Development Studies

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    Narratives of Creole islandness : exploring the relational practices of public servants and community leaders in Jamaica : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Development Studies at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand
    (Massey University, 2023) Waite, SueAnn Georgia
    Understanding islands as spaces that amplify relational phenomena, Creole as produced by the experience of plantation colonialism; and narratives as sense-making tools which sustain cultural repertoires, this thesis uses a case study of public servants and community leaders involved in local development planning in Jamaica to explore the extent to which relational practices of islanders are explainable through narratives of Creole islandness. Assuming relations as the building blocks of institutions, the thesis proposes that examining relations and their cultural context is instrumental to understanding institutional change (and maintenance). The research uses Jamaica as an example of a Creole island, with the local sustainable development planning process and the participatory governance framework as the institutional context. Three subnational jurisdictions in Jamaica provided the basis for identifying a network of public servants and community leaders to produce the conversation data used for analysis. Members of the diaspora involved in related development initiatives were also included. Conversations produced two sets of research data: 1) identity narratives of Creole islanders, and 2) relational practices in the design and implementation of the local development planning and participatory governance processes. Analysis of the data set revealed patterns among public servants and community leaders in their emphasis on different elements of shared narratives of Creole island identity and conceptions of development, as well as patterns of relational practices between public servants and community leaders in their roles in the local development planning and participatory governance processes. The findings provide insight into how cultural narratives and repertoires support actors in their navigation of governance processes on a Creole island and suggest the importance of planning for relational practices when designing and managing development and institutional change processes.
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    Rural livelihoods and natural resource sustainability : a case study of two communities on Chiloé Island : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Applied Science in Rural Development at Massey University, New Zealand
    (Massey University, 2005) Bannister Hepp, Alan
    This research examines the relationship between livelihood strategies of rural communities in Chile and local environmental sustainability. It determines livelihood options adopted by local communities and identifies their impact on the surrounding environment. Two case studies are presented using the sustainable livelihood approach as a framework to describe the livelihood strategies of two rural communities in Chiloé Island. Environmental sustainability is investigated using elements and concepts of the FESLM (Framework for Evaluating Sustainable Land Management) approach and of agroecosystem analysis. Both communities were selected because of their location close to extensive areas of native forests. One community is relatively isolated, has a “Huilliche” ethnic tradition, with a predominance of subsistence activities; the other is closer to markets and their livelihoods are primarily derived from farming-forestry systems. Data for the study was collected from in-depth semi-structured interviews and key informant interviews with local leaders, relevant local government staff, NGOs, and community members. For the examined cases, results suggest that rural subsistence communities are highly diversified, using their resources in a non-sustainable way; generating livelihood strategies that fail to improve their social, economic and environmental conditions. Low productivity soils, steep slopes, and depleted fragile forest ecosystems create a complex natural resource base. The main causes for the community economic problems are the lack of road networks and markets to sell products to. Organisations in charge of development interventions are aware of the situation but find it difficult to start a sustainable development process, mostly due to a lack of human capital in the communities, notably education, organisational skills, and technology adoption. Future development interventions should tackle the issues that constrain development in these communities, consider rural communities’ context-specific characteristics, value local culture and tradition, facilitate to build social and human capital, ensure integrated management of natural resources, and assist with markets for existing and value-added products produced by local households.
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    The challenges of climate change adaptation for displaced communities : the Bikini community on Kili and Ejit Islands : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Master of International Development, School of People, Environment and Planning, Massey University
    (Massey University, 2022) Fraser, Adam
    The displaced Bikini community on Kili and Ejit Islands are facing significant threats from sea level rise. This effect of climate change is just the latest devastation to face this community. In 1946, the Bikinians were coerced into leaving their homes on Bikini Atoll to allow the United States to conduct nuclear tests. Their forced relocation has led to the community suffering long term impacts associated with displacement as they are still unable to return home. The vulnerabilities faced by the Bikinians due to displacement are intensifying the Bikinians’ exposure and sensitivity to climate change. However, the Bikinians are not passive victims of displacement or climate change and have shown high levels of resilience to the disruptive impacts of these processes. The strategies first developed in response to their displacement must now consider climate change. Conversely, for their adaptation to climate change to be successful, these strategies must address the impacts of displacement as the underlying cause of Bikinian vulnerability. The threats of climate change for the community on Kili and Ejit are considerable. Despite having developed strategies to respond to the vulnerabilities they face, climate change will continue to make life on Kili and Ejit Islands difficult because of the underlying social, cultural, economic and environmental characteristics. There may be limits to the Bikinians’ ability to adapt and remain resilient. The Bikinians, already forced from their homes, have been highly mobile with most of their population residing on other islands within the Marshall Islands or in the United States. Climate change may force yet more Bikinians to consider migration as a form of adaptation. This study explores how the vulnerabilities the Bikinians endure because of their displacement contribute to vulnerabilities associated with climate change. This study analyses these issues and focuses on how Bikinians adapt and build resilience. In seeking to share the story of the Bikinians this study draws on bwebwenato (talk story) research methods with members of the Bikinian leadership, and an analysis of documents detailing their struggle for justice against their displacement, and their experience with climate change.
