Wicked Problems and community development

19 downloads 129 Views 4MB Size Report
His research interests relate to low income housing facilitation and com- ... Kristen Lyons is associate professor in Environment and Development Sociology in the School of Social ...... by refugee community workers in Delhi for women's groups and project volunteers. ...... a cultural centre, a sports club or a workplace.
The Routledge Handbook of Community Development Research

This handbook sets a new research agenda in community development. The contributors redefine existing areas within the context of interdisciplinary research, highlight emerging areas for community development related research, and provide researchers and post-graduate students with ideas and encouragement for future research activity. To do this, the editors have deliberately chosen to frame this book not through a traditional sociological lens of class, race and gender, but through a “Wicked Problems” framework. Drawing upon the work of 37 international authors, in diverse settings such as West Papua, Peru, the USA and Australia; and with methodologies equally as diverse, from case studies and interviews to the use of music and story-telling, this handbook focuses upon five Wicked Problems: food displacement; family, gender and child related violence; indigenous marginalisation; climate change and food security; and human survival in the context of disaster and recovery work. By drawing together leading scholars from community development, social work and social policy, this handbook provides an up to the minute snapshot of current scholarship as well as signposting several fruitful avenues for future research. This book is both an invaluable resource for both scholars and practitioners and an indispensable teaching tool for use in the classroom and in the field.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Lynda Shevellar is influenced by twenty-five years of experience and study in community development, the disability sector, education, and psychology. She has worked in government and the community sector and is currently a lecturer in Community Development, within the School of Social Science at The University of Queensland, Australia. Lynda’s current research focuses upon supporting people with disabilities and mental health challenges to develop a deeper sense of community belonging. Peter Westoby is an Associate Professor in Social Science and Community Development at Queensland University of Technology, Australia; a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Development Support, University of Free State, South Africa; and a Director with Community Praxis Cooperative. Peter has over 30 years of experience in practice in places such as South Africa, Uganda, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Australia. He teaches and researches on community development theory and practice, dialogue studies and forced migration studies. Peter is passionate about reading, good coffee, hanging out at his local AVID reader bookshop, bushwalking and travelling.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

The Routledge Handbook of Community Development Research

Edited by Lynda Shevellar and Peter Westoby

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

First published 2018 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business 2018 selection and editorial matter, Lynda Shevellar and Peter Westoby; individual chapters, the contributors The right of Lynda Shevellar and Peter Westoby to be identified as the authors of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data [CIP data]

Taylor and Francis

ISBN: 978-1-4724-6901-4 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-315-61282-9 (ebk)

Not for distribution

Typeset in Bembo by Swales & Willis, Exeter, Devon, UK

Contents

List of figures List of tables List of contributors Foreword Acknowledgements Introduction 1 Wicked Problems and community development: an introductory essay Lynda Shevellar and Peter Westoby

Taylor and Francis

PART I

Not for distribution

Forced displacement

2 Disruptive rights-based community development in protracted urban refugee contexts: the politics of legal recognition Linda Bartolomei, Kristy Ward and Marcela Garrett 3 They’d just “flown away”: reflections on shifting gender norms in the context of engagement with asylum seekers and refugees through community music Caroline Lenette, Brian Procopis and Paola Caballero 4 Underestimating legacy: lessons learned from mining-caused displacement and resettlement Rebekah Beatrice Ramsay and Laura Simpson Reeves

viii ix x xviii xx 1 3

21 23

41

55

v

Contents

PART II

Family, gender and child-related violence 5 What role for community? Critical reflections on state-driven support for vulnerable children and orphans in South Africa Lochner Marais, Carla Sharp, Motshaatbebe Serekoane, Donald Skinner, Jan Cloete, Kholisa Rani, Michelle Pappin and Molefi Lenka 6 Community-based strategies to combat child trafficking in Indonesia Harriot Beazley 7 Preventing violence against women: the development and evaluation of a CALD community family violence project Deborah Western and Claire Varley

69 71

84

99

PART III

Indigenous marginalisation

115

8 Storying unarmed insurgencies: collective narrative methods for researching civil resistance Jason MacLeod

117

9 “Singing on country and singing for country”: music in work with Australian Aboriginal communities Dave Palmer

133

10 Complicating dynamics: adapting the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework to a remote Indigenous context in Australia Mark Moran, Laura Simpson Reeves and Alyson Wright

146

11 The Martu Leadership Program: community-led development and experimentalism Ann Ingamells and Peter Johnson

161

12 Enhancing Aboriginal child welfare through multisector community collaboration Judy Gillespie

181

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

PART IV

Food and climate

195

13 Stories of climate-induced mobility: responses, challenges and the need for an institutional framework to guide these transitions Sarah Henly-Shepard, Karen E McNamara and Robin Bronen

197

vi

Contents

14 Food sovereignty and community economies: researching a Spanish case study Rhyall Gordon 15 Carving out space for community gardens in Australia: exploring the potential of community gardens as social movements for urban change in Sydney and Canberra Alec Thornton, Kristen Lyons and Scott Sharpe

210

223

PART V

Survival development

23 7

16 The place of schools in building community cohesion and resilience: lessons from a disaster context Carol Mutch

239

17 From “dilemmatic space” towards ecological practice: community development in disaster recovery in Queensland, Australia Peter Westoby and Lynda Shevellar

253

18 Hurricanes, oil and rising water: the role and work of community development in coastal Louisiana in the intersection of disasters, recovery and planning for the future Holly Ann Scheib

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

267

Conclusion

283

19 What have we learned? A concluding essay on Wicked Problems, research and the contributions of community development Peter Westoby and Lynda Shevellar

285

Index

293

vii

Figures

4.1 5.1 8.1 8.2 10.1 10.2 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 16.1 16.2 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 19.1 19.2

viii

Location of the Rio Tinto La Granja project The location of Mangaung within larger Bloemfontein and Mangaung Municipal Area Using “Playing for Life” process to support mine workers in West Papua A painting of the “Bring West Papua Back to the Family” campaign across Melanesia DFID’s Sustainable Livelihoods Framework Engawala asset pentagon Map showing Martu lands Purpose of MLP Martu outcomes MLP 2017–2020 platforms for action and underpinning Martu qualities The criminal justice system and diversionary program Continuum of engagement of communities in research Three case studies located along the continuum of engagement Major shifts in BISCO Advocacy activities Strategist activities Liaison activities The intersection of roles A community development framework for approaching Wicked Problems Mutch’s continuum of community engagement in research

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

58 75 125 126 147 150 164 168 171 172 173 242 243 272 273 274 275 275 288 290

Tables

5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 10.1 11.1 16.1 17.1

Difference between capacity building for community development versus service delivery Activites funded per service area Main problems associated with orphans and vulnerable children, according to CBO care workers Service work done by CBOs focusing on orphans and vulnerable children Assessment of livelihood capitals in Engawala in 2006–07 Components of adult education program Principles underpinning engagement of school communities in this research Number of CDOs interviewed, by region and government area

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

74 76 78 79 152 170 241 257

ix

Contributors

Linda Bartolomei is the immediate past Director of the UNSW Centre for Refugee Research

(CRR), a co-founder of the recently established Forced Migration Research Network and a senior lecturer in Social Work and International Development at UNSW. Since 2001, she has been involved in a series of action-based research projects exploring the challenges associated with identifying and responding to refugee women and girls at risk in camps and urban settings across the world. The results have had a significant impact on research and policy and were instrumental in the introduction of the UNHCR’s Conclusion on the Protection of Women and Girls at Risk in 2006 and the implementation of the Heightened Risk Identification Tool. Linda recently completed a practice-based research project in New Delhi India which modelled refugee-led community development and social support and is currently completing an ARC funded project which is exploring understandings of human rights in the context of refugee settlement in Australia.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Harriot Beazley is a human geographer and community development practitioner with a pas-

sion for rights-based research with children and young people in Southeast Asia (especially Indonesia). She is Program Coordinator (International Development) and Senior Lecturer (Human Geography) at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Harriot’s PhD (ANU) research was focused on the geographies and identities of street children in Indonesia. Since then she has worked as a community development adviser on an AusAid funded Women and Family Health program in Indonesia, and she has conducted research on the physical and emotional punishment of children in Vietnam and Cambodia (Save the Children), child labour and the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Indonesia (UNICEF), and children’s experiences in orphanages after the tsunami (Save the Children). Harriot’s most recent research has explored the impact of transnational migration on children in Lombok, Indonesia (SSHRC, Canada). She is Commissioning Editor (Pacific) for the journal Children’s Geographies. Robin Bronen lives in Alaska, works as a human rights attorney, and has been researching the climate-induced relocation of Alaska Native communities since 2007. Robin received her PhD from the Resilience and Adaptation Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She works as an expert on climate-induced planned relocations with the UN High Commission for Refugees and was a member of the advisory group for the Nansen Initiative, a state-led, bottom-up consultative process intended to build consensus on the development of a protection agenda addressing the needs of people displaced in the context of natural hazards, including the effects of climate change. She is also an advisory group member of the Platform on Disaster Displacement. Her research has been featured in The Guardian, CNN, Climatewire and Nature magazine. Robin has been an expert witness for Congressional hearings focused on climate-induced community x

Contributors

relocations and regularly presents her research at conferences focused on climate change adaptation, disaster relief reduction, and climate change and population displacement. The Alaska Bar Association awarded her the 2007 Robert Hickerson Public Service award and the 2012 International Human Rights award. The Federal Bureau of Investigation awarded the Alaska Institute for Justice the 2012 FBI Director’s Community Service award and the International Soroptomists awarded her the 2012 Advancing the Rights of Women award. Paola Caballero graduated with a Psychology degree from The Pontificia Bolivariana University

(Colombia) and worked with diverse communities there before relocating to Australia, where further studies and community inclusion work have reinforced her commitment to those who find themselves marginalised. Her personal and professional interest in music and community work has led her to become an active member of Scattered People since 2010, enjoying the small team of musicians and kindred-spirits on the journey to Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation centre (BITA), and from there to a local neighbourhood centre in Brisbane. Music has proven to be the best tool for all participants to communicate with one another beyond language barriers and personal challenges. Jan Cloete is a researcher at the Centre for Development Support at the University of the Free

State, South Africa. His research interests relate to low income housing facilitation and community development, especially as it relates to South Africa. He focuses on housing and urban health research and is involved in a number of international research projects. Marcela Garrett was a Research Associate with the UNSW Centre for Refugee Research

Taylor and Francis

at the time of writing. She oversaw Project RESPECT, the Kenya Project which focused on psychosocial support for Somali refugee women and girls in Eastleigh, Nairobi. Marcela was the point of contact and support in Sydney via Skype and at the project site in Nairobi, for the local project coordinator who actually managed and coordinated activities at the project site.

Not for distribution

Judy Gillespie is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of British

Columbia, Canada. She holds a Masters of Social Work and a PhD in Urban Planning. Her research and teaching interests are primarily in the area of child welfare and include the role of community and its physical, social, political infrastructure in children’s wellbeing as well as the acquisition of expertise for interprofessional child welfare practice among nurses, social workers and teachers. She is currently lead investigator on a grant examining evaluation approaches to multisector community collaboration to enhance Aboriginal wellbeing. Rhyall Gordon is a PhD candidate in Human Geography at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He is a member of the Community Economies Collective. He has carried out research with food sovereignty collectives in the Spanish province of Asturias. His research interests include community economic organising, food sovereignty concepts and practices, and social change through everyday politics. Sarah Henly-Shepard lives in Washington, DC and works internationally in the fields of cli-

mate resilient development, natural resource management, disaster risk reduction, public health, human rights, advocacy and policy. Her education includes a BA from the University of TexasAustin (2004), a MPH from Johns Hopkins University (2008) with a Certificate in Humanitarian Assistance, Health and Human Rights, and a PhD in Natural Resource and Environmental Management focusing on Community Disaster Resilience from the University of Hawai‘i at xi

Contributors

Mānoa, with a Certificate in Planning (2013). Her work addresses socio-ecological vulnerability and adaptation to natural hazards and climate change, through community-based disaster resilience programs and research. Sarah aspires to advance the field of disaster resilience by bridging the gap between the humanitarian response, recovery, relief and development nexuses, integrating local and indigenous knowledge and practices with Western science, and employing human rights as a guiding framework to reduce vulnerability of socio-ecological systems to conflict, climate change, hazards and degradation. Ann Ingamells, PhD, is a practitioner, researcher and educator of community develop-

ment. Developmental evaluation is the most recent of the practice approaches embraced by Ann, and one that enables her to maintain deeply valued connections to remote Aboriginal people and their communities. For many years Ann taught community development at Griffith University, Australia, and now spends the majority of her time on research and supporting small community organisations through her role as convenor of the Coalition of Community Boards. Peter Johnson is an Advisory Director and the Manager, Strategy and Governance for

Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa. He has worked with Martu since 2003. Together with Sue Davenport and Muuki Taylor (a senior Martu elder) he was a founder of Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa and was the initial CEO from 2009 to 2013. Peter’s major current work with Martu is in the design and conduct of the leadership program, including most of the coursework. Prior to working with Martu, Peter worked in law and business.

Taylor and Francis

Caroline Lenette is a Lecturer of Social Research and Policy in the School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney. Her research focuses on refugee and asylum seeker mental health and wellbeing, forced migration and resettlement of refugee women, and arts-based research that promotes mental health and wellbeing, particularly visual ethnography, digital storytelling and community music. Caroline is interested in the socio-cultural meanings that people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds articulate about their own mental health and wellbeing, particularly through creative means. Her research using digital storytelling in collaboration with refugee women and how narrative methods can be used more widely, has generated novel discussions on engaging effectively in refugee research and practice. She is currently working on projects exploring the ethics of artsbased research methods in refugee research.

Not for distribution

Molefi Lenka is a fieldwork and manager and community liaison officer at the Centre for

Development Support, University of the Free State, South Africa. He has managed fieldwork on a number of large national and international research projects and has co-authored a range of subsequent papers from this research. Kristen Lyons is associate professor in Environment and Development Sociology in the School of Social Science at the University of Queensland. Her research is in the fields of international development, including environmental initiatives such as carbon markets and organic exporting, and their local livelihood impacts and responses. In Australia, Kristen has been engaged in social research related to organic and alternative agriculture, as well as new technologies and their impacts for food and agriculture, over two decades. Kristen is Senior Research Fellow with the Oakland Institute, California, and contributes regularly to public debates on a diversity of social justice issues. xii

Contributors

Jason MacLeod is an educator, organiser and researcher. He teaches civil resistance at the

University of Sydney, Community Development at the University of Queensland, is a training associate with the Change Agency, and coordinates a social movement capacity strengthening program for people in non-democracies. He is the author of Merdeka and the Morning Star: Civil Resistance in West Papua (2015) and the People Power Manual series with James Whelan. Jason has accompanied the West Papuan freedom movement since 1991 and is active in climate justice, refugee rights, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander movements for self-determination. He lives and works in Jagera Country, Inala, Brisbane. Lochner Marais is currently Professor in Development Studies at the Centre for Development

Support at the University of the Free State, South Africa. Prior to this, he lectured at Vista University in Bloemfontein for seven years and in the Department of Geography at the University of the Free State for two years. He holds a PhD in Geography. He has authored more than 200 research reports including 110 papers in peer-reviewed journals or book chapters. His research and teaching activities are focused on the areas of housing policy, community development, local economic development, and more recently he has been in the process of focusing on urban health issues (including mental health). Karen E. McNamara lives in Brisbane and lectures in sustainable development and livelihoods

at The University of Queensland, Australia. Prior to this, Karen worked at the University of the South Pacific and undertook fieldwork in numerous countries and communities in the region on livelihood and climate change adaptation issues. She has a Bachelor of Environmental Science (Hons I) and a PhD in Geography – both from the University of New South Wales. Karen is ultimately concerned with livelihoods and how people make and sustain a living in diverse places throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Sustainable livelihoods is the pivot by which she explores a host of issues, most notably climate change and the impacts this has on the ability of people and communities to continue living in their homelands. Karen works with communities throughout the Asia-Pacific region to explore and evaluate appropriate strategies to reduce their vulnerability to environmental change, and ultimately forge sustainable livelihoods in the short and long term.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Mark Moran is Professor of the Development Effectiveness Group at the Institute for Social Science Research, The University of Queensland (UQ). Mark has an unusual background of technical and social science research with a degree in Civil Engineering and a PhD in Geography and Planning. He has worked in a range of Indigenous and international development contexts, including China, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, Bolivia and Lesotho, and remote Indigenous communities in Australia. His research interests include aid effectiveness, governance, public finance management and community-driven development. He has recently published a book titled Serious Whitefella Stuff: When Solutions Became the Problem in Indigenous Affairs. He is also leading the UQ Leadership in Global Development Masters and online MicroMasters, which provides advanced leadership and management skills for the development sector. Carol Mutch is Head of School and Associate Professor in the School of Critical Studies in Education at The University of Auckland, New Zealand. She has worked as a teacher, teacher educator, policy adviser and academic. Carol has published books, chapters and articles on education policy, curriculum development, research and evaluation methods, social studies and citizenship education. She teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses in curriculum, social justice and diversity, educational policy and research methods. Her current research focus is on the role of schools in disaster response and recovery following the 2010/11 Canterbury earthquakes. xiii

Contributors

Dave Palmer is Senior Lecturer in Community Development at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia. He is currently responsible for undergraduate and postgraduate programs in community development. He also has a history of carrying out research examining the value of arts, performance and music in remote area Aboriginal community development. Much of this work includes following projects that are seeking to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal young people. Dave considers himself a musical novice but nonetheless loves playing the guitar, ukulele, banjo, mandolin, merlin, didgeridoo and drums. Very few people, particularly his two boys and partner, enjoy listening to him sing. Michele Pappin obtained a PhD in Development Studies in 2012 from the University of the Free State, South Africa where she worked as a researcher from 2006 to 2015. She is currently working as a data analyst at Stellenbosch University, South Africa in the field of Health Systems Strengthening. Her areas of research interest are HIV/ART, TB, emotional wellbeing and health systems strengthening. Brian Procopis is a retired community development practitioner and has been a member of the

Social Inclusion and Community Development Team of Lifeline Brisbane for many years. He is a community musician and takes his guitar (and his many muso friends) into places where people are experiencing social marginalisation in order to create a welcoming “community”. Human services professionals from mainstream organisations often encounter closed (or reluctantly opened) doors into precarious situations – as in detention centres. Musicians, however, are always welcomed.

Taylor and Francis

Rebekah Beatrice Ramsay is an applied social scientist and research analyst at the Centre for

Social Responsibility in Mining at The University of Queensland (UQ). Her areas of interest and research are in involuntary displacement and resettlement, development practice and the extractive sector, which she formalised in her PhD (2017) on this subject. She has participated in collaborative studies with international university partners, NGOs, multilateral banks and corporates in Australia, the Pacific and Latin America. Rebekah lectures at UQ on the topics of community economic development and corporate community development drawing on her research, and prior experience as a community development practitioner. She is currently based in the Philippines with the Asia Development Bank where she is conducting a study on involuntary resettlement practice across the Asia-Pacific region.

Not for distribution

Kholisa Rani (neé Sigenu) is a researcher at the Centre for Development Support, University of the Free State, South Africa. She has previously worked as an assistant researcher and is trained as a development practitioner. As a researcher she is involved in the research process including literature searches and reviews, developing survey tools, fieldwork and fieldwork management, data analysis and report writing. Kholisa obtained her MSocSci. (Sociology) in 2006. She has authored, co-authored and compiled research reports, journal articles and her MSocSci. has been published as a book. She has been involved in facilitating capacity building programs and project management workshops. Her areas of interest are: community development, social development, housing policy and practice. Holly Ann Scheib is a global consultant in research, evaluation, organisational development,

community development, social work and public health programming for universities, NGOs and multilateral agencies. Spanning five continents, her work involves the study of communitylevel interventions in the lives of displaced and disadvantaged groups, specialising in participatory xiv

Contributors

methods, action research, ethnography and evaluation. Dr Scheib has been a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College, USA, and has served as a guest lecturer in the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University, UK. Her website, www. hollyscheib.com, lists current and past appointments and projects. Motshaathebe Serekoane has been a Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology,

University of the Free State, South Africa since 2005. Prior to joining the academia, he did extensive community work as social worker and project manager. He is currently a Fellow in the Teaching Advancement at University fellowship program in South Africa, enrolled for a PhD project in Higher Education Studies. His academic interest is focused on issues pertaining to the scholarship of teaching and learning, transformative education, community engagement, culture and health. His work is mostly interdisciplinary and cuts across various disciplinary boundaries such as social work, psychology and sociology. He has authored and co-authored publications and delivered conference papers on all of these aforementioned focus areas, both nationally and internationally. Carla Sharp is Professor and Director of Clinical Training at the University of Houston, Texas. Her research focuses on attachment disruption and social cognition in youth in the context of mental health problems. She has published over 160 articles, numerous chapters and books. Her research has been continuously funded for the last ten years through federal and foundation funds. Scott Sharpe is a cultural geographer working in the School of Physical, Environmental and

Taylor and Francis

Mathematical Sciences at UNSW, Canberra. His long-term research interest is the relationship between thought, space and politics. He is largely influenced by post-structural strains of thought and has contributed to debates on non-cognitive modes of decision making and theories of embodiment, habit and the will. He has brought this work to bear on a variety of empirical issues, such as peak oil and children’s mobility, humour and anti-racism and alternative forms of movement in the urban environment.

