacher. Only the traders have transport facilities and its use by the villagers is very

limited (Almamater report, 2005).

In another village, Kampung Poo in Merauke Kabupaten, the population is comprised of 86

households of 189 males and 202 females, nearly all from the Marind-Yeinan tribe. The

village is far inland, approximately 150kms from Merauke, and was established by Catholic

missionaries in 1930. It can be accessed by river and road, although the road is badly

damaged and often impassable in the wet season, and many of the bridges are in bad

repair. People have seasonal incomes from some river and forest products, including timber

and some medicines that are in demand, however they are only able to sell to mobile

traders. Education levels are generally very low, however recently many younger people

have been able to continue their education to middle and high school level by traveling to

transmigration areas. Village institutions are somewhat active and services such as health

and education are working well, as the lack of teachers has been responded to by engaging

local high-school graduates as additional teaching staff for the primary school. This is the

only village in the assessments where such an initiative has been noted (Almamater report,

2005).

2.3.2 Central highlands

In the central highlands villages in Wamena Kabupaten, gender relations are seen by

outsiders as highly skewed to the detriment of women. As in many Papuan cultures, women

have no voice in adat matters, have high workloads compared to men, and generally only

have skills that enable them to work in the home and gardens, raising children, tending pigs

and growing vegetables. Although these are essential activities and the roles filled by

women are clearly critical for the survival of their families and communities, there is little

information available as to how these women themselves perceive and experience gender

relations in their lives. Women appear to be seen and treated as objects owned by the men

who have ‘paid’ for their wives – an understanding of bridewealth that clearly differs from

cultures in some parts of Papua where bridewealth is also part of adat. One tradition in the

central highlands stands out, as an example of practices that may subordinate women in

local cultures is the “mawe” festival, a kind of mass marriage that is sometimes referred to

as a “sex fest”. As it is held at infrequent intervals,

many parents reportedly enlist their daughters in the

festival activities at a young age and against their will

(YPMD report, 2005). Such cultural practices have

clear health, education and rights implications, but

most importantly this example shows the need for

better understanding of local cultural norms and in

particular, for engaging with women who may be

marginalized within their own communities.

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2.3.3 Cenderawasih Bay and Biak-Supriori

Teluk Wondama is a newly formed kabupaten in the Cenderawasih Bay. More than half the

area is lowland/coastal habitat, but there are significant mountain areas as well. Teluk

Wondama has a high number of productive natural assets, but poor infrastructure and in

particular, no transport for accessing markets mean that people are not able to benefit from

them. Numerous traders from Manokwari make the journey to Teluk Wondama to purchase

high value commodities at low prices. In Kampung Mamisi, a jetty/wharf has been built,

which is very important for people to be able to transport their goods out of the village. It is

difficult for small boats to harbour at this coastal village because there are strong currents

and high winds. Unfortunately the design and construction of the jetty/wharf has not taken

this into consideration and it is still very difficult for boats to land there. People are very

disappointed about this (YALHIMO report). This case is particularly illustrative of examples

from around Papua where some villages or groups recognize the problems they are facing

and find ‘solutions’, only to have those ‘solutions’ fail because of inadequate or inappropriate

technical assistance being available to them.

Also in Teluk Wondama Kabupaten, there is an exception related to the position of women

in Papuan societies. The people of the Wamesa ethnic group divide work within the

household according to their view that women should be revered and valued. A regard for

women is part of their worldview that has been passed from elders to grandchildren. They

see women in symbolic terms, as the Bird of Paradise, which must be protected and cared

for. In the Wamesa adat system, the Bird of Paradise is usually worn as headdress by a

man of authority and standing in the community. Women, like the Bird of Paradise, are to

be regarded highly. The association between a symbol of status and women in this case is

passed from generation to generation (YALHIMO report, 2005).

In coastal and hinterland villages from Biak to Numfor and Supriori, the kinship relations

amongst people, along with their cultural system and norms, all have a similar function in

holding communities together. The rules and norms that have been known for generations

are still maintained, as evidenced in the ways people work together - both within the ethnic

group, between clans and with outsiders. This relatively united sense of a shared and

valued culture guides people in their daily lives. People still defer to the adat head and the

elders or other people who have been appointed as ‘Mananwir Mnur’ within the village.

These adat leaders have great influence in regulating daily life, for example in relation to the

ownership of traditional lands and decision-making processes about access to and use of

natural resources. In these villages, people are not yet influenced by the outsider norm of

selling and buying land, as all land is considered to have traditional, enduring owners and

ancestral history (YALHIMO report, 2005). While

this represents the norm in societies around

Papua traditionally, it is somewhat of an

exception in the current era, as many

communities assessed in the Community Needs

and CSO studies around Papua have begun to

change or ignore their adat rules, of which

resource access and ownership patterns are a

central part. Such changes occur, amongst

other things, as a result of the presence of

Christianity, formal education and migrants or

outsiders, including business people and

companies that quickly impact on the traditional

systems in place.

