Experts in Local Development

We help you to improve your work and impact at the community level, by providing research, training and consulting services. Whether you need to refine your organisation’s community engagement strategy, conduct community-based research to help you design a program, or give community engagement training to your staff, we have you covered. READ MORE.

What We Do… All of our work is focussed on promoting a single, basic idea: that development does not need to be introduced from ‘outside’, as part of a one-size-fits-all package. We provide tailored training, facilitation, and policy and program development expertise to help you find ways of working with the unique attributes of the communities you engage with, while also getting the job done. READ MORE.

E-Course… Working With Communities is a ten-week online vocational course, designed for development professionals. This course teaches the fundamentals of good community engagement, taking students through a step-by-step process to developing their own comprehensive community engagement strategy, based on their individual context. READ MORE.

Bridging Peoples Network… The Bridging Peoples network is our way of giving back. We provide assistance to a range of Timorese community-based organisations and local NGOs, giving them access to community development resources and training. The network also informs our own work, ensuring that our teaching and advice is grounded in community realities. READ MORE.

Latest from the Blog…

Podcast Episode 03: Community Organizing in Syria

What’s it like doing community work in a war zone?
What are the pitfalls of classic aid delivery? How can we work in partnership with […]

Podcast Episode 02: Anthropological Perspective of East Timor (Timor-Leste) 1965-2018

How has anthropology changed over the years? Join us as we talk to husband and wife team David and Maxine Hicks who visited what was then Portuguese Timor during the mid-1960s when David […]


Local Governance in Timor-Leste – Lessons in postcolonial statebuilding (2014, Routledge)
by Bridging Peoples founder
Deborah Cummins

“We have contracted with Bridging Peoples on a number of different occasions to provide technical support to our project’s local governance activities. Deborah’s intimate understanding of the context in Timor-Leste combined with her excellent technical knowledge are a winning combination. She has been able to apply these to support us with strategic planning, legislative analysis from a community perspective and to facilitate participative workshops to successfully engage local partners to explore and define their own perspectives on how to achieve inclusive local governance.”
Carolyn Tanner, Chief of Party, Ba Distrito Project, Counterpart International
“IWDA worked with Bridging Peoples to carry out an evaluation of two community-based projects/partnerships in Timor-Leste. It was a pleasure working with them. They was very professional and delivered timely, high quality work. I appreciated that they were consultative and managed to build good relationships with IWDA and our partners in a short time period. They brought an excellent level of analysis to the evaluation, particularly in contextualizing the findings and recommendations for the Timor-Leste context.”
Georgia Ride, Program Manager, International Women's Development Agency (IWDA)
“We were delighted to partner with the Bridging Peoples on the development of CEPAD’s Corruption Training Manual, which is now being used as a key activity to take the work of CEPAD’s community based anti-corruption programme countrywide to its next level. The Bridging Peoples’ team provided a depth of methodological experience and good ideas and it was a bonus to work with a team whose members were already familiar with CEPAD’s participatory action research approach and so created a collaborative and engaging atmosphere from the beginning. The assistance provided remains an invaluable resource and we truly appreciated all that the members of the two teams together with selected community members and representatives from the civil society organizations contributed to this very successful project.”
João Boavida, Executive Director, Centre of Studies for Peace and Development (CEPAD)
“UNFPA greatly appreciated the work of Bridging Peoples, which resulted in a quality piece of research with insightful findings and useful recommendations. Deborah and her team’s professionalism, deep understanding of the cultural context, strategic approach and strong analytical skills yielded a powerful result that will be useful for years to come.”
John M. Pile, Country Representative, UNFPA Timor-Leste

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Based in another country but interested in our work?

We are based in Timor-Leste but are always looking to expand our horizons! If you are based in another country and are working in a similar arena we would be delighted to hear from you. You can contact us HERE.


Join our online course, and learn practical strategies that you can implement immediately to improve your work in developing communities HERE.