Economic empowerment key to success of ‘people-centred’ project in PapuaJun 30, 2015
Jakarta, June 30 – A flagship UNDP project in the far-flung provinces of Tanah Papua is coming to a close and on Tuesday local communities came together to share stories about how the project improved their lives.
The second phase of People-Centred Development Project (PCDP) – supported by the Government of Indonesia and New Zealand Aid (NZAID) - aims to harness existing local capacity and economic resources to create and improve livelihoods in five regencies spread out in West Papua and Papua provinces. They are Sarmi, Boeven Digoel, Jayapura, Fakafak and Wamena
Speaking at the PCDP seminar in Jakarta, New Zealand Ambassador Dr Trevor Matheson praised the success of the project, which has also boosted the production of food products made from nutmeg, honey, fish and coconut as well as supporting local farmers to increase their crop production.
“The PCDP has finally improved prosperity in Papua through the successful business development and marketing of locally made products for increased incomes for communities,” said Ambassador Matheson
“The PCDP viewed from the upper side is a sustainable economic development activity, but underneath it has generated a silver glow providing the guiding light for community led businesses to find their way in the private sector in Papua,” added Ambassador Matheson whose New Zealand government contributed NZ $ 4.6 million to the Project.
UNDP Resident Representative Douglas Broderick said the PCDP project worked with local governments and communities to find economic solutions and opportunities that are appropriate to the local environment and has helped develop businesses from commodities that are in abundance in the communities.
“This is what local economic development is about – it is about helping to generate sustainable business opportunities that can benefit a broad range of people across the provinces, and not just a few,” said Broderick.
Deputy Minister of BAPPENAS, Imron Bulkin, said that all parties including local government now need to focus on how to sustain the results of the programme in the local communities, and also expand and replicate the successful initiatives.
“Most of the products have passed the certification process from the Food Agency, we now need to think of ways to market the products further. We need to further strengthen the capacity of the producers to make this into a sustainable livelihood,” said Imron.
Ambassador Matheson echoed this view, saying many development projects appear to deliver strong results in the beginning and fizzled after a period of time.
“Two, three or five years after their completion we hear little of them or their benefits. PCDP 2 must not become one of them,” he said.
Travelling more than 5,000 km from his hometown, Sarmi to capital Jakarta, Yonece Manibor shared how his coconut oil production has supported his livelihood.
“Every month we sell up to 120 liters of coconut oil and I’ve been able save money at the bank and buy my children school kits. I hope this can continue for a longer period,” Manibor told participants of the seminar.
For more testimonies and stories from the field, please go to our website, http://www.id.undp.org/content/indonesia/en/home.html