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    Bai givim mipela planti strong : teacher training programmes and teacher empowerment in Papua New Guinea : a research report presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of International Development at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand
    (Massey University, 2022) Ready, Joseph
    Teachers are an indispensable component of an education system. “Teachers are one of the most influential and powerful forces for equity, access and quality in education and key to sustainable global development” (UNESCO, 2008b, para 1.). Issues of teaching training and retention are having significant impacts on the quality of education in countries of the Global South. The increased focus on education access have resulted in classroom sizes ballooning in Papua New Guinea which in turn has impacted the quality of education. Numerous donors and agencies are working in Papua New Guinea in the education space. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been filling the gaps in teacher training through programmes to support and address the quality of education. Little is known about the extent to which teachers in these programmes are empowered. Therefore, it is timely to look at the relationship between teacher training programmes and teacher empowerment. This report uses an adapted empowerment approach as a theoretical framework to understand how teacher training programmes can empower teachers. This qualitative research draws on the case study of Kokoda Track Foundation (KTF), an education, health, and community NGO with a specific focus on the Teach for Tomorrow programmes. The project involved multiple methods to collect data, which were: tok stori, a culturally appropriate method of research with participants, document analysis, and a semi structured interview. The voices of participants feature teachers and an NGO employee with a strong localisation focus. Three key themes of culture, knowledge and partnership were identified from literature and form the foundation on which the empowerment lens was applied to this research. Findings show that there was a substantial increase in the amount of trained and certified teachers through the T4T programmes. Opportunities to improve the quality of teaching were provided through professional development and training. This received positive response from participants. Recognition of existing teacher knowledge of their communities was a vital part to ensure programme content focused on adding value to teachers’ knowledge. Overall, KTF programmes are making positive changes which empower teachers professionally, personally and as member of the community.
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    An analysis on the effectiveness of community policing strategies on the methamphetamine trade in Tonga : a research project presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of International Development, School of People, Environment and Planning, Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand
    (Massey University, 2022) Naisali, Seimoana
    Police reform in small island developing countries has seen the increasing implementation of the community policing strategies as a means to achieve trust and confidence of Police within the community. Over the past two decades, the Pacific Islands have adopted a community-oriented policing approach over more hardened methods of law enforcement found in traditional policing because its strategies offer a more loosened approach to restoring justice and peace in the community. However, there have been claims that foreign assistance provided by donor countries to support policing in the Pacific has introduced new problems for recipient countries, particularly in the areas of policy design, implementation and suitability. This report analyses the effectiveness of community policing strategies in Tonga relating to methamphetamine, and the ways in which New Zealand provides aid to support and improve Tonga’s capacity and capability to tackle the issue. Increased reports of methamphetamine around Tonga have been increasingly evident in media headlines and Police reports. The debate in this research draws upon findings in the literature, semi-structured interviews and document analysis through Tonga Police’s current policy reviews. The findings also examine the suitability of foreign priorities in the local context and how improvements can be made to increase the efficacy and efficiency of Tonga Police. This research suggest that while New Zealand’s proactiveness in Tonga has seen slow but progressive results, its drug related strategies lack input and direction from local government and Tonga Police. A shift towards culturally suitable policing strategies focused on improving community wellbeing through grassroots initiatives such as rehabilitation, training and education is urgently required. The research argues for more collaborative cross-sector efforts between local government agencies and external organisations whose involvement can help to alleviate the strain on Police resources whilst upholding and improving community wellbeing.
