Mark Moran Adapting development practice to Indigenous context
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Mark Moran Adapting development practice to Indigenous context

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  • 1. Adapting Development Practice to Complex Indigenous Contexts Mark Moran CRICOS Provider No 00025B
  • 2. Indigenous Peoples of the World • • • • • • • Gross approximations due to difficulties of classification 350 Million people 5000 distinct Indigenous nations, living in 70 nation states 5% of the World’s population, but 10% of the World’s poor Disproportionate and intractable disadvantage 95% live in developing countries Aid agencies internationally typically do not differentiate their work with Indigenous peoples CRICOS Provider No 00025B
  • 3. Identity and Heterogeneity • UN has resisted a universal definition, but following four characteristics frequently cited – – – – historical antecedence to particular territories voluntary perpetuation of cultural distinctiveness self-identification and state recognition experience of subjugation, marginalisation, dispossession, exclusion or discrimination (non-dominant) • Heterogeneity resists classification • Reindeer herders (Saami, Scandinavia), shifting cultivators (Karen and other hill tribes along ThaiBurmese border), hunter gatherers and forest dwellers (central Africa), casino wealthy tribes of North America • Diaspora, as well as homeland - urban and remote CRICOS Provider No 00025B
  • 4. Political Identity • (Levi and Maybury-Lewis 2012) • Share a common discourse of rights and social justice against the nation state that encompasses them. • Indigenous peoples are generally locked in a political contest with a more dominant mainstream. • Most challenging is the political relativities and complexities from the interaction with the dominant other. • Although critical important, rights frameworks are not enough. Capabilities must exist in governments and Indigenous orgs to exercise them. • High levels of sociocultural and natural capital, compared to lower levels of human, physical and financial capital. CRICOS Provider No 00025B
  • 5. Development Disarray • Consensus on outcomes but disarray on how to get there • ‘closing the gap’ indicators relative to the mainstream drive service delivery, but it cannot be assumed that Indigenous people aspire to the mainstream • Competing worldview and development pathways • Welfare and other (including native title) benefits, where possible, open up choices otherwise not available. • Political representation through Indigenous organisations may be considered more important than engagement in the economy and mainstream institutions • Locally-based livelihoods, including subsistence, parenting, cultural maintenance, and ‘caring for country’ maybe more important than employment and enterprise CRICOS Provider No 00025B
  • 6. The Third Space • Cultural differentiation and calls for ethno-development • Indigenous development is often understood monoculturally, but people engaged in and intercultural dynamic with the more dominant society • Interculturalism beyond respecting difference, to learning exchange and reciprocity in mutual relationship. • Both knowledge systems should be practised with equal human, technological and financial resources, with spaces for exchange of knowledge, methodologies and practices that ensure the ongoing development of both systems CRICOS Provider No 00025B
  • 7. Complex problems • Indigenous settings as complex development contexts. • Regardless of the development model or logic, problems exist in their practical implementation. • Self-governance, economic enterprise, cultural revival, native title, community development, stabilizing safety, incoming management, welfare reform. • Highly localised – problems in generalising best practice • Development problems tend to be complex • High causal density, lack of linearity • Reality of practice is transaction intensive, incremental, learning and evolving through doing. • dMe CRICOS Provider No 00025B
  • 8. Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation • Andrews, M., L. Pritchett and M. Woolcock. 2012. • solves particular problems in particular local contexts (rather than transplanting solutions); • creates an authorising environment for decision-making with experimentation and positive deviance; • facilitates active, ongoing and experiential (and experimental) learning and the iterative feedback of lessons into new solutions; and • engages broadly with change agents/political elites, to ensure implementation and political support. CRICOS Provider No 00025B
  • 9. ACFID Practice Note Principles for Development Practice in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Communities in Australia Gemina Corpus
  • 10. Need and Purpose • ACFID's Development Practice Committee (DPC) identifies the best practices that contributes to development effectiveness and publishes these in a ‘practice note’ series. • Programs and services traditionally targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have been based on an ineffective service delivery model. • Development approaches based on collective learnings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Working group members. • Aims to guide the practice of NGOs so that they support and strengthen the goals and work of Indigenous leaders and organisations.
  • 11. Unique Context • Indigenous communities are different to international developing communities in 4 main ways: – Large number of government departments, Indigenous organisations and private service providers – Welfare, as opposed to a development, approach – History of Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations – Gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous wellbeing outcomes
  • 12. Core principles 1. Participation 9. Flexibility and incremental change 2. Cross-cutting issues 10. Stability and long-term engagement 3. Sustainability through governance 11. Partnering 4. Rights based 12. Productive relationships 5. Intellectual property 13. Evidence-based 6. Advocacy and indigenous voice 14. Strengths-based 7. Strategic policy uptake 15. Place-based 8. Devolution 16. Do no harm Different INGOs bring different emphasis to these principles, and according to context
  • 13. World Vision International LEAP – Learning through Evaluation with Accountability and Planning Quantitative and qualitative data collection points A participatory, action learning cycle, embedded within a program context
  • 14. Community development is not sufficient • There are examples of effective community development practice. The challenges of building participation, reaching consensus and sustainable governance in communities can be achieved. • The harder yards are in getting the system to respond, to join up its many different silos and levels, to satisfy its multiplicity of ‘conditions’. • Deficit in the collective ‘capability’ of governments to provide an enabling developmental system. • Governments often do not recognise ‘development’ when it is occurring
  • 15. Principles & values for good relationships • Top criteria (in order) relating to community life: – Understands and supports our relationship and responsibilities to our community – Demonstrates an understanding and respect for culture – Includes us in decision making at the start of the project with the planning of activities – Gives us enough time to think about what we want to say, and supports us to say what we think – Understands the pressures of community life and how these impact on our capacity to participate – Understands our relationship and responsibilities to our land
  • 16. Strategic development projects • Not only for INGOs. • Supplement rather than be seen as a substitute for service delivery. • Strategically applied to tackle intractable issues; e.g. home ownership and associated land reform. • Used as part of the policy making apparatus, to discover, trial, evaluate and learn.
  • 17. Knowledge Management • Collect the body of knowledge of what is already working ‘developmentally’. • Make monitoring and evaluation integral to all program activity and use this to build an evidence base (but include qualitative measures) • Communicate information to practitioners and stakeholders through publications and a web-based information portal. • Develop practice manuals and tools.
  • 18. Workplace • Career pathways for development workers. • Career path for Indigenous development workers, to be working internationally. • Broaden the scope of Indigenous leadership courses • Masters of Development Practice (Indigenous Development). • Remote employment policies. • Network development workers.
  • 19. A third way • Two modalities of hands-off or battle-stations. • Indigenous organisations and leaders want and need support, but they want a particular kind of support. • We need to ensure that Indigenous organisations and services providers can be on the same playing field. • Most importantly we need to value and respect that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community seek to be supported to lead their own agendas in a way that has meaning and purpose for them. • Decision making needs to be led locally and we can enable this by putting up options and going through the consequences of each of the decisions without actually making the decisions on behalf of others.
  • 20. Recent positive developments • World Vision MOU with the Australian Government on Indigenous Development Effectiveness • Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Service: set of principles to guide their work in RSD communities, in consultation with NGOs and Indigenous organisations • ACFID Review of the Practice Note • APONT and NGOs in the Northern Territory: Principles for a partnership-centred approach for NGOs working with Aboriginal organisations and communities in The Northern Territory