15


Also in Biak and unlike elsewhere in Papua, people generally do not accept the

institutionalisation of adat through the formation of customary people’s institutions (Lembaga

Masyarakat Adat – LMA). Although LMAs have been forming throughout the different adat

groups around Papua, especially since the second Papua People’s Congress of 2000, Biak

villagers feel that their adat has long been organized with traditional institutional

arrangements based on clans. Biak adat is, by nature, dynamic such that the people there

feel that they do not need to have ‘permanent’ institutions, or that to do so may be

inappropriate in their context (YALHIMO report, 2005).

2.3.4 The Bird’s Head and southwestern area

Sorong is one area where many have become dependent on the government and outsiders

through the introduction of rice. Apart from oil, fisheries and forestry account for most of the

area’s productive activities. People traditionally harvested and ate sago, and did not grow

rice. As eating rice has become a norm, people depend on government supplies from

Sulawesi, as well as on traders for a basic food. The same is happening in many parts of

Papua, but in Sorong it appears most entrenched and unlikely to be reversed (YALHIMO

report, 2005).

In Kampung Kaburbur in Fakfak, people are literate as the church (through YPK, a

Protestant church foundation) has run a “people’s school” (Sekolah Rakyat) in the

neighbouring village since Dutch times. People in Kampung Kaburbur have a mostly

subsistent, agricultural existence, with food gardens and nutmeg plantations that they tend

and harvest. They also fish, but to meet their own consumption needs rather than to

generate income. They have no organization to help them succeed economically and

according to the village elders, since early times they have been in a weak position because

of marketing problems. The people sell their nutmeg to Fakfak traders who monopolise the

prices. What stands out in the example of these villages is that Karburbur people have a

strong desire to improve their situation and have taken action to that end. They tried to form

a Nutmeg Farmers Association in order to strengthen their position and improve their

incomes, and some villagers traveled to Surabaya to contact buyers. This did not yield the

expected results, as they found that the buyers there had been misled by the Fakfak

middlemen who had long-established trading relationships, such that the Surabaya buyers

would not enter into deals with the indigenous producers from Papua (Perdu report, 2005).

2.3.5 Northern areas

In several villages in the northern areas of Papua, for example in non-urban areas Jayapura

kabupaten, there are functioning community-based groups. For example in Kampung Bring,

Kampung Nembu Gresi, Kampung Ibub and Kampung Pupehabu there are groups of

women who act collectively in agriculture, small credit cooperatives, and self-organise for

health and church activities. In the same villages, youth groups are active as part of the

village community, with activities in sport, arts, worship, gardening and cooperatives. (YPMD

report, 2005). In these villages, the church has a long established presence, distance to

towns and centres can be far but the infrastructure and access is better than in similarly

located villages in other parts of Papua, and an NGO has been active providing support and

technical assistance for several years. These factors all contribute to the ways people are

able to work together to better themselves.

16


3. Summary of findings by ‘sector’ – A Snapshot of infrastructure, health and

education in the villages assessed

Summaries of findings related to infrastructure, health and education are compiled from the

descriptions of physical and human capital in the villages far from and near towns (sections

2.1 and 2.2). Summary tables are included to highlight the key, common findings. As the

data on these topics is presented differently in each of the four NGO reports, quanitified

summaries of sectoral issues across all the studies are not feasible. At the same time

however, within the NGO reports’ individual village profiles there are quantitative data

relating to the infrastructural assets related to health, eduction and other aspects of

community life (such as churches, village government buildings, markets). In some reports

similar data is summarised for the district and/or kabupaten.

3.1 A Snapshot of infrastructure issues at community level

In the villages far from towns or centres, at least some infrastructure assets generally exist

in the communities assessed, albeit in extremely minimal quality and quantity. Some

villages have received government housing assistance, although only ever enough for a

small proportion of the villagers to build homes or upgrade their existing dwellings. Shared

toilet/bathrooms (MCK), government buildings such as a health post and village office also

exist in most of the villages, however in general they are in average to poor condition and

tend not to be used. Health posts exist in most villages, along with some form of health

personnel, however their scope is generally limited and the basic range of medicines is in

short supply. School buildings are present in all the villages assessed, but they do not all

have the appropriate number of classrooms, most have little or no supporting facilities and

equipment and most do not have adequate numbers of teachers. The schools are ‘SD’

(primary/elementary school) and the number of teachers reported per village assessed

varies from zero to four.

In the majority of villages, neither market places, nor communication (telephones) and clean

water supply systems exist. Communities use rivers, wells or rainwater depending on their

availability and the quality of the water, which typically varies with the seasons. Most

villages do not have appropriate power source:

some have diesel generators but regularly there

is no supply of fuel or people cannot afford it; in

other villages there is no power infrastructure but

there is potential for solar or other forms of power

to work there. Existing infrastructure such as

roads and bridges tend to be in poor condition,

and in some areas there are no roads, so the

villages are accessed by sea or air. In these

villages, affordable transportation does not exist

and government workers, traders and religious

organizations thus have better, more frequent

access out of the villages than other villagers.

