Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Rights and Sustainability in Timor-Leste’s Development

Greetings from the Australian National University where Charles Scheiner, Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis, is speaking on "Rights and Sustainability in Timor-Leste’s Development". He questioned the Timor-Leste's government's policy of economic development based on petroleum extraction and processing. He presented a detailed analysis of the problems. However, these problems could equally apply to many small developing nations and some to Australia.

What was lacking from the analysis was proposals for fixing the problem. At question time Scheiner related an anecdote that junior public servants in the Timor-Leste government who related in private they agreed with the analysis but faced political pressure preventing putting this in official proposals.

Perhaps there is need for more emphasis in higher education courses on how to have policy proposals adopted.In the course "ICT Sustainability" (COMP7310) I have the students spend the first half working out what the problem is and the second what to do about it. Students discover that it is relatively easy to come up with a technical proposal, but much harder to put it in a way their boss will find compelling. This is something which we can teach over the Internet to students anywhere.

 There is a Timor-Leste Conference at ANU tomorrow.

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