FOTI, the USAID-MCC anti-corruption project, reached agreement with Timor-Leste's national university (the University of Timor Lorosa'e) to expand the number of internships for university students in the journalism department to work with the project and receive course credit. Currently, two interns are placed at the project office, with two more internships now planned. The project will also provide students and faculty with radio programming and outreach training focused on anticorruption issues. (18 Dec 2012)
USAID and the New Zealand Aid Programme each has a community policing project and have agreed to manage the two projects cooperatively. USAID’s HAKOHAK community policing project, implemented by The Asia Foundation, has just presented its recent accomplishments and planned activities to the new combined management committee. This merged governance structure recently enabled New Zealand Police to jointly train HAKOHAK's new community police councils together with HAKOHAK staff.
U. S. Ambassador Judith Fergin joined the Timor-Leste Minister of Education and other senior government leaders at the East Timor Institute of Business (IOB) graduation ceremony on 28 December 2012. Founded in 2002 with support from USAID, IOB was the first post-secondary training institution in Timor-Leste to focus on business, management, finance, and information technology, areas vital to private-sector growth. IOB now has 3,000 students at two campuses in Dili and has expanded to five of the country’s 13 districts.
In another of its local partnerships, USAID’s horticulture value chain project has linked local business training NGO Empreza Diak with five project farmer groups (80 farmers) and commercial buyer Kmanek to boost the farmers' business management skills. They are focusing on vital numeracy, financial and business skills, and particularly on record keeping systems and personal financial management. (5 Nov 2012)
USAID's political representation project, implemented by the International Republican Institute (IRI), is visiting party offices around Timor-Leste to conduct assessments on the current status of party structures, procedures, platforms and messaging, and constituent relations. The interaction is focusing on the district offices of the four parties represented in the new Parliament. So far, assessments indicate that party structures at the district level are weak and that there is limited party outreach to constituents at the district level.
The Timor-Leste government will host the Coral Triangle Initiative's 3rd Climate Change Adaptation Regional Exchange from May 29 to 31, 2013. This will be the first regional CTI event hosted by Timor-Leste. The regional exchange enables CTI countries to share information about their adaptation activities and gain additional knowledge on relevant topics. USAID's regional Coral Triangle Support Partnership works in five coral triangle countries: Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, and Timor-Leste. The project in Timor-Leste is led by Conservation International. (14 Nov 2012)
USAID's maternal and child health project HADIAK is harmonizing and integrating its annual work plan with the Ministry of Health. The process is nearing completion and has already been agreed in the project's five target districts: Baucau, Ermera, Manatuto, Oecusse and Viqueque. Project staff will make quarterly visits to district staff to provide training so they can better implement and monitor the work plans.
U.S. Ambassador Judith Fergin joined the Minister of Education, Minister of Justice, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Secretary of State for Environment and Secretary of State for Forestry at the graduation of 152 students from the East Timor Coffee Institute in Gleno, Ermera District, on Dec. 15. Among the graduates were 20 Agriculture Ministry employees who have gained new agroforestry expertise. USAID established the East Timor Coffee Academy in 2003 through its partner, the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA).
Several major events marked Anti-Corruption Day across Timor-Leste on Dec. 9. U.S. Ambassador Fergin was a keynote speaker at a high-level forum organized by the Dili-based Centre of Studies for Peace and Development (CEPAD) for anti-corruption campaigners in government and civil society. At the forum, Ambassador Fergin announced a new civic education campaign in partnership with the independent Anti-Corruption Commission (CAC), which is supported by USAID-MCC's anti-corruption project.