The infrastructure that is built voluntarily by the community tends to be more used and

maintained than that which is built by outsiders. This happens because people are

responding to an identified need, they determine the location and style or dimensions, use

(at least some of) their own resources for the construction and so feel ownership of that

infrastructure. Every village assessed has a place of worship (usually a church), which in

many villages tends to be the only ‘public building’ that is used on a regular basis. Although

17


not emphasized in all NGO reports, there are also other examples of community assets that

are locally constructed, such as customary buildings or community houses (‘rumah adat’),

wells, canoes, jetties/piers and watchtowers.

Villages closer to towns have better access to infrastructure than the villages further away,

although the infrastructure is often not in the village itself but rather in the nearby town

centre. In the towns or centres, the public infrastructure is generally better in quality and

quantity, as compared to what is provided in villages further away. In particular, having

roads and access to transport means greater use of education facilities (particularly middle

school (SMP, SLTP, and above), and of market places. People also have better access to

health services, not only by way of the community health centre (Puskesmas) and hospitals,

but also in terms of the village-level services such as integrated health service (Posyandu),

which is meant to be run or attended by Puskesmas staff and therefore almost never

happens in the villages far from towns.

In the villages close to towns, some housing is of a healthier standard, presumably because

of the availability of materials and ideas, however there are not clean water supplies and

only in some cases is there power.

Table 2.

Key infrastructure problems – an overview of common findings

Aspect Common findings from the villages assessed

Facilities • Some form of physical infrastructure other than housing exists

in all villages assessed.

• Schools and health posts are poorly constructed and

maintained.

• Clean water supplies generally do not exist.

• Power supplies exist in many villages near town and only few

villages far from towns. These are usually small generators, not

PLN, and are often inappropriate or unsustainable.

• Poor infrastructure is a major deterrent for government service

providers to access or stay in villages.

Funding • Most infrastructure is ‘delivered’ from outside, paid for from

government funds

• Examples of communities building or maintaining such

infrastructure are rare

Ownership • Most infrastructure is developed in ways that do not engage the

communities

• People use their own resources to construct homes and

churches

Needs • Affordable and reliable access to towns is the main priority

• Better quality, equipped health and education facilities

• Assessed areas that appear the worst off in terms of

infrastructure are in the south (Kabupaten Asmat, Bouven

Digoel, Mappi and parts of Merauke), around Cenderawasih

Bay (Kabupaten Teluk Wondama), parts of Kabupaten Sorong

and parts of Kabupaten Wamena

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3.2 A Snapshot of healthcare issues at community level

On average, people in villages far from towns have

relatively poor health. Respiratory complaints, skin

infections, gastrointestinal problems and poor nutrition

are common in all areas, whereas malaria is endemic

everywhere other than the mountains. In some areas

there are high rates of sexually transmitted disease

and in most places, awareness of preventative

behaviours for all kinds of diseases is low. In certain

village populations there is a marked difference in

gender ratio, with notably more males than females,

although no explanation for this is offered in the

studies. In all the villages far from town, people make use of traditional health care

providers and also treat themselves. They rely heavily on traditional medicines, which they

can access directly or obtain without needing contact with the formal system. For these

villages, the formal health care services are difficult to access and are unfamiliar.

Health levels in the villages closer to towns are slightly better than in the villages further

away, although the health complaints are the same and people continue to prefer traditional

remedies to modern cures that cost money. The difference is that people have access to

health services, so have options if they can afford it. At the same time however, some

villagers explained that they had been denied treatment in the distict and kabupaten centres.

Closer to towns, people are neverthless more likely to have the option of attending

Posyandu and also have greater chance of accessing or being accessed by a civil society

organisation providing a service. The other difference is that people have wider access to

information in the villages closer to towns, even if that access remains largely informal.

Table 3.

Key health service problems – an overview of common findings

Aspect Common findings from the villages assessed

Issues • Malaria is widespread but only recognized as a health problem

by people in some villages

• Sanitation-related illnesses are very common

• High-risk behaviours, low education and awareness mean

some groups are at high risk of contracting HIV/AIDs

• TB was not mentioned in any of the reports, although

respiratory infections were

Facilities • All villages assessed had some form of health infrastructure,

but in many cases it is not used

• Village health posts have limited or no medicine and equipment

• Posyandu and other village-level government programs are not

operational in general

Funding • Most health infrastructure is ‘delivered’ from outside, paid for

from government funds

• Health personnel are government funded; people are required

to pay for medicines

Ownership • Most people consult traditional practitioners and use their own

remedies

Needs • Access to reliable, preventative and curative health care

services

• Clean water and environmental sanitation

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3.3 A Snapshot of formal education issues at community level

On average the level of formal education in the village communities is elementary/primary

(‘Sekolah Dasar’/SD). Many children in villages far from towns and centres do not attend

school regularly because of the lack of teachers, facilities, family finances and, in some

cases, for reasons to do with culture. Many youths do not continue to intermediate school

(SMP or SLTP) because of the distance and costs involved in accessing the district (or

kabupaten) town where the next level of schooling is available. In a small number of

villages parents’ attitudes toward formal education is not conducive, not so much because

they do not want their children educated, but because they do not understand their role in

relation to the formal system. School committees for example do not exist in the villages far

from towns, and parents are given little or no guidance, for example in terms of homework

supervision. In some villages there are high school and even university graduates that

could be used to improve basic education. None of the government’s programs for school

dropouts or adult education services exist in the villages far from towns and centres.

