Integrity training in East Timor: Bringing academic institutions, civil society and government together for the first time

emmi Jan 4, 2016
Blog

As part of Integrity Action’s support to Luta Hamutuk, our partner in East Timor, a national HUB [1]training was designed and delivered from December 3rd to December 5th 2015. This HUB training, prepared in partnership with the Dili Institute of Technology, was conceived in order to train district administrators on what it takes to become integrity leaders. We believe that this type of training is essential, especially now that East Timor is looking towards implementing a process of decentralisation, thereby increasing the decision making power of its district administrators.

We are delighted that all participants responded in an incredibly positive way to the training. Although the training covered a broad range of topics (decentralisation, taxation, and integrity leadership skills) there was a strong focus on the importance of Community Integrity Building (CIB) and the need for district administrators to be involved in this type of work across the country. We are hopeful that following this training, which highlighted all the benefits and improvements in service delivery due to the work Luta Hamutuk has been undertaking, much more consideration will be given to the importance of citizen monitoring and citizen feedback.

As a result of the training, a district administrator requested that a list of all current project monitors[2] be provided to them, so that in the future they can be invited to meetings to discuss any issues with service delivery.  Another administrator also agreed to be present at joint working group meetings. These joint working group meetings are a collaborative forum bringing together community representatives, local authorities and potentially other stakeholders such as contractors to jointly learn, review findings and develop practical solutions. He suggested that this would help resolve any issues within the district before they reach the national level. On the last day, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Dili Institute of Technology, Luta Hamutuk and Integrity Action. All parties agreed to work together over the next 5 years, with the aim being to incorporate integrity teaching into courses that will be delivered by the Dili Institute of Technology. In addition, there is a commitment to train local and national government representatives in integrity leadership and integrity building.

We look forward to making much more progress in 2016. One of the first agenda items is to set up a joint training between local and national government representatives, enabling national government representatives to see for themselves how district administrators operate and resolve issues. In addition, all participants will discuss what possible solutions could be provided to resolve any national service delivery issues. We are hopeful, that in a country where most of the decision making power still rests at the national level, creating a space in which a two-way dialogue is encouraged will strengthen the process of decentralisation.

 

[1] [1] Luta Hamutuk's decided to name any training involving representatives from government and academia: ‘HUB’.

[2] Luta Hamutuk’s focal points.