Civil society joins forces to get the EITI message out to communities in Timor-Leste

Source: Luta Hamutuk
Date: 7 Dec 2021

Since Timor-Leste was declared EITI compliant in July 2010, civil society have been actively working to ensure that the wider population is informed about the new numbers that EITI makes available, and why it matters for their every-day lives.

In 2011 alone, PWYP member, Luta Hamutuk has organized community-level Briefings at eight villages in three different districts. To guarantee the sustainability of EITI dissemination efforts in the harder-to-reach rural areas, Luta Hamutuk also conducted training-of-trainer sessions for nominated community focal points. The last training for focal points was held on 14-17 November 2011.

However, these efforts alone are clearly not sufficient, if the message is to get out to all Timorese citizens. Luta Hamutuk undertook an independent assessment of the collective efforts of stakeholders to disseminate information on the second EITI report (published March 2011).

Their conclusions drawn were that despite the national and regional-level outreach to date, the information has clearly not reached all communities, and society in general remains largely unaware of the EITI and its potential implications for public revenues and spending.

Accordingly, Luta Hamutuk is calling upon the National Multi-stakeholder working group, as well as the State Secretariat for Natural Resoruces (SERN) to review the strategy and process of EITI communications, so that the messages get to all. Simple suggestions, such as simplifying the language of EITI reports, communication via national televison and radio (not solely the internet), and by physically ‘taking EITI’ to communities would go a long way to help efforts I this regard.

For its own part, Luta Hamutuk is partnering up with other civil society organisations, to ensure wider coverage. In November 2011, Luta Hamutuk, together with the CSO coalition, Core Group for Transparency Timor-Leste (CGT-Timor-Leste), began an extensive programme of training for local civil society, which will eventually cover the eastern, central and western regions of Timor-Leste. The training started on 22 November 2021 in the Baucau district (north central) and will proceed to the central part next year.