Formal education levels amongst children and youth in the villages closer to towns are

generally better than in the villages further away. The access to schools with teachers and

the access to higher levels of education are greater, as many district towns at least have an

intermediate school (SMP/SLTP). Adults’ access to education and training remains limited in

the villages nearer to towns.

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Table 4.

Key formal education problems – an overview of common findings

Aspect

Education

levels

Facilities and

services

Common findings from the villages assessed

In most villages the average education level is

primary/elementary (SD)

In most villages parents are not involved in the school or in

formal education of their children

• Literacy varies, both between children and adults and from

village to village

In some villages families do not encourage children to attend

school – some have other priority economic/productive

activities; some do not have a culture or history of formal

education

In most villages families very much want better education for

their children and lament this is not happening

• There are almost no vocational or further education

opportunities for school drop outs and other groups such as

women

• All villages assessed had primary/elementary (SD) school

buildings with varying numbers of classrooms

• There is rarely a full cohort of teachers present, working in the

village schools

• Some villages have schools but no teachers or no books

• Many districts do not have middle schools

Funding • Some infrastructure is ‘delivered’ from outside, paid for from

government funds

• Many villages have YPK, YPPK or YPPGI (church) schools but

how these are funded was not discussed in the reports

Ownership • Degrees of community ‘ownership’ of schools vary

Needs • Reliable presence of teachers working in the schools

• Better engagement of parents in the school system

• Access to the next level of education, in most cases middle

school or high school

3.4 Other issues raised

In addition to the abovementioned issues about how infrastructure and basic education and

health services are provided to village populations, and how current government processes

and programs do not generally translate to feelings of ownership or improved livelihoods,

amid the NGOs’ analyses of community livelihoods, the issue of ‘pendampingan’ is raised

several times. ‘Pendampingan’ is a term that is very popular amongst government and civil

society actors in Papua alike and merits some consideration in this summary document. It

literally means ‘accompaniment’ and refers variously to technical assistance, extension,

support or guidance. An important nuance, however, to the way that the NGOs use the term

is the idea of companionship, partnering or a kind of ‘mutual presence’. The quality of

‘pendampingan’ appears critical to the success of any type of activity or intervention in the

villages assessed.

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All the NGOs noted that in the villages that have had ‘pendampingan’ from CSO have some

motivation to develop and are able to think more critically about their needs than the villages

that have had no CSO guidance or support. However the programs or efforts made by

CSOs have not lead to changes in the people’s actual conditions, in particular their

economic conditions, because the ‘pendampingan’ was insufficiently long. In general, the

guidance/technical assistance provided by CSOs is only one year because that is the

donors’ funding period. Almamater (2005) suggested that based on their experiences,

technical assistance and programs would be more effective if implemented over a three to

five year period: “the community and target groups will become self-supporting if this need

for longer assistance is understood from the outset, and the planning, implementation

phases work on that timeframe to achieve sustainable increased productivity and activities”.

In the few villages assessed that

had ever had some form of

government program, the NGOs

also explained that they have all

failed, also due to lack of any

‘pendampingan’. They noted that

such activities also fail because

they are not based on a serious

assessment of community

livelihoods and macro conditions,

or only address one aspect of a

problem, do not respond to

community priorities and are not

well integrated with local social

and cultural systems. Examples from the villages assessed include cocoa seedlings being

delivered with little or no instruction, let alone demonstration, training or support for

production and marketing (PERDU report, 2005); a number of rainwater tanks being

delivered to a village without any clarification of why that number was chosen or how

households were supposed to use and maintain them (Almamater report, 2005); condoms

being distributed but no continuous suppliers involved such that once they were used people

reverted to not using them (YPMD report, 2005); and villages receiving diesel generators but

no regular or affordable fuel supplies on which to run them (YALHIMO report, 2005).

Analyzing the impacts of external assistance, YALHIMO, PERDU and YPMD all take issue

with the form of ‘aid’ that has reduced communities’ creativity and created dependency.

Although many local people have a wealth of natural resources available to them, many are

no longer able to put them to optimal use to meet their daily needs. Examples that the

NGOs provide from their assessments are the use of OTSUS and Bangdes funds which,

although relatively large amounts, are not generally put to productive use or yield any

sustained benefits for communities. In certain villages these funds have simply been

divided evenly between the heads of households such that the funds are perceived as

routine income. The tendency for such aid to be given as cash, without technical assistance

or supervision, has lead to a situation where some local people just sit and wait for the next

round of assistance and do not endeavour to improve their lot through independent or

voluntary effort. Such dependence is considered by the NGOs as an extremely serious

impact that must be recognized and addressed as a lesson, so that future assistance works

on a model of constructive cooperation for village development.

