The “New Voices” research project investigated the political attitudes and opinions of new voters in Timor-Leste aged 17 – 20 years, in the lead-up to 2016 and 2017 elections. These national and suku (local) elections are the first time in which “independence babies” – those born after the 1999 popular referendum for Timorese independence – will be eligible to vote. These new voters have only experienced an independent Timorese government in their lifetimes.

Their political attitudes have therefore been largely formed through observing their Timorese leaders campaign for, and take, office, and by watching their elected Timorese representatives make important decisions that shape the political, economic and social development of the country.

Research was conducted through focus group discussions on:

  • Perceptions of National Leaders
  • Perceptions of Suku Leaders
  • Attitudes towards elections
  • Attitudes towards political campaigns
  • Avenues for involvement in political life

This research was jointly conducted by Counterpart International and Belun. Counterpart International works together with local non-government organizations Belun to implement the Ba Distrito project, which is generously funded by the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).