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Sustainable Communities, Sustainable Development

Sustainable Communities, Sustainable Development: Other Paths for Papua New Guinea

Paul James
Yaso Nadarajah
Karen Haive
Victoria Stead
Albert Age
Peter Annear
Sama Arua
Kelly Donati
Jean Eparo
Beno Erepan
Julie Foster-Smith
Zarnaz Fouladi
Betty Gali-Malpo
Damian Grenfell
Elizabeth Kath
Andrew Kedu
Paul Komesaroff
Leo Kulumbu
Ronnie Mamia
Lita Mugugia
Martin Mulligan
Gibson Oeka
Jalal Paraha
Peter Phipps
Leonie Rakanangu
Isabel Salatiel
Chris Scanlon
Helen Smith
Sabine Spohn
Pou Toivita
Kema Vegala
Naup Waup
Mollie Willie
Joe Yomba
Copyright Date: 2012
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  • Book Info
    Sustainable Communities, Sustainable Development
    Book Description:

    Papua New Guinea is going through a crisis: A concentration on conventional approaches to development, including an unsustainable reliance on mining, forestry, and foreign aid, has contributed to the country's slow decline since independence in 1975.Sustainable Communities, Sustainable Developmentattempts to address problems and gaps in the literature on development and develop a new qualitative conception of community sustainability informed by substantial and innovative research in Papua New Guinea. In this context, sustainability is conceived in terms that include not just practices tied to economic development. It also informs questions of wellbeing and social integration, community-building, social support, and infrastructure renewal. In short, the concern with sustainability here entails undertaking an analysis of how communities are sustained through time, how they cohere and change, rather than being constrained within discourses and models of development. From another angle, this project presents an account of community sustainability detached from instrumental concerns with economic development.Contributors address questions such as: What are the stories and histories through which people respond to their nation's development? What is the everyday social environment of groups living in highly diverse areas (migrant settlements, urban villages, remote communities)? They seek to contribute to a creative and dynamic grass-roots response to the demands of everyday life and local-global pressures. While the overdeveloped world faces an intersecting crisis created by global climate change and financial instability, Papua New Guinea, with all its difficulties, still has the basis for responding to this manifold predicament. Its secret lies in what has been seen as its weakness: underdeveloped economies and communities, where people still maintain sustainable relations to each other and the natural world.

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-6120-9
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xx)
    Paul James
  5. I Communities in Context

    • Chapter 1 Postcolonial Development and Sustainability
      (pp. 2-31)

      The independence of Papua New Guinea was marked by both bold anticipation and uncomfortable ambivalence. The Constitution of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea (1975) brought the nation-state into being on the basis of a set of careful principles as far-reaching as its constitutional ancestors, including the Declaration of the Rights of Man (1789) and the Constitution of the United States (1861). It has often been noted that the beginning of the Republic of France, framed by its principles ofliberté, égalité,andfraternité,represented a faltering but long-term reorganization of sovereignty around the centrality of a new political...

    • Chapter 2 Engaged Theory and Social Mapping
      (pp. 32-57)

      Researching communities has long been beset with difficulties that are still being debated. How is it possible to delimit the spatial boundaries of a research locale? What determines the temporal frames of a study? How are the different standpoints of the researcher and the researched to be understood and related? What are the different kinds of power engendered by a research relationship? In relation to the spatial frame of a study, for example, the classical presumptions of studies of community, with their focus on bounded and stable social settings, were profoundly disrupted by intensifying social change. Direct pressures for new...

    • Chapter 3 Situating Communities
      (pp. 58-90)

      The decades since independence have seen substantial changes in Papua New Guinea’s cultures, economies, politics, and ecologies. Many of these changes have been influenced or even dictated by external circumstances beyond the country’s control, while much also reflects the efforts of its governments’ attempts to build a capitalist economy and a sense of national identity and purpose. Where does all this leave the communities of Papua New Guinea? What is the nature of its multitude of different communities, many still partly customary in their way of life, as they live with the effects of a series of national development goals...

  6. II Communities in Place

    • Chapter 4 Urban and Periurban Communities
      (pp. 92-134)

      Chris Clement Wagi Dogale died in the Port Moresby General Hospital in the early hours of Saturday, 20 October 2007. He was also known as Wadi, named after his uncle. He died in the same hospital where he had been born on a Saturday in June 1979. Twenty-eight years on, his father Clement Dogale was woken at 3:00 a.m. to come to Chris’ bedside. Chris had been shot a few hours earlier, allegedly by police officers. The story of what happened has been told and retold by various people in the subsequent period, and our understanding of the events of...

    • Chapter 5 Hinterland Communities
      (pp. 135-179)

      The villagers are gathering slowly in the new community learning center, which they built themselves in early 2006. The people here are from the Tokain group of villages. There are three main villages in the Tokain group—Tokain 1, Tokain 2, and Simbukanam—and another cluster of villages in the surrounds—Malas, Dibor, Imbab, and Yambrik. These villages fall into wards 4 and 5 of the Sumgilbar local-level government within the Sumkar District on the northwest coast of Madang Province. The people who live in these villages are creating a shared identity together and increasingly call themselves the Gildipasi people....

