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Tuesday, 21 November

20:00

The rise of development journalism "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Development journalism is as old as the development industry itself. International affairs and travel reporting has often touched on questions of poverty, economic prospects and social change. During the past half century or more the communication programs of multilateral institutions, government agencies and NGOs have become increasingly sophisticated, drawing consciously on advertising and public relations techniques. Oxfam and Christian Aid sponsored the creation of the UK New Internationalist magazine in 1973. Similar publications such as South magazine flourished in the 1980s and 1990s, but it was the growth of the digital world that enabled development journalism to expand rapidly. This, combined with citizen journalism and social media, produced countless online information sites. The quality of this content is highly variable, but professional editorial standards are applied in the Guardian Development Professionals Network, Devex Newswire and this blog [1] as well as in online publications such as Global South Development magazine. Development journalism is now taught and researched in journalism schools [2].

Coverage is focused on insight into the development process, the massive global body of development knowledge and the bewildering institutional structure of policy and program delivery. This discussion is important because of the way it is shaping the global development debate, expanding the range of topics discussed, the reach and the kinds of contributors. The search for more cooperative models of development programming makes it vital that the disadvantaged have a voice, including a public voice, as far as possible unfiltered by development agencies, the media or self-appointed spokespersons. Our attitudes, behaviour and assumptions are inevitably influenced in part by this debate around us.

In 2009 the then-managing editor of The Guardian, Elisabeth Ribbans, wrote: A good journalist must not only describe, but delve, debunk and decode. International development is complex, slow, non-prescriptive and uncertain. It requires the reporter to appreciate and explore the interplay of diverse realms such as health, education, environment, governance, local and national economics, and culture.

Development journalism also takes the debate o...

Monday, 20 November

21:33

Manumanu Land Deal: Aftermath "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by KIN OPOSEPA

Manumanu Land Deal: Aftermath The Manumanu Land deal issue has subsided through time and all stakeholders affected have seemed to move on, the dust has settled. Let me refresh your memories on the issues again. The purported Manumanu Land Deal (MLD) for the relocation of the PNG Defense Force is alleged to involve five different transactions totalling an amount of K46 million. However, the dealings did not comply with established processes.

The MLD issue was raised in Parliament by Member for Kairuku Hiri, Peter Isoaimo that eventually led to the sidelining of 2 Senior Ministers and suspension of 6 Departmental heads, CEO of State Owned Enterprise and chairman of CSTB. In a media statement on the 6th of February 2017 PM, ONeil had announced a Commission of Inquiry (COI) headed by a retired Judge to investigate the claims made, referred the matter to the National Fraud Squad and the Ombudsman Commission also for potential breaches of the Leadership Code.

He further promised to return the land to the customary landowners. Investigations The COI established was later downgraded to an Administrative Inquiry headed by Queens Counsel John Griffin which was supposed to take 4 weeks to complete at a cost of K2 million with the report to be presented to the Parliament on 28th of March 2017. These inquiries were to look at the roles of Ministers, the responsibilities of Departmental heads and its officers and heads of various SOEs. This report was never made available in the March sitting of Parliament.

To date, the outcome of Administrative Inquiry, National Fraud Squad and the Ombudsman Commissions is yet to be made public. Appointment of Ministers Duma and Pok Member for Hagen Central William Duma and Member for North Whagi Fabian Pok were appointed Ministers for State Owned Enterprise and Defense respectively in the 10th Parliament. The irony is that both Ministers were sidelined in the 9th Parliament over the controversial issue of MLD. When PM ONeil was questioned about these appointments by Member for North Fly James Donald MP, the PM defended the appointments by stating that there was no point in preempting the outcomes of the Administrative Inquiry, all citizens are innocent until proven guilty and so as mandated leaders they are entitled to occupy positions.

PM ONeil has clearly backflipped from his earlier statement o...

20:00

Toxic Aid: a review "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Toxic aid: economic collapse and recovery in Tanzania, by UCLA Professor and former World Bank Chief Economist for Latin America Sebastian Edwards, is a fascinating and well told story of Tanzanias economic history. It begins with a brief discussion of whether the recent economic progress in Tanzania is the success story often presented by those advocating economic reforms in Africa and then proceeds to summarise recent debates on foreign aid and whether aid really works on the ground.

The remainder of the book largely refocuses on the Tanzania story. It begins with a short discussion of how aid volumes evolved from independence to 2011 and then proceeds to drill down on what Edwards identifies as three key periods of changing aid support. In subsequent chapters, with excellent analysis and convincing detail, he relates the economic performance that accompanies each period of aid. In the closing chapter he returns to the question of whether Tanzania should be considered a success.

For a variety of reasons this Tanzania story presents a particularly interesting case study. After his brief outline of the post-independence period, Edwards discusses in detail Tanzanias turn to socialism in 1967 with the Arusha Declaration. Documenting well the steady economic decline that accompanied the move to socialism, Edwards contrasts this with the generous and increasing aid flows that Tanzania received through the 70s. Enthusiastic about Nyereres focus on rural development and addressing the needs of the poor, substantial support came from the World Bank and other donors, in spite of poor and declining economic performance. Indeed, this period provides a clear explanation of the title toxic aid; no one can credibly argue that the massive aid flows that marked this period had meaningful development impact, as poverty levels clearly increased.

Edwards then describes well the key areas of dispute that emerged with the IMF and World Bank in the late 70s, and devotes a chapter to the story behind the complete break in relations with the IMF in 1979. He also provides a useful summary of the broader changes that occurred in donor attitudes toward Africas development challenges, before returning to the Tanzania case.

Most of the remainder of the book focuses on the two periods of reform that marked the 1985-2011 period. After Nyerere retired and Ali Hassan Mwinyi was elected President in 1985, the government moved forward with a reform program that emerged from both internal Tanzania work and the support of the IMF and the World Bank. Edwards presents a comprehensive description of the reforms involved, and reviews the positive impact they had on the return to real economic growth. Pursuing reform also led to substantial new aid...

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