Embedded in the NGO reports are also commentaries on the recent formation of new

administrative areas (‘pemekaran kabupaten baru’). Notwithstanding some general analysis

22


of structural, political and economic factors that contribute to poverty in the villages

assessed, most of the NGO reports imply that the primary reason the villages have such

poor infrastructure and services is because they have been geographically far from the

administrative centres of power. It is in the kabupaten centres, and to a far less extent the

district centres, that there are better facilities and services, including markets, and that

decisions are made and financial opportunities exist. They thus assume that with

‘pemekaran’ creating more such centres, all these things will be brought closer to the

villages and their conditions will begin to improve. At the same time, however, some of the

NGO reports recognize that for such improvements to materialize, a degree of political will,

policy conditions and human resources are required. They consider that the same potential

improvements could have been achieved from the existing (old) kabupatens, and perceive

the creation of new centres as a source of further tension and unhealthy competition being

forced through to the village level. The livelihood pressures that villages close to towns and

centres are experiencing may be expected to spread to the villages that to date, can still

maintain their cultures and subsist from a healthy and abundant natural environment.

The final point that stands out amongst the analyses of livelihood issues around Papua is

local peoples’ capacity and in particular, the abilities of people who work in service roles

such as teachers, health workers, village leaders and administrators, as well as field-level

sectoral agency personnel. In general, there is a need for sustained effort to improve their

skills. In all the areas assessed, it appears that efforts or investment in human resource

development is required, especially to develop local facilitators and community organizers,

teachers, and skilled persons who can develop their own villages and communities.

4. A Snapshot of civil society - summary of findings on CSOs

Civil society organizations (CSOs) were profiled by the four NGOs at the kabupaten level as

well as at the village level in order to understand their existence and how their roles are

actually carried out in Papua. Although the situation varies from area to area, there are

general findings about the existence and capacities of different types of CSOs that were

reported by each of the NGOs. These findings are summarized below.

4.1 General profile

There are different versions of the history of civil society in Papua, depending amongst other

things on how civil society is defined and from what angle their activities are understood.

The YPMD report (2005) includes a detailed discussion of the phases of development of an

active civil society in Papua and provides an interesting context for understanding the

present profile of CSOs. The other NGO reports provide similar background information

particular to their study areas. The PERDU report (2005) refers to a number of surveys of

CSOs that have been conducted in the past, and these also show the dynamism of civil

society in Papua.

CSOs/CBOs identified in the Community Livelihoods and CSO studies fall into three main

categories:

• Customary peoples’ institutions, which are the genuine grassroots/community-based

organizations existing at the village, sub-district or kabupaten level (usually at a

combination of these);

• Religious-based organizations, which work in all geographical areas including some

remote locations that others do not reach; and

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• Non-government organisations (NGOs), which are mostly based in urban /

established kabupaten centres and in Jayapura.

Although a number of other organizations exist, for example amongst migrants sharing a

common ethnicity, religion or business interest, however these types of organisations are

not considered ‘main actors’ in civil society and were not assessed in the Community Needs

and CSO studies. The media is an important actor in civil society, however its role in Papua

has yet to be assessed. In relation to the media, the NGO reports on Community Needs

and CSO only mention that people have very limited access to information.

The customary peoples’ organizations are relatively recent phenomena, with many forming

formally since the year 2000. They are ethnic-based organizations found amongst the

indigenous population and have two main forms: LMA and DA/DMA. Technically the LMA

(Lembaga Musyawarah Adat) was a construct of the Suharto/New Order era, and to some

extent it has a dark history. However the LMA (Lembaga Masyarakat Adat) is being reconstructed

by local people for their own purposes. The use of the terms DA and DMA

(Dewan Adat/Dewan Masyarkat Adat), instead of LMA, is a reflection of some groups’ desire

to differentiate their customary peoples’ organizations from the original concept of LMA, as

defined by the government. In the NGO reports on Community Needs and CSO, these

organizations are mostly referred to as Lembaga Adat (LA). They were reported as existing

in nearly every village assessed.

Apart from dealing with interpersonal issues that people want resolved through customary

law, the LMA/DA/DMA are focused on issues of natural resource access, use and

compensation. Typical expressions of their purpose and mission are: “to fight for the rights

of the indigenous people to be acknowledged and supported by government…to manage

government assistance, both for ethnic festivals and planning social, cultural and economic

development” and “to uphold the social and cultural interests of the indigenous people of

Papua…representing their political, economic and rights” (Local Government Capacity

Assessment report, UNCEN, 2005).

The religious-based organizations are usually established as foundations (yayasans) and

they provide basic health and education services, as well as pastoral care and religious

instruction/spiritual guidance. In all but one of the villages assessed religious-based

organizations are a church, as whole villages commonly adhere to the same denomination.

Thus apart from in one village that is predominantly Muslim, Christian churches are present

in all the villages assessed in the Community Needs and CSO studies. As a form of CSO,

the churches have the longest history in Papua and are well-regarded by the community in

general for their long-term commitment to the people they work amongst and for their ability

to achieve results. Although their formal activities revolve around formal education and

pastoral activities, they are seen as building human resource capacity, motivating people

and providing some technical assistance to the village communities. Many of the other,

smaller, village-based groups (CBOs) that exist are indirectly related to churches and their

activities. For example, women’s, men’s and youth groups often exist in villages where

churches are active. Such groups are often the primary (or only) form of functioning

organization that ordinary Papuan villagers participate in on a routine or prolonged basis.

