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Timor-Leste Experience on ODA & Aid Effectiveness 9-12 October 2007 The Central Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Regional Workshop on Aid Effectiveness Hanoi, Vietnam Presentation by: Palmira Pires Director ETDA, Timor-Leste. Overview. Timor-Leste: “Timor of the rising sun”

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Timor-LesteExperience on ODA & Aid Effectiveness9-12 October 2007The Central Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Regional Workshop on Aid EffectivenessHanoi, Vietnam Presentation by:Palmira PiresDirectorETDA, Timor-Leste

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  • Timor-Leste: “Timor of the rising sun”

  • Situated: Eastern part of Timor Island

    500 km across the Timor Sea is Australia

  • It also includes the enclave of Oecussi (located in West Timor)

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Facts and Figure

  • Population: 1,084,971 (Estimated)

  • Rural population: 90%

  • Language Literacy:

    Tetun: 82%

    Portuguese: 5%

    Indonesian: 43%

    English: 2%

    Gender: 49% Male, 51% Female

    Youth (Age below 33): 51%

    Land Area: 15,007 sq km

    Source: The World Factbook – Timor-Leste

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Language & Administrative division

  • 12 main ethnic groups, each with its own language ie:

    Tetun, Mambae, Tokodede, Kemak, Galolen,Idate, Waimu’a, Naueti, Laka’ale, Bunak, Makasae and fataluku, Makalero, Baikeno

  • Timor-Leste comprises of 13 districts, 67 sub-districts (postos), 442 villages (sucos) and 2,336 sub-villages (aldeias)

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  • 450 years under Portuguese colony

  • 3.5 years under Japanese invasion (World War II)

  • 24 years under Indonesia (Order Baru)

  • 2 years under UN Transitional Administration (UNAMET/UNTAET/UNMISET)

  • Restoration of Independence, 20 May 2002

  • Currently led by the 4th Constitutional Government

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Non- State Actors

  • Religious organizations

  • Mass organizations

  • Cultural and traditional associations

  • Community and sports organizations

  • Development organizations and self-help groups referred as NGOs

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Indonesian period

  • Indigenous political associations survived underground or were incorporated into Indonesian organizations

  • Clandestine organizations operated under CNRT (National Council of the Timorese Resistance)

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Catholic Church

  • 98% population is Catholic

  • Constitution praises merits of the Church in its Preamble but does not favour any religion

  • Church has communication and social service network

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Civil Society

There is a total of 467 local and international organizations in Timor-Leste in which 83% are local organizations. Most of the organizations are based in Dili.

  • 369 Local NGOs

  • 18 National NGOS

  • 80 International NGOS

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Role of Civil Society

  • Monitoring

  • Advocacy

  • Education

  • Agriculture

  • Advisory services on human rights, justice and peace, gender awareness, environment and emergency assistance

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Timor-Leste ODA Experience

In 2004

  • GDP is USD 366

  • Unemployment 55% nationwide, 20% capital Dili

  • >10,000 young people join the labour market every year

  • Inflation fell 1.8% in 2004 and is expected to remain at round 2.4%

  • Growth in GDP is low at 1.8%

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Timor-Leste ODA Experience (cont…)

Government records reveal that Timor-Leste received a total of

USD 2,314,495,641

from 1999 to 2007

This figure represents both the security (military), emergency and development assistance to the country

  • Source :figures gather from the Registry of External Assistance of the Government of Timor-Leste as of 28th September 2007

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Timor-Leste ODA Experience (cont…)

Funding breakdown:

Total Funding (US$)

Country (28) 1,949,663,249

Institutions (26) 364,832,391

Total 2,314,495,640

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East Timor Development Agency (ETDA)

  • Established in 2000

  • Non-governmental organization

  • Led by Timorese

  • Development of human resources through training, employment and business centres

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ETDA experience with Aid Assistance

Since its establishment, ETDA received funding

Funding approved (US$)

Country (4) 969,112

Institutions (3) 179,671

Total 1 148 783

(To date ETDA has received only 64% of the total approved funding)

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ETDA experience with Aid Assistance (cont..)

ETDA received 0.000496% of total Aid Assistance in Timor-Leste

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ETDA experience with Aid Assistance (cont..)

ETDA allocated Aid Assistance to:

  • Institution building

  • Capacity building

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ETDA experience with Aid Assistance (cont..)

Aid Assistance from donors based in the country

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ETDA experience with Aid Assistance (cont..)

Aid Assistance from donors outside the country

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ETDA experience with Aid Assistance (cont..)


  • Ownership (organization is run and led by Timorese)

  • Equal partnership(act as adviser to international organizations on local issues)

  • Sustainability

  • Sharing resources (support other non-government organizations including government in sharing resources)

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  • International organization facilitated Timorese technical assistance from abroad

  • Timorese technical assistance from abroad acted as bridge between donor community and local Timorese

  • Ownership of the project

  • Transference of skills

  • Long term commitment

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  • Lack of accountability of international partners’ organizations

  • Lack of communication

  • Inequality in sharing information

  • Competition between international organizations in bidding for projects

  • Difficulties in creating new programs

  • Difficulty in starting on equal ground with international organizations in implementing NEW projects

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  • Donors to provide an endowment fund to local organizations

  • Beneficiaries of the project to evaluate the project

  • Create a transparency mechanism where the international institutions must be accountable to present the results of the project to the beneficiaries, not just to donors

  • Be able to access information of projects implemented in the country on an annual basis

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Recommendations (cont..)

  • Support local media to monitor aid projects

  • Create a mechanism for the return of professional technical assistance to their developing countries

    And most importantly

  • Aid assistance should not be tied with political decisions of the country