Not for distribution

Lynda Shevellar is influenced by over 25 years of experience and study in community devel-

opment, the disability sector, education and psychology. She has worked in government and the community sector and is currently a Lecturer in Community Development, within the School of Social Science at The University of Queensland, Australia. Lynda has worked extensively with community groups and organisations providing training and development, program and service development, and evaluation. Lynda holds a PhD in Community Development, a Master of Education (Training and Development), a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology, a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education. She is a director/consultant with the non-profit Community Praxis Co-operative, and serves as a committee member for the local mental health network A Place to Belong. Her central research focus is upon supporting people with disabilities and mental health challenges to develop a deeper sense of community belonging and the intersection of this work with macromorality. Laura Simpson Reeves is a qualitative researcher focusing on participatory development, poverty and inequality. She has worked as a senior research officer at The University of Queensland (UQ) Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR), a research assistant with the UQ Centre for Communication for Social Change, and as a research communication adviser for Indonesia’s premier think tank on poverty-related issues, SMERU. Outside of research, her professional xv

Contributors

background spans print media, publishing and developing materials for development and humanitarian professionals and practitioners. She is currently completing her PhD in Sociology, investigating cultural perceptions of poverty and inequality in Australia. Donald Skinner is a registered clinical psychologist, and has an MPH and PhD in Research

Psychology. He is Director of a research unit Social, Behavioural and Biomedical Interventions in the Department of HIV, AIDS, STDS and TB at the Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa. He has expertise in researching health and culture using both qualitative and quantitative approaches, often applying community based approaches, and teaches qualitative research to postgraduate students. He has been PI on multiple internationally funded studies on risks to communities including HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, violence and gender issues. He has a long history of involvement in health issues, including working within the health sector against apartheid, and works closely with NGOs. Previous posts include being the research officer at an NGO working with victims of violence, director of the AIDS and Society Research Unit at UCT and as director of Research on Health and Society at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Alec Thornton is a Senior Lecturer in Development Geography at the School of Physical,

Environment and Mathematical Sciences (PEMS) at UNSW Canberra, Australia. He is also a research fellow at the School of Tourism & Hospitality, Faculty of Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa. He has held an Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Geography, Archaeology and Earth Sciences (GAES) at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, and is the current vice president of The African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP). His research interests take a critical theory approach to issues in sustainable urban development and urban food governance. His research explores the role of community and social movements in influencing positive social development in developing and developed countries.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Claire Varley is a community development practitioner and novelist. She has a Master of

Community and International Development and has worked on development projects in Melbourne’s northern suburbs and the Solomon Islands, as well as statewide workforce development projects. She has worked across prevention, intervention and crisis response family violence projects and has extensive experience designing and delivering projects with culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Kristy Ward is a Visiting Fellow at the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre at the University of

Sydney. In her previous work at the University of New South Wales Centre for Refugee Research she was involved in a practice-based research project to enhance community protection among refugee groups in New Delhi. Kristy’s research focuses on gender and urban social change in Southeast Asia and participatory development practice. She has worked in numerous roles with non-government organisations. Deborah Western is a social worker with practice experience in the fields of child and fam-

ily welfare, sexual assault and family violence. She is a lecturer/researcher in the Department of Social Work at Monash University, Australia, and her research interests are violence against women/preventing violence against women, feminist and gender analysis and evaluation, women and mental health, and feminist social work practice and research.

xvi

Contributors

Peter Westoby, after a decade as an engaged scholar at The University of Queensland, is cur-

rently Associate Professor of Social Science and Community Development at Queensland University of Technology. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Development Support, University of Free State, South Africa, and a director/consultant with Community Praxis Cooperative. He teaches and researches on community development theory and practice, dialogue studies and forced migration studies. He has worked in youth, community and organisation development for nearly three decades, within places as diverse as South Africa, Uganda, Vanuatu, PNG, the Philippines and Australia. He loves hanging out in independent book shops, good coffee spots and in the wilderness. He particularly loves multi-day hiking in mountain ranges and besides lakes. He has published more than ten books and many professional journal articles. He is known for monographs such as Dialogical Community Development (Routledge, 2013), Soul, Community and Social Change (Ashgate/Routledge, 2016), and The Sociality of Refugee Healing (Common Ground, 2009); and has also edited several volumes including, with Shevellar, Learning and Mobilising for Community Development (Ashgate, 2012). Alyson Wright has a background in geography and epidemiology. From 2001 to 2016, she

worked in research positions with Aboriginal organisations in Central Australia, including the Central Land Council and Centre of Appropriate Technology. Her research expertise focuses on community-based participatory research, community governance, program evaluation, cultural and social determinants of health, and strengthening Indigenous policy, practices and program delivery. Alyson is currently completing an MPhil in Applied Epidemiology at the Australian National University.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

xvii

Foreword

This collection provides such a timely contribution to contemporary debates. Neoliberal globalisation policies urgently need to be – and are being – challenged at the present conjuncture. Communities have been experiencing devastation as a result of the effects, with increasing inequalities and mounting social needs, just as the public services to meet such needs have been decimated by austerity cuts. Voluntary and community sector organisations have been increasingly affected by the associated processes of marketisation, processes that have been compounded by the effects of subcontracting; with larger organisations winning contracts to provide key services while smaller, community-based services have been going to the wall (Milbourne and Murray, 2017). And the most vulnerable are being left to support each other – or not – as best they can. While the overall effects of neoliberal globalisation have varied from context to context, critics have rightly been highlighting the challenges for communities and for community development, overall. In the contemporary situation, however, critical discourses on neoliberal globalisation are at risk of becoming dominated by populists from the Far Right of the political spectrum. As if the impact of neoliberal policies were not problematic enough, Far Right populists have been exacerbating the problems for communities and for those working with them as community development workers, community researchers and community practitioners. Such politicians have been stigmatising the most vulnerable, blaming the victims of neoliberal globalisation, fuelling fears of “the other”, exacerbating community conflicts in the process. Sadly, Britain is not the only context in which hate crimes have been increasing, as a result. One of the more chilling aspects of Far Right populism has been the associated disregard for experts and indeed for the very notion of truth in a “post truth”, “fake news” era (D’Ancona, 2017; Davis, 2017). This has been a feature of public discourse both in Britain and the USA, for example, as senior politicians have been illustrating. Who needs research in such situations, if research-based evidence is to be dismissed in such terms? In such contexts it would seem more important than ever to set the context for community development research agendas, then, making the case for the continuing relevance of rigorous research to provide the evidence for developing the most effective interventions. There are such potentially significant implications, both for communities and for those that work with them, as well as there being significant implications for policy makers with community-related interests and concerns. Against this background, the editors have set out to highlight emerging areas for community development-related research, and to encourage researchers with ideas for the future. The collection draws upon a number of research initiatives, illustrating the extent to which community development can – and cannot – contribute to social change. As the editors themselves recognise, community development can provide useful contributions. But community development approaches also need to work alongside other approaches, including mass education and social

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

xviii

Foreword

movements, international development programs and legal or policy advocacy initiatives, to name but a few of the more obvious examples. In order to develop such research agendas, the editors decided to select research-based initiatives to illustrate research contributions to a number of “wicked” problems, some of the most complex and intractable problems in the current context, both locally and globally. These include the problems associated with forced displacement, along with the problems of violence, the marginalisation of indigenous communities and the problems of sustainability, in the context of climate change. Between them, these contributions illustrate the relevance of community development research, highlighting the ways in which communities can impact upon the effects of neoliberal globalisation, compounded as these are being, by the divisiveness of Far Right populism. In addition, the contributions identify the need for wider interventions to tackle the structural inequalities that have been underpinning these “wicked” problems from the start. So this book is to be widely welcomed. The essays will have relevance for a broad range of those concerned with community development as well as for those concerned with community development research. Marjorie Mayo Emeritus Professor of Community Development Goldsmiths, University of London

References D’Ancona, M (2017), Post-truth: The new war on truth and how to fight back, Ebury, London. Davis, E (2017), Post-truth; Why we have reached peak bullshit and what we can do about it, Little Brown, London. Milbourne, L and Murray, U (eds) (2017), Civil society organizations in turbulent times: A gilded web? Trentham, London.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

xix

Acknowledgements

This edited collection would not have been possible without the support of colleagues around the world. We would particularly like to thank Emeritus Professor Marjorie Mayo, Professor Jim Ife, Professor Akwugo Emejulu, Professor Lynda Cheshire, Dr Cameron Parsell and Dr Ann Ingamells. We also express thanks to Dr Robert Hogg for his generous and precise editorial assistance. Lynda acknowledges the support of a six-month long fellowship at The University of Queensland Institute for Social Science Research. Peter would also like to acknowledge, along with his employers during this project, three months’ sabbatical stay with the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. We wish to express our thanks to Georgia Priestley at Routledge for her assistance in bringing this project to fruition in such a supportive and collaborative way. Finally, and perhaps most of all, thanks to the 37 authors around the globe who have contributed so generously to this collection, for hanging in with themselves, their co-authors, and with us, the editors! We know it has been a long process with many iterations, but we trust that the final product is one you will all feel proud of.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Lynda Shevellar and Peter Westoby August 2017

xx

Introduction

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

1 Wicked Problems and community development An introductory essay Lynda Shevellar and Peter Westoby

Introduction As part of the Routledge International Handbooks Series, the intention of this edited collection is to set the research agenda in community development for the next few years. We seek to redefine existing areas within the context of multidisciplinary research, to highlight emerging areas for community development-related research, and to provide researchers and post-graduate students with ideas and encouragement for future research activity. To do this, we have deliberately chosen to frame this book not through a traditional sociological lens of class, race and gender, but through a “Wicked Problems” framework. Which is of course not to say that class, race and gender divisions or relations of domination and inequality, are not themselves Wicked Problems, but that – at least for the purposes of this collection – our gaze is elsewhere. The first section of this introductory essay includes four settings which provide directions for any reader of the book. These four settings have been chosen because they point the way to particular sites of struggle that underpin our structure. Section two then turns to the actual structure of the book, presenting brief abstracts for each chapter of the edited collection.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Section one: the four settings for this collection Our first three settings include the contexts of community development, the research context of academia, and the community sector. Each of these contexts is experiencing profound forces of change, which in turn invite struggles etched by issues of social justice, managerialism, auditculture and so forth. The fourth setting is a little more unusual as it seeks to reveal the often invisible hand of the editor. This speaks to the ethical component of writing, making transparent how we chose which chapters were included in the process of developing this collection.

The first setting: the field of community development in the context of “wicked” problems Emerging from policy studies, Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber (1973: 160) first employed the word “wicked” in the sense of being “malignant”, “tricky”, “vicious” and “aggressive”. 3

Lynda Shevellar and Peter Westoby

The idea of the Wicked Problem is that it describes problems that are complex and intractable. Brian Bishop and Peta Dzidic (2014) note that being faced with a Wicked Problem leads to an overwhelming sense of being faced with something so complex it is difficult to comprehend and is seemingly unresolvable. Wicked policy problems are characterised by debate over the nature of the problem, debate about solutions, and, importantly, Wicked Problems are interconnected and symptomatic of other problems (Head and Alford, 2015). Each Wicked Problem is related to and composed of other apparently intractable problems. These interconnections –systems of systems – make Wicked Problems resistant to analysis and to resolution (Horn and Weber, 2007). Both the problems and solutions are confounding, with outcomes often ambiguous. There is a lack of generalisability and there are challenges in evaluating the goodness of outcomes. Interestingly, Wicked Problems are most often identified at the boundaries of natural and social systems, where cognitive, institutional and strategic uncertainty coincide. It is in this uncertain space that the logic of the dominant paradigm is most clearly inadequate – and it loses its power to hold people’s imagination. Within this Wicked Problem framework, some of the foci of this book include direct abuse of children and families, the dispossession of people and loss of land through a colonial history of statesponsored and interpersonal ignorance and violence, issues of poverty and food justice, and the increasing scope and magnitude of disasters (where human-made and natural disasters intersect in cause and effect). With our gaze on such problems, we are often left wondering about the validity and worth of community development. Can community development really contribute to such local-global issues? When teaching community development, we often begin by talking to our students about the way in which community development is a useful, but humble, contributor to social change. It sits alongside other important methodologies of social change: mass education campaigns and social movements, mass media, international development, and legal or policy advocacy – just to name a few. We have chosen a Wicked Problems framework to deliberately test whether there is still a place for community development in a world of globalising intractable problems. What do these issues tell us about the contribution of community development; and how might research in the field of community development help make headway in addressing such issues? And, what does exploring these challenges tell us about the nature of community development research itself? Our conclusion to the Handbook explores these ideas by reflecting upon the chapters contained in this volume. We have been careful to use the word “field” rather than speak to a “discipline” or “profession” of community development. By its nature, community development is a multi, inter or ideally transdisciplinary field. We think of community development academics as working the borderlands of academic disciplines, referring to our ability to bring together strands of seemingly disparate knowledge from multiple disciplines, to create new rich ways of seeing. Among our writers are sociologists, political scientists, psychologists, human geographers, attorneys, educators, social workers, social activists, environmentalists, artists, novelists, musicians and, of course, community practitioners, who all identify with numerous other disciplines and professions, although they cross the community development field. Therefore, one of the strengths of this collection is its deliberate embrace of multiple and transdisciplinary perspectives, across and also within chapters. However, the consequence of such multi and transdisciplinary approaches is that ideas of “community” and “development” are diverse, and sometimes, particular perspectives on these ideas are not articulated so clearly. Bishop and Dzidic (2014) observe that:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

4

Wicked problems and community development

Not only does inter [we can add multi and trans] disciplinarity bring with it complexity arising from the mix of disciplines, often the nature of the issues reflect[s] complexity and intractability. Unfortunately, this level of complexity is essential if we are to develop a discipline that reflects the realities of people’s lived experiences and not some abstracted version that suits our disciplinary view of the world. (p. 13) And this is appropriate given that community development occupies an ambiguous and contradictory space filled with the level of complexity Bishop and Dzidic describe. In our call for papers for this collection, we therefore chose deliberately not to reduce community development to a singular definition. And in pulling this collection together there has been no attempt to divine a shared meaning or provide a holistic assessment of the community development field. That is not the task of this collection and we concur with Mae Shaw’s assessment that, “defining the nature of community work is a notoriously unproductive activity and one which has often led to a lowest common denominator approach which is largely meaningless” (1997: 61). To demand a single definition is the sort of totalising modernity that community development seeks to undo. Yet on the other hand, we are also nervous of the way in which community development has been colonised to mean anything and everything, and eventually nothing at all. For example, to counter this growing semantic abyss, the International Association of Community Development (IACD), has chosen to adopt a formal definition of community development. The IACD contends that “community development is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline concerned with the organisation, education and empowerment of people within their communities” (IACD, 2017). However, as practitioner academics engaged in both paid and voluntary work, and in both citizen and professional projects, we struggle with this narrow framing of the field, and this attempt to frame the field has simply invited fresh debate (see Lathouras, 2017). Our preference is for more dialogue and more engagement about the work that we are doing, albeit contextualised by the kind of principles normative to community development (Shevellar, 2008). Such principles include:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

• • • • • •

ideological principles: such as working in holistic, sustainable ways that embrace diversity and balance; social justice principles: such as working towards betterment, emancipation and empowerment, equity, social justice, self-determination and the reallocation of resources to the greatest social benefit; principles that value the local: including valuing local knowledge, culture, resources, skills, and processes; process principles: linking the immediate goal to long-term vision, raising consciousness, maximising participation, inclusion, working for cooperative structures and moving the private concern to political action; global and local principles: understanding globalisation and its impact, practising locally and linking to global agendas for change; and a relational approach to social change.

Consequently, when we invited submissions for this collection, rather than a definitional or normative stance that tells the story of what community development should be, we invited authors to reflect upon their work as it actually is or could be in the complex contexts being researched.

5

Lynda Shevellar and Peter Westoby

Such an approach can be challenging, requiring the reader to embrace a certain amount of ambiguity and contradiction. On the one hand, community development is the domain of everyday life and can be understood as a citizen-led project (Westoby and Dowling, 2013), the purpose of which is to “re-establish the community as the location of significant human experience and the meeting of human need” (Ife, 2013: 212). Yet on the other, it also exists as a professional project employing professionals with ‘community development’ in their job descriptions. Community development is also local and global. Significant human experiences occur against the backdrop of the global economy and a hegemonic neoliberal ideology that extends market principles and values to state and social relationships, privileging individualism, maximum choice, profit and efficiency (Ferguson, 2010; Larner, 2006; Meade et al., 2016). Such values stand at odds with those embraced by a community development perspective where community is foregrounded alongside the individual, participation is granted greater attention than efficiency, wealth is redefined, and issues of justice, peace and wellbeing are deemed to matter more than profit. Furthermore, community development sits in a marginalised and often resistant space, concerned with the plight of the “other”. The focus is on the lived experience and ideas such as social solidarities, cooperation and conviviality. A focus on these ideas and the “other” sit at odds with the predominant culture orientation of modernity – focused on autonomy, individuality and the self – with no obligation to the “other”. Modernity has been further shaped by contemporary neoliberalism, and as Simon Springer (2012: 137–138) argues, neoliberalism fundamentally creates social divisions, and: [i]s a context in which the establishment, maintenance and extension of hierarchical orderings of social relations are re-created, sustained and intensified . . . the hegemony of neoliberalism positions it as an abuser, which facilitates the abandonment of those “Others” who fall outside of neoliberal normativity.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

In this way, he contends, neoliberalism has become entwined with violence. This is a vital insight because many of the issues dealt with in this collection have violence at their core – direct, cultural and structural (Galtung, 2004) – direct abuse of children and families, the dispossession of people and loss of land, issues of poverty and food justice, and the increasing scope and magnitude of disaster. Not only is violence a common theme, but the issues themselves are also intertwined; they are all both cause and effect. Of course, in choosing a Wicked Problem framework we are also immediately embraced by a profound dilemma that has long been alive within the community development field. That is, what are the consequences of focusing on a “problem” as opposed to a vision, or as Peter Block (2009) so poignantly puts it, a “possibility”. Aware that a problem focus can limit the gaze, and drain energy, we have however opted for the problem “framing” to focus the contributors. However, sitting behind the framing is certainly a dreaming for the possibility of a world in which people experience the substantive elements of “development as freedom” as Amartya Sen (1999) imagined so well.

The second setting: the academy as one context of research The second setting for this research companion targets the next site of social and political struggle: the academy as our research context and the research context of most of the contributors to this volume. Our intention is that this collection will appeal to graduates and academics working within a range of disciplines including social work, sociology, political 6

Wicked problems and community development

science and development studies. This collection provides scholars and graduate students with a comprehensive and authoritative state-of-the-art review of the current research in the field of community development. We are aware that Routledge Handbooks are primarily aimed at advanced students, postgraduates, libraries, policy makers and researchers; however, we suspect that this particular collection will also have wide appeal among practitioners, activists and educators beyond the academy. Of course, the university setting is not the only place in which research occurs, but it is a space that promotes, resources, sanctions, legitimates, distributes, and perhaps even sanctifies, research processes and outcomes. While we avoid a totalising idea of the academy, in the sense that there are always some spaces for creativity and engaged research, our experience is that, generally, the academy – in its current manifestation – is predominantly a hostile environment for research in community development, and even community development as a field of practice. The values highlighted earlier, as per community development, are not easy bedfellows to those of the encroaching corporate university model. As Clelia Rodriguez (2017: 3) asserts: Academic spaces are not precisely adorned by safety, nor are they where freedom of speech is truly welcome. Not all of us have the luxury to speak freely without getting penalized by being called radicals, too emotional, angry or even not scholarly enough. In true decolonization work, one burns down bridges at the risk of not getting hired. As we write this Introduction we are engaged in an analysis of community development teaching and research at the university in which we work. While we watch community development course enrolments decline, we wonder about its future as an academic field. Community development is being squeezed out of the social work curriculum (at least within Australia) as that profession becomes more focused on individually oriented practice (Shevellar and Westoby, 2014). Community development, as a people, collective and placeoriented development practice, is suffering under the weight of privatised forms of development, and the “big is better” mantras of efficient NGOs, corporations, their foundations and government. Furthermore, research in the academy is increasingly geared towards products and outputs and rapid “extraction” of data to produce publications and measurable “impact”, whereas research informed by community development principles and practices tends to be counter-hegemonic: more oriented to co-research, co-production and co-habitation between researchers and marginalised peoples. Ideally, community development works with those who are not beneficiaries of the capitalist system. And while we applaud greater considerations of the ethics of working with so-called “high-risk” populations, there is a point at which management of risk becomes disengagement. In contrast to disengagement the struggle to hold a resistant space is far from an original observation – academics have long seen the academy as building the knowledge archives of, and for, the ongoing colonial agenda (Berlant, 1997; Smith, 2013). However, those resistant spaces exist, and Bryony Enright, Keri Facer and Wendy Larner (2016: 37) have heralded fields such as women’s studies, indigenous studies, development studies and community development, as “sites from which calls for new relationships between academics and partners have emerged and been reenacted”. We also wonder what value research has in a system where knowledge is increasingly restricted, privatised and commodified – and where academics themselves, as productive achievers of academic rankings, are also being commodified (Martin-Sardesai et al., 2017). And what is the relationship between research and practice? How can researchers engage with a community or social sector when we know we are often located in institutions that have an instrumental

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

7

Lynda Shevellar and Peter Westoby

rationality and are more interested in products and publication metrics rather that the long-term “search” for knowing and being that sits at the archetypal core of “re-search”? These are not simply philosophical ponderings. Short-term and highly competitive research funding with an emphasis upon outputs and impacts produces a particular kind of research and a particular kind of writing about research – as can be seen from the process of developing this collection. In our call for papers, the vast majority of studies received were case studies, developed mainly by data from interviews and desktop analysis. Much rarer were participative methods, participant action research projects or innovative approaches to research that challenged convention. This is not to devalue the majority of contributions we received. The subject matter of the papers and the practice approaches remained novel and fascinating (for example, use of digital literacies with indigenous people, the role of schools as community in disaster recovery, a discussion of the ethics of vegetarianism in a meat producing food cooperative – just to name a few); however, the research methodology tended to remain more conventional. And perhaps we should not be surprised given the conservative academic context in which many researchers are operating.

The third setting: the community sector context At the same time that the academy is being reimagined and remade by the neoliberal project, so are community and social purpose agencies. We are seeing the reshaping of the community and social sector under globalising processes of social policy, characterised by big is better, efficiency as the key value, new professionally oriented forms of governance, and adherence to an audit culture (Power, 2004, 2014). Resulting from such a reshaping are larger NGOs and for-profit service organisations devouring, through mergers and take-overs, grassroot people’s organisations, which of course profoundly influences the kind of research favoured within the community and social sector. The new service-oriented organisations (both non- and forprofit), with strong state loyalty linked to funding, commission more service-oriented research rather than action-oriented or politically oriented work. For example, community development as social planning is favoured over community development as adult education and political development. And of course, where community development is a citizen project, funds for the work, let alone research, are practically non-existent (in fact, in our role as academics we are regularly approached by NGOs seeking funding from us!). Professionals employed in these larger organisations also tend to not be trained in actionoriented or politically oriented research. They might not even know such research approaches exist, having been shaped by dominant research paradigms (both qualitative and quantitative) where knowledge is being produced for and by the expert. In a nutshell, the purpose of research within such a community and social sector is to gain knowledge that services beneficiaries better. The idea that research, as co-knowledge production, or increased understanding by the community itself, enabling “community” to be a vehicle for action, sits outside the paradigmatic imagination of such a community service sector. Where locally rooted people’s organisations do survive, there are still some community development practitioners doing more action-oriented and participatory research. However, even in such spaces, there is often a practice-research divide, with many practitioners engaged in participatory methods not seeing what they do as holding research potential. They see their research as actual community development work (which it is) but therefore it remains marginal and invisible to the academy, or to potential wider audiences. Or worse, an anti-intellectual sentiment exists among some constituents of community development practice, perpetuating a simplistic and unhelpful binary of research/writing versus practice.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

8

Wicked problems and community development

Contrary to any anti-intellectual sentiment, in the field of community development we suggest, like many before us, that there is a highly valuable need to research. Research provides a number of important opportunities for academics and practitioners alike: • • • •

to speak back to dominant discourses and pose alternatives; to collaboratively create new possibilities and solve the collective problems we face; to save/safeguard good practice; and to point the way forwards in terms of innovative practice and policy.1

There is also a set of qualities about the field that should or could make research and practice interface easier. There are some wonderful spaces where the divide is being bridged and the interface is being lubricated. For example, at Durham University in the UK, the Centre for Social Justice and Community Action specifically aims to build links between academics and community partners to enable participatory action research.

The fourth setting: the ethical context In the fourth setting, what we name as the ethical context of this collection, is another site of particular struggle as the thinking, conversations and choices of the editors are made visible. We do this so that the reader can also see the rationales for our choices and understand the limitations imposed. The process of developing this Handbook commenced with an open call for papers in 2015. This call was distributed internationally through networks including specific community development networks (e.g. the IACD, The Community Development Society), as well as international sociology, geography, political science and international development networks (e.g. IDS). In doing this we were very aware that while we have argued earlier that community development is a citizen project, the editorial voice and networks called through is one of academics, and that most of the writers in this collection are academics and professionals. Few are writing from a citizen stance. As an academic collection seeking critical scholarly input, this is perhaps inevitable. But it is also a paradox, potentially contributing to the self-referential system we referred to earlier. As mentioned, the collection utilised a Wicked Problems framing. But in doing so we deliberately privileged particular issues over others trying to ensure that the book would speak to potential concerns of a broad readership. The call for papers sought abstracts for book chapters from authors undertaking community development research in any of the following areas:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

• • • • • • •

populations facing forced displacement such as asylum seekers, refugees and people enduring development induced displacement; social development in post-conflict or transition communities; violence in a domestic sphere such as domestic violence and child protection; responses to indigenous marginalisation; climate change mitigation and adaptation; food sovereignty and security and the politics of food; or survival development – including responses to natural disasters and pandemics.

Our sense is that these topics, each understood as a Wicked Problem, also have a long history of being engaged through community development. In receiving abstracts from potential contributors six criteria were used in the selection. These include: 9

Lynda Shevellar and Peter Westoby

Criteria 1: the centrality of community within the research The first criteria required community to be a key “unit of analysis” within the research, both in terms of site of action or as vehicle of change. This was relatively straightforward: we rejected those proposals that clearly demonstrated no focus on community per se as site, or where a strong sense of “doing to” people was evident, that is, community was not the vehicle of change (see for example, Carol Mutch’s chapter in this collection for an excellent discussion of these differences). We also rejected chapters that did not place community at the centre of discussion, such as policy chapters that were focused upon policy processes rather than participation of, or impact upon, people.

Criteria 2: employment of creative and/or community-based methodologies As this is a research companion, we were clear from the outset that there was a need to concentrate on those papers that had a clear research methodology. Many potential writers had fascinating and highly successful projects but had approached these as practice issues rather than through a lens of research.

Criteria 3: the linking of the local and the global Drawing on the Wicked Problem framework, as editors we were purposefully highlighting global challenges, also recognising that those challenges often played out in local places. Therefore, we were keen to include chapters that articulated global-local links, at least in terms of analysis, but preferably also in practice.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Criteria 4: the gender balance of authors across the volume

While we have not used gender as a central analytical framework, we were eager to ensure that women’s voices were given greater weight in this volume.