The NGOs, known as LSM (Lembaga Swadaya Masyarakat), are also usually established

legally as foundations (yayasans). There are far more registered NGOs than there are

active ones – for example the report by PERDU noted that of 21 NGOs in the Bird’s Head

area of Papua, very few have clear motivations and work programs. There are both locally

established NGOs and NGOs operating as branches of international NGOs. Their work is

24


highly varied, but their principle areas of activity are: human rights; the environment;

HIV/AIDS; micro-credit, agriculture and community development. Their main methods of

work are advocacy and technical assistance, support and guidance (‘pendampingan’). Most

NGO personnel are graduates of Papuan high schools and universities or theological

colleges.

4.2 Distribution of CSOs

From all the NGO reports prepared for the UNDP’s Papua Needs Assessment it is clear that

the number and scope of civil society and community-based organizations in Papua has

grown rapidly in recent years. In this context, the increase in numbers of CSOs is important

as their role includes improving the communities’ capacities to benefit from development

opportunities in Papua. The increase in CSOs is seen as a combined result of Reformasi,

Otsus, the increased activities of donors and of certain private sector organizations wanting

to engage with local people ‘on the ground’. In the Bird’s Head in particular, YALHIMO and

PERDU (2005) both report that the increased number of CSOs and the increased presence

of external actors (international agencies including companies, NGOs, donors, United

Nations agencies, and the respective programs of each) tend to be confusing the people of

Papua. The NGOs that work with village communities perceive a lack of clear purpose and

activities, as well as mixed agendas amongst the range of actors and consider this a source

of increased conflict for local people.

Each of the NGO reports state that CSOs are not evenly spread throughout the areas they

work, but rather most are concentrated in the main kabupaten towns. Their members only

travel to districts or villages to conduct their activities. This and many of the observations

and analyses made in relation to civil society organizations should be interpreted with

awareness that in general, the NGOs that conducted the studies have more knowledge of,

and are more focused on, the NGO

sector than on CSOs generally. As

such, it may be more accurate to say

that while NGOs, and possibly

religious-based organisations are

more concentrated in the kabupaten

and provincial centres, the customary

people’s organizations (LA/LMA) are

clearly spread throughout all areas.

While the religious organizations

undoubtedly have offices or centres in

the bigger towns, they also have

workers or church-trained service

providers in every village.

Thus while the authors of the four NGO reports acknowledge and describe customary

people’s institutions and religious organizations, particularly in the village profiles, the

discussions of civil society capacity in their assessment may be more valid for NGOs than

for other CSOs. In the table below, for example, the estimates of CSOs that are active in the

villages assessed were drawn from each of the four NGO reports, however not all reports

quantify the number of Lembaga Adat (LA/LMA) that exist in the village or that village people

are members of, so these do not appear in their figures of active CSOs. The figures

presented effectively represent the presence of NGO and religious-based organizations

only.

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Table 5. Estimates of CSOs active in the assessed villages (excluding LA/LMA)

Spatial area Kabupatens # of CSOs identified as active in the

(55) villages assessed

South – southeastern Papua

Merauke

Mappi

Asmat

Approximately 24

Bird’s Head and southwestern

Papua

Cenderawasih Bay, Sorong and

Biak-Supriori

North coast and central highlands

Boven Digoel

Fakfak

Teluk Bintuni

Manokwari

Kaimana

Sorong

Teluk Wondama

Biak-Supriori

Wamena

Jayapura

Kerom

Sarmi

Approximately 25

Approximately 31

Approximately 74 (majority in Wamena

and Jayapura)

4.3 Examples of CSO activities

The situation of each CSO is clearly different, depending for example on their goals,

background, composition, organizational status, as well as the social, cultural, economic and

ecological context within which they exist. To provide a snapshot of this diversity as it

affects CSOs, examples of the three categories (customary people’s institutions, religious

organizations and NGOs) of CSOs are summarized below.

Customary people’s institutions (LA/LMA) – example from Asmat Kabupaten (and tribe).

Cultural pattern and lifestyle: the indigenous people of the Asmat tribe comprise 12 Far

(Forum Adat Rumpun – or custom groups in a forum), each called Joerat, Bismam, Siamai,

Kenok, Safan, Becembub, Yomagau, Emari Ducur, Kaimo, Tomor and Jupmakjain. The

‘rumpun’ are differentiated based on their traditional land tenure areas, language similarities,

food gathering areas, clan lineages and traditional headhunting areas that were passed

down through males of each generation. Culturally, ownership and use of land resources

are regulated based on inheritance systems that emphasize the dominant role of sons within

the clans. Marriages and weddings are organized according to the traditional system and

there is inter-clan and inter-tribal marriage. Carving is part of Asmat cultural heritage and is

still part of daily activities, particularly for men. Carving activities are a means of expressing

emotion, inspiration and the interactions between people and between people and the

surrounding environment. Women also maintain skills such as weaving that they consider

part of cultural practice. They weave pandanus leaves into mats, bags, baskets and

traditional clothing and accessories, both for daily use and for sale as a source of additional

income.