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    Spice up your ‘public policy’ : exploring the operationalisation of Sustainable Development Goal 5, Target 5.C to create employment opportunities for ethnic women in Aotearoa New Zealand Government Ministries : a research report in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of International Development at Massey University Manawatū, Aotearoa
    (Massey University, 2022) Patel Cornish, Shanti
    The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their targets present an exciting opportunity for equity. SDG 5, Target 5.C aims to monitor the creation of legislation and policy that is designed to improve the lives of women across sectors. The core objective of this research was to explore diversity and inclusion in the government ministries of Aotearoa New Zealand (Aotearoa) and how the operationalisation of Target 5.C could create more equitable employment opportunities for ethnic women. This research used feminist methodology, post-development thought and decolonial principles to design the key informant interviews with Members of Parliament (MPs) and purposeful sampling of key documents. These methods were used to compare the views shared by MPs with policy documents and archival data from past governments to see how diversity, inclusion and equity are presented by government ministries. This researched highlighted that ethnic women face many barriers to gaining work in government ministries and SDG 5, Target 5.C could be a tool to help improve access to employment in the policy workforce. The SDGs have been utilised effectively by the government and for Target 5.C to be successful for ethnic women in government ministries there are wider changes that need to be made. The study concludes that the there is opportunity for Aotearoa New Zealand to be a world leader in the operationalisation of SDG 5, Target 5.C and the broader SDG agenda.
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    Accountability mechanisms in NGOs : how ChildFund New Zealand maintains accountability with its funders and communities : submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree Master of International Development (International Development), School of People, Environment and Planning, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Massey University
    (Massey University, 2022) Sinclair-Parker, Mahalia
    ChildFund New Zealand (CFNZ), whose parent body was established in 1938, works alongside communities to deliver development programmes that prioritize outcomes for youth. The organisation aims to work through partnership to promote self-reliance in developing communities, while engaging in continual self-reflexivity. This research report investigates the accountability mechanisms of ChildFund New Zealand through document analysis and semi-structured interviews. It explores the types of accountability mechanisms the NGO uses and how, regarding their funders, potential donors, and community members. This kind of research critiques how a large NGO can practice accountability that align with its mission and values. It also contributes knowledge to the ongoing dilemma of how to implement best practice in development.
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    Ecosanctuaries, grassroots community development and partnerships with tāngata whenua : a postdevelopment perspective : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of International Development at Massey University, Palmerston North, Aotearoa New Zealand
    (Massey University, 2022) Burnett, Scott
    Aotearoa New Zealand is in the midst of a human-induced biodiversity crisis, with three-quarters of birds, reptiles and frogs at risk of extinction. Last year a redeveloped National Biodiversity Strategy called Te Mana o te Taiao was released. The strategy argues that we need to change people's relationship with the natural world in order to address biodiversity loss. In this thesis, I explore the socio-cultural aspects of three community-led ecosanctuary projects to examine this problem and illuminate a pathway toward a more sustainable relationship between people and the natural world. I use a hopeful postdevelopment lens, which seeks to imagine and practise development differently through research couched in hope and possibility. It builds upon postdevelopment's insight that over-reliance upon universally applied, science-based, market-driven technological solutions often delivers unintended negative outcomes and devalues alternative perspectives. A qualitative approach was employed for this research, using semi-structured interviews with key informants, an analysis of documents published by these organisations, and a synthesis of the published literature. The research illustrates how dominant Western paradigms, which see humans as separate from the natural world, have contributed to the biodiversity crisis. It then reveals that awareness of the state of the environment does not necessarily result in behaviour change, and I argue that the adoption of indigenous approaches may help turn knowledge into action for the environment. I found ecosanctuaries are well-placed to enact this paradigm change in human-nature relationships and are already doing so as a side-effect of their activities rather than with a planned focus. The research further examined the influence of ecosanctuaries upon their communities, how ecosanctuaries worked with indigenous peoples, and how they incorporated indigenous knowledge. These findings can be used by community conservation initiatives to articulate the benefits such projects deliver to their communities and suggest how stronger relationships with tāngata whenua can be developed and why this is valuable.