Criteria 5: the geographic distribution of chapters across the volume; and, Criteria 6: that the articles were written in English. The last of these two criteria created enormous debate and tension. We activated many of our own personal networks in an attempt to deliberately seek out global south, or majority world, writers, but the challenge is that we know such writers are often less resourced to do research. Although the call for abstracts was global, we had very few submissions from the majority world, and those received often did not meet the criteria adequately to include them. The unfortunate consequence is that many authors, while focusing on the majority world, are themselves from the minority world and global north. The requirement of speaking and writing in English was necessary given the potential audience for the book, but ultimately means that as editors we are (again) participating in what some people argue is a form of linguistic violence, or academic apartheid.

Section two: the structure of the book – crossing the borderlands Turning now from the thinking behind the book to the thinking within the book, the second section provides readers with an overview of the chapters and their contributors. 10

Wicked problems and community development

Part I. Responding to forced displacement The first cluster of “wicked problem” chapters focus on the issue of responding to forced displacement. The four chapters speak to dramatically different communities, including Afghan and Somali communities in Delhi and Nairobi, Iranian and Sri Lankan asylum seekers located in an Australian detention centre, and a community displaced by mining in Northern Peru.

Chapter 2. Disruptive rights-based community development in protracted urban refugee contexts: the politics of legal recognition Linda Bartolomei, Kristy Ward and Marcela Garrett argue that creating spaces for dialogue and reflexive action through rights-based community development approaches, can support ontological security – a sense of trust, belonging and identity – for refugees in protracted urban exile living without legal rights. Project case studies from New Delhi, India, and Nairobi, Kenya, with Afghan and Somali communities demonstrate that cycles of learning, action and reflection, built trust in self, linked people to external allies, and extended dialogue between UNHCR, NGO partners and refugee communities. It disrupts perceptions of refugees as passive participants or dependent beneficiaries, to highlight ways, in the absence of formal civil and political rights that refugees engage in political activity, and explores how this can be amplified through rights-based community development initiatives. While ontological security in its fullest sense may not be possible in protracted urban exile, and is no substitute for citizenship, the struggle for rights and recognition can nonetheless assist in building a sense of trust, belonging and autonomy.

Taylor and Francis

Chapter 3. They’d just “flown away”: reflections on shifting gender norms in the context of engagement with asylum seekers and refugees through community music

Not for distribution

In 2011, a group of community musicians from the Scattered People social justice initiative organised weekly visits to a detention centre in Australia to bring music and singing to the confines of detention and counter the monotony, uncertainty and despair that characterised this setting. The following year, Scattered People and formerly detained asylum seekers and refugees collaboratively organised monthly music gatherings in a local neighbourhood centre. Research was undertaken to identify the impact of this community development initiative on participants. Caroline Lenette, Brian Procopis and Paola Caballero explore the gendered dimensions of engaging with asylum seekers and refugees through the eyes of community musicians in two ways. First, they discuss observed changes in gender-prescribed behaviours as recounted in musicians’ monthly narratives about their experiences, from the detention centre context through to community settings. Second, they present two narratives on engagement through participatory music from a male and female community musician’s standpoint. These gendered perspectives from co-authors who are lead Scattered People community musicians outline whether the musicians’ culturally prescribed gender behaviours might have contributed to the shifts in gender norms they observed among refugees over time. This cross-cultural analysis of shifting norms illustrates some of the gendered processes inherent in community-based approaches with refugees.

Chapter 4. Underestimating legacy: lessons learned from mining-caused displacement and resettlement Concluding this section, Rebekah Ramsay and Laura Simpson Reeves explore tensions between contemporary thinking and practice in community development and how its application in 11

Lynda Shevellar and Peter Westoby

mining caused displacement and resettlement (MCDR). The research examines the experiences and perceptions of local people, NGO practitioners and mining company staff who were engaged in resettlement preparation activities for a proposed copper mine located in Cajamarca, Peru. In mining, the early stages of project development are characterised by uncertainty for both companies and project-affected people. To address the effects of this uncertainty, the company in this case study developed a community development program aimed at strengthening household level resilience. Findings demonstrate that the intent of community development practice can become distorted when tied to company plans for land acquisition and resettlement. The authors conclude that in order to make a meaningful impact and to contribute to community development practice and research, interventions must address historical legacies.

Part II. Responding to family, gender and child-related violence The second cluster of chapters focus on the theme of responding to family, gender and child-related violence, speaking to the plight of orphans in South Africa, street children in Indonesia, and culturally and linguistically diverse families in Melbourne, Australia. None of the chapters assumes a grand solution, but instead speaks to better ways of engaging with such problems (Head, 2016).

Chapter 5. What role for community? Critical reflections on state-driven support for vulnerable children and orphans in South Africa Lochner Marais, Carla Sharp, Donald Skinner, Joe Serekoane, Jan Cloete, Michelle Pappin and Molefi Lenka focus upon the plight of orphaned children in South Africa. The HIV&AIDS pandemic has resulted in large numbers of vulnerable children and orphans with current estimates suggesting that 3.7 million children in South Africa are orphaned. Community-based care has recently received increasing global attention as a means of supporting children who are orphaned or vulnerable as a result of the HIV&AIDS pandemic. In this respect, the South African government through the Department of Social Development (DSD) funds a range of CBOs to provide care to affected and infected children. Two main methods were utilised in the research that informs the chapter. A range of qualitative interviews were conducted with the managers and employees of five community-based organisations. Grounded theory was employed to assess the results and develop an understanding of the relationship between these CBOs and the DSD. Second, the chapter makes use of critical discourse analysis to assess the guidelines provided by the DSD. We argue that these services provided by the communitybased organisations could be categorised as services that extend the role of government. A community development approach that more directly involves children and their caregivers, and moreover emphasises care rather than the extension of government services, could prove to be more appropriate.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Chapter 6. Community-based strategies to combat child trafficking in Indonesia Continuing the focus upon children, Harriot Beazley examines the lessons learned from Save the Children’s ENABLE (Enabling Communities to Combat Child Trafficking through Education) program to combat the trafficking of children in Indonesia. The chapter reflects on the achievements of the community-based child protection program, by exploring examples of best practice in the prevention of child trafficking at the community level. The chapter also identifies important lessons which can be drawn from program activities focused on the return, rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of trafficking back into their communities. 12

Wicked problems and community development

Chapter 7. Preventing violence against women: the development and evaluation of a CALD community family violence project Finally, Deborah Western and Claire Varley explore the ongoing development and evaluation of a CALD community family violence project in the outer northern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. While rates of family violence are not necessarily higher in CALD populations, these communities typically face additional barriers in accessing information, services and supports to address family violence.

Part III. Responses to indigenous marginalisation To paraphrase David Palmer, one of the contributors of this cluster of chapters, responses to indigenous marginalisation have been identified as Australia’s most pressing “wicked policy problem”. However, it could be argued that this is a global phenomenon, with a paradigmatic struggle between colonising and decolonising approaches to development generally, and community development specifically. We observe that indigenous peoples have been labelled as being in need of community development, yet also victims of community development, often used as a tool for ongoing colonisation, control, domination, racism and the imposition of other cultural values.

Chapter 8. Storying unarmed insurgencies: collective narrative methods for researching civil resistance

Taylor and Francis

In the Gandhian tradition, nonviolent action is an integral part of community development. Jason MacLeod illustrates this synergy through an investigation of collective narrative research in West Papua, a particularly challenging anti-colonial struggle and scene of a determined unarmed insurrection. In his recent book, A Theory of Nonviolent Action, scholar activist Stellan Vinthagen proposes a new theory of civil resistance. Vinthagen goes beyond previous polarising dichotomies that view nonviolent action through the lens of strategy or ethics. While affirming the centrality of strategy and Gandhi’s insistence that the means are the ends, Vinthagen introduces two new dimensions: dialogue and utopian enactment. By utopian dimension Vinthagen means acting in ways “as if our visions for a just and sustainable peace were already breaking through”. He also argues for the need to integrate the arts into nonviolent action in order to communicate emotionally and dramatically. Employing the metaphor of “witnessing”, Jason links the Quaker understanding of “bearing witness” with the narrative community work practice of “outsider witnessing”, to investigate nonviolent social movements in West Papua. These collective narrative methods are one way to create a story through a multidimensional view of civil resistance that includes power-breaking strategy, normative action, dialogue and utopian enactment. These methods unearth activist wisdom while also strengthening and contributing to ordinary people’s efforts to remake the world.

Not for distribution

Chapter 9. “Singing on country and singing for country”: music in work with Australian Aboriginal communities Dave Palmer takes the reader on a musical tour throughout remote Aboriginal Australia, examining the part song and sound making plays in community development. It is based upon recent ethnographic research carried out in the Kimberley, Pilbara and Central Australian regions of Australia and includes a discussion on the usefulness of combining song making, 13

Lynda Shevellar and Peter Westoby

music and community development. In particular, the chapter will draw out how traditional music and contemporary practices can work in tandem to help reinvigorate Aboriginal communities. The chapter is based on a series of research projects carried out in conjunction with and at the request of organisations seeking policy and program solutions to myriad challenges facing Aboriginal young people in Australia. As a consequence of past policy failure and a history of intergenerational dislocation of Aboriginal communities, young Aboriginal people fare poorly on every marker of social and economic wellbeing. They are more likely to find themselves in prison, involved in drug and alcohol use, violence, self-harm and suicide, and less likely to finish school, find employment and enjoy good health. As well as providing Aboriginal communities with great pain, trauma and worry, today these challenges represent perhaps what was described in the 1970s as Australia’s most pressing “wicked policy problem” (Rittel and Webber 1973). It still is!

Chapter 10. Complicating dynamics: adapting the sustainable livelihoods framework to a remote indigenous context in Australia Mark Moran, Laura Simpson Reeves and Alyson Wright describe the adaptation of an international development tool – the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework – by researchers seeking to progress community development in a remote Indigenous community in central Australia. The case study demonstrates both the challenges and insights from adapting international development thinking to an Australian Indigenous context. Despite being grounded in a strengths-based and participatory approach, the case study also demonstrates the structural and institutional impediments to achieving community control and local implementation of collaboratively planned activities, within the complex administrative and political system of Indigenous affairs, and the predominance of centrally controlled public finances. The shortcomings of the project were not for lack of commitment or effort on behalf of the research team to follow a participatory process, yet the project failed to find an appropriate local or regional governance structure that might have implemented their strategies following their departure. Many of strategies defined would still be relevant options for leaders to revisit, should favourable governance arrangements return in the future.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Chapter 11. The Martu Leadership Program: community-led development and experimentalism When command-control approaches repeatedly fail, then it is time to try something else. Community-led development is a powerful approach, but it requires different mindsets, different ways of using power and different sorts of relationship. This involves much learning for government and communities. Ann Ingamells and Peter Johnson echo the call for Indigenousled development, but recognises that neither the policy frameworks to support and manage this, nor the communities’ expertise to drive this are fully developed. Through a detailed case study of the Martu Leadership Program, this chapter illustrates a community development process which enables a community to plan and enact change, while developing the skills, knowledge and capacity along the way. Critical from a policy perspective, is that developmental evaluation was built into the process from day one, allowing the learnings to be captured, ensuring that investors can learn alongside, and that accountability occurs in an ongoing way. A key outcome is that the community increasingly progresses its own agendas, drawing on cultural and mainstream knowledge and networks, to ensure a future which is culturally resonant and distinct yet engaged in the modern world. 14

Wicked problems and community development

Chapter 12. Enhancing Aboriginal child welfare through multisector community collaboration Nowhere is the question of how Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisational structures and institutions are shaping and fostering sustainable, vibrant communities more critical than with respect to Aboriginal child welfare. While it is widely known that Aboriginal children are significantly overrepresented in statutory child protection systems, a trend that is international in scope, this overrepresentation is a symptom of a more “wicked” or complex social problem consisting of many intersecting and overlapping factors at individual, neighbourhood/community and societal levels. Consequently, community development approaches are needed that address broader social and structural issues affecting Aboriginal child and family wellbeing. Judy Gillespie discusses multisector community collaboration as a community development strategy and viable policy approach to address underlying causes of Aboriginal overrepresentation in statutory child protection. Her chapter offers a case study of one Canadian collaboration of an Aboriginal inter-agency committee in north-western Alberta. The structure and community change strategy of the committee are presented along with examples of some of its activities. The challenges of enabling and sustaining such efforts are noted including approaches to evaluate and assess their impacts and outcomes that are relevant to a wide range of stakeholders.

Part IV. Food and climate The fourth cluster of chapters examines the issues pertaining to our climate, and issues of food sovereignty. According to Kelly Levin, Benjamin Cashore, Steven Bernstein and Graeme Auld (2012), “super Wicked Problems” are a new class of global environmental problem with four key features: time is running out; those who cause the problem also seek to provide a solution; the central authority needed to address them is weak or non-existent; and irrational discounting occurs that pushes responses into the future. As Chris Riedy (2013) suggests, climate change is challenging the capacity of humanity to respond like no problem before it. The chapters in this cluster demonstrate the collaborative, innovative and flexible approaches that begin to shape such responses.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Chapter 13. Stories of climate-induced mobility: responses, challenges and the need for an institutional framework to guide these transitions Hundreds of millions of people and their communities are affected by climate-induced environmental change every year. The world is etching closer to four degrees Celsius warming, and the catastrophic environmental and human implications of this scenario are unfolding. Rising global temperatures are magnifying extreme weather events, and accelerating environmental change and degradation. Consequently, the land on which people live and maintain livelihoods is becoming less productive and habitable, having a negative affect on the viability and sustainable development of socio-cultural and geographical communities. Such impacts are forcing those affected to make the complex, difficult decision of whether to leave their homelands and move to new environments. Individuals, households, communities and the government institutions with which they are connected, are struggling to navigate these transitions. In this chapter, we argue the need to take stock of existing institutional responses, scrutinise and learn from them and plan for better ways of securing livelihoods. Drawing on three distinct case studies – Kiribati, Bangladesh and the United States (Alaska) – Sarah Henly-Shephard, Karen E. McNamara and Robin Bronen document how climate-induced mobility transitions manifest in 15

Lynda Shevellar and Peter Westoby

these places, transcending socio-political and geographic boundaries. The case studies evaluate different institutional responses in diverse settings, and provide a series of principles guiding a new institutional framework for climate-induced mobility.

Chapter 14. Food sovereignty and community economies: researching a Spanish case study The food sovereignty movement is at the forefront of both the practice of sustainable agriculture and the debates around the politics of food. The movement advocates an approach to economics that supports small-scale farmers and argues for economic justice through non-capitalist forms of sustainable agriculture. But what tools might researchers use to analyse and understand these non-capitalist food sovereignty economies? In this chapter, the economic practices of food sovereignty collectives in the Spanish province of Asturias are explored. Rhyall Gordon draws on Gibson-Graham’s concept of community economy, and in particular her ethical coordinates, to unpack the collectives’ diverse economic practices. The concept of community economy enables researchers to understand economy in a particular way. Gibson-Graham develops an ontology that assists researchers to adopt a methodology that views research as a process of co-creation and possibility. Gordon argues that a non-capitalist economy is best researched not as an endpoint but as a set of on-going, unfinished processes where ethical decisions are foregrounded. Furthermore, by drawing on the ethical coordinates, the ethical dimension of economic decisions and practices is brought into view. By identifying the key moments of ethical decision making, the researcher is able to understand how the food sovereignty collectives are resocialising and repoliticising their economic practices and building non-capitalist economies.

Taylor and Francis

Chapter 15. Carving out space for community gardens in Australia: exploring the potential of community gardens as social movements for urban change in Sydney and Canberra

Not for distribution

This chapter examines the potential of social movements to shape food politics in Australian cities through community gardens. Growing food in the city represents one community response to rising public concern about the failure of the current global food system. That is, a global food system involving highly politicised, complex and inequitable processes of producing, marketing and distributing food, and one in which an urban-rural spatial divide is deeply inscribed. Alex Thornton, Kristen Lyons and Scott Sharpe focus on how communities are mobilising as social movements to adapt urban spaces and re-imagine social relations. They draw on recent research into community gardens in Sydney and Canberra. They also consider community strategies for enlisting others’ support for urban agriculture – in particular efforts to engage local government. Together, this builds a comprehensive picture of how communities are mobilising as social movements to pursue greater social, economic and environmental justice through urban agriculture and, in some cases, signifies resistance to the neoliberalisation of urban space. The authors conclude by arguing that social movements play a powerful role in shaping food politics in urban spaces in Australia. Globally, social movements are using community agriculture to transform our understandings of ethics, justice and fairness through the food system.

Part V. Survival development During the past few years the world has witnessed a proliferation of government and nongovernment-led community development initiatives responding to disasters. So great has 16

Wicked problems and community development

been this increase that community development scholar Jim Ife champions a whole new dimension of community development that he calls “survival development” namely, community development that takes place around major issues of human survival (Ife, 2016). He uses this term to encompass both traditional areas of survival such as health, hunger, poverty, water, shelter as well as the emerging field of disaster response and community development. The three chapters comprising this final cluster focus upon this emerging field to consider the particular contributions – and dilemmas faced by – community-based survival development.

Chapter 16. The place of schools in building community cohesion and resilience: lessons from a disaster context Carol Mutch argues that because of their location, history and links with their communities, schools can act as community anchors. They provide community facilities, services and a sense of collective identity, hence contributing to community connectedness. They can contribute to building community cohesion pre-disaster and sustaining community resilience post-disaster. The research discussed in this chapter was undertaken in Christchurch, New Zealand, following the 2010/11 Canterbury earthquakes. Three school communities provide illustrative case studies in the chapter. In each case, the research was participatory qualitative research engaging school and school community personnel (drawn from principals, teachers, students, support staff, parents and community members), in projects that enabled them to tell their collective disaster stories. Each project culminated in a completed product that was a record of the school community’s disaster story. Products included an illustrated book, an arts-based project and a video documentary. The three case studies are discussed using a research framework that conceptualises, along a continuum of engagement, how communities might be involved in projects that are related to them. Lessons about researching communities in disaster contexts are outlined before the chapter concludes by discussing the concepts of community cohesion and resilience through a social capital lens.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Chapter 17. From “dilemmatic space” towards ecological practice: community development in disaster recovery in Queensland, Australia This chapter takes as its focus the contribution of community development to disaster recovery. Peter Westoby and Lynda Shevellar examine the experiences of community development officers employed by the state in response to a series of devastating natural disasters within the state of Queensland, Australia. Utilising the conceptual lens of “dilemmatic space”, the chapter reveals three practice dilemmas for community development workers in disaster recovery: the struggle over discourse, the difficulties of dual accountabilities and the challenges of legitimacy in intervention. The chapter concludes by examining the implications of these findings and the need for what is called ecological or organic practice to be applied to the disaster recovery context.

Chapter 18. Hurricanes, oil and rising water: the role and work of community development in coastal Louisiana in the intersection of disasters, recovery and planning for the future. Concluding this section, Holly Scheib explores the recent history of peoples concentrated within wetland systems of the Atchafalaya, Terrebonne, and Barataria basins in coastal Louisiana, through the work and experiences of a locally based community development organisation. Within these systems, storms (including hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Gustav), oil spills (including the devastating BP disaster), and the rising waters of climate change 17

Lynda Shevellar and Peter Westoby

exacerbate erosion, salt water incursion, subsidence and eutrophication to contribute to an unprecedented speed of wetland loss, creating an ever-present uncertainty impacting every aspect of life for those who live in the area. This case study positions the various roles of community development within fractured systems, and argues that these fractures represent a persistent misunderstanding of the value of community members, as well as a purposeful control and silencing of marginalised populations in environmental and cultural crisis. Central to this discussion are the challenges to community development in enhancing representation and information-sharing within populations actively experiencing dramatic shifts from natural and manmade disasters and planning for an uncertain future shaped by climate change.

Conclusion Chapter 19. What have we learned? A concluding essay on Wicked Problems, research and the contributions of community development Chapter 19 provides the book’s conclusion by editors Lynda Shevellar and Peter Westoby. The conclusion, drawing from a careful reading of all the chapters, answers the following two questions: 1 2

What have we learned about community development’s responses to Wicked Problems; and What have we learned about community development research and methodologies, and the future directions for community development research?

In doing so it seeks to highlight emerging areas for community developmentrelated research, and to provide researchers and post-graduate students with ideas and encouragement for future research activity. It seems appropriate to close this chapter with the words of farmer, poet and philosopher, Wendell Berry (1983), who might as well have been speaking about Wicked Problems, when he observed:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings. On that note we urge baffled community development practitioners, scholars and policy makers, to come together, to engage these Wicked Problems, integrating participatory forms of co-creative research, practice and policy work.

Note 1 We would like to acknowledge practitioners at the 2015 Queensland Community Development Research Symposium for their feedback on these initial ideas.

