In 2016, the Government of Timor-Leste drafted new legislation to govern the work of villages councils, and to implement decentralisation across the country. At the request of Committee C of the National Parliament of Timor-Leste, Counterpart International engaged Bridging Peoples to assist with community consultations, to gather recommendations on how the draft Law might be improved to better reflect community realities and needs.
Bridging Peoples worked with Counterpart International staff and civil society partners to develop information packages to (1) assist stakeholders in understanding the draft legislation, and (2) to work with village leaders and civil society organisations in gathering recommendations for submission to Parliament. Bridging Peoples worked closely with Timorese civil society organisations advocating for the rights of people with disabilities, women, and young people, to encourage a variety of voices and perspectives during the consultation process.
Bridging Peoples assisted in conducting consultations and developing recommendations from village leaders and civil society stakeholders across four municipalities and regions. The team was invited to personally present recommendations to the Parliamentary Committee responsible for legislative oversight. Based on the success of the consultations, the President of Timor-Leste requested a direct meeting between him and a delegation of village chiefs, so they could present their concerns directly to him. Some important recommendations from this consultation process were incorporated into the Committee’s final report to Parliament, and used to guide the President’s contributions to the process.
This project was conducted in 2016.