Cultural festivals specific to statues, masks, canoes and sago worms are still routinely

celebrated by the community, usually in the month of October, and are a big affair. The Bis

Patung festival (Bispokombi) includes the preparation and carving of a Bis statue on a

communal basis in the JEW or JE (communal buildings or custom houses that are genderseparate).

This happens in parallel with the sago worm festival, which relates to fostering

the younger generation on their path to adulthood within the Asmat culture (to become an

Asmat person – Asmat Ipits/Caut). Ancient cultural practices that continue today are

underpinned by the Asmat understanding of the world comprising three layers, namely

Asmat ow Capinimi (the present natural world), Dampu ow Capinmi (the world where spirits

26


est after dying), and Safar (paradise, or Heaven). Integral to this worldview is the belief that

for a person’s spirit to enter Heaven, their family must carve statues and carry out cultural

rituals and festivals.

The ‘Lembaga Masyarakat Adat Asmat’ (LMAA) is the customary people’s association and

is relatively active, particularly in handling problems and conflicts related to traditional land

rights and issues that people consider the domain of local culture. The main problem

experienced by the LMAA is inadequate operational funds and staffing, as [at the time of

reporting] many organizational staff had taken on formal employment elsewhere (Almamater

report, 2005).

Religious organisation – example from Keerom Kabupaten

The Kelompok Kerja Wanita (KKW) or ‘Womens Working Group’ in Papua was established

in 1987 exists to address certain problems experienced by groups of women. This

organisation provides training specially related to womens health education, increasing

womens skills and developing womens institutions to focus on the potential of indigenous

Papuan foodstuffs or products. At present [time of reporting] the KKW is focused more on

the health status of women, due to the rapid increase of sexually transmitted diseases and

HIV/AIDS in Papua. KKW is working together with the Catholic Church in Waris to provide

information and training for community members so that they can join forces to act in

response to the threat posed by HIV/AIDS. As the communities on the border with Papua

New Guinea, for example in Waris District, are considered at risk of infection, the KKW and

Catholic Church is Waris have developed a program which is supported by ASA [Aksi Stop

AIDS]/USAID. In this program, young men and women (teenagers) in six villages are being

coached to become fieldworkers for the rest of the community, to encourage them to avoid

risky sexual behaviours that could lead to contracting the deadly virus (YPMD report, 2005).

Non-government organisation – example from Sarmi Kabupaten

Yayasan Lingkungan Hidup (YALI), ‘the living environment foundation’, since it was

established on October 26, 1994, has been working in partnership with the Mamberamo

community on a number of activities including strengthening the customary institutions

(‘lembaga adat’), community empowerment and environmental advocacy. Although they

have a very wide area to cover with technical support to communities, CSOs like YALI face

real challenges in terms of capacity to deal with communities’ basic needs and to

understand the learning processes that are necessary for change to occur. It appears that

CSOs such as YALI would benefit from government policies that make it possible to more

clearly differentiate roles of the actors working on sustainable development issues (YPMD

report, 2005).

4.4 Issues

Common issues across all the analyses of CSO existence and capacity reflect some

frustration at the progress made by CSOs working in and with the village communities

across Papua. All four NGOs reported that detailed information about the outcomes and

achievements of programs implemented by CSOs was very difficult to obtain. In general,

not all the programs that appear in CSOs’ organizational profiles are actually implemented.

Some organizations’ profiles describe programs that were implemented in the past but from

which no results can be seen. Awareness of and accountability for the impacts of different

sorts of activities in the villages was noted as minimal, although as noted above, these

comments reflect more on the formal NGOs that were considered in the reports.

27


The following (translated) section from the Almamater report (2005) portrays the same

issues raised by the NGOs who assessed the situation in other parts of Papua:

“Especially for local NGOs, achievements are limited to the achievement of targets

within the planned timeframe and budget. Continuity is highly dependent on the

availability of financial support from donors. This means that many programs are

implemented but are not sustainable as assistance is not provided until the target

group has developed self-reliance.

A lot of programs are developed due to ‘trend funding’, such that activities are not

fully planned or based on community needs and are incidental in nature. These

programs’ results are limited to the achievement of implementation targets and do

not consider sustainability or benefit the target groups. The programs are developed

more in accordance with the conditions and wishes of the funding providers than with

those of the community.

Many programs overlap and have no synergy with the programs run by government

or other parties, including other NGOs. This leads to confusion and disinterest

amongst the target groups. It also makes them passive in their attitude, so they do

not particularly care about the achievement of programs. The target

groups/communities generally accept all programs in the hope of benefiting from any

assistance that will meet their immediate needs. They do not consider sustainability

and access to broader benefits as a result of the programs’ implementation, such

that when it is finished they go back to how they were before.

Programs are generally not developed on the basis of comprehensive studies of

community life and its relationship to human and natural resources, or on analysis of

local needs, problems and sustainability issues. This means that for many programs

that are implemented, high dependency results, rather than improved sustainable

community livelihoods.

The problems are both in getting donors that are willing to fund a large and continued

activity, and the limited organizational and human resources/skills in planning and

communicating with the networks of funding providers”.