References Berlant, L (1997), ‘Feminism and the institutions of intimacy’, in Kaplan, A and Levine, G (eds), The politics of research, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ, pp. 119–134. Berry, W (1983), Standing by words, Counterpoint, Berkeley, CA. Bishop, BJ and Dzidic, PL (2014), ‘Dealing with wicked problems: Conducting a causal layered analysis of complex social psychological issues’, American Journal of Community Psychology, vol. 53, pp. 13–24. 18

Wicked problems and community development

Block, P (2009), Community: The structure of belonging, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., San Francisco, CA. Enright, B, Facer, K and Larner, W (2016), ‘Reframing coproduction’, in Jupp, E, Pykett, J and Smith, FM (eds), Emotional states: Sites and spaces of affective governance, Routledge, Oxford, UK, pp. 36–52. Ferguson, J (2010), ‘The uses of neoliberalism’, Antipode, vol. 41(s1), pp. 166–184. Galtung, J (2004), Transcend and transform: An introduction to conflict work, Pluto Press in Association with Transcend, London. Head, B (2016), Tackling wicked problems: Admiring the complexities or taking remedial action? Presentation at the School of Political Science and International Studies Research Seminar Series. St Lucia, Brisbane: The University of Queensland, 26 August 2016. Head, BW and Alford, J (2015), ‘Wicked problems: Implications for public policy and management’, Administration & Society, vol. 47, no. 6, pp. 711–739. Horn, RE and Weber, RP (2007), New tools for resolving wicked problems: Mess mapping and resolution mapping processes, MacroVU®, Inc. and Stragey Kinetics, LLC, San Francisco, CA. Ife, J (2013), Community development in an uncertain world, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne, Australia. Ife, J (2016), Community development in an uncertain world: Vision, analysis and practice (2nd ed.), Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne, Australia. International Association of Community Development (IACD) (2017), ‘About us’. Retrieved from www. iacdglobal.org. Larner, W (2006), ‘Neoliberalism: Policy, ideology, governmentality international political economy and poststructural politics’, in de Goede, M (ed.), International political economy and poststructural politics. International Political Ecomony Series. Palgrave, London, pp. 199–218. Lathouras, T (2017), ‘Our strength is in our connectedness’, New Community, vol. 15, nos. 1–2, pp. 9–16. Levin, K, Cashore, B, Bernstein, S and Auld, G (2012), ‘Overcoming the tragedy of super wicked problems: Constraining our future selves to ameliorate global climate change’, Policy Sciences, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 123–152. Martin-Sardesai, A, Irvine, H, Tooley, S and Guthrie, J (2017), ‘Government research evaluations and academic freedom: A UK and Australian comparison’, Higher Education Research & Development, vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 372–385. Meade, R, Shaw, M and Banks, S (eds) (2016), Politics, power and community development, Policy Press, Bristol, UK. Power, M (2004), The risk management of everything: Rethinking the politics of uncertainty. Demos, London. Power, M (2014), Living in an audit society: Performance reporting after the global financial crisis. Public Lecture at the Schools of Social Work and Human Services and Education, The University of Queensland, 9 April 2014. Riedy, C (2013), ‘Climate change is a super wicked problem’, Planetcentric, 29 May 2013. Retrieved from: https://chrisriedy.me/climate-change-is-a-super-wicked-problem-b2e2b77d947d. Rittel, HWJ and Webber, MM (1973), ‘Dilemmas in a general theory of planning’, Policy Sciences, vol. 41, pp. 155–169. Rodriguez, CO (2017), ‘How academia uses poverty, oppression, and pain for intellectual masturbation’, RaceBaitR, April 2017. Retrieved from http://racebaitr.com/2017/04/06/how-academia-uses-povertyoppression/#. Sen, A (1999), Development as freedom, Anchor Books, New York. Shaw, M (1997), ‘Community work: Towards a radical paradigm for practice’, The Scottish Journal of Community Work and Development, vol.2, pp. 61–72. Shevellar, L (2008), ‘With the voice of this calling: The experience of community development practitioners in the organisational context of bureaucracy’, unpublished PhD thesis, School of Social Work and Human Services, The University of Queensland. Shevellar, L and Westoby, P (2014), ‘“Perhaps?” and “depends!” The possible implications of disaster related community development for social work’, Advances in Social Work & Welfare Education, Special Issue 2015: ‘Disaster curriculum for social work’, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 23–35. Smith, LT (2013), Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples, Zed Books Ltd., London. Springer, S (2012), ‘Neoliberalising violence: Of the exceptional and the exemplary in coalescing moments’, Area, vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 136–143. Westoby, P and Dowling, G (2013), Theory and practice of dialogical community development: International perspectives, Routledge, Oxford, UK.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

19

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Part I

Forced displacement

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

2 Disruptive rights-based community development in protracted urban refugee contexts The politics of legal recognition Linda Bartolomei, Kristy Ward and Marcela Garrett

Introduction Over 60% of the world’s 19.5 million refugees now live in urban areas (UNHCR, 2017), many in protracted exile, denied the protection of citizenship, legal residency rights and formal work rights (Morand et al., 2012). In the absence of durable solutions which would restore the possibility of protections afforded by citizenship through return to their home countries, local integration in their country of asylum or resettlement to a third country, these refugees continue to live in an extended urban limbo with few formal human rights protections. In this chapter, we explore the possibilities and challenges of rights-based community development initiatives in this context to foster and support autonomy and political participation in the absence of either legal rights of residency or citizenship. It highlights ways, without formal civil and political rights, that refugees engage in political activity and explores how this can be amplified through rights-based community development initiatives. We use Gidden’s notion of ontological security to demonstrate the positive impact that both fostering and recognising the agency and political action of refugees can have in sustaining resilience and wellbeing, until durable solutions through which refugees’ citizenship is restored, can be achieved. Community development is increasingly promoted as a long-term protection strategy by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in protracted urban refugee situations. The rationale is that programmatic interventions should be responsive to local contexts, empowering, sustainable and cost effective (Muggah, 2005; UNHCR, 2009). The UNHCR 2009 Policy on Refugee Protection and Solutions in urban areas suggests that this is best achieved through building on the skills, capacity and knowledge of refugee communities to facilitate self-reliance and self-determination (UNHCR, 2009). However, life in countries of first asylum is often characterised by a lack of legal rights, social exclusion, discrimination, and sexual and gender-based violence which further limits opportunities for livelihoods and social interaction (Hyndman and Giles, 2016; Morand et al., 2012). Refugees in these settings enjoy none of the rights traditionally associated with either citizenship or legal residency. Even where

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

23

Linda Bartolomei et al.

government policies extend minimum education and healthcare services to refugees, racism and xenophobia are common barriers to accessing these services (Bartolomei, 2015; Crisp et al., 2012; Hoffstaedter, 2015; Landau, 2006). This is often compounded by local laws which prevent refugees from meeting in large groups or from registering community organisations. These additional factors further compound the challenges of implementing genuine community development initiatives in these settings. For urban refugees, the denial of the rights generally associated with citizenship poses particular challenges for policies and projects seeking to strengthen sustainable refugee-led community development. The absence of legal recognition, as determined by the state, inhibits individual, family and community protection structures, and access to national ones. Moreover, the consequences of protracted displacement in this legal limbo can have serious social and psychological impacts on individual and community wellbeing and identity (Blackburn, 2010; Maclure, 2003; Yuval-Davis, 2006). The ability of refugee communities to develop social connections and access resources is impacted by experiences of war and trauma, which can dissolve social bonds and inhibit people’s trust in others (Grabska, 2006; Hinchey, 2010; McMichael and Manderson, 2004). However, in spite of these challenges, refugees are continuously engaged in the struggle for justice and for the realisation of their human rights. This struggle is highlighted in a range of ways across urban refugee communities, from the establishment of refugee community-run schools to grassroots women’s advocacy organisations (Clark and Copolov, 2016; Olivius, 2104). In this chapter, we draw on the findings from two participatory action research projects with Afghan and Somali refugees living in New Delhi, India and Somali refugees in Nairobi, Kenya, to explore the extent to which principles of rights-based community development – including participation, empowerment and self-determination – are interdependent with legal recognition and citizenship rights. We argue that an approach which values local knowledge, skills and capacities (Ife, 2016, p. 126) and supports collective decision making and community ownership (Kenny and Connors, 2016) can enable political citizenship through reflection and action, even where legal citizenship rights are denied. This is not to suggest that displaced persons are not already engaged in activist rights struggles. Rather, we speak to a particular kind of external support to further self-determined objectives of refugees; one that extends beyond the rhetoric of community-based protection often employed by humanitarian agencies and organisations. This chapter argues, notwithstanding the many challenges and limitations the projects face in each site, that a rights-based community development approach can positively contribute to both reinforcing and amplifying the efforts of refugee activists to have their voices heard and can provide positive support for new refugee-led initiatives. While such initiatives are no substitute for the permanent solutions provided through citizenship, evidence from the two case study sites in Delhi and Nairobi highlight the positive impacts that genuine rights-based community development support can have on fostering autonomy and self-determination and in building resilience, positive identities and feelings of self-worth. This expands on refugees’ ability to gain and retain some control over their lives and the lives of their communities in protracted exile, efforts that were clearly not without risks, and which ultimately for security and political reasons beyond the control of the projects could not be continued. While these provide some salutary lessons of the challenges that refugee communities and community development workers face in asylum communities, they also provided important lessons about possibilities for more rights-based responses even in asylum situations across the global south in which refugees do not enjoy the legal rights of residency or citizenship.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

24

Disruptive rights-based community development

Lives in limbo: from the lacuna of legal rights to human rights in action Understanding the means by which political claims for the realisation of human rights can be articulated in situations of limited legal rights is therefore critical to our analysis of the impact of the rights-based community development approaches undertaken in these two urban refugee contexts. But human rights are not that straightforward. Hannah Arendt (1951) identifies that human rights, paradoxically, are not a condition of humanity (and are thus not inalienable) but realised through participation in a political community, which is characterised by the ability to exercise rights associated with citizenship. These include, for example, civil and political rights, such as the right to freedom from violence and access to justice, and economic, social and cultural rights such as the right to education and a sustainable livelihood. Arendt points to the tension between sovereignty and human rights in that although human rights are supposed to be universal, that is independent of nationality and citizenship, they are not. As such the denial of refugees’ rights, through the loss of citizenship, is ultimately about losing a place in the world and with that the “right to have rights”. Arendt argued that among the worst deprivations refugees and other stateless persons face are a denial of “the right to action” and “the right to opinion” (Arendt, 1973 in Ingram, 2008, p. 410). That is a denial of the right to politics and of inclusion and recognition as legitimate, equal and autonomous political actors (Ingram, 2008). However, although refugees are defined primarily by their relationship to the state, human rights are more than legal documents and conventions. In this regard, the importance of human rights as a moral and political framework as well as a legal framework, is emphasised (Ife, 2012; Klug, 2000; Massoud, 2011). The process of claiming rights – including the political and social struggle this entails – are equally important in realising social justice. As Nicola Piper suggests, “human rights first appear not when governments recognise them but when people begin demanding and exercising them” (2008, p. 283). Drawing on the work of Ranciere (2004) and Habermas (2001), Ingram (2008, p. 412) argues that “the active assertion of political equality can go beyond given definitions of rights . . . through the very activity of claiming rights” even if such rights claims do not succeed. In this he argues that human rights are an important and “always available resource for those who have been denied rights they can plausibly claim” and can be “put into practice, in an effort to expand the conditions for participation in political life” (Ingram, 2008, p. 412). How, then, do rights in action emerge within refugee communities in exile in the face of explicit exclusion from citizenship and legal rights? The concept of ontological security offers a useful frame to explore this question. Anthony Giddens (1991) proposes that the ordinariness of everyday life is threatened when habits and routines are broken, and creativity is denied. This leads people to question “who am I and how do I fit into the world?” While Giddens’ point of reference is the angst of modernity in Western societies, his arguments also have relevance in a globalised world where the construct of “refugees” and the right to asylum is shaped by the modern nation state and sovereignty. For example, modern institutions of authority disseminate bodies of knowledge and respond to the crises of life. In doing so they bring about a sense of security, but at the same time reorganise social relations. Lives become meaningless when we are unable to address moral dilemmas through social action, when the expert institutions do it for us thereby denying our autonomy (Giddens, 1991). Yuval-Davis (2006) similarly argues that sense of not belonging can result in a heightened state of fear and mistrust, which results in selfisolation and the exclusion of others. This has important implications for policy responses that prioritise community-based support and collective strategies for self-reliance among refugees, including the UNHCR 2009 Urban Policy.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

25

Linda Bartolomei et al.

Trust is critical to ontological security: trust that the world is what it appears to be, and that one can rely on the certainty of acceptance as part of a social group (Giddens, 1991). While noting that refugee situations and refugee communities are far from homogenous, as noted earlier, for many refugees, trust in institutions, communities, global frameworks of protection and often in one’s self is diminished through the experience of displacement and exile. The exclusions and violations which refugees face are intrinsically linked to cognitive and psychosocial dimensions of individual and community wellbeing, and identity. The refugee experience from flight to settlement contributes to the shaping and reshaping of one’s identity (Maclure, 2003; Yuval-Davis, 2006). Disconnection from family and community during years of displacement may be shaped by distress, and sometimes trauma, which can lead to a feeling of disconnection from the self (Blackburn, 2010). The social order is disrupted, and the frameworks of legal and social norms around which order can be rebuilt are missing or denied. People are trapped in limbo, unsure of whether they will remain in countries of first asylum for months, years or decades. It is also important to note that not all refugee situations and circumstances are the same, but to recognise that experiences are as much mediated by the locations in which refugees find themselves as by the individual characteristics of gender, nationality and increasingly religion. The particular challenges and human rights abuses faced by refugee women and girls have been well documented. These include widespread experiences of rape and sexual violence in conflict, refugee camps and urban settings and increased risks of other forms of gender-related violence including forced marriage, survival sex, early pregnancy and exclusion from decision making and political leadership (Bartolomei, 2015; Bartolomei et al., 2003; UNHCR, 2011) in addition to the particular challenges of having their claims for asylum and refugee status recognised on these grounds (Freedman, 2015). However, despite the trauma and ongoing risks, refugees do create new lives in exile and exercise agency in the process of doing so (Betts et al., 2017; Dryden-Peterson, 2006). They are also engaged in a struggle for recognition of rights within the refugee community, and in their interactions with host governments, humanitarian organisations and the international community (Olivius, 2014). Yet it is important to acknowledge that the absence of legal rights impedes a sense of belonging and certainty regardless of the extent to which people can make choices and act on them (Maclure, 2003; Yuval-Davis, 2006). Thus, there exists a complex relationship between the legal and political dimensions of human rights. This leads us to question whether the potency of rights comes from the laws that confer rights and obligations, or people’s struggle to be recognised as equals. That is, their political action to realise rights. This is not a question about whether political action is a substitute for citizenship. Clearly it is not. Rather it is a question about the extent to which rights-based community development – where people expand existing agency, and in turn create new narratives – can support existing rights-demands. The case studies from refugee-led initiatives in Delhi and Nairobi in this chapter illustrate a shift in how community development is frequently approached in urban displacement contexts. Often, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and humanitarian agencies unintentionally impose labels of vulnerability, trauma and dependency (Olivius, 2014), by planning and managing projects through their perceived superior knowledge and resources. People experiencing displacement are viewed as beneficiaries or passive participants. As the case studies show, some organisations working in urban areas engage refugees as staff, but always in low paid positions with limited opportunities for professional development or decision making. Despite the rhetoric of community-based approaches, the type of actions encouraged and permitted within these spaces are often counter to the existing struggles for refugee rights. As Olivius (2014) demonstrates from her research with refugee women in Thailand and Bangladesh, humanitarian and development organisations tend to promote compliant participation from refugee groups. While

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

26

Disruptive rights-based community development

we make no grand claims in relation to wholesale policy change, we highlight an approach which, though modest in focus, did have significant positive impacts for the refugee communities involved. The case studies from Delhi and Nairobi outline how a different approach – based on refugee-led projects – can substantively support their existing struggles for their rights. Some tensions, however, emerge in our analysis of the positive outcomes of the projects as reported by refugee community development workers and humanitarian organisations involved in the evaluations of the projects. Both were fraught with community politics, resistance from humanitarian organisations, racism and xenophobia from the local and international community, and rapidly changing national, political and legal contexts. In Nairobi, following a number of grenade attacks for which the government blamed Al-Shabaab, Somali refugees faced increased racialised violence at the hands of the Kenyan security forces and local police. This included mass rapes, violence and torture as well as periodic roundups and arrests (Human Rights Watch, 2013). In Delhi, a change of government saw increased scrutiny of the activities of charitable organisations working with Muslim and Christian groups, including refugees. In both sites, despite a strong desire by the community that the projects continue, this significantly inhibited the work of the refugee community organisations and the willingness of the supporting NGOs to seek additional funds to continue the projects beyond the periods for which they had originally been funded. These setbacks show that rights-based community development approaches are much more difficult in practice than in theory (Cornwall and Nyamu-Musembi, 2004; Gready, 2008; Uvin, 2007; Vandenhole and Gready, 2014). Ultimately, both projects did not continue due to a combination of national government policy changes, security issues and the political will of local humanitarian actors. This chapter does not have the scope to explore these limitations in detail; however, we highlight several in the findings section. Instead, we explore the extent to which the projects made small but important improvements in the lives of those involved. This chapter argues that enabling genuine spaces for public dialogue and reflexive action through rights-based community development approaches, can support existing refugee struggles for personal, institutional and legal recognition, and in doing so, work towards rebuilding ontological security.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Methodology This chapter is based on two participatory action research-based projects in urban refugee contexts; The Refugee Community Development Project in Delhi, India and Project RESPECT in Nairobi, Kenya. Both projects were funded by the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s,1 Displaced Person Program. Through the implementation of refugee-led projects, each sought to understand the enablers and constraints for effective community development in protracted urban refugee displacement. The projects were a partnership between the Centre for Refugee Research at the University of New South Wales (CRR), the Somali and Afghan communities, and UNHCR in Delhi and the Somali community in Nairobi. NGO Don Bosco Delhi, a UNHCR implementing partner, provided space for some activities in Delhi and in later years became the project host and a coordinating partner for integrating community development lessons into broader service delivery for refugees. Central to the projects’ successes were the role of UNHCR and their partner NGOs who worked alongside refugees in supporting community responses to self-identified needs. The Refugee Community Development Project in Delhi is the main focus of this chapter given its duration and scope. The project ran for four years (2012–2016), employed 30 refugee community development workers, involved over 2,100 refugee participants, and engaged UNHCR and their implementing partners in new partnership models for community-based 27

Linda Bartolomei et al.

protection. The Delhi project ran social support groups, a range of recreational activities and adult literacy classes for women and a small number of men, Somali and Dari language classes for children and youth, and opened three restaurants as part of the livelihoods initiative. Project RESPECT in Nairobi commenced several months later and drew on learning from the Delhi project. The project was implemented in partnership with a refugee-owned and managed health clinic, and over 160 people from the Somali community either planned or participated in the project. As women’s safety was a critical concern for women and men in both Delhi and Nairobi, weekly women’s support groups and monthly recreational picnics were central project activities. Project RESPECT in Nairobi also ran a training-of-trainers in sexual and gender-based violence for community outreach workers, along with a bi-monthly parenting education workshop, weekly men’s support groups and football matches at the end of the month. Due to high levels of insecurity2 in Kenya, the Nairobi project closed in May 2014 after 12 months. Important lessons, however, for community development approaches and research can be drawn from both initiatives. The methodology for both projects adopted action and emancipatory action research principles (Fals Borda, 2001; Lewis, 2001) involving iterative learning cycles (Lewin cited in Smith, 2001) to inform the development, trial and evaluation of refugee-led community development initiatives. Development of the research methodology, data collection and data analysis were undertaken through collaborative enquiry involving refugee community development workers and researchers at the CRR. The methodology for both projects was guided by CRR’s participatory action research methodology – Reciprocal Research – which is a genuinely empowering and ethical approach to working with marginalised groups such as refugees (see Hugman et al., 2011; Pittaway et al., 2010). It involves group discussion, dialogues, narrative storytelling and storyboarding, with emphasis placed on mutual benefit rather than the extraction of information. Informed by narrative research principles, it places emphasis on the content of what is being said and centres refugees as experts of their own struggles (Nadar, 2014; Nnaemeka, 2003). This methodology also provides an opportunity for people’s understanding of rights to be informed by their concrete experiences and to critically challenge imposed identities and discourses (Blackburn, 2010; Freire, 2005; Yuval-Davis, 2006). CRR researchers always approach sites of displacement with the knowledge that although issues of concern may be the same across sites, how people are experiencing them and what they are doing about them, differs from place to place. This chapter draws on four types of data.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Narrative knowing through community dialogues Community dialogues were conducted in each site at the inception of each project in order to ensure that the project designs were directly informed by the refugee communities. Rather than presenting predetermined ideas for what the projects should or could do, dialogues were an opportunity to explore key concerns from women and men, identify what people and groups were already doing in response to these problems which could be built on, and to gather ideas about what solutions people felt would be most appropriate. Therefore, these activities are described as dialogues, rather than consultations. Consultation suggests that researchers or NGO staff ask questions, receive answers and take away information to plan projects. In a consultation, the facilitator guides the direction of what is being asked and what is to be done with the information. Dialogue, on the other hand, was in this case an ongoing deliberation of ideas among community members, and between community members and CRR researchers, leading to potential solutions to the problems identified. Deliberation, Chambers explains, is “debate 28

Disruptive rights-based community development

and discussion aimed at producing reasonable, well-informed opinions in which participants are willing to revise preferences in light of discussion, new information, and claims made by fellow participants” (2003, p. 309). As such dialogue in the context of each project is described as a collaborative space for understanding and analysis of community problems.

Collaborative enquiry through discussion and reflection Throughout the project, community workers and researchers collaboratively learned from what worked and what didn’t as ideas were trialled and revised. In this sense, the projects adhered to the core principles of action research involving documented processes of action, reflection and learning (Reason and Bradbury, 2006). Discussions were often recorded with the permission of community workers. Researchers also kept field notes and journals, along with notes from Skype conversations.

Mid-term and final project evaluations Project evaluations were required by the project funder. Evaluations were conducted as relatively orthodox outcome evaluations. Despite the limitations of this evaluation approach (Patton, 2011), which is often inconsistent with action research principles, this was nonetheless an opportunity to seek a diverse range of views on the projects’ successes and limitations. In Delhi, evaluation data included semi-structured interviews, consultations/dialogues and focus groups conducted between 2013 and 2015 with 95 refugee women, men and youth who participated in the project, community workers, teachers, women’s group leaders, and women who attended literacy classes. Ten key informant interviews were conducted with UNHCR and their implementing partner organisations including Don Bosco Delhi. In addition, video interviews were conducted with each of the community workers as part of the final evaluation. The themes explored in these interviews included the impact of the project on both the individual community worker and the wider refugee community. In Nairobi, monitoring reports were prepared monthly, in consultation with the doctors from the Refugee Clinic and the youth leaders who led the support groups. These reports detailed all activities conducted, and ways in which any challenges which arose had been addressed. They included feedback from participants, which reflected the impacts of the activities in which they were involved. Due to the deteriorating security situation, from grenade attacks and mass arrests, it was not safe for the refugees or the research team to meet to conduct an extensive end-point evaluation. However, as the clinic was situated in Eastleigh where the community resided and many people continued to visit the clinic, telephone surveys were conducted with 20 participants who had been most actively engaged in the project’s activities.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Monthly project reports Project reporting formats were developed by community workers based on the information they felt was important to capture. Reports identified activities conducted, challenges and requests for support from CRR and in the case of the project in Delhi also Don Bosco. These reports also demonstrate the iterative approach to project development and track the project development and changes over time. In the findings that follow, the authors describe the community development strategies utilised, their rationale and the contribution these made to rights in action and increased ontological security. All quotes are from the evaluation data. 29

Linda Bartolomei et al.

An emancipatory process This section presents the findings and explains how rights-based community development approaches contributed to ontological security for refugee community development workers and project participants, through supporting both the “right to know and to act”. It reports two key findings. First, that community dialogues and training – as an extended and iterative process – created new deliberative spaces which enabled project community workers and women’s group participants to analyse issues, develop solutions and widen the space for political manoeuvre with NGOs, UNHCR and community leaders. Community-based training is defined here as a platform from which to explore, understand and act in collaboration with others, rather than the dissemination of information (Westoby and Shevellar, 2012, p. 4). It includes the training delivered by CRR, training-of-trainers in Nairobi developed and delivered by Somali women in response to sexual and gender-based violence in Madrasa schools, weekly training sessions on different topics by the youth leaders in the support groups in Nairobi, and training developed by refugee community workers in Delhi for women’s groups and project volunteers. The second finding demonstrates that when refugee communities take the lead in deciding what is to be done in response to the problems faced by their communities, this is an example of human rights in action. These findings illustrate that practical and emancipatory community development strategies can support refugees to expand rights claims. That is, the right to information and knowledge, the right to self-determined action and the right to make claims on others.

New deliberative spaces

Taylor and Francis

Asking people what they want a project to do and how it should be done may seem obvious and self-explanatory. NGOs, however, are often constrained by broader policy frameworks and strategies. While UNHCR and NGO staff may have the best of intentions for participatory community development, projects are often planned in offices to be implemented by refugees in volunteer roles with limited scope for decision making. As one Delhi project participant explained, failing to ask people what they wanted often led to initiatives that community members were not interested in:

Not for distribution

It was a lesson learnt because the organisations kept doing pilot projects, which always failed and ended up very badly. Those organisations tried their best but they never came to the conclusion of asking people what they want. (Female Somali community worker, evaluation interview, April 2015) With the active support of UNHCR, the Delhi and Nairobi refugee-led community development projects took a different approach. Each started with extended community dialogues involving many people from diverse religious, age and gender groups in the Afghan and Somali communities. This approach was an intentional component of the action research-based reciprocal research methodology, where participants were seen as equal partners with skills and capacities, rather than research subjects or project beneficiaries. However, as we discuss later, this approach is not without challenges, given the diversity and often conflicting views within the refugee communities. In Delhi, a two-day community dialogue involving over 150 people from the Afghan and Somali community was held in February 2012. This built on the four-day dialogue conducted in Delhi the year before by CRR and UNHCR as part of the Global Women’s Dialogues held to mark the 60th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention (UNHCR, 2011). People 30

Disruptive rights-based community development

shared their concerns about education, livelihoods and women’s security for refugees in Delhi. Participants voted for a project committee, and the broad parameters for the project were decided. In Nairobi, an initial dialogue was held over 6 days involving 60 Somali women and men. Dialogue participants wanted project activities to focus on education. Two Somali refugee doctors who ran a clinic with a minimum of resources already delivered some basic education programs for the community. The dialogue participants expressed the need for more education, in particular training-of-trainer models, so that they in turn could work with the broader community. They expressed their distress at the violence they regularly experienced living in Nairobi. Stories were shared about the violence both men and women encountered at the hands of the police and the local community, which compounded the sense of exclusion people were feeling. The participants had a range of realistic suggestions for projects – such as the need for emotional support for men and women who were traumatised – and several of these were implemented as part of the project. Community workers, project participants, UNHCR and their partner NGO staff in Delhi, and project participants in Nairobi, commented on the importance of creating space for discussion about what was needed and how it would be done at the outset of each project. Dialogues also provided an opportunity for communities to collectively make sense of their experiences and decide what actions could be taken to mitigate the issues they experienced. For example, in Delhi, women reported poor physical and mental health due to the lack of safe spaces in which they could meet to exercise and socialise. They reported following the establishment of weekly English, literacy and yoga classes that their physical and mental health had improved as they no longer felt so isolated. Unlike many of the other consultations people had been invited to participate in, these were not information sessions, or the extraction of information for research or externally managed services. Ongoing opportunities – both planned and unplanned – for continued dialogue included a 300-household community survey in Delhi women’s group workshops with elected group leaders and women members, project committee meetings and training. As such, the initial project dialogues were the start of a conversation about what the project would do and how it would be done. There was no detailed project design document with indicators and objectives. Instead, initiatives emerged through discussion and in keeping with the action research principles discussed earlier, and were constantly adapted based on feedback from all those involved. For this reason, Nairobi participants stated that this made them feel “they owned the project” leading to empowerment, not “given” by outsiders, but emerging from themselves (Project coordinator, Nairobi). This was paralleled in New Delhi by the pride the community workers displayed when describing the Refugee Community Development Project (RCDP) project as being “By refugees for refugees” (Video interview, female community worker, Delhi). However, as indicated earlier, it is important to note that the dialogues and the initial set up of the projects were also fraught with politics and conflict among the refugee communities. This included some strong resistance to the project from some of the mainly male and self-appointed refugee committees who perceived this new inclusive approach as a threat to their established power bases. In Delhi, many community members expressed a fear that if they were engaged in projects which even partially improved the lives of the refugee communities in Delhi, that it might reduce their chance of being identified as in need of resettlement to a third country. This led to some initial strong resistance by some to the project even being established. In Nairobi, some women also resisted the inclusion of women from different tribal clans living in other areas of Eastleigh and, in general, people invited into the project by community leaders were from their own tribal clans, an aspect highlighted for criticism by some participants themselves at the end of the project.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

31

Linda Bartolomei et al.

Dialogues and ongoing support were therefore critical to building trust and exploring felt needs. Moreover, they also re-politicised and amplified people’s existing struggles. These new deliberative spaces provided a public and non-judgemental space to validate their experiences and, more importantly, to discuss the range of issues and human rights abuses they continued to face and to explore possible solutions. They gave people the freedom to express and hear each other’s opinions, and provided safe spaces in which anger, frustrations and disagreements could be shared and mediated. As Maclure (2003) points out, this is foundational to the reshaping of people’s imposed identities as active agents and community leaders in seeking to address day to day problems. As discussed next, these new perspectives and in particular, the recognition of their agency, emerged among not only the community, but also among UNHCR and NGO staff.

Using community training to challenge traditional power relationships In the initial stages of each project, refugee community workers requested training on human rights, project design and monitoring, community-based psychosocial support, responding to survival sex, and other forms of sexual and gender-related violence and conflict resolution. Training was a platform for discussion, planning and action. In Delhi, for example, the team asked for training on how to conduct a community survey at the start of the project, and to plan and monitor the project. These activities were normally the domain of UNHCR and NGOs. By taking a lead role in analysing issues and developing solutions, community workers developed their own project activities, seeking external support from CRR and Don Bosco staff as and when needed. Training in the early years of the Delhi project was conducted separately for community workers, UNHCR and NGOs, on topics they requested and in an area in which one or more of the CRR team was experienced. By year three, joint training involving refugee community members, the UNHCR and Implementing Partner NGO staff became common. This included training on community-based psychosocial support and training-of-trainers for refugee participants. This joint training approach brought those in traditional relationships of power into a new interactive space. By traditional relationships of power, we mean where the UNHCR hold the power to make decisions about policy which affect the everyday lives of refugees (such as eligibility for subsistence allowance or referral for resettlement), and where NGOs and UNHCR make decisions (often based on donor demands) about the services and projects to be run. In this new deliberative space of dialogue, refugees were able to challenge their misrecognition as lacking in capacity and agency and the imposed labels of dependency and trauma. A great deal happened at an informal level to challenge the established power hierarchies during joint training. Relationships between UNHCR staff, NGO staff and refugee community members began to develop, jokes were shared and small mixed teams developed role plays and made short videos to show the group. In these they swapped roles, with refugees playing the role of UNHCR and NGOs, and vice versa. UNHCR and NGO staff enacted what it was like coming to Delhi for the first time, and refugees played the role of UNHCR outreach counsellors. As a female Somali co-coordinator of the project in New Delhi explained below, awareness of rights through training gave people a new language and method for asserting their rights:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

But there was change, real change . . . refugees were nothing before. They were being, you know, directed – “OK don’t do this, do this, don’t sit here, it’s not a place to relax”. But now [in our office] they can sit anywhere. They are welcomed and they say anything 32

Disruptive rights-based community development

they want, confidently. They say “This my right, I want it”. Not kick the door and say “Where’s my right!!?”. Nobody understood before . . . what the right of a person was, as a refugee, a human being. But now they come and discuss with people. (RCDP community worker, Somali female, evaluation interview, April 2015) These comments point to emergent consciousness of rights entitlements, beyond citizenship and residency status, and mobilisation of new strategies for claiming rights; one built on critical reflection and a growing self-confidence. Further, they illustrate a degree of respect and improved communication between service providers and refugee groups that had not previously existed. Community workers commented that after the joint training some UNHCR and NGO staff started to treat them differently. They asked for their opinions on new projects, and engaged in casual and familiar conversations about their families and showed a degree of empathy that had not previously existed. Community workers reported that these changes were significant for them. It made them feel that they were recognised as human beings and professionals, not just vulnerable refugees. Community workers also noticed that some UNHCR and NGO staff changed how they interacted with people from the Afghan and Somali community. As perceptions of refugee capacity shifted, community workers and women’s group leaders were called upon by UNHCR and Don Bosco to use their skills and knowledge to intervene in community crises (including the death of a respected Somali woman’s daughter), and were increasingly recognised as valued and skilled community leaders. In the past, many community workers had been invited to join the annual UNHCR- and Don Bosco-led participatory assessments as participants or interpreters. After the joint trainings, community workers were asked to facilitate participatory consultations. The structure of training was critical to building this self-reflection. First, all training topics were requested by community workers or project participants. Second, training was held not only for community groups but also for the UNHCR and their NGO partners. Third, in recognition of the need to extend spaces for joint dialogue beyond community groups, CRR researchers discussed with community workers the possibility of joint UNHCR, NGO and RCDP staff training. Fourth, community workers and women’s group leaders were co-trainers and facilitators, thus providing public recognition of their existing skills and capacities. In Nairobi, trainings were led by two Somali doctors who ran the local refugee clinic and youth leaders who ran the support groups, on a variety of topics chosen by the youth leaders or participants in the group. These included topics such as parenting education, children’s health, nutrition and mental health, and response to domestic violence and sexual and gender-based violence. In addition, a group of activist Somali refugee women requested funding from the project to develop a training-of-trainers program on responding to sexual and gender-related violence in the local Madrasa schools. These programs were highly valued because information came from members of their own community, emphasising the principle of a bottom-up approach which recognises and values the existing knowledge and skills of the refugee community. The youth leaders who ran the support groups modelled positive change in attitudes to women and children and in the words of the clinic doctor, “made them respected and role models for the rest to follow suit” (Somali doctor, evaluation interview, Nairobi, June 2014). These findings demonstrate that by moving activism and deliberation into the public arena, people build a sense of recognition that affirms how they see themselves and how they are seen by others in the community. That is, as capable agents with skills and knowledge which they have put into practice for the benefit of others in their communities. It is this existing activism and leadership and its recognition and validation that was central to the design and success of the project. For example, women who participated in the women’s

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

33

Linda Bartolomei et al.

support groups in Nairobi emphasised what an important role the refugee community-led groups played in building a sense of belonging: I feel wanted, accepted and belong to somewhere since I joined the support group, that I count the days until its Saturday again. (Somali female refugee, March 2014)

Recognition of agency and leadership Despite the previous efforts of service providers to consult with refugee communities to seek their input on project priorities, refugees explained they did not feel heard about what they wanted, or genuinely included in designing how it should be done. Services for refugees in South and North Delhi were planned and operated almost exclusively by Indian NGOs and the UNHCR. Both projects enabled refugees to make decisions about what assistance was needed in their communities and how it would be provided. In Delhi, for example, Afghan women requested literacy classes in their own language, Dari, as a precursor to trying to learn either Hindi or English. They also emphasised the importance of having female teachers, as some of the women from more conservative families in their communities were not permitted by the male members of their families to attend the NGO-run classes taught by men. Acting on self-identified needs had practical and symbolic significance. At a practical level, community workers had lived through similar experiences of displacement, loss and discrimination. They understood first-hand the refugee journey and the challenges of living in Delhi and Nairobi without legal status. Because of this, they were responsive and understanding of the often high levels of anger, frustration, distress and despair displayed by fellow community members. This was also evident in responses of both the female and male community workers in Delhi to the victims/survivors of sexual violence, sometimes in opposition to the response of others from within their own communities. On several occasions, some community workers spoke out publicly at community meetings to challenge negative community attitudes about victims of sexual violence and provided temporary emergency shelter in their own homes to at-risk young women. These examples show how previously negative personal experiences were transformed into positive action. Moreover, they demonstrate that action went beyond service delivery (acting within project planning parameters), to community advocacy and challenging negative norms (spontaneous self-directed action in response to rights injustices). Individual acts became tied to political action (Brookfield and Holst, 2011) despite the lacuna of legal rights. Moreover, refugees were no longer seen as “clients” or “beneficiaries” by UNHCR and NGO staff, but skilled and capable individuals who planned and managed services for their own community. As two project co-coordinators explained, the project demonstrated that action was possible beyond transient small community grants and projects. Community workers took decisions regarding new project activities, coordinated the recruitment of new community development workers, planned project budgets and reconciled expenditure. In short, RCDP community workers were now in decision-making roles running the same type of activities as UNHCR implementing partners. For example, in the final evaluation, one community worker explained:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

We are something now. Maybe we don’t need any other organisation, we can at least help ourselves and know what to do by taking our own decisions. (RCDP community worker, Somali female 2, evaluation interview, December 2015) 34

Disruptive rights-based community development

As this comment suggests, the ability to assess situations and take action, changed how community workers and project participants saw themselves. This is not to suggest that community workers did not already possess these capacities. Rather, taking action beyond the community for the benefit of community members, and linking community efforts to wider decision-making arenas, led to new possibilities for what refugees could do and become, particularly in Delhi. Further, it points to a transformative relationship between knowledge, action and confidence, of regaining trust in one’s self and to imagine new possibilities. This agency included having the confidence to try and to take risks. For example, in consultations with the refugee community committee, the community workers designed and trialled several livelihoods initiatives including a Somali tea and snack shop, an Afghan restaurant and an Afghan snack shop run by two Afghan women whose husbands had died. Each project closed within a year of opening due to insufficient customers and, in one case, community conflict between two families. Harassment by police and the constant requests for bribes also meant that the security of staff was a considerable risk. While in the long term the livelihoods projects were not sustainable, they did give the community workers and an additional eight livelihoods workers, the space to take risks and try new things, and as such are evidence of their struggles to exercise their social rights. During the establishment of each of the projects, the CRR team encouraged the community workers to reflect on the likelihood of success and the potential challenges that each project might face. However, blocking project initiatives that the CRR team disagreed with, or which involved some level of financial risk, would have been counter to a rights-based community development approach and to the core project aim of fostering and supporting community leadership, and of providing the reflexive space to make and learn from their own mistakes. As a UNHCR staff member explained:

Taylor and Francis

The opening of the restaurant may not have worked but at least they took on that initiative, which I’m not sure they would have taken on their own if they did not have that kind of support. (UNHCR staff member, evaluation interview, December 2015)

Not for distribution

One highly successful livelihoods initiative was the embroidery project. This project was developed as the result of an informal partnership between the Project’s social support workers and an Australian woman living in Delhi who had previously lived in Afghanistan and knew the quality of embroidery and crochet work produced there. She had been eager to assist Afghan refugee women living in Delhi and used her networks in the fashion industry to link many Afghan refugee women to Indian designers, who were prepared to pay for their work, boosting both the women’s incomes and their self-esteem. The impact of women’s new confidence was evident when they made connections with the international fashion designers and crochet artists who commissioned their highly skilled embroidery work. While many in the team were concerned about labour exploitation, we later realised that the women had negotiated considerably higher prices for their work than that paid across the garment industry. Women’s confidence to take collective action was also evident among those involved in Project RESPECT. In Eastleigh, following numerous reports of sexual abuse in the informal male-run Madrasa religious schools, a dynamic group of women hosted by the clinic, informed parents of the abuse and independently began religious teachings to children to avoid them attending these schools. The fact that the women felt they were unable to prevent the abuse in the male-run schools speaks to the impunity which frequently characterises refugee women and children’s experiences of sexual violence. In this case, the women did the next best thing and demonstrated their resistance by providing safe alternatives. With financial support from the project, they trained groups of women to provide information about the risk of sexual and 35

Linda Bartolomei et al.

gender-based violence and how to respond to it. They were strong women leaders, advocates and inspirational to the group. Following the initial project dialogues, they requested training and resources to expand their work. With financial support from the project, they developed a training-of-trainers program for 42 women to run community outreach activities. Their interest primarily focused on providing information regarding sexual and gender-based violence and what support was available. A further activity was to provide information on how the UNHCR is able to assist refugees in urban areas. However, this did not happen. Activities were disrupted due to the government directive in March 2014 to return refugees to camps. The women themselves then turned their focus to using the project’s resources to assist the families of women who had been arbitrarily arrested in the government crackdown. It was through the project’s methodology that the capabilities of these women, who were already strongly engaged with supporting their community, were highlighted and supported. A focus on the struggles for recognition not only brings existing refugee agency to the fore, but places the meaning of rights in the concrete experiences of those who struggle to legally claim them.

Disruptive practice: rights struggles in exile Refugees experience a lacuna of legal rights in protracted urban displacement. Experiences of displacement and exile rupture the sense of order, belonging and security in one’s life, which is compounded by the denial of legal rights. As the findings in this chapter have shown, this does not mean that their daily lives contain no evidence of rights in action. While rights are legal, they are also politically, morally and socially constructed. These findings suggest three things relevant to community development in protracted urban displacement. First, everyday struggles for rights are a critical interface in the absence of legal recognition and citizenship rights in countries of asylum. “Rights”, therefore, are not only the legal and policy framework incorporating the Universal Declaration of Rights and various conventions and international instruments. When refugees are recognised as resourceful, resilient and adaptable protectors, this is evidence of human rights claims emerging. Second, legal rights provide a powerful normative framework of what is permissible or otherwise; what is right and what is wrong. Further, they give people an avenue to seek redress for injustices that contravene these norms. Refugees living in Delhi and Nairobi live without the security of knowing that wrongs can be acknowledged and made right through access to justice and citizenship. However, although refugees are without legal rights in many countries of asylum, when involved in a project which values and privileges their opinions and knowledge, and recognises and supports their activism in developing solutions, they become recognised members of a political community. As Lazar and Nuijten argue, “processes and practices of involvement are at least as important as the end result itself” (2013, p. 3). Community-led projects are not merely technical, but creative and analytical pursuits. Engaging in these pursuits leads to self-actualisation through “combined processes of being and becoming, belonging and longing to belong” (Yuval-Davis, 2006, p. 202). Moreover, when people are recognised and see themselves as rights holders, a critical consciousness emerges not only of what is just, but also of what is possible. A benchmark of what ought to be, unrelated to visa or residency status, re-establishes that what is denied in exile is not the natural order of things. According to Giddens (1991), this restores trust in one’s self and one’s place in the world. It speaks also to Arendt’s (1951) arguments that rights are as much about politics (and action) as they are about geography, and as Ingram asserts “can be put into practice in an effort to expand the conditions for participation in political life” (2008, p. 412).

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

36

Disruptive rights-based community development

Third, this chapter has illustrated that opening spaces for dialogue, action and community training are central to refugee-led projects that aim to disrupt traditional power relations and move towards positive change. These processes enable rights claims to emerge through restoring trust in one’s self, and an ability to take political action. Support and training are not activities conducted to build amorphous capacity. Rather, they are a process whereby training provides a platform for people to make sense of their experiences, and the experiences of their communities in exile, to then make decisions and take action. Refugee-led projects must involve collaborative action to co-explore complex problems and support refugee communities to develop their own solutions, extending on community support that may already exist. Community training is therefore part consciousness-raising, part skills and part confidence building. It must be iterative and emancipatory, involving deliberation and open discussions which are fundamental aspects of justice. This methodology is reciprocal in nature, reducing power imbalances that would otherwise lock refugees into a life of dependency. Technical top-down responses to issues of refugee protection can unintentionally deprive individuals of the right to reflect and to act. However, it is equally clear that refugee communities cannot be abandoned to “do it on their own” as the project findings have highlighted. This approach adopted by the CRR team might be best described as “facilitated community development” that is, one which adheres to the core principles of community development but emphasises the importance of resources and technical support (Kenny, 2011). What relevance then, do these arguments about rights have for rights-based community development in contexts of protracted exile? As Toomey (2011) argues, community development practitioners must rethink their roles. They must shift from rescuers, providers and modernisers to catalysers, facilitators, advocates and allies. These are often unfamiliar skills in the technical world of project design, monitoring and evaluation, but essential nevertheless to avoid a paternalistic approach to community development projects. In supporting communities to achieve their own goals, UN agencies, NGOs and their staff should help groups make linkages with other organisations and advocate with power brokers. This involves “joining the dots” (Lenette and Ingamells, 2015) and navigating government policy landscapes to support effective community-led policy advocacy (Westoby and Shevellar, 2012). Organisations and individuals must therefore work as agents of change rather than do-ers, professionals and experts (see also Mitlin, 2013). In doing so, refugees’ struggles for personal, institutional and legal recognition can be actively supported. While ontological security in its fullest sense may not be possible in protracted urban exile, the struggle for rights and recognition can nonetheless assist in building a sense of trust, belonging and autonomy.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Conclusion Refugee-led community development projects have shown that training in human rights, psychosocial skills and project management, which recognises, supports and utilises the existing efforts of refugee communities, make significant contributions to restoring ontological security. Taking leadership of projects and engaging as peers with actors beyond the community – in this case international research centres, the UNHCR, NGOs and other refugee communities – reinstates participation in a larger political community. Participation in this political sphere extends autonomy and agency, and the right to speak and be heard. While this is certainly no substitute for the legal rights offered by citizenship, there are important and positive benefits for those involved. Most importantly the approach outlined in this chapter changed the way in which the refugee women and men involved perceived themselves and were perceived by others. Through recognising and fostering their 37

Linda Bartolomei et al.

skills, capacities and leadership the projects challenged the negative framing of refugees as dependent and without agency. The projects in each site gave people the space to reaffirm their self-constructed identities (sister, mother, son, father, teacher, doctor), which they performed daily in all sorts of informal ways to survive and to protect their families and communities. But equally importantly, the project gave them the opportunity to develop and perform new identities as community social workers, project managers, advocates, researchers and trainers. Genuine rights-based community development approaches can therefore make an important contribution to re-politicising the struggle for human rights in urban refugee contexts. If community-based protection approaches are to succeed in urban refugee settings, international humanitarian organisations and national service providers must move beyond viewing members of refugee communities as “beneficiaries”, volunteers or poorly paid interpreters and community workers. As our findings in Nairobi and Delhi have demonstrated, many members of refugee communities are already actively engaged in community-based protection work, and with recognition and appropriate support can perform in senior roles and make important contributions as leaders and fairly paid peer workers. Rather than being defeated by the limitations of legal rights for refugees in exile, community development workers must support groups to respond to both physical and political displacement in innovative and creative ways, while continuing to advocate for durable solutions which will restore citizenship for all refugees.

Notes

Taylor and Francis

1 Renamed the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in 2014. 2 Following the Westgate siege in Nairobi in September 2013, the political situation deteriorated, travel restrictions were put in place and a government directive issued in March 2014 stated that all refugees should return to the camps or face arrest if living in urban areas.

Not for distribution

References Arendt, H (1951), Origins of totalitarianism, Harcourt, Brace and Co., New York. Bartolomei, L (2015), ‘Surviving the city: Refugee from Burma in New Delhi’, in Koizumi, K and Hoffstaedter, G (eds), Urban refugees: Challenges in protection, services and policy, Routledge, New York, pp. 139–163. Bartolomei, L, Pittaway, E and Pittaway, EE (2003), ‘Who am I? Identity and citizenship in Kakuma refugee camp in Northern Kenya’, Development (Basingstoke), vol. 46, pp. 87–93. Betts, A, Bloom, L, Kaplan, J and Omata, N (2017), Refugee economies: Forced displacement and development, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. Blackburn, PJ (2010), ‘Creating space for preferred identities: Narrative practice conversations about gender and culture in the context of trauma’, Journal of Family Therapy, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 4–26. Brookfield, SD and Holst, JD (2011), Radicalising learning: Adult education for a just world, John Wiley, San Francisco, CA. Chambers, S (2003), ‘Deliberative democratic theory’, Annual Review Political Science, vol. 6, pp. 307–326. Clark, S and Copolov, C (2016), ‘Refugee-run school in Indonesia a model for governments toemulate’, The Conversation, 7 March 2016. Retrieved from: http://theconversation.com/refugee-run-school-inindonesia-a-model-for-governments-to-emulate-55378. Cornwall, A and Nyamu-Musembi, C (2004), ‘Putting the “rights-based approach” to development into perspective’, Third World Quarterly, vol. 25, no. 8, pp. 1415–1437. Crisp, J, Morris, T and Refstie, H (2012), ‘Displacement in urban areas: New challenges, new partnerships’, Disasters, vol. 36, pp. 23–42. Dryden-Peterson, S (2006), ‘“I find myself as someone who is in the forest”: Urban refugees as agents of social change in Kampala, Uganda’, Journal of Refugee Studies, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 381–395. 38

Disruptive rights-based community development

Fals Borda, O (2001), ‘Participatory (action) research in social theory: Origins and challenges’, in Reason, P and Bradbury, H (eds), Handbook of action research, Sage Publications, London, pp. 27–37. Freedman, J (2015), Gendering the international asylum and refugee debate, 2nd edn, Palgrave McMillan, Basingstoke, UK,. Freire, P (2005), Pedagogy of the oppressed. 30th anniversary edition, The Continuum International Publishing Group, New York. Giddens, A (1991), Modernity and self-identity: self and society in the late modern age, Polity Press, Cambridge, UK. Grabska, K (2006), ‘Marginalization in urban spaces of the global south: Urban refugees in Cairo’, Journal of Refugee Studies, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 287–307. Gready, P (2008), ‘Rights-based approaches to development: What is the value-added?’ Development in Practice, vol. 18, no. 6, pp. 735–747. Habermas, J 2001. The postnational constellation, trans. and ed. Max Pensky, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. Hinchey, R (2010), ‘Working with refugees’, Of Substance: The National Magazine on Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs, vol. 8, no. 1, p. 29. Hoffstaedter, G (2015), ‘Asia-Pacific from one law to many: Legal pluralism and Islam in Malaysia’, Alternative Law Journal, vol. 40, no. 2, pp. 134–135. Hugman, R, Pittaway, E and Bartolomei, L (2011), ‘When “do no harm” is not enough: The ethics of research with refugees and other vulnerable groups’, British Journal of Social Work, vol. 41, no. 7, pp. 1271–1287. Human Rights Watch (2013), You are all terrorists: Kenyan police abuse of refugees in Nairobi. Retrieved from: www.hrw.org/news/2013/05/29/kenya-police-abuse-nairobis-refugees. Hyndman, J and Giles, W (2016), Refugees in extended exile: Living on the edge, Routledge, Abingdon, UK and New York. Ife, J (2012), Human rights from below: Achieving rights through community development, 2nd edn, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne. Ife, J (2016), Community development in an uncertain world: Vision, analysis and practice, 2nd edn, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne. Ingram, J (2008), ‘What is a “right to have rights?” Three images of the politics of human rights’, American Political Science Review, vol. 102, no. 4, pp. 401–416. Kenny, S (2011), Developing communities for the future, 4th edn, Victoria Cengage Learning, Melbourne. Kenny, S and Connors, P (2016), Developing communities for the future, 5th edn, Victoria Cengage Learning, Melbourne. Klug, F (2000), Values for a Godless age: The story of the United Kingdom’s new bill of rights, Penguin, London. Landau, LB (2006), ‘Protection and dignity in Johannesburg: Shortcomings of South Africa’s urban refugee policy’, Journal of Refugee Studies, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 308–327. Lazar, S and Nuijten, M (2013), ‘Citizenship, the self and political agency’, Critique of Anthropology, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 3–7. Lenette, C and Ingamells, A (2015), ‘Mind the gap! The growing chasm between funding-driven agencies, and social and community knowledge and practice’, Community Development Journal, vol. 50, no. 1, pp. 88–103. Lewis, HM (2001), ‘Participatory research and education for social change: Highlander Research and Education Centre’, in Reason, P and Bradbury, H (eds), Handbook of action research, Sage Publications, London, pp. 262–268. Maclure, J (2003), ‘The politics of recognition at an impasse? Identity politics and democratic citizenship’, Canadian Journal of Political Science, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 3–21. Massoud, MF (2011), ‘Do victims of war need international law? Human rights education programs in authoritarian Sudan’, Law & Society Review, vol. 45, no. 1, pp. 1–32. McMichael, C and Manderson, L (2004), ‘Somali women and well-being: Social networks and social capital among immigrant women in Australia’, Human Organization, vol. 63, no. 1, pp. 88–99. Mitlin, D (2013), ‘Endowments, entitlements and capabilities: What urban social movements offer to poverty reduction’, European Journal of Development Research, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 44–59. Morand, M, Mahoney, K, Bellour, S and Rabkin, J (2012), The implementation of UNHCR’s Policy on Refugee Protection and Solutions in Urban Areas, UNHCR, Geneva. Muggah, R (2005), ‘Distinguishing means and ends: The counterintuitive effects of UNHCR’s community development approach in Nepal’, Journal of Refugee Studies, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 151–164. Nadar, S (2014), ‘“Stories are data with soul”: Lessons from black feminist epistemology’, Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 18–28.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

39

Linda Bartolomei et al.

Nnaemeka, O (2003), ‘Negro-feminism: Theorizing, practicing, and pruning Africa’s way’, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 357–385. Olivius, E (2014), ‘(Un) governable subjects: The limits of refugee participation in the promotion of gender equality in humanitarian aid’, Journal of Refugee Studies, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 42–61. Patton, MQ (2011), Developmental evaluation: Applying complexity concepts to enhance innovation and use, Guilford Press, New York. Piper, N (2008), ‘The “migration-development nexus” revisited from a rights perspective’, Journal of Human Rights, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 282–298. Pittaway, E, Bartolomei, L and Hugman, R (2010), ‘“Stop stealing our stories”: The ethics of research with vulnerable groups’, Journal of Human Rights Practice, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 229–251. Ranciere, J (2004), ‘Who is the subject of the rights of man?’ South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 103, nos. 2–3, pp. 297–310. Reason, P and Bradbury, H (2006), Handbook of action research, Sage Publications, London. Smith, MK (2001), ‘Kurt Lewin, groups, experiential learning and action research’, The Encyclopaedia of Informal Education. Retrieved from: www.infed.org/thinkers/et-lewin.htm. Toomey, AH (2011), ‘Empowerment and disempowerment in community development practice: Eight roles practitioners play’, Community Development Journal, vol. 46, no. 2, pp. 181–195. UNHCR (2009), UNHCR policy on refugee protection and solutions in urban areas, UNHCR, Geneva. UNHCR (2011), Survivors, protectors, providers, UNHCR, Geneva. UNHCR (2017), Urban refugees. Retrieved from: www.unhcr.org/en-au/urban-refugees.html. Uvin, P (2007), ‘From the right to development to the rights-based approach: How “human rights” entered development’, Development in Practice, vol. 17, nos. 4–5, pp. 597–606. Vandenhole, W and Gready, P (2014), ‘Failures and successes of human rights-based approaches to development: Towards a change perspective’, Nordic Journal of Human Rights, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 291–311. Westoby, P and Shevellar, L (2012), ‘Introduction’, in Westoby, P and Shevellar, L (eds), Learning and mobilising for community development: A radical tradition of community-based education and training, Ashgate, Abingdon, UK, pp. 1–12. Yuval-Davis, N (2006), ‘Belonging and the politics of belonging’, Patterns of Prejudice, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 197–214.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

40

3 They’d just “flown away” Reflections on shifting gender norms in the context of engagement with asylum seekers and refugees through community music Caroline Lenette, Brian Procopis and Paola Caballero

Introduction: asylum seeking in Australia in the border protection era At the 2014 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) consultations with non-governmental organisations (NGO) in Geneva, the then UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, commented on Australia’s persistence with “border protection” and deterrence of asylum seekers arriving by boat: “If you come to Australia in a different way, it’s fine but if they come in a boat it is like something strange happens to their minds” (Refugee Council of Australia, 2014). As of 2016, Australia’s Humanitarian Program offered 13,7501 places through onshore (where asylum seekers apply for protection once they reach Australia) and offshore (where visas are granted prior to arrival) schemes. The former category attracts the most attention due to the mode of arrival (usually by boat). Additionally, the policy of mandatory detention while claims for protection are processed has been increasingly scrutinised over the past few years (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2016; Fleay and Briskman, 2013; Lenette et al., 2015). Since 2012 in particular, the Australian Government’s third country processing measures for asylum seekers who arrive by boat (undertaken in Nauru or Manus Island in Papua New Guinea2) have attracted considerable criticism including from the UN; concerns have been raised regarding inadequate camp conditions, and the lengths of time people linger in detention, compounding serious mental health issues (see, for instance, Basham, 2015). In 2013, policy measures aptly entitled Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB)3 were introduced, and media access to detention centres was restricted further. The Australian Border Force Act 2015 now makes it a criminal offence for workers to disclose information about detention centres. Australia’s concern with “deterrence” policies in the name of national security and border protection has increased alongside negative public attitudes towards asylum seekers and refugees in Australia, which is at an all-time high (McHugh-Dillon, 2015). Despite occasional – albeit short-lived – shifts in such perceptions due to, for instance, photographs showing asylum seeker deaths while crossing borders by boat (Lenette and Cleland, 2016; Lenette and Miskovic, 2016), other events like terrorist attacks in France in 2015 and 2016 tend to cement negative views and fears – or “moral panic” (Martin, 2015) about asylum seekers travelling to Australia. Indeed, Bleiker, Campbell and Hutchison (2014) argue that the

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

41

Caroline Lenette et al.

ethic of hospitality, underpinned by principles of fairness, openness, respect and generosity, has been replaced with a culture of anxiety and fear – or inhospitality – towards the “other” that feeds moral panic about asylum seekers. Amidst polemic and ever-shifting national (and international) policy contexts, a community development initiative brings together musicians, asylum seekers and refugees in Brisbane, Australia, through music making and singing. This chapter, written collaboratively by community musicians and an academic, focuses on the musical activities of Scattered People, a gathering of asylum seekers, refugees, community development practitioners, academics and kindred-spirited local musicians who use music as a vehicle for community building and fostering resilience. Scattered People activities range from collaborative music gatherings and public performances, to the production of CDs (see www.sweetfreedom.org.au/scatteredpeople. html). These activities represent a haven of sorts – for all involved – from precarious and at times hostile socio-political contexts, much like DeNora’s (2013, p. 1) concept of “asylum” as “respite from distress and a place and time in which it is possible to flourish”. The friendships, support and sense of belonging asylum seekers and refugees developed through their involvement in community music – in sharp contrast to dominant national discourses of border protection – were described as essential to their health and wellbeing (Lenette et al., 2015; Sunderland et al., 2015) and to the process of reclaiming their identity as human beings (see Humpage and Marston, 2005). Scattered People community musicians come from various backgrounds: some are community development workers, while others are singers and performers with a commitment to social justice. Together with academics, we form an “epistemic community”, defined as a diverse group of “domain experts dedicated to changing both policy and popular perceptions”, by using networks to expand the social justice reach beyond the immediate boundaries of community music activities” (Sunderland et al., 2016). The chapter outlines Scattered People community music facilitators’ perspectives on shifts in gender norms and interactions over time, and highlights some key principles, which we hope will be useful to practitioners in diverse settings.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Forming the orchestra In 2011, a small group of community musicians from Scattered People organised weekly visits to asylum seekers in an immigration detention centre in Brisbane. They were motivated by deep concerns for asylum seekers, and a wish to bring musical and singing activities to the confines of detention to counter the monotony, uncertainty and sadness that they had heard characterised this setting. At a recent community meeting, the musicians had witnessed the strong connections music created among asylum seekers who had arrived on Christmas Island by boat (then transferred to Brisbane) from countries like Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq and Sri Lanka, seeking safety and freedom from oppressive regimes. The community musicians hoped for similar outcomes at the detention centre. Not only did asylum seekers enjoy and deeply appreciate the musicians’ weekly involvement while living in detention, they also identified clear health and wellbeing benefits from ongoing participation post-detention (see Sunderland et al., 2015). It is not surprising then that many asylum seekers sought further opportunities to share music collectively with those who had given them a sense of hope through kindness, connection and musical encounters while they lived in detention, and who had helped them regain a sense of agency (Lenette et al., 2015). Scattered People musicians had extended a welcome to asylum seekers using the best way they knew how – through music. The following year, community musicians responded to enthusiastic requests from formerly detained asylum seekers (mostly from Iran and Sri Lanka) to organise monthly music gatherings 42

They’d just “flown away”

at a local neighbourhood centre. These encounters, which identified and celebrated commonalities among people from vastly diverse backgrounds, became a means to support individuals to “reclaim a respectful identity in an impoverished and reactionary political discourse dominated by a policy of ‘border protection’” (Humpage and Marston 2005, p. 137). In so doing, Scattered People musicians engaged in community development as a dynamic process that re-values identities, participation and cultural activities as integral to the needs of asylum seekers and refugees (Humpage and Marston, 2005). Without oversimplifying the concept of community by referring to asylum seekers as one “community”, the formation of an “accidental community” (originally coined by Malkki4) by virtue of common circumstances of being detained, created a setting whereby: [m]usic facilitators (consciously or unconsciously) took on a role of counteracting the indeterminacy of this accidental community and establishing a greater sense of social cohesion through reinvigoration, even reinvention, of the concept of community in the space occupied by asylum seekers. (Weston and Lenette, 2016, p. 123) In this way, the creation of a cultural and performative space yielded a “community within a community” where “themes of inclusion, humanisation and the expression of a democratic voice through music gave detained asylum seekers a sense of stability” (Weston and Lenette, 2016, p. 123). We acknowledge the uniqueness of this setting as a site to contextualise Scattered People community development activities and the musicians’ observations. Over four years, community musicians documented and publicly shared observations of how asylum seekers responded to and engaged with musical and singing activities within and outside the walls of the detention centre, and how, from their perspectives, these interactions affected participants’ wellbeing. Community musicians also reflected on their ongoing involvement with people experiencing particularly precarious situations, and how such interactions inevitably had an impact on the community musicians’ own social health and wellbeing (Lenette and Procopis, 2016). Another recurring observation in the written narratives referred to changes in gender norms over time among asylum seekers actively involved in musical activities, particularly following their release from detention. The musicians, conscious that asylum seekers had limited contact with members of the broader community (most particularly within detention, but also beyond), questioned whether some of these observed changes resulted from ongoing engagement with Scattered People musicians and activities. They wondered if they had inadvertently modelled particular styles of interactions between men and women, and whether asylum seekers perceived these as a new set of gender norms in an Australian context. Given the deeply personal and community-oriented approach adopted by Scattered People, the musicians decided that reflecting on and learning from the links between engagement through musical activities and perceived changes in gender norms among asylum seeker men and women required closer examination as central to their community development efforts. We chose to include the phrase “they’d just ‘flown away’” to this chapter’s title because, first, in our discussions on writing about music facilitators’ observations of gender dynamics, this phrase became a leitmotiv reminding us of the importance of sharing asylum seekers’ stories with broader audiences. Second, the phrase represents a way of including, or being led by, asylum seeker voices in our writing, as it refers to a Muslim refugee woman’s candid explanation of why she no longer wore headscarves post-detention. Besides the beauty expressed in the metaphor (as recorded in a community musician’s reflections), it also speaks to our shared understanding as collaborators, friends, migrants and co-authors of shifts in cultural and gender norms

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

43

Caroline Lenette et al.

in resettlement contexts. Our aim here is not to argue that women were “better off” because of their engagement in musical activities, but rather to highlight that, inevitably, the contexts of these interactions shape men and women’s frames of reference about gender norms differently. Gender considerations have gained importance in the literature on community development both in an Australian context (Lenette and Ingamells, 2015; Onyx and Leonard, 2010) and internationally (Donnelly, 2015; Leavitt, 2003), and involving migrant communities (Karidakis and Arunachalam, 2016). However, the ways in which the gender of community practitioners may inadvertently impact on interactions with community members requires more attention. Such an examination represents a step beyond practitioners reflexively considering how their gender “shapes” their practice approaches in community work (see, for instance, Williams and Lykes, 2003). The reflective process with Scattered People facilitators revealed, as a key unintentional outcome, that gender became one key consideration in their collective consciousness in relation to interactions with asylum seekers and refugees. The reflections presented here are intended to prompt students, academics and practitioners to think more broadly about gender in cross-cultural community development work, not just in terms of sensitive and culturally safe practices, but also in relation to nuanced gender dynamics that, currently, are not necessarily at the centre of those practices. The points we raise in this chapter therefore enrich the literature in more than one discipline.

Our approach Community development as “bearing witness”

Taylor and Francis

For Fleay and Briskman (2013, p. 114), “bearing witness” to detained asylum seekers involves “‘attending closely and openly’ to the expressions of the experiences of another, and then communicating this to others. The impact of this process on someone experiencing great suffering can be a sense that they are not alone”. Indeed, visitors to remote detention centres (although still small in numbers), are “independent of the immigration detention system [and] can provide a form of monitoring and be understood as an act of bearing witness to the impacts of mandatory detention” (Fleay, 2017). Those who bear witness “communicat[e] what has been seen and heard in ways that encourage the receivers of the message to take action in response” (Fleay and Briskman, 2013, p. 114). Scattered People musicians took action beyond the regularity of their visits to the detention centre by writing and sharing narratives with a broader audience, organising community-based music gatherings and performances, and collaborating generously with academics with a shared concern for social justice and the wellbeing of detained asylum seekers. What is particularly unique to interactions in this setting is how “intimacy” develops between visitors and those detained. We reflected on community musicians’ “attachment to some asylum seekers and their families, whom they could get to know in a particularly intimate way through music” (Lenette and Procopis, 2016, p. 61). In this context, “intimacy” has a different meaning, redefined by the detention centre’s walls, the rare (or else closely monitored) contact between asylum seekers and the “outside world”, feelings of isolation and yearning for freedom (Fleay, 2017). As such, intimacy can emerge fairly quickly in such an environment, and was integral to the community musicians’ approach to bearing witness to asylum seekers’ experiences. The focus on community musicians’ perspectives on changing gender norms highlights an oft-neglected aspect of culturally safe practices, particularly in a unique setting like a detention centre. Our exploration uses two complementary approaches. The first is an analysis of observed shifts in culturally prescribed gender behaviours as recounted in the musicians’ written

Not for distribution

44

They’d just “flown away”

narratives, from the detention centre context through to the local neighbourhood centre setting. Examples from the narratives include: gender norms about dancing in mixed-gender groups, interacting with members of the opposite sex and dress customs. This cross-cultural analysis of shifting norms not only illustrates some key gendered processes inherent to community-based approaches when engaging with asylum seekers, but also highlights nuanced cultural shifts as a key aspect of resettlement. The second approach involves two narratives from lead Scattered People community music facilitators and co-authors Brian and Paola, where they reflect on their engagement with asylum seekers and identify gender-specific themes. These gendered perspectives offer first-hand accounts of observed changes and the causes attributed to shifts in gender norms among participants over time. We have deliberately combined relevant narratives from a larger data set that candidly referred to shifts in gender norms from music facilitators’ perspectives (first approach) with more recent reflections captured from Brian and Paola’s perspectives in the context of academic writing (second approach) as a reflexive methodology to “bear witness” to the experiences of those involved in Scattered People. We wished to focus on gender in our content but also as an integral part of the writing process, to acknowledge differences in perceptions that might emerge. As lead Scattered People facilitators, Brian and Paola both reflected on the topic from their own perspectives, framed by distinct cultural and practitioner backgrounds. Consequently, the chapter contributes unique insights into gender considerations in cross-cultural community development work that may have been inadvertently minimised to date.

First approach: documented narratives

Taylor and Francis

A selection of the Scattered People narratives documented and circulated from February to December 2012 were thematically analysed to draw out specific references to genderprescribed behaviours and observed changes over that timeframe, and these narratives are reproduced here for further analysis. At that point, Scattered People community musicians had visited the detention centre for six months, and had just begun organising monthly gatherings with formerly detained asylum seekers at a neighbourhood centre. This timeframe was specifically selected as it offered the best “snapshot” to identify key changes in gender norms, given that written narratives over that time document community musicians’ involvement in detention as well as initial post-detention music gatherings at the neighbourhood centre. The thematic analysis of documented narratives identified three relevant topics: musicians’ consciousness of gender prescribed behaviours, cross-cultural (mis)understandings and visible expressions of change.

Not for distribution

Gendered dimensions of engagement: melodies and dissonance Consciousness of gender-prescribed behaviours There were instances in the musicians’ written narratives where they described how conscious they were of the differences in gender-prescribed behaviours between the group of asylum seekers and the music facilitators. For example, Brian refers to their sensitivity to such norms: We men hug one another and shake hands with the ladies – careful not to breach any cultural protocols. Scattered People women have no such restrictions. Embraces are warm and vigorous. (May, 2012) 45

Caroline Lenette et al.

At other times, the musicians recounted how asylum seeker and refugee participants found themselves in unfamiliar territory, which may have challenged the dominant gender norms from countries of origin. For instance, Brian recounted the story of an Iranian asylum seeker: The gathering identified a dancer among their own and began their slow clap. His resistance was excruciating. In front of all of these strangers – it’s one thing to dance for fun among the boys but here among a line-up of relative strangers – not to mention attractive young women . . . The dancer stated his case: “In Iran we men need to know how to dance to entertain ourselves – weddings would otherwise be boring for us”. Males and females are apparently separated during such celebrations – men on one floor, women on the other. Never the twain shall meet. (September, 2012) Sensitivity to such aspects of gender-prescribed behaviours ensured that participants were given sufficient time and space to consider and adapt to differing norms in a new context. As the community musicians’ ultimate aim was for participants to engage in activities as much as they felt was appropriate and culturally safe, they developed an acute sense of awareness of the gender dynamics at play. This aspect became central to how they conceptualised their engagement with asylum seekers and refugees through community music, both within and beyond the detention centre setting.

Cross-cultural (mis)understandings

Taylor and Francis

Despite their sensitivity in relation to prevailing gender norms, Scattered People musicians also acknowledged instances where they inadvertently overstepped the boundaries of culturally prescribed gender behaviours. As experienced community practitioners, they were able to write about how participants could be affected as a result of such incidents, as Aleathea (female facilitator) recounted in this example:

Not for distribution

The first time I had seen [a young man and an older man] (a few weeks ago), I had gone over to welcome them to the music session. The younger man smiled in return, but the other took a step back and looked to the floor. In my haste to make them feel welcome, I forgot that these men come from cultures that have very different “interaction” rules between men and women. It was an awkward moment between us, and the men eventually wandered back outside to walk the grounds. (September, 2012) Such reflections also revealed the community musicians’ perceptions about gender roles in different contexts. They were aware of subtle shifts in behaviours that resulted from an ongoing commitment to visiting detained asylum seekers. On that same example, Aleathea noted that despite that awkward first encounter, she witnessed incremental changes over time: The next week, these two men came in halfway through the music session and sat to the side, but closer to us. The younger man smiled at me making me feel a little better about our last meeting. The older man still very solemn and making sure not to make eye contact. This week, the men were already in the room waiting for us. They sat at the back, but this time both men made eye contact with me and smiled. It felt like a breakthrough moment. (September, 2012) 46

They’d just “flown away”

At other times, there was an unspoken but mutual recognition that musicians and participants had different social frames of reference. Concurrently, some asylum seeker participants may have slowly become aware that adjusting some of their beliefs about gender norms was part of the experience of being in an Australian context, albeit in a detention centre. For instance, the narrative below refers to an unexpected point of amusement among participants, arguably symbolic of different worldviews: An old man is determined to comment on/send up Leathy’s short hair: “He was obviously bewildered – the first time perhaps he has seen a young woman with such short hair. He began talking animatedly in Farsi gesturing towards his own head, to my head and back to his again. Eventually he just shook his head in light-hearted disbelief and threw his hands in the air. The surrounding men were laughing by now. They had an obvious affection for this older chap and one of them got up and offered his chair. I couldn’t help but laugh with them. I don’t know what he said about me or my haircut but I can imagine. I was happy to provide a little amusement to these guys who probably don’t have a lot to laugh about”. ( June, 2012) The initial discomfort was quickly replaced by shared humour: while a relatively minor issue, it was nonetheless indicative of the new norms to which participants were adjusting.

Visible expressions of change

Taylor and Francis

Perhaps the most notable observation was in relation to the way women of Muslim faith in particular changed from wearing traditional dress and headscarves to adopting more “Western” clothing styles (such as jeans and t-shirts) once they left the detention centre. This prompted one facilitator to ask why such a change had taken place, and the response was telling:

Not for distribution

Headscarves worn by the women while in the Detention Centre had disappeared. [The women] whispered . . . that they’d just “flown away”. (February, 2012) As the headscarf represents a visible expression of the women’s faith, the fact that they felt comfortable without one while in the company of male and female Scattered People community musicians speaks to the inevitable shift to norms relevant to newer contexts, particularly where relationships of trust emerged. It would be simplistic to infer that women benefitted from Scattered People activities to a greater extent than their male counterparts because of the more obvious changes in culturally prescribed gender norms the facilitators witnessed among female participants. Rather, the poetic language describing how the headscarves had “flown away” once they were outside of detention suggests that this change was not a source of struggle for the women.

Second approach: community practitioners’ reflections To add to the themes identified in documented narratives, we wanted to capture more generic reflections from Brian and Paola’s distinct perspectives four years on. The next section highlights some of the more salient aspects they identified about shifting gender norms based on their interactions with asylum seekers and refugees over time. 47

Caroline Lenette et al.