    • Chapter 6 Remote Communities
      (pp. 180-214)

      Children are hanging off of trees and rocks as the vehicle approaches Wisini village. It has come through Kassangare village and moves up to Wisini after crossing the Kassangare River, a tributary of the Biaru River, currently in flood. The villagers begin gathering around the vehicle—the exchanges of greetings are warm and friendly. Many of the children hang on to our hands and laugh. Their oversized T-shirts are printed with advertisements for electricity companies or instant noodles, or else with slogans promoting conservation efforts or empowering messages by international companies and groups. The elders and the tribal chiefs come...

  7. III Community Development

    • Chapter 7 Informal Economies and Community Livelihoods
      (pp. 216-246)

      Just as the informal economy is conventionally taken to exist outside the “real economy,” studies of informal economic activities tend to be located outside the central currents of mainstream economic theory. In mainstream economic and development theory, informal economies have classically been treated as part of an irregular sector that either should be temporarily tolerated or harnessed and integrated into the economic center. In short, across the world such practices have been treated as “shadow economies.” More recently, however, sociologists, anthropologists, and political economists have been giving increasing levels of attention to the informal economy as a phenomenon in itself....

    • Chapter 8 Microfinance and Community Development
      (pp. 247-279)

      Microfinance, microcredit, and other initiatives that support microenterprise have been in the spotlight for well over a decade. Many of these initiatives, especially in Asia, have reported tremendous successes and are increasingly touted as the solution for poverty alleviation, especially for the Global South. Some of these initiatives have also reported spectacular results in terms of their outreach as well as their lending and saving portfolios. Such has been the level of enthusiasm for microfinance that the UN General Assembly was moved to declare 2005 the International Year of Microcredit. In 2006 an influential microfinance provider, the Grameen Bank, and...

    • Chapter 9 Health and Community Equity
      (pp. 280-306)

      Papua New Guinea’s national development strategy currently prioritizes economic growth led by the private sector. It works on the presumption that improved economic outcomes will equate to greater spending on health and will automatically improve health outcomes. However, this has not happened. In fact, the opposite is the case. Overall, the health services and health status of Papua New Guinea have been in a general decline since independence, and the health and life expectancy of people in Papua New Guinea are rated as the poorest in the Pacific. This is mainly due to an unequal distribution of resources with the...

    • Chapter 10 HIV/AIDS and Community Context
      (pp. 307-340)

      HIV/AIDS was first reported in Papua New Guinea in 1987. Over the next decade, the numbers of confirmed HIV and HIV/AIDS cases increased steadily, causing a general but unhurried state of concern.¹ Since then heightened attention has been raised about the need to recognize an impending crisis. After an exponential statistical rise in HIV/AIDS cases since 2000, Papua New Guinea has been classified as suffering from a generalized epidemic of HIV and AIDS.² This means that HIV is firmly established in the general population through substantial sexual networking, while subpopulations may continue to spread HIV disproportionately. Such a classification is...

  8. IV Community Learning

    • Chapter 11 Learning beyond Formal Education
      (pp. 342-373)

      Education has long been recognized as a powerful tool for social change and development. It can empower individuals and communities by stimulating reflective citizenship and active participation in cultural, political, and economic life, and by enabling people and communities to negotiate the increasing challenges and changes of their lifeworlds. Education can also be a force of disruption, inculcation of external values, and social abstraction—lifting people out of relatively stable contexts into new cultures of high expectation and ungrounded desire. In Boera, for example, as we discussed earlier, modern education has displaced older forms of learning. Now, only one woman...

    • Chapter 12 Learning Centers for Sustainable Living
      (pp. 374-399)

      The global literature on community learning needs a complete reworking. Notwithstanding the limits of theory, practical application through learning centers has become one of the dominant means of addressing informal educational programs across the globe. International organizations including United Nations bodies have taken up various community learning approaches with positive dedication. UNESCO and the United Nations Development Program, for example, are using community learning centers to address a range of social equity issues in the Global South.¹ Most commonly they focus on the improvement of basic vernacular literacy levels or offer education initiatives aimed at creating sustainable livelihoods. Given that...

    • Chapter 13 Recommendations for Community Learning
      (pp. 400-408)

      Papua New Guinea is at a critical point in its history. Overall we recommend that an engaged community learning process be used to strengthen the sovereignty and self-reliance of local communities, while at the same time drawing those communities into relationships beyond the local to the district and national levels, and through to the global. In other words, the community learning and development process should become part of a critical re-creation of the concept of the “global village,” while leaving behind the usual romantic overtones associated with that suspect concept. Global and national processes are already having a profound impact...

  9. Appendix: Project Partnerships and Coordination
    (pp. 409-410)
    (pp. 411-450)
  11. INDEX
    (pp. 451-467)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 468-469)