The Long Haul: Citizen Participation in Timor-Leste Land Policy

SSGM Discussion Paper

Author/s (editor/s):

Meabh Cryan

Publication year:


Publication type:

Discussion paper

The Timorese citizen and the United Nations Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) representative quoted above had attended and were describing the same land law consultation meeting held in Los Palos in July 2009. The disparity in their observations (later cited in a Rede ba Rai press release) highlights one of the key problems surrounding land policy development processes in Timor-Leste. Development practitioners largely see the process of consultation as a beneficial but technical process, an element of policy creation to be carried out where time and resources allow. Citizens and participants in consultation meetings on the other hand see these processes as highly political and in the case of the Los Palos land law consultation of 2009, largely disempowering.

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