Brian Brian recalls how the first encounter with asylum seekers in detention, involving a male and a female facilitator, set the tone for subsequent gatherings in terms of gender dynamics: Yani [female facilitator] takes most people by surprise – she’s outspoken, fun loving, cheeky and full of confidence. Listeners swiftly calibrate their responses to Yani and a banter spontaneously combusts (in the good sense). It’s always interesting to be in the room when this happens. Perhaps I should have warned the gathering of asylum seekers in the common room at the detention centre – people from cultures where men and women had defined roles – female outspokenness most likely not being one of them. Yani introduced herself to the group then asked their names. The men were more responsive; the women in veils were more reticent. Yani repeated their names as they were spoken, persisted in her pronunciation until she got closer. People started to giggle. Before long we were all laughing. It was the perfect introduction. It was then time for me to take over and speak about the origins of our music, tell a few stories and together with the other musicians, play a few songs. Mine is a very different personality – different style. Nobody can compete with Yani. I didn’t feel the need to. The session continued with both of us seguing seamlessly and intuitively, neither vying for attention. It was an effective partnership. We were oblivious to the impact of this relationship portraying equality on our audience as we teased each another, laughed and played. People were watching. In those first series of sessions, men sat in the front while the women sat to the side of the room or behind their husbands. In time, that changed too and the formula that we’d inadvertently showcased became reflected in the gathering. Women began to take the front seats. Yani’s persistence and invitations for the women to participate had its impact. The women always embraced Yani, Aleathea, Paola, Lou and Pepita when it was time for us to leave. We boys embraced the men. The learning was for all of us.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

These facilitators were initially unaware that they were “modelling” male-female interactions in what could have been, for these asylum seekers, indicative of a different set of norms. However, they soon noted shifts, particularly in women’s willingness to participate more actively over time. This shift in engagement was perhaps due to the female facilitator’s confident approach as a first introduction to music sessions. In other words, it may be that increased participation occurred as a result of female asylum seekers’ shifting conceptualisations of cultural frames of reference, based on how they perceived Yani’s approach during that first encounter (and subsequent ones). Brian’s concluding comment acknowledges the element of mutuality at the core of their engagement: asylum seekers and music facilitators alike learned different ways of connecting with one another through community music. Once a number of asylum seekers from that detention centre were released into community detention in Brisbane and other capital cities in 2012, the facilitators were pleased about this outcome but also disappointed that they did not get a chance to say goodbye to the people they had grown to know very well through ongoing musical interactions. So when they received a phone call from formerly detained asylum seekers living in the same neighbourhood asking, “can we all meet and play music again?”, they did not hesitate to extend their community engagement through music beyond the walls of detention. This request led to a new 48

They’d just “flown away”

community-based music initiative, which gave the facilitators an opportunity to witness further and more significant changes in asylum seekers post-detention. Brian recounts: A location, date and time were subsequently arranged. We arrived early and tuned our instruments. At first we didn’t recognise our asylum seeker friends when they arrived. The veils and long flowing dresses had been replaced by jeans and t-shirts. The women were putting together sentences in English to express how happy they were to see us again. They’d prepared food and enthusiastically joined in the singing and dancing. Their men came too but only for a short time. We embraced again but then they disappeared. The women explained that their husbands were embarrassed – they had no jobs, very little language and couldn’t look after their families without assistance. They felt immobilised and unwilling for the most part, to participate in activities that were not directly linked to their finding work. We understood that but missed having them around. The women however seemed to recognise the importance of belonging and of securing friendships, being able to express themselves and have their expressions valued. A broad base for their future life. Brian’s observations suggest that gender differences became more distinct post-detention; the changes in dress, communication styles and English language abilities, as well as the new dynamics with community music facilitators (including women being more engaged in Scattered People than men) were indicative of the shifts occurring in the asylum seekers’ and refugees’ cultural frames of reference. The women’s approach to adapting to new situations differed markedly from that of male counterparts: the former seemed to value the opportunity of partaking in more musical activities to a greater extent post-detention, despite arguably experiencing similar everyday life difficulties to male asylum seekers. Furthermore, the facilitators were particularly conscious that some of the women’s involvement in music initiatives might have unintended consequences that could jeopardise their personal circumstances and wellbeing (particularly when visa applications were still being finalised). For instance, they became aware in one particular case that a female participant’s husband was unhappy about the sense of independence and agency his wife was acquiring through her engagement with Scattered People music gatherings. However, this situation did not deter her from participating even more actively. Additionally, the community musicians encountered among some of the women a strong willingness to challenge the gender norms that had defined their lives thus far, as in the example below:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Saha is a singer from Iran – young, attractive, with a clear vision for her future as an ambassador (using music) to advance women’s rights. On the basis of her gender, she was unable to sing in public in her country. Her level of frustration reached a crescendo and she escaped on a boat to Indonesia and then Christmas Island. After many months she found her way to Brisbane and into the Scattered People music sessions. She was warmly welcomed. She told us her story, which involved her father introducing her at a very young age to the music of Pink Floyd. He did this very quietly of course as such Western music encouraging defiance against unjust systems was banned in his country. Saha was mesmerised and inspired. Opportunities arose for her to tell her story to media both in this country and internationally as well as in an emerging documentary. Her vision to become an ambassador was slowly unfolding. 49

Caroline Lenette et al.

I took my role of coordinating the Scattered People seriously and recognised a potential health and safety issue with Saha’s enthusiasm to tell her story in detail and with honesty. I advised her to adopt a stage name (like Madonna or Pink) so that her identity could be protected, her application for protection could not be hindered and her father’s life could not be jeopardised. She was having none of this though she was grateful for my concern. She said she’d had to submit to men’s demands and requirements all her life. She did not want to bow to that system any more. She’s courageous. I’m still nervous. Such encounters with women who displayed agency in relation to their participation in Scattered People activities provided new opportunities for community music facilitators to reflect on their own conceptualisations of gender norms associated with women from particular backgrounds. As such, the relationships of intimacy developed through music and in a polemic context through the creation of “accidental communities” in detention and beyond, yielded opportunities for shifts in gender perceptions for both community musicians and participants.

Paola Paola’s reflections relate specifically to post-detention contexts. When Scattered People community gatherings began, she observed how participants engaged in musical activities in ways they may not previously have felt comfortable with. However, as relationships of trust with music facilitators continued to develop, men and women alike were willing to partake in activities in new ways because of the benefits they experienced from such engagement. Paola recalls:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Yani [female facilitator] used to invite the group to get into pairs and try to replicate a body percussion exercise following her movements and the sounds she was creating by tapping on different parts of her body, clapping and singing. She asked the group to shift partners every couple of minutes. Even though this warm up activity may have been perceived by some participants as a challenge to their cultural norms particularly as it encouraged physical interactions between men and women to produce the sounds when mirroring each other, the group seemed comfortable enough to recreate the actions. Men and women alike enjoyed the collaboration as this led to feelings of joy, relaxation, camaraderie, and connection among them. What’s more, the regularity of the gathering on a weekly basis and the use of music as a tool to communicate, interact and create, were both valuable aspects for the Scattered People venture as the benefits became visible each week, when people started to embrace a feeling of membership, to develop their own networks and to have a more open approach when interacting with cultures different from their own. From my perspective, having a respectful approach when working cross-culturally can be determined not only by the knowledge and acknowledgement of the characteristics and skills each individual brings to the group, but also by the interactions that organically grow between team members and participants; in that sense, the capacity to sensibly observe and act in accordance with the group’s verbal and non-verbal communication that evolves as the interaction develops, becomes a valuable skill for practitioners to embrace whilst the synergy emerges. 50

They’d just “flown away”

Sensitivity to cross-cultural aspects of interactions, particularly when participants were unfamiliar with musical activities, yielded positive outcomes for those involved. Paola attributes participants’ willingness to try new Scattered People activities to ongoing engagement over time and attention to non-verbal aspects of interactions. For example, even if it was initially uncomfortable for participants to join in because of the familiarity involved in the body percussion exercise, they were able to overcome such reservations and benefit from the activity. Paola also observed how children played a key role in transcending some of the gender distinctions (and language barriers) through interactions with different group members: For a few months, the gathering organically moved from the space generously offered by the Neighbourhood Centre to the local park located behind the library and across the road from the school. The new venue in the midst of nature increased the accessibility for the community, as it was more visible for everyone within the vicinity; therefore, it allowed a better opportunity for the neighbourhood to come together and mingle. The kids from the asylum seekers and refugee families became increasingly busy and attentive to the demands of adult participants to help them to communicate with each other when the “language barrier” was in the way; it was clear that the kids’ presence and more developed “new language” were vital to facilitate their parents’ connection as they translated messages back and forth. The youngest generation in particular was bringing a sense of freshness and camaraderie that implicitly offers the group the opportunity to communicate using their mother languages as well as experimenting [with] other forms of communication with creativity and humour; kids and teenagers were finding ways to settle into new dynamics at school and elsewhere, and these daily adventures were implicitly adding value to the Scattered People collective, bringing to the setting a lighter yet powerful opportunity to develop a sense of community that did not feel “threatened” by differences in the group. It was astounding how girls and boys, no matter which culture they came from, easily related to other kids and adults, playing, singing and creating without problems; there was a feeling of sharing a nurturing space full of respect and fellowship. That non-intentionality inherent in the youngest participants also helped their parents and other adults to sit together, to communicate about their everyday lives, and to overcome pre-conceived ideas about others who share meaningful commonalities like being a family member, a community member and a country representative among others.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Children’s ability to adapt (arguably faster) to culturally prescribed gender norms in new contexts was seen as a strength or resource that their parents could draw on; the latter could navigate cross-cultural interactions at their own pace, but following the lead of their children. Due to their young age, children’s behaviour in the group may not have been guided by culturally specific gender norms to the same extent as adults.

Discussion: the music goes on The “intimacy” developed between community music facilitators and asylum seekers through a repertoire of songs composed externally, songs written by detained asylum seekers, and western pop songs, was made possible through the creation of a cultural and performative space (Weston and Lenette, 2016). This intimacy, as Fleay (2017) outlines, emerges from an emotional connection and engagement specific to experiences of asylum seeking and detention, and extends post-detention through activities like community music. This unique 51

Caroline Lenette et al.

approach challenges “simplistic and rhetorical notions of inclusion and exclusion” (Humpage and Marston, 2005, p. 145) in community development practices and is critical to culturally safe approaches when engaging with asylum seekers and refugees. As identified in facilitators’ accounts, paying close attention to the intricacies of interactions across cultures and genders can yield more enriching and meaningful levels of participation. Community development practitioners are de facto immersed in a context where such micro changes can be observed and considered for more nuanced practices. Concurrently, as Brian emphasised, music facilitators themselves experienced a greater awareness of diverse cultural frames of reference. As they bore witness to asylum seekers’ experiences in detention and beyond, they recognised the potential impact of their deeply personal approach on participants in terms of shifting gender norms. Beyond their ethos of striving for socially just outcomes for asylum seekers and refugees, Scattered People community musicians were conscious that inevitably, facilitators could not remain unaffected by such interactions (Lenette and Procopis, 2016). Likewise, male and female participants did not remain the same once they witnessed prevailing norms among community musicians. Such insights can be easily overlooked because of differing worldviews, and can only emerge through reflexive conversations (see William and Lykes, 2003). Returning to Humpage and Marston’s (2005, p. 145) idea of “community development [as] revaluing identities, participation in policy making and service planning and other cultural activities”, we suggest that part of the revaluing process involves reinventing oneself to a certain extent by looking towards the future and adapting to new contexts. This reinvention can be conveyed through modified cross-cultural and cross-gender norms – among other ways – and can be expressed through, for instance, changes in dress and visible expressions of religious beliefs. It can also mean encouraging (or at least not discouraging) younger generations to embrace contextually specific norms even when (or precisely because) these are different to adults’ frames of reference. We argue that such subtle aspects represent equally important changes resulting from “intimate” engagement, and need further acknowledgement in the literature on reflexivity in community development practices.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Conclusion Bearing witness to asylum seekers in detention in Australia “is still the domain of the relatively few and telling the stories is a way of providing increased transparency and overcoming the prevailing secrecy” (Fleay and Briskman, 2013, p. 115). This approach is even more critical in the Operation Sovereign Borders era with restricted access to information on detention centres. Our shared concern for asylum seekers and refugees guided our decision to write collaboratively about the experiences of men and women who engaged in Scattered People’s community development initiatives. These activities represent an innovative and culturally safe approach to engage with asylum seekers and refugees in meaningful ways, to rebuild identity and belonging. The community musicians continue to be “movers and shakers of the world” in an increasingly difficult context.

Acknowledgements We acknowledge all Scattered People music facilitators and participants who inspire us every day, including Naomi Sunderland, our fabulous project leader. We are grateful to the editors for their helpful suggestions and to Samantha S. Murray for editorial assistance.

52

They’d just “flown away”

Notes 1 This number is set to rise to 18,750 from 2018 (SBS, 2016). 2 In April 2016, PNG’s Supreme Court ruled Australia’s detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island as illegal. The detention centre will close, although no decision has been made yet about where asylum seekers currently detained there will go. 3 See Asylum Seeker Resource Centre: www.asrc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/OperationSovereign-Borders-May-2014.pdf. 4 (Malkki, 1997, p. 92):“people who have lived in a refugee or internment camp together for a certain period”.

References Australian Human Rights Commission (2016), Asylum seekers and refugees guide. Retrieved from: www. humanrights.gov.au/our-work/asylum-seekers-and-refugees/asylum-seekers-and-refugees-guide. Basham, J (2015), Recommendations to the Australian Government and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child with respect to unaccompanied children who seek asylum and refuge in Australia. Retrieved from: www. acrt.com.au/wp-content/uploads/ProtectingTheLonelyChildren1.pdf. Bleiker, R, Campbell, D and Hutchison, E (2014), ‘Visual cultures of inhospitality’, Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 192–200. DeNora, T (2013), Music asylums: Wellbeing through music in everyday life, Ashgate, Abingdon, UK, doi: 10.4324/9781315596730. Retrieved from: www.library.unsw.edu.au/. Donnelly, J (2015), ‘Towards gender equality through equity in community-level evaluation’, Evaluation Journal of Australasia, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 15–18. Fleay, C (2017), ‘Bearing witness and the intimate economies of immigration detention centres in Australia’, in Conlon, D and Hiemstra, N (eds), Intimate economies of immigration detention: Critical perspectives, Routledge, New York. Fleay, C and Briskman, L (2013), ‘Hidden men: Bearing witness to mandatory detention in Australia’, Refugee Survey Quarterly, vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 112–129. Humpage, L and Marston, G (2005), ‘Cultural justice, community development and onshore refugees in Australia’, Community Development Journal, vol. 40, no. 2, pp. 137–146. Karidakis, M and Arunachalam, D (2016), ‘Shift in the use of migrant community languages in Australia’, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 1–22. Leavitt, J (2003), ‘Where’s the gender in community development?’ Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 207–231. Lenette, C and Cleland, S (2016), ‘Changing faces: Visual representations of asylum seekers in times of crisis’, Creative Approaches in Research, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 68–83. Lenette, C and Ingamells, A (2015), ‘Mind the gap! The growing chasm between funding-driven agencies, and social and community knowledge and practice’, Community Development Journal, vol. 50, no. 1, pp. 88–103. Lenette, C and Miskovic, N (2016), ‘“Some viewers may find the following images disturbing”: Visual representations of refugee deaths at border crossings’, Crime, Media, Culture: An International Journal. First published 20 October 2016. Lenette, C and Procopis, B (2016, ‘“They change us”: The social and emotional impacts on music facilitators of engaging in music and singing with asylum seekers’, Music and Arts in Action, vol. 5, no. 10, pp. 55–68. Lenette, C, Weston, D, Wise, P, Sunderland, N and Bristed, H (2015), ‘Where words fail, music speaks: The impact of participatory music on the mental health and wellbeing of asylum-seekers’, Arts & Health, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 125–139. Malkki, L, 1997, ‘News and culture: Transitory phenomena and the fieldwork tradition’, in Gupta, A and Ferguson, J (eds), Anthropological locations: Boundaries and the grounds of a field science, University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, pp. 86–101. Martin, G (2015), ‘Stop the boats! Moral panic in Australia over asylum seekers’, Continuum, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 304–322. McHugh-Dillon, H (2015), If they are genuine refugees, why? Retrieved from: www.foundationhouse.org. au/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Public-attitudes-to-unauthorised-arrivals-in-Australia-FoundationHouse-review-2015.pdf.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

53

Caroline Lenette et al.

Onyx, J and Leonard, R (2010), ‘The conversion of social capital into community development: An intervention in Australia’s outback’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol. 34, pp. 381–397. Refugee Council of Australia (2014), UN High Commissioner criticises Australia’s ‘strange’ obsession with boats. Retrieved from: www.refugeecouncil.org.au/n/mr/140618_UNHCRNGO.pdf. Special Broadcasting Services (SBS) (2016), Australia to increase annual humanitarian refugee intake. Retrieved from: www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/09/21/australia-increase-annual-humanitarian-refugee-intake-pm. Sunderland, N, Graham, P and Lenette, C (2016), ‘Epistemic communities: Extending the social justice outcomes of community music for asylum seekers and refugees in Australia’, International Journal of Community Music, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 223–241. Sunderland, N, Istvandity, L, Lakhani, A, Lenette, C, Procopis, B and Caballero, P (2015), ‘“They [do more than]interrupt us from sadness”: Exploring the impact of participatory music making on social determinants of health and wellbeing for refugees in Australia’, Health, Culture and Society, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 1–19. Weston, D and Lenette, C (2016), ‘Performing freedom: The role of music making in creating community in asylum seeker detention centres’, International Journal of Community Music, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 121–134. Williams, J and Lykes, MB (2003), ‘Bridging theory and practice: Using reflexive cycles in feminist participatory action research’, Feminism & Psychology, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 287–294.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

54

4 Underestimating legacy Lessons learned from mining-caused displacement and resettlement Rebekah Beatrice Ramsay and Laura Simpson Reeves

Introduction Across the globe, it is common for households to be required to move due to large-scale development projects (see, for instance, Mathur, 2016; Satiroglu and Choi, 2015). In some cases, displaced people can negotiate a fair market price or other compensation for their land and associated assets, and the move is voluntary. Under these conditions, the displaced people are sometimes able to re-establish their lives in alternative locations by purchasing replacement land or by using sale monies to acquire income-generating assets. Others are not so fortunate. In the face of large-scale projects, many are forced off their land involuntarily. It is often the case that these people are not adequately compensated, and do not have the skills, capacities or resources to successfully re-establish their lives elsewhere (Cernea and Mathur, 2008). Research has consistently shown that forced displacement and resettlement leads to poor outcomes for the displaced people who are, more often than not, already disadvantaged (Picciotto, 2013; Vanclay, 2017). Despite decades of research in this area, and the formulation of numerous models and frameworks to predict the risks involved in involuntary displacement, little has changed – the impacts for project-affected people are overwhelmingly detrimental. The reasons why people are moved off their land are wide-ranging. Government and industries displace people for infrastructure development, including for the development of mining operations (Terminski, 2012). This chapter reflects on a multinational mining company’s approach to land access in an Andean region of northern Peru. In this case, there has been a long and complex history of different companies entering and leaving the area to explore for minerals and plan a large-scale mine. The characteristics of the deposit and the surrounding geography, however, mean that project development in this location is an expensive and difficult proposition. While the resource is potentially profitable, the corporate pattern of engagement has led to the same result: mine project suspension and abandonment. This case study documents the third such abandonment by one of the world’s largest resource companies. The most recent decision to suspend the mine project occurred after a long period of engagement with land-owning families to determine whether they would voluntarily sell their land and resettle. Our research focuses on this “preparation” phase of mining and resettlement; that is, the time before an agreement has been struck with land-owning families to sell their land.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

55

Rebekah Beatrice Ramsay, Laura Simpson Reeves

This period provides a unique window into the company-community interface before physical relocation had been agreed, and thus provides an ideal case to reflect on the impacts of legacy in community development practice and research in a mining context. In particular, this case study demonstrates the need for community development practitioners and researchers to be reflexive, and appreciate the historical impacts as well as contemporary context when pursuing corporate community development.

Mine-caused displacement and resettlement The study of development-caused displacement and resettlement is situated within the broader field of forced migration studies. Internal displacement might be due to civil conflict, natural disasters or, as in this case study, development projects (Robinson, 2003, p. 38). An estimated 250–300 million people have been displaced to make way for large infrastructure projects in the past 30 years alone (Cernea, 2008a, p. 20). Categories of development-caused displacement and resettlement include, but are not limited to, water supply, urban infrastructure, transportation, energy, agricultural expansion, parks and forest reserves, population redistribution schemes and – as in this case study – natural resource extraction (Robinson, 2003, p. 11). The concept of “displacement” refers not only to those who are forced to physically relocate to make way for infrastructure development, but also restriction or lack of access to resources that sustain people’s livelihoods (WCD, 2000, p. 4). The concept of “resettlement”, on the other hand, involves the physical relocation of displaced peoples and, in some arenas, the reestablishment of their socioeconomic condition within household micro-units and as larger communities (Mathur, 2006, p. 38). According to the World Bank (2004), displacement and resettlement are involuntary or forced when affected people have no power to exercise choice or are unable to provide informed consent over the decision to leave. The mining sector represents one of several industries driving involuntary human displacement within resource-rich developing countries (Downing, 2002; Owen and Kemp, 2015; Terminski, 2012). While no global survey has assessed the full scale of mining-caused displacement and resettlement (MCDR), Downing (2002) argues that displacement from mining is a significant issue that is highly likely to increase. Global demand for minerals and metals is driving company exploration activities into more remote and rural areas of resource-rich developing countries. Within these regions, governments are generally willing to provide incentives, often in the form of tax breaks or subsidies, in order to attract foreign investment. These newly discovered mineral-rich lands are typically located in areas inhabited by farmers and peasant or indigenous communities who depend on these territories for their livelihoods. In addition, registration of land tenure in these areas is often poor. As resource deposits are geographically fixed (that is, situated in a particular locale), the options for (re)designing a mine to avoid local impact can be limited. In Latin America, for instance, securing community or individual agreement over the use of land for extractive activities remains a critical challenge for companies and threatens the development and expansion of mine operations. While governments may grant companies the sub-surface concession, in many cases, these companies must also negotiate the terms and conditions of surface land access directly with land users and occupants (Cuba et al., 2014) In the past, mining companies have elected to involuntarily expropriate land from populations under the proviso of “national progress”. Indeed, cases of forced expropriation for mining are present across Africa, Asia and Latin America (Demonte, 2012). In more recent decades, however, the sector has undertaken a normative policy shift towards gaining a “social licence”

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

56

Underestimating legacy

for mine development. This social licence to operate is widely used within the extractive sector to refer to the social acceptability of a mine project by affected stakeholders (Parsons and Moffat, 2014). In the context of land use, gaining local-level acceptance helps to mitigate the risk of social conflict, which can result in significant financial loss for the mining companies involved (Franks et al., 2014). Indeed, land-owning communities have already demonstrated their capacity to delay or even grant resource concessions (Wiener, 2011). It is on the basis of this social licence and need to engage with local populations that multinational mining companies seek to increase the value proposition of land sale and resettlement by framing the process as a sustainable development opportunity. This normative discourse is consolidated within the industry standards and endorsed through recommendations from the World Bank (see, for instance, World Bank, 2004). Where involuntary resettlement cannot be avoided, project developers are encouraged to enable the participation and consultation of project-affected people, and the conscious planning of resettlement as an upfront development exercise (see ICMM, 2017; IFC, 2012; World Bank, 2013). A key way of doing this is through corporate community development (CCD) interventions (Banks et al., 2016). CCD interventions are generally administered within a project’s direct area of influence and are designed to respond to the needs and interests of local populations. Within developing country contexts, CCD initiatives are often explicitly tied to poverty alleviation, and draw upon the methods and tools used within the community development sector. Nevertheless, ongoing debate centres on the relative costs and benefits created though mining activity in developing countries (Adeyeye, 2012; Gugler and Shi, 2009; Jamali et al., 2015; Kemp, 2010; Slack, 2009; Welker, 2009). Company-led pathways to development are often both contentious and ambiguous given the weight of negative impacts felt by communities directly affected by mining (Bebbington et al., 2008). Empirical research indicates the meanings, practices and effects of CCD interventions, in practice, tend to benefit companies over and above local communities (Benson and Kirsch, 2010; Gilberthorpe and Banks, 2012). Mining companies tend to control the version of development promoted through these interventions, the criteria by which local people might be included or excluded, and how benefits work to reinforce marginalisation and unequal relations within localities (see, for example, Cane, 2014). In Latin America, for instance, research suggests that local populations have been highly sceptical of the extractive sector and the community development projects they may initiate (Triscritti, 2013). Traditional industry activities are characterised by a legacy of “arrogance towards local people, negative environmental impacts and a lack of concern for the socio-political context in which [companies] operate”, as well as corruption and the unequal distribution of mining revenue (Arellano-Yanguas, 2008, p. 22). This further complicates the context in which companies attempt to implement CCD interventions, and creates precedents − or an ongoing legacy − under which any new interventions must be based. In acknowledgement of these challenges and critiques, we move to consider how a mining company might usefully employ a CCD intervention within the context of land acquisition and resettlement. In recognition of the above challenges, we question the extent to which the same project developer can take responsbility for land aquistion and an empowerment process, particularly in complex contexts with a complicated legacy.1 We argue that during the early preparations phase, the involvement of a mining company in driving local-level empowerment creates a tension for households, who find the work inconsequential with comparison to other, more lucrative and immediate benefits. We conclude that in order to make a meaningful impact and to contribute to community development practice and research, CCD interventions must address the issue of “legacy”.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

57

Rebekah Beatrice Ramsay, Laura Simpson Reeves

Mining in Peru The research discussed in this chapter was undertaken in the low-lying Andes of northern Peru (see Figure 4.1). Within just a few decades, the country transitioned from a closed economy to what Bebbington and Bury (2009, p. 17296) describe as a “global centre of mining expansion”. In the early 1990s, then President Alberto Fujimori introduced drastic economic reforms to enable market deregulation, privatisation of state-owned companies, and the removal of investment and trade barriers. The effect was to integrate the country into global markets and encourage foreign direct investment (Arellano-Yanguas, 2011). Today, Peru is the world’s third largest producer of copper and zinc, and has significant reserves of gold, coal, iron ore, silver, tin, sulphur and zinc (KPMG, 2016). Mining contributes between 10 and 15% of government revenue, and employs 4.3% of the population (International Council on Mining and Metals, 2014). Fieldwork for this research was undertaken by the lead author at the Rio Tinto La Granja project (hereafter referred to as RTLG), which is one of the largest undeveloped copper deposits in the world. RTLG covers an area of 3,900 hectares at an elevation between 2,000 to 2,800 metres, and includes six Andean hamlets or locality-based communities: La Granja, La Pampa, La Iraca, La Uñiga, Checos and La Lima. The population, approximately 2,600 people across 520 households, are predominantly campesinos (peasant farmers) who derive their livelihoods from agricultural or livestock-based activities. Material poverty remains a persistent challenge. According to the Peruvian National Statistics Bureau (INEI), 74.2% of the population live below the poverty line, 12.4% are illiterate, 26.4% lack access to water and 56.4% to electricity (INEI-National Census, 2007).