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    Navigating conflict and peace : women's political participation in conflict-affected Pacific states : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of International Development in Development Studies at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand
    (Massey University, 2021) Lodge, Renata
    The low rates of women’s political participation in Pacific countries has long been the focus of academic scholarship. In recent years, peace and security scholarship has increasingly started to consider women’s presence in peace processes and the lasting impact this may have on peace and gender equality in the post conflict state. However, there has been little work to connect these two areas to look at women’s participation in political decision-making in conflict-affected states, particularly those in the Pacific. Societies often go through huge transitions after conflict, yet there is no consensus in the literature on the impact of conflict on gender equality or on rates of women’s participation in formal politics. This thesis explores the conditions for women’s participation in formal political structures in two conflict-affected case studies in the Pacific – Bougainville and the Solomon Islands. In doing so, it seeks to examine the post-conflict dynamics and how they have enabled or prevented women’s rights advocates from advancing reforms to parliamentary and political structures to increase the participation of women in formal political structures. This thesis has found that different opportunities for women’s advocates to make reforms to the post conflict political structures developed in each case study, with more scope for change emerging from the conflict in Bougainville than in Solomon Islands. Subsequently women’s advocates in Bougainville have had more success in reforming governance structures to ensure their increased participation, which resulted in three reserved seats in the Autonomous Bougainville Government and legislation providing for gender parity in local government. The failure to achieve similar reforms in Solomon Islands is due to a series of interlinking issues, but can be most significantly attributed to two factors: the lack of an effective internal peace process emerging from the conflict – without which opportunities for an inclusive political settlement didn’t arise, as well as the mandate of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) to restore the pre-conflict political environment, rather than reform the ex ante status quo. Together these two factors afforded few openings for women’s advocates to push for new governance arrangements that could enable the increased participation of women. Conversely, the conflict in Bougainville was largely resolved internally, and resulted in the development of a new constitution and governance structures. This provided opportunities for women’s advocates to ensure their inclusion in these new structures. However, despite the success of women’s advocates in Bougainville, the numbers of women MPs in the Autonomous Bougainville Government have not increased to the extent many had hoped for. The post conflict political environment for women in both case studies is defined by an intensely local political culture with weak party politics, and the failure of service delivery on behalf of the government. These characteristics create a challenging campaign environment for women candidates, which in Solomon Islands is being exacerbated by the increasing use of the constituency development funds.
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    Better lives for all? : prospects for empowerment through marine wildlife tourism in Gansbaai, South Africa : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Development Studies at Massey University, Manawatū, Aotearoa New Zealand
    (Massey University, 2022) van der Watt, Heidi-Mari
    Little is known about the consequences of burgeoning commercial marine wildlife tourism (MWT) for communities in the Global South. Gansbaai, the location for this research, has a concentration of twelve MWT operators; it also faces the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty, and inequality. Given their privileged access to marine common resources, empowerment and tourism policies position MWT permit holders as key agents of development. This research examines how MWT contributes to development for less advantaged residents of Gansbaai. Here, development means better lives and sustained empowerment for residents and rebalanced power relationships between social actors. A novel Tourism-Empowerment Framework guided observation and analysis of empowerment interfaces, expressions of power, and empowerment processes and outcomes in MWT. A mixed methods approach drew on administrative data, participant observation, and interviews with civil society, private sector, and government actors. Crucially, the results revealed government actions, persistent societal power imbalances, and structural constraints circumscribed prospects for empowerment through MWT operators. Therefore, the ability of private firms to advance empowerment was restricted. Nevertheless, the results show how business processes advanced empowerment in several dimensions for most residents linked to operators. Substantial investment in human and local economic development by some MWT operators meant benefits extended beyond business owners and employees. Empowerment manifested as strengthened ability and agency to attain personal goals through decent work, increased household resources, enhanced skills and self-confidence, expanded social capital, strengthened collective power, and greater influence over decisions that affect their lives. Further, most less advantaged residents of Gansbaai were marginalised from the multidimensional benefits of MWT, and some people experienced disempowerment. Many interventions were operator-defined, charity-based, prioritised business benefits, and maintained power imbalances. Altogether, the findings suggest unequal empowerment, uneven impact on the six dimensions of empowerment, simultaneous empowerment and disempowerment, and a muted effect on structural transformation. In the final analysis, while MWT appears to have progressed multi-dimensional empowerment for some residents, claiming that MWT has led to rebalanced power relations and better lives for all less advantaged residents of Gansbaai would be disingenuous.