The eight partners of the USAID/Timor-Leste NGO Advocacy for Good Governance Activity presented their research findings as part of an initiative to support the role of NGOs in advocacy. Key policy makers and stakeholders attended the launch of the research products, which took place on June 30, 2022.
The subject of the research products reflected the mission of each partner and varied widely. The studies focused on these critical issues:
- access to education and health for people with disabilities
- mechanisms for community dispute resolution
- water access
- protection of children from sexual violence
- access to vocational training for rural youth
- community monitoring of local infrastructure projects
- access to markets for rural agricultural producers.
The research activities represent the culmination of a long process of developing and refining an advocacy issue, building an advocacy plan, conducing primary research to build evidence to inform their policy recommendations. The products include reports, technical posters, and presentations to stakeholders including, representatives from Parliament, government ministries, development partners, and civil society.
After presenting their results, the partners interacted with stakeholders during the marketplace walkthrough of the research posters. Policy makers, many of whom planned to use the results in their upcoming planning and policy discussions, were quite pleased with the research. For example, representatives from the Ministry of Justice and the Secretary of State for Social Inclusion asked the Judicial System Monitoring Program to present their research to their staffs to be used to revise the Gender-Base Violence National Action Plan. The representative of the Ministry of State Administration invited Associação Deficiente Timor-Leste to present its research to the Department of Rural Development to explore how to make their programs more disability accessible. Parliamentary member Elvina Sousa asked for copies of all the research products so she could distribute them to members of parliament to help inform their future deliberations.
In the few instances where stakeholders had questions about the research results, partners discussed how they could collaborate with stakeholders in the future to help shape the research questions to ensure that the results are more impactful.
Although many of the partners had previously been involved in research through various programs, for most of them, this was the first time that they had ownership of the entire research project from design to execution and presentation. Ana Paulo, executive director of the Judicial System Monitoring Program, expressed her gratitude, expressed her gratitude to the NGO Advocacy for Good Governance Activity. Its training and coaching strengthen their team, which resulted in their ability to achieve strong results in their research.
The research product launch demonstrated the significant technical skill acquisition of the activity’s partners, helped raise the profile of civil society to policy makers, provided evidence to support ongoing policy dialogue, and built the confidence of the partners to become more valued and respected advocacy partners in the policy-making process.
Learn more about the project: https://www.counterpart.org/projects/timor-leste-ngo-advocacy-for-good-governance-activity/