The problem of reliance on donors is strongly emphasized, with PERDU for example noting

that not one of the 20 NGOs operating in their study area had any independent source of

income. The situation faced by other forms of CSOs was not addressed, however in many

cases the NGOs noted that church organizations in the villages were limited in their facilities

and scope of work, presumably due in part to funding issues. Other, related problems that

greatly affect local NGOs in particular include (from Almamater and Yalhimo reports):

• The low levels of job security mean that it is difficult to retain staff. The majority of

experienced staff tend to go to other organizations that can better ensure incomes,

whether they be international NGO branches, donors, profit-based organizations or

the government;

• Very limited organizational capacity and human resources amongst their staff, which

means that it is difficult to communicate with international funding providers; and

• Funding providers’ understanding of the geography and characteristics of the area is

limited and this makes it difficult to plan programs in the interior/remote areas where

operating costs are high.

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4.5 Recommendations from NGO reports

The following recommendations from the PERDU report (2005) convey the same general

suggestions put forward by the other NGOs and reflect the common issues facing CSOs

around Papua:

“For local people / adat communities:

1. Harvest your traditions and knowledge, document it and revive the cultural

values, local rules and adat institutions, and clarify the boundaries and status of

customary rights;

2. Revive and strengthen the local organizations that are fundamentally communitybased,

as a primary way of maintaining the community despite the presence of

outsiders. Through training in organizational and financial management,

leadership training, and comparative studies between communities, there are

many opportunities for mutual learning;

3. Develop women’s capacity through training in post-harvest processing, basic

accounting and other home-economics/household skills;

4. Participate in, encourage and support education programs by sending your

children to primary school;

5. Through traditional resource management knowledge, protect the communities’

productive areas, both on land and at sea, and increase productivity;

6. Get involved in multi-stakeholder and communal mechanisms for controlling

activities that affect community’s livelihoods and resources.

For the local government:

1. It is important to clarify and give back the people their rights to their livelihood

assets;

2. Facilitate the community reviving their culture (adat values, rules, boundaries and

institutions) that are most basic to their existence;

3. Village development assistance programs should focus on strengthening and

increasing human resource capacities;

4. Guidance and technical assistance to the community should be a constant and

continuous part of all programs done at the village level;

5. Economic development based on local wisdom and supported by adequate

transport facilities and clear market opportunities. Natural resource wealth in the

study locations is plentiful, including agriculture, forestry and fisheries, however

the lack of support such as transport and market certainty is a significant

obstacle to increasing community productivity;

6. Prepare, socialize and ensure policy makers and regional government

regulations related to livelihood asset protection, development and improvement;

and

7. Provide constructive leadership and support mutual, multi-stakeholder control

mechanisms to monitor the protection and appropriate use of the community’s

livelihood assets in Manokwari, Bintuni Bay, Fakfak and Kaimana, remembering

the unique and bountiful nature of local culture and the natural resources all have

high ecological, as well as economic, value.

For CSOs and CBOs:

1. Improving organizational capacity is very important and urgently required. To

this end, institutional strengthening is required in terms of program management,

as well as skills in trend analysis, developing program implementation strategies

and managing the resources to support programs;

29


2. Consistent guidance and companionship (‘pendampingan’) for the community is

necessary, from the earliest stages of gathering information, developing

documentation and then reviving communities’ adat values, local rules and

institutions, as well as in clarifying the boundaries and status of their traditional

resource rights; and

3. Get involved in mutual, multi-stakeholder mechanisms for controlling the use and

monitoring the protection of communities’ livelihood assets, remembering that

both the cultural uniqueness and wealth have high ecological, as well as

economic, value”.

Other recommendations from the NGO reports include:

4. Support for sustainable community livelihood improvement activities based on

gender, namely programs that provide integrated and holistic support to women

as key players in community livelihoods, and as decision-makers in natural

resource management;

5. Donors to have faith in local NGOs ability to carry out their activities and manage

long term funding for programs. At the same time, local NGOs to make more

effort to reduce their dependency on donors, so that they will be able to continue

their activities and follow up with their own resources; and

6. Increase cooperation between government and local NGOs in terms of program

implementation so that these two parties’ work is mutually supportive and headed

in the same direction. Government and CSOs’ respective strengths and

weaknesses should merge through collaboration - they have similar objectives to

serve and develop the community, but have different resources and experiences

to offer one another.

5. References Cited

Almamater Report (2005). “kajian Keberadaan Dan Kapasitas CSO/CBO Serta

Perikehidupan Berkelanjutan Masyarakat Pada 4 Kabuapten Di Wilayah Papua Selatan”.

PERDU Report (2005). “Laporan Studi. Pengkajian Kebutuhan Pengembangan Organisasi

Masyarakat di Kabupaten Manokwari, Teluk Bintuni, Fakfak dan Kaimana”.

YALHIMO Report (2005). “Laporan Hasil Assessment Kabupaten Biak-Numfor, Supriori,

Sorong dan Teluk Wondama”.

YPMD Report (2005). “Informasi Need Assessment di Kabupaten Kerom, Sarmi, Wamena,

dan Jayapura”.

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