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Figure 4.1 Location of the Rio Tinto La Granja project 58

Underestimating legacy

Extractive companies have been drawn to this area since the early 1980s, when a large copper deposit was first discovered. Canadian-owned Cambior arrived in the region in 1994 and quickly set out to purchase local land rights via a commercial agreement (that is, cash for land). Among the host of issues associated with this process, local people recall that those who refused land sale were subject to ongoing harassment. Local people report that Cambior paid police to visit individual homes and present the company’s proposal, which threatened a forced leasing arrangement if households refused to sell. Following pressure from Cambior personnel, the local school and health clinic were shut down by the state. Many farmers were convinced that there was no option but to leave the area. Once local land had been acquired, houses were quickly destroyed and, in some cases, the topsoil of fertile land removed to disincentivise returnees. Approximately 80% of the population left the area; the majority moved to nearby rural and urban areas where they struggled to purchase land or secure new livelihoods (Castillo Guzmán, 2015). By 1998, Cambior had returned the concession to the Peruvian government, and the mine development was declared unfeasible due to technical reasons. In late 2000, Australian-owned Billiton (later BHP Billiton) bought the La Granja concession from the Peruvian government and paid Cambior US$35 million for studies and surface land rights. Although within six months the mine project was again deemed technically unfeasible, company personnel had become privy to the ongoing impacts of the forced displacement under Cambior. In some cases, families had been struggling for several years, living in rural areas without basic services and amenities such as electricity and clean water. Having accepted that the company had inherited the social legacy of Cambior, BHP Billiton moved to implement a social closure plan. As part of this plan, the company helped establish and fund a locally governed foundation directed at rebuilding the local economy and infrastructure in La Granja and the surrounding areas. Families which had sold their land to Cambior were also provided with an opportunity to buy the land back at a reduced rate. Payments derived from this “buy-back” scheme would fund ongoing community development activities organised though the foundation. While the majority of households opted to accept the buy-back scheme and returned to the area, the land repayment was never enforced – returnees effectively regained land tenure at no additional financial cost. This outcome was a point of tension for a small number of families who had remained in the area and endured the abuse of Cambior. The land repayments were intended to fund ongoing activities of the foundation. However, all funds were extinguished within a few years, and members of the governing body of the foundation were rumoured to have embezzled funds. By 2005, BHP Billiton had completed the closure process, withdrawn from the region and returned the mining concession to the state. Shortly afterwards, Australian-English mining company Rio Tinto purchased the concession licence and initiated activity in 2006. The mining company’s early land access strategy involved company negotiators agreeing to exuberant rental prices to enable temporary land access for the mine camp and some associated infrastructure. This arrangement benefited only a small number of households, including some of the local leaders, and thus created a sense of “haves and have nots” within some segments of the population. This only added to the sociohistorical legacy impacting the local community’s perception of mining companies. Mining company personnel quickly realised that consequently, any attempt to acquire land would have to provide significant incentives for local-land owners (Flynn and Vergara, 2015). According to company standards, gaining initial and ongoing access to land could only be undertaken with voluntary consent. Furthermore, the legacy of prior displacement and relocation had demonstrated that local people generally lacked the capacity and resources to restore livelihoods and living standards following displacement. When the mining company initiated their

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

59

Rebekah Beatrice Ramsay, Laura Simpson Reeves

land acquisition and resettlement planning process in 2012, the decision was therefore made to provide land-owning households with a corporate community development intervention (henceforth referred to as the Intervention).

Corporate community development Intervention In 2012, the mining company contracted a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) to administer the Intervention, which was designed to assist land-owning families in building their capacity to define and drive their own development. “Development” was understood by the mining company as a people-centred process through which households articulate their own interests and be empowered to achieve them. As part of the Intervention rules, household members were expected to actively engage in planning activities and contribute their own resources to fulfil household ambitions. Thus, the role of the NGO practitioners was to support households in identifying their resources (including natural, human, social, financial or physical capital) and making action plans to use these pre-existing assets for development. Where a family identified the need to buy farming equipment, for instance, the practitioner would work with the household to identify their pre-existing – but potentially overlooked – resources that might help with this. This might include mapping their social network to see if a family member could lend finance, or by considering what kind of external opportunities were available to help, such as applying for a small loan at the bank. The design of the Intervention drew heavily on theories and ideas that are prevalent in empowerment literature. The concept of empowerment broadly relates to agency, autonomy, self-direction, self-determination, liberation, participation, mobilisation and self-confidence (Alkire and Ibrahim, 2007, p. 64; Narayan, 2005). While there are many definitions of empowerment in current use, the concept generally refers to an expansion of agency to act on one’s interests and the opportunity to exert this agency within an institutional environment. Alsop et al. (2006, p. 20) capture these elements in their definition of empowerment as “a group’s or individual’s capacity to make effective choices, that is, to make choices and then to transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes”. Drawing upon the development ethics framework, Drydyk (2015) has argued displaced people are entitled to achieve worthwhile development through resettlement. Worthwhile development, in contrast with “maldevelopment”, would enable affected people to have the opportunity to exercise their agency, albeit within a project setting. Empowered households are more likely to negotiate the terms of their displacement and play an active role in decision making over the planning, management and outcomes of resettlement (Drydyk, 2015, pp. 102–103). However, these concepts remain abstract and intangible to many people, and the benefits are not immediately apparent. Consequently, the Intervention methodology required practitioners and household members to establish trust-based relationships. The quality of these relationships was entirely dependent upon whether household members were willing to openly discuss their situation and their “genuine” hopes and desires for the future. As part of the Intervention, practitioners would learn in-depth and at times, sensitive information about the circumstances of households. As such, it was a policy of the Intervention that all information would remain confidential, that participation was voluntary and that households could leave the Intervention at any time. The intent of the company and NGO personnel involved in the design of the Intervention was to instil confidence that the practitioners were working for the households’ interests, rather than those of the mining company. This was understood to be paramount for building local-level empowerment and capability.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

60

Underestimating legacy

Research methods The case study used in this chapter forms part of the lead author’s doctoral research examining the function of development practice within the context of a proposed company-managed land acquisition and resettlement. The focus of the study was to examine the implementation process of a CCD intervention during the preparations phase, and gain insight into how various engaged actors – land-owning households, NGO staff and company personnel – understood and employed community development work in practice. RTLG was earmarked within industry as a potential “good” case example in involuntary resettlement, and thus the lead author hoped to draw examples of good practice that could be applied to other contexts. In addition, the mining company is considered a leading social performer within the extractive sector (Wise and Shtylla, 2007). Prior research conducted at the project site confirmed the company’s plans to incorporate the leading policy benchmark in involuntary resettlement (Kemp and Ramsay, 2012). While access to the site was made easier through a research partnership between the mining company and The University of Queensland’s Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM), and by previous research conducted in the region by the lead author, no funding or other incentives were received from the mining company for this research. Fieldwork for the research was undertaken by the lead author over a period of eight months between July 2014 and February 2015. A total of 88 individuals participated in semi-structured interviews and strategic conversations, including senior and operational level mine staff (n=22), NGO supervisors and field practitioners (n=13), household recipients (n=34), and key community and qualified informants deemed to hold in-depth or expert knowledge of the case study (n=19). Observational data was recorded within a field diary over a period of 12 weeks while the researcher lived at the NGO’s base in La Granja village. NGO personnel were shadowed in their daily activities, including household visitations, meetings and workshops with company staff in the mine camp, public company-community meetings and community celebrations. The decision to locate the researcher within the NGO organisational fabric rather than live in an accommodation in the village or mine camp was a strategic decision aimed at easing researcher access and was also a safety precaution.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Key findings This case study highlights three distinct effects of the legacy of mining company activity on community development practice. First, NGO practitioners perceived there to be a very lowtrust context, and thus downplayed their institutional connection to the mining company as a matter of technique. Many households nonetheless perceived an association between the organisations, and the resulting confusion only reinforced a suspicion that the empowerment work was ultimately aimed at supporting company over household objectives. Second, empowerment as a concept was not widely accepted nor valued by the community, and therefore households did not actively engage in the process. Third, changes in global commodities prices ultimately resulted in a suspension of land access and resettlement plans. The Intervention was consequently cancelled, creating yet another legacy. This then raises questions around the effectiveness of community development practice in a MCDR setting, and complex settings more broadly, which is discussed in more detail later.

Finding #one: working in a low-trust context During interviews with the lead author, NGO practitioners spoke of their experience applying community development methodology and tools with Andean households living in proximity 61

Rebekah Beatrice Ramsay, Laura Simpson Reeves

to the mine project. Practitioners described being struck by household members’ initial and ongoing distrust of their intentions and motives. Household members were “closed”, “suspicious” and “hard” with practitioners. Some had “resisted” their attempts to talk about the empowerment work; others were “really afraid” to see NGO practitioners arrive at their homes. According to practitioners, local people were concerned that the Intervention was a covert attempt to assist the mining company’s plans. In one example, an elderly farmer was reported to accuse a practitioner by saying that “this Intervention is nothing but a spy program, and it’s just trying to get information from us to give to [the mining company]”. In the voice of another practitioner, “It was difficult for households to believe that we would not just give information to [the mining company]”. According to practitioners, household members were worried that by working through the empowerment activities, they could reveal information about their intentions or interests which might undermine their bargaining position in the proposed land acquisition and resettlement agreement. To gain household trust, practitioners said that they purposefully disassociated their work from the company agenda. They emphasised the confidential nature of the empowerment work, and that all collected information would be used to fulfil household development aspirations. When asked about the prospective mine development, the practitioners feigned ignorance of company plans and maintained a neutral stance on the mining company’s presence in the area. Their efforts to conceal the institutional connection to the mining company, however, were ultimately in vain. Despite the Intervention being administered by an NGO, local people perceived that the work was part of, and invariably influenced by, corporate interests to acquire land and exploit the resource deposit. Practitioner attempts to disassociate their empowerment work from the company agenda had the effect of raising suspicion among households. These levels of low trust were difficult to overcome.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Finding #two: translating the value of empowerment against a legacy of paternalism and transactional development NGO practitioners were greatly challenged in “selling” the value of an empowerment process. Interviews with households’ members confirmed that “help” was generally understood as provisions of medicines and other goods, finances and cash transfers, and employment opportunities that could provide more immediate solutions. For instance, a single father described to the lead author his experience working with the NGO to address longstanding health problems as part of the Intervention. The man decided to undertake the six-hour bus journey to a regional centre where he could access a public hospital. Although he was unfamiliar with the city and consequently nervous about the trip, he found comfort in the knowledge that his assigned NGO practitioner would accompany him through the process. In reflection of his experience, however, the man complained that the work had ultimately caused more problems: [NGO practitioners] help us to identify our illnesses, but then why not help us with the [cost of the] doctor? So we can cure it. Because if a doctor identifies an illness and I don’t have money, all the doctor and [the mining company] has done is fill me with worry that I could die. (Single father, 2014) In another example, practitioners had worked at the household and community level to raise awareness of the cause of child anaemia by building mothers’ capacity to address and prevent 62

Underestimating legacy

iron deficiency. In addition to escorting mothers with at-risk children to the public clinic, the practitioners motivated local nurses to conduct nutrition classes. The mothers were observed by the practitioners to actively participate in the workshops, but several later complained that the Intervention had done nothing to address child illness. In the voice of one mother: “They should make requests of the company to give support! They should request whatever help [we need] so that these kids get better!” (Mother, 2014). Consequently, practitioners were viewed to be unable or unwilling to provide real benefits, and this led to some household members lodging formal complaints with the mining company personnel. According to a community relations practitioner, community members complained that NGO workers were “lazy” and “not doing a good job” because they had “spent too much time walking in the hills” and had “done nothing”. Accordingly, some community leaders had suggested the mining company would do better to invest Intervention funds more wisely, potentially by distributing the cash directly to households who could make good use of it.

Finding #three: the mining company generates yet another legacy The land acquisition and resettlement process was ultimately suspended after two-and-a-half years. Corporate management determined that the development of a new mine operation would not be feasible in the immediate future, primarily due to a downturn in global commodities’ prices. Internal company priorities subsequently began to change, and this had implications for the Intervention and the contracted NGO. A senior company personnel said that the unexpected changes in company planning meant the staff would now be focused on “damage control”. While land access was no longer an immediate focus for the company, “at least 300 households live right in the footprint of the deposit” and would “eventually be resettled, maybe in three to four years”. Company personnel would therefore now be working on building local “interest in developing the project, and maintaining the relationship and trust”. Within this operating context, the Intervention work became largely inconsequential. As explained by another member of the company management team, “If we continue the process while we are working with uncertainty, we will raise expectations in the communities and yet we do not know exactly which families we will eventually need to resettle”. A mining company manager placed in charge of the NGO contract explained that the Intervention work was good “if the footprint remains covering those [same] areas, because if it changes, then [the work] doesn’t have any value anymore”. Within three months of the suspension announcement, the NGO contract was cancelled. Practitioners were deeply affected by this interruption to their empowerment work, which in many cases was left incomplete.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

All of that conversation, the rich dialogue, it was practically a waste, the agenda is left in the air. All of this development work, all of the time invested well . . . I’ve had to ask myself, do they really want the methodology, or are they using it for some outcome which isn’t about development at all. (Male NGO practitioner, 2014) Cancellation of the Intervention and land access preparations activity, while understandable, generated yet another legacy. It reinforced householders’ perceptions that multinational mining companies’ resettlement plans and “promises” of long-term benefit-sharing are often uncertain, and that focusing on tangible and immediate benefits is a more reliable strategy. 63

Rebekah Beatrice Ramsay, Laura Simpson Reeves

Discussion Collectively, experiences with previous interventions resulted in raising household expectations for tangible and short-term gains that could be depended upon against the uncertainty of company planning. Despite company plans and best intentions, previous mining projects in the area had consistently failed. Experience with Cambior and BHP Billiton had demonstrated to the community that company promises of “future benefit” to households were “unreliable”; in both previous cases, the companies had pulled out of the region within just a few years. In the collective social memory of the households, there was no guarantee that any of these “promises” by the new mining company, Rio Tinto, would come to fruition. It was thus the direct and indirect employment opportunities, cash compensation and land leasing income or social development contributions (assets or interventions) that delivered the most tangible and immediate outcome for them in this context of uncertainty. Capacity building for greater household selfreliance was a long-term process; “household empowerment” held little value. The NGO practitioners employed established community development practices; they attempted to build rapport with local people and facilitate household empowerment rather than short-term service delivery. In acknowledgement of the legacy left by previous companies, they consciously decided to disassociate themselves from the mining company. As discussed, however, this potentially reinforced the low-trust context. Attempts to depoliticise the practice failed; participants were not only aware of the NGO’s connection to the mining company but also rejected the empowerment approach to corporate development contribution. While the theoretical value of empowerment approaches to development is established in the development sector (Green, 2016) and DCDR literature (Drydyk, 2015), the approach did not meet the expectation of people living in La Granja, who were already accustomed to a more transactional and paternalistic style of benefit sharing. Indeed, during interviews, household members expressed the broad-based view that while the Intervention was intended to assist them, “empowerment” was not understood or valued. Previous community development interventions sponsored or directly administered by mining companies had emphasised a service-delivery approach. These projects were directed at providing local people with relief and welfare in the form of immediate and tangible benefits, by granting assets, cash or livelihood opportunities. Consequently, local people had formed an expectation that worthwhile development should take this form. Thus, while participants in the Intervention understood that the CCD intervention was aimed at local development, the intended theoretical benefit of “empowerment” was challenging to translate. Families expressed frustration that, regardless of how well practitioners empathised with their household povertyrelated challenges, they did not offer more effective “help”. Some families demonstrated “every day resistance” to the Intervention (Scott, 1985). By using tools such as foot-dragging, feigned ignorance, evasion, slander, pilfering and sabotage, Scott (1985, p. 134) argues that those with low levels of power enact resistance to what they perceive to be the dominant authority. Despite their expressed dissatisfaction, most households stayed enrolled in the hope that better benefits would eventuate. As part of the Intervention policy, practitioners were required to continue visitations until they received a verbal rejection from the household head. In practice, this meant that practitioners would continue to undertake visitations even where members were clearly uninterested in participating. During field work, the lead author shadowed practitioners in their daily activities. Of a total of 33 household visitations, 14 were unsuccessful despite household members previously agreeing to the appointment date and time. In some cases, the household member was visible to the practitioners and yet advised that the requested member was not home. In two cases, household members were

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

64

Underestimating legacy

observed to be running into the house on sight of the practitioner(s) and refused to emerge until after the team had left. Practitioners expressed frustration about their experience; some local people were “playing” practitioners by feigning interest in activities. They had no intention to participate in what practitioners considered to be a meaningful way. Local people expressed being disillusioned with mining corporations as well as the NGO that was contracted to implement the Intervention. There has been global pressure for those working for companies, including those involved in natural resource extraction, to contribute towards community development under the rubric of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. “Development” to some of these companies focuses on enhancing local capacity and self-empowerment, and reducing ongoing dependency on corporate benefit streams. Many allocate specific departments to implementing these processes (albeit with inherent challenges; see, for example, Kemp and Owen, 2013). However, for local people who have been exposed to previous ways of working, development can be associated with a transactional and paternalistic approach, and with cash and other short-term and tangible goods or opportunities, as was the situation in this case study. Abstract concepts such as “empowerment” are not instinctively conflated with “development”. With a lack of universal understanding and definition of development and its related activities, situated in decades of previous exposure, it is not surprising that local people held various expectations on what such interventions would or should entail. The findings of this chapter suggest that by essentially forcing an empowerment approach upon households, the mining company and by extension the NGO practitioners, were reinforcing a paternalist notion that they “know best”. This chapter raises questions about the role of the NGO practitioner where community development methods and tools are being utilised in contexts of uncertainty and in the presence of complex legacies. Practitioners’ failed attempts to depoliticise the practice and disassociate with the historic legacies of company-community engagement were not lost on households. A local mechanic asked the lead author to confirm his suspicions by candidly questioning if the Intervention was actually “about working out if we want to sell our lands”. He insisted, “Isn’t that what it does?” In another example, a mother expressed her concern that the NGO practitioners were collecting a lot of information in the sessions. Local people were right to be dubious. As soon as it was no longer viable for the project to move forward in the short term, the mining company did not have an immediate need to displace and resettle the local population. The Intervention was cancelled, reinforcing pre-existing notions in the minds of householders. Rio Tinto or another mining company may recommence activities at the La Granja project when mine development is more viable. Yet for households, further interruptions, and the abrupt disruption to their community development work, only reinforces a pattern of engagement and expectation that companies are both unpredictable and untrustworthy. We argue that the Intervention was ultimately not valued by households, in part because the mining company and NGO underestimated the effects of historical legacies on CCD practice. We also argue that the cancellation of the Intervention mid-process will contribute to future legacies under which this company, and potentially others, will need to operate. It is therefore vital that any community development practitioner working alongside a mining company, before investing in these types of interventions, seriously considers the company’s ability to maintain a long-term commitment to the process. There is growing evidence that the private sector can play a role in development, and thus is increasingly becoming an employer of community development-trained researchers and practitioners (Graham and Woo, 2009; Hasan et al., 2006; OECD, 2007). Nonetheless, in contexts where plans are prone to high levels of uncertainty and risk, such as mining, we question

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

65

Rebekah Beatrice Ramsay, Laura Simpson Reeves

what is the best configuration for corporations seeking to facilitate community development processes. There is substantial evidence that social change and sustainable community development requires a long-term commitment from practitioners and funders (Green, 2016; Hay and Muller, 2014). If a mining company is unable to commit long term, given the shifting priorities that will undoubtedly emerge, should they invest at all? Is creating yet another legacy worth the short-term benefits of engagement? What are the ethical dilemmas facing practitioners working in this space? The findings of this chapter underscore the importance of community development practitioners and researchers to approach their practice reflexively and consider these challenges when working in complex and uncertain terrains.

Conclusion This chapter provides insights into the nature of community development and practitioner experiences within a contentious practice context: the proposed La Granja copper mine in the Peruvian Andes. The approach taken by the mining company reflected normative assumptions about how mining companies should provide more equitable and sustainable local-level benefit, sharing mechanisms for people directly affected by project development. Nonetheless, the findings highlight that attempts to depoliticise that CCD practice and effectively ignore the historical legacies of corporate engagement at La Granja, were both ineffective, if not unethical. Ultimately, to make a meaningful impact, CDD practice must address basic power inequalities that arise out of MCDR practice. This research raises key considerations for researchers operating in contentious practice contexts. Given the prominent and increasing role of private sector actors in social development, community development researchers must also navigate complex social dynamics including multiple actor interests and expectations in the process of conducting research, and thus face many of the challenges outlined in this chapter. In this chapter we have argued that in contentious community development practice contexts, the impacts of historical legacies cannot be underestimated.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Acknowledgements The authors would like to acknowledge Professor Deanna Kemp and Professor Mark Moran for their insightful and constructive comments on an early draft of this chapter.

Note 1 In this chapter, we use the term “legacy” to refer to the previous activities and interactions through which local populations have engaged with mining companies, and their resulting expectations and understandings.

References Adeyeye, A (2012), Corporate social responsibility of multinational corporations in developing countries: perspectives on anti-corruption, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. Alkire, S and Ibrahim, S (2007), ‘Agency and empowerment: A proposal for internationally comparable indicators’, Oxford Development Studies, vol. 35, no. 4, pp. 379–403. Alsop, R, Bertelsen, M and Holland, J (2006), Empowerment in practice from analysis to implementation, World Bank, Washington, DC. Arellano-Yanguas, J (2008), A thoroughly modern resource curse? The new natural resource policy agenda and the mining revival in Peru, Institute for Development Studies, Brighton, UK. Arellano-Yanguas, J (2011), ‘Aggravating the resource curse: Decentralisation, mining and conflict in Peru’, The Journal of Development Studies, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 617–638. 66

Underestimating legacy

Banks, G, Scheyvens, R, McLennan, S and Bebbingtoin, A (2016), ‘Conceptualising corporate community development’, Third World Quarterly, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 1–19. Bebbington, AJ and Bury, JT (2009), ‘Institutional challenges for mining and sustainability in Peru’, PNAS, vol. 106, no. 41, pp. 17296–17301. Benson, P and Kirsch, S (2010), ‘Capitalism and the politics of resignation’, Current Anthropology, vol. 51, no. 4, pp. 459–486. Cane, I (2014), Community and company development discourses in mining: The case of gender in Mongolia, The University of Queensland, School of Social Science, Brisbane, Australia. Castillo Guzmán, GM (2015), Transforming Andean space: Local experiences of mining development in Peru, The University of Queensland, Sustainable Minerals Institute, Brisbane, Australia. Cernea, MM (2008), ‘Compensation and investment in resettlement: Theory, practice, pitfalls, and needed policy reform’, in Cernea, MM and Mathur, HM (eds), Can compensation prevent impoverishment? Reforming resettlement through investments and benefit-sharing, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, pp. 15–98. Cernea, MM and Mathur, HM (2008), Can compensation prevent impoverishment? Reforming resettlement through investments, Oxford University Press, New Delhi. Cuba, N, Bebbington, A, Rogan, J and Millones, M (2014), ‘Extractive industries, livelihoods and natural resource competition: Mapping overlapping claims in Peru and Ghana’, Applied Geography, vol. 54, pp. 250–261. Demonte, G (2012), From expropriation to social licence: Accessing land for extractive industries. Retrieved from: http://ella.practicalaction.org/wp-content/uploads/files/120319_ECO_ExtIndLanUse_BRIEF1_0.pdf. Downