SSGM PhD Colloquium
Date & time
The SSGM PhD Colloqium will host the best and brightest of SSGM's PhD candidates as they present various topics ranging from 'Post- Conflict' to 'The Role of Education'.
Topics and Speakers are listed below, please download the program here - http://dpa.bellschool.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/uploads/2016-12/december_colloquium_programme_revised.pdf .
Lost in Translation? How street-level bureaucrats implement good governance in fragile states.
Good governance aid is a contested policy domain. Getting the governance of a country €œright€ is widely accepted by policymakers and donor agencies as necessary for development and security, and yet it is commonly argued that governance aid underwhelms. This study seeks to understand the practice of governance aid by investigating what street-level bureaucrats €“ the people tasked with applying governance policies €“ actually do. It asks: How do street-level bureaucrats see their role? How do they translate policy ideas into practice? How do they negotiate the challenges and opportunities inherent to their position? By canvassing their views and experiences, this project will bring a new perspective to debates about governance aid €“ its normative agenda and practical implementation €“ whilst the focus on fragile states adds to the existing public policy literature on street-level bureaucrats.
Cara Heaven commenced her PHD in August 2012 on a part-time basis. She completed a Masters in International Relations in 2010 and previously worked as a sub-editor in the print media.
Livlihoods in a Port Moresby Settlement
In the face of high costs of living, and population growth outpacing the ability of governments to respond in urban areas of Papua New Guinea, increasing numbers of people are opting to live in settlements. Settlements are often referred to as €œinformal€ or €œillegal€ spaces in which residents are portrayed as the €œother€ in relation to €œlegal and formal€ urban spaces, population groups and development discourse. This research explores how settlers go about making ends meet, and how they view and manage vulnerability and risk to their livelihoods. Who they are and how they position themselves in relation to each other and the outside world is important for understanding their livelihood strategies, and their claims for legitimacy in regard to land, social services, access to public utilities, and security. Through an interdisciplinary frame of anthropology and development policy the thesis aims to illuminate contemporary social and institutionalised practices of exchange and value in urban Melanesia. These issues will be explored using three perspectives on the domestic and settlement economy in relation to the broader economy and society: (i) moral economy; (ii) political economy and (iii) moral reasoning. Settlers are a growing population who may be regarded as poor and vulnerable or, equally, as innovators and lead €œactors€ at the frontier of development whose lives offer lessons for those interested in urban development.
Michelle is currently a PhD candidate with the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia programme at the ANU. Prior to commencing her PhD, Michelle worked as a national officer in the international development sector in Papua New Guinea for over ten years. Her experience includes programme management covering portfolios such as Bougainville, governance; HIV and AIDS; crisis prevention and recovery; gender and development; and human development. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Economics (Honours), from the Australian National University and a Master of Arts in Development Economics, (Distinction) from the University of Sussex, UK. Recently Michelle was engaged to work with the Government of PNG and the United Nations Development Programme in PNG to draft the national report for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States in 2014.
Financing and delivering services in PNG's changing political economy
PNG faces significant challenges in delivering basic services to its largely rural population. Following a decade of strong economic growth as a result of a boom in resource wealth, PNG has invested significant portions of its revenue into public expenditure programs aimed at improving service delivery. Increased funding allocations represents an opportunity to improve development indicators. However, translating increased expenditure into better services with limited implementation capacity and more politicised budgets constrains effective utilisation. This presentation will draw on preliminary findings from conducting quantitative public expenditure tracking and facility surveys across PNG. It will also analyse recent expenditure and governance reforms aimed at increasing the power of politicians to dictate development priorities for their electorates. Focusing on the health sector, the research identifies widespread inequalities in the delivery of primary health care across PNG and argues that local politics, rather than national policies, drive improvements in the delivery of services.
Colin Wiltshire started his PhD research with the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program at ANU while on an AusAID Posting in PNG under its Sub-National Strategy. He also manages the PNG Promoting Effective Public Expenditure Project, a joint research initiative between the Development Policy Centre at the ANU and PNG's National Research Institute.
Women's Political Under-Representation and Campaigns for Gender Quotas in the Pacific Islands Region
The Pacific Islands region has one of the lowest levels of women's political representation in the world. The average percentage of female members in national legislatures in the Pacific Islands is just 2.5 per cent. Three of the four states in the world with no women in their single or only house of Parliament are in the region. One potential method of increasing women's representation is through the introduction of gender quotas. While quotas are in widespread use in other parts of the world, to date only one Pacific state has introduced a national-level legislative gender quota.
For this post-fieldwork seminar, I will present some findings from my research on campaigns for gender quotas in four case studies: Samoa, Papua New Guinea, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, and the French Pacific territories. Looking at why quota campaigns succeed or fail, I will explore the key factors that led to quota adoption or non-adoption in each of these cases, and discuss the contested definitions of 'success' and 'failure' with regards to quota campaigns in the Pacific Islands region.
Kerryn Baker is a PhD candidate with SSGM at ANU. She has a BA (Hons) in International Relations from Victoria University of Wellington.
Country Ownership - Exploring the role of Pacific regional organisations as €œbrokers" of €œcountry ownership€ under the global aid and development effectiveness policy
My research will explore how regional organisations facilitate the translation of global policy reform on aid-effectiveness in the Pacific. How do regional organisations translate global policy reforms, intended to reinforce and strengthen €˜country ownership' of development, into institutions, systems and practices at national and local or €˜grassroots' levels? Despite efforts by some development partners to acknowledge the principle of €˜country ownership' in the Pacific, evaluations show little substantive progress in either the ways aid is delivered or in how these reforms have contributed to achieving €˜better' development over the last decade. Perhaps the principle of €˜country ownership' is more symbolic aspiration than practiced in reality? Recent changes, globally and within Australia, in the priorities and policies for aid and development reform, raise questions about whether the once-globally agreed principle of €˜country ownership' matters anymore €“ and if so, for whom it matters? I will draw on the work of scholars such as Whitfield, Mosse, Merry and others, to identify a frame for exploring how Pacific regional development organizations act as €˜brokers' between Pacific countries and international development agencies in the implementation of global agreements on aid and development effectiveness policy at the local, or country, level. The research takes an interpretive approach, drawing on qualitative methods, including institutional ethnography, to explore the meaning and implementation of the principle of €˜country ownership' across different levels of the global-local policy pathway in the Pacific.
Suzanne began her PhD studies with the State Society and Governance Program in Melanesia, in the College of Asia and the Pacific in 2013. She is an experienced development practitioner in the field of social development in indigenous Australia and the broader Pacific. As a senior program manager and advisor, Suzanne has worked with various multilateral and donor agencies, as well as regional organisations, national governments and civil society organisations across the Pacific region. Most recently, she worked as a member of regional team, led by SPC, on a program to strengthen the capacity of country HIV & STI program managers to plan and evaluate national responses to HIV & STIs, with a particular focus on the countries in the north Pacific.