Partnerships for self-determination: The Cuba-Timor health cooperation (2018)

This paper uses the Cuban Timor Leste health partnership to illustrate desirable principles in aid partnerships. For all its problems, Timor Leste has graduated one thousand doctors in the past decade, created clinics in all rural districts and has seen substantial improvements in some critical health indicators. Over this period, Cuba was by far the most important partner in health training and health services. We consider what it was about this partnership that facilitated substantial gains in both human capacity and human development. Continue reading “Partnerships for self-determination: The Cuba-Timor health cooperation (2018)”

Aid: Is it worth it? (2012)

Aid worldwide runs at more than $120 billion per year (World Bank 2011a), yet there is very little correlation between this expenditure and the often stated goal of poverty reduction. The failures of aid are legion. Yet this ‘development assistance’ has become a massive and semi-permanent global industry which in western countries is often erroneously equated with ‘development’. Nothing could be further from the truth. Aid programs, despite the stated good intentions, certain deserve some critical scrutiny. Continue reading “Aid: Is it worth it? (2012)”

RAMSI: Intervention, aid trauma and self governance (2008)

The Regional Assistance Mission Solomon Islands (RAMSI) was an intervention force requested by the Solomon Islands Government to help stabilise the country after a period of civil strife. It became an experiment in ‘cooperative intervention’ – at a time of uninvited intervention, elsewhere – and exercised the imagination of a number of ‘failed state’ theorists. After more than five years, and with the evaporation of initial rationales that instability in the Solomon Islands might pose a ‘terrorist’ threat, much uncertainty remains over its future. Continue reading “RAMSI: Intervention, aid trauma and self governance (2008)”

Australia’s regional interventions: The antinomies of ‘good governance’ (2007)

This paper examines the antinomies of Australian ‘good governance’: the logical nonsense of regional coerced democracy and carefully tutored economic ‘best practice’. The tension between intervention and independence in the region – particularly with respect to the recent experience of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste – is apparent in the recent Australian regional assistance missions and largely self-serving ‘good governance’ aid programs. Continue reading “Australia’s regional interventions: The antinomies of ‘good governance’ (2007)”

Land rights and Aboriginal voices (Gary Foley and Tim Anderson, 2006)

This article explains Australian Aboriginal land rights as the just claim of a long historical movement, driven by Aboriginal voices of resistance to dispossession. The land rights movement – demanding the return of land stolen from Aboriginal communities, or compensation for dispossession – grew out of civil rights campaigns, stretching back to the beginning of the 20th century. National land rights claims grew in the 1960s and 70s, leading to a series of partial victories, but for a minority of Aboriginal communities. Continue reading “Land rights and Aboriginal voices (Gary Foley and Tim Anderson, 2006)”

Independent development in East Timor? (2005)

Independent development is possible, but difficult, in a small country like Timor-Leste. It requires solidarity and independent thinking. Yet independent thinking is constantly under threat from what might be called the ‘Anglo economic technocracy’, a mindset which stresses privatisation, uncoordinated investment and supposed open markets. Continue reading “Independent development in East Timor? (2005)”

Self-determination after Independence: East Timor and the World Bank (2003)

This paper introduces the concept of self-determination in the East Timorese struggle for political independence, and then examines the question of economic self-determination, with special focus on the role of the World Bank in East Timor The paper discusses the Bank’s relationship with East Timor’s Transitional Administration (under the United Nations’ Transitional Authority), and then some new self-determination dilemmas for the politically independent Democratic Republic of East Timor. Continue reading “Self-determination after Independence: East Timor and the World Bank (2003)”

Ukun Rasik An: More than independence (2002)

Short documentary based on interviews with East Timorese people as their nation prepares for the ‘restoration of independence’ on 20 May 2002 [Independence was first declared in 1975]. The video ends with footage of the 2002 celebrations. Music: ‘O Cabalo Azul’ by Carlos Nuñez and friends. Continue reading “Ukun Rasik An: More than independence (2002)”