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NGOs and Post-Conflict Recovery

NGOs and Post-Conflict Recovery: The Leitana Nehan Women's Development Agency, Bougainville OPEN ACCESS

Copyright Date: 2006
Published by: ANU Press
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  • Book Info
    NGOs and Post-Conflict Recovery
    Book Description:

    When government services have broken down or when international nongovernment organisations are uninterested or unable to help, grassroots non-government organisations provide important humanitarian, educational and advocacy services. Yet, too often the story of the crucial role played by these organisations in conflict and post-conflict recovery goes unheard. The Leitana Nehan Women's Development Agency provides many salutary lessons for grassroots non-government organisations undertaking peacemaking and peace-building work. In the thirteen years of its existence, it has contributed humanitarian assistance, provided education programs on peace, gender issues and community development, and has become a powerful advocate for women's and children's rights at all levels of society. Its work has been recognised through the award of a United Nations' Millennium Peace Price in 2000 and a Pacific Peace Prize in 2004. This book makes a unique contribution to understanding the role of nongovernment organisations in promoting peace and development and gender issues in the South West Pacific.

    eISBN: 978-1-920942-18-2
    Subjects: Sociology, Political Science
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Table of Contents

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  1. Peter Ninnes

    Nations in the Southwest Pacific have experienced a number of armed conflicts and episodes of civil unrest in the last two decades. These have included the secessionist war on Bougainville, Papua New Guinea (1988–98), the ‘ethnic tension’ in Solomon Islands (1998–2003), the three coups in Fiji, the ongoing secessionist movement in Papua, and the occupation and liberation of East Timor (1975–99). In each of these conflicts, grassroots non-government organisations (NGOs) have appeared and attempted to prevent or overcome violence and ameliorate its effects. When government services and control have broken down, or when international NGOs are uninterested...

  2. Peter Ninnes

    The Leitana Nehan story begins with three women giving birth on the same day in 1990. These were personal and family crises in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. Helen Hakena, in a speech delivered at the International Women’s Day celebrations in Australia in 2003, recalled

    [i]n 1990, when PNG withdrew all services from Bougainville and imposed a total blockade on the island, I was seven months pregnant with my fourth child. Late one afternoon the Bougainville Revolutionary Army chased my husband to our home (in Hahela) after he refused to give them our car. Previously, BRA elements had taken...

  3. Peter Ninnes

    As I observed in the previous chapter, attendance at the Beijing forum by two of Leitana Nehan’s founders, Helen Hakena and Agnes Titus, had a major impact on the conceptualisation, direction and focus of the organisation’s work. In this chapter I describe the formal establishment of Leitana Nehan as an independent NGO. I then examine how it became involved in a number of key peace-building projects, the establishment of a range of important partnerships designed to facilitate the initiation and maintenance of peace, and its ongoing efforts to find a political solution to the Bougainville crisis. This middle period of...

  4. Bert Jenkins

    In December 1998, Leitana Nehan developed a proposal for their first large project for community peace-building on Bougainville, to be funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). The proposal was revised and resubmitted to AusAID in September 1999 as a project entitled ‘Strengthening Communities for Peace’ (SCP). Leitana Nehan was sponsored in this enterprise by the International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA), based in Melbourne, Australia, with which it had worked in the past (see Chapters 2 and 3), and was to be a partner in the project. The project was funded as part of AusAID’s Bougainville Reconstruction Program....

  5. Bert Jenkins

    Following the completion of Phase 1 of the Strengthening Communities for Peace (SCP) project, Leitana Nehan obtained funding for a second phase of the project with the same name but subtitled ‘From Peace to Progress’. Phase 2 ran over a period of 13 months between January 2003 and February 2004. Like Phase 1, Phase 2 emphasised personal development, particularly Integral Human Development (IHD), but also stressed community development through the strengthening of civil society and good governance at both the community and state levels (Cox 2004b). This emphasis had potentially important consequences for Bougainville, which was preparing at the time...

  6. Peter Ninnes

    The previous chapters have described Leitana Nehan’s work over the last 12 years. We have attempted to show how the work conducted by the organisation has changed over time in response to the changing situation on the ground in Bougainville. We have also described the way the organisation has been able to build up the abilities and capacities of its staff and volunteers, and partner with a range of local, national and international organisations. In this and the following chapters we adopt a more analytical approach and attempt to explain in more detail the reasons why Leitana Nehan has been...

  7. Jonathan Makuwira

    In the study and practice of development, the concept of partnerships has been both pervasive and contested. In this chapter I analyse partnerships in post-conflict development and peace-building from four perspectives, using Leitana Nehan as a case study. The first section of the chapter explores the concept of partnership, the various theoretical perspectives related to the notion of partnership, and common types and models of partnerships. The second section describes the kinds of partnerships Leitana Nehan has engaged in, based on the various models described. The third and concluding section of the chapter analyses the strengths and weaknesses of partnership-building...

  8. Peter Ninnes

    In the first section of this book we described and explained the work of Leitana Nehan from its inception in 1992 until the end of the ‘Strengthening Communities for Peace’ project. I showed how it began with somewhat ad hoc work with women, focusing on humanitarian relief and awareness-raising tasks during the crisis. To this was added peace-building work, particularly in the form of ‘mobilisations’ of women and youth. These large meetings were supported by small grants from local and international organisations. As well as their impact on the participants, they provided Leitana Nehan with a range of organisational, fund-raising...

  9. EPILOGUE (pp. 147-154)
    Helen Hakena and Agnes Titus

    After SCP2 finished in March 2004, our workload decreased dramatically. Nevertheless, we obtained a small amount of funds (K95,000) from the PNG Community Development Scheme for a number of projects. First, we extended and furnished the Leitana Nehan offices behind DJL Enterprises in Buka. Four more rooms were added, which are used for administration, counselling, and the Women’s and Children’s Referral Desk, and one is rented by an MP, providing a small amount of revenue.

    The purpose of the Women’s and Children’s Referral Desk is to consolidate all the counselling services provided by NGO and government agencies. It provides an...