Peacebuilding in Timor-Leste: Strengthening Institutional Structure and Mechanisms for Dialogue

Project background

The Government is currently developing a range of programs under the overall National Recovery Strategy ‘Hamutuk Hari’i Futuru’. A key aspect of this strategy is the relocation and reintegration of IDPs. For a minority of IDPs it is anticipated that, with the stabilizing security situation, repairing the damage to their homes will be enough to allow them to return and take occupancy. However for the majority, past experience of community and IDPs dialogue processes indicate that their return will not only require a range of assistance packages but also a process that can pave the way for repairing the community relations that were severed during the civic unrest that has followed the 2006 Crisis. As such it is extremely likely that there will be a high demand for a dialogue-based process that can facilitate the return of IDPs into their former communities. 

Project activities

At the core of the concept are dialogues conducted at the local level in areas identified as having ongoing conflict (such as Uatolari, Ermera District or certain neighborhoods in Dili). These would involve local communities, local and national State officials. One of the main lessons learned from previous dialogues is that there was little preparation or follow-up to dialogue initiatives, which left participants questioning the tangible impact of these exercises. The new concept proposes to overcome this weakness by strengthening and expanding existing MSS dialogue teams who will conduct the necessary preparatory and follow-up work around the dialogues to ensure their success. In anticipation of the dialogue between IDPs and receiving communities, representatives of the MSS dialogue team including the Sub-District dialogue coordinator and wherever possible representatives of MSS from Dili should host at least one preparatory community consultation. 

Project results

A key indicator of the success of this program will be the degree to which durable reintegration/resettlement can be supported by the teams, thus the volume of IDP return and relocation will be a factor as will the degree to which this movement represents a permanent relocation from the IDP camps. Similarly the volume of dialogue meetings conducted by the 2 teams will serve as an indicator, however, equally important will be the follow-up to these meetings and the degree to which concrete outcomes can be finalized and attained. 

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