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« Successful research & reporting workshop at DWU | Main | It’s a Hela’va time in PNG »

25 June 2014


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Thank you Phil and Barbara.

Not a good time it seems to be talking about community development when all the positive energy appears to have been drained due to the current political situation.

But when the dust settles and regardless of who is in power, rural and community development work continues.

I am also aware that development tends to fail in an environment of corruption and bad governance. So we need to fix that side of the equation as well.

Talking is cheap. We just need to take small actions going forward.

I admire your attitudes, John.
I have been contributing to the Sepik Region Development Discussion Forum lately and have learnt a lot about the chaotic nature of so called "development" in the Sepik.
But there are some good things happening so one just has to live in hope.
I've heard that because services to the villages "dried up" many of the village people have drifted to Wewak. One wonders how the villagers are going.

A problem I see with village development is that it allows the men to be the spokespersons while the person who really looks after the welfare of the family has often been the women.

So the men welcome some huge multi-national to come in and take over their gardens and turn it into an oil palm plantation. I think that they forget that it is the men who will now have to work hard on these plantations to earn a wage to buy food at the store as the women will probably have no gardens any longer.

This is a fine article and I admire your modesty John.

Having worked in mineral exploration doing social mapping for a long time I can relate to the feeling of going into a remote community, building up expectations and then pulling out never to return.

We leave behind a few benefits, like a refurbished aid post or a new classroom but know that if we do go back in a few years time they will be just as rundown as we originally found them.

One of the good things about the old kiap system was that it provided someone at the local level to make sure that these things kept working.

That said, the kiap was also reliant on community spirit and support and reliable resources from outside.

They seem to be the key things missing now. How you replace them beats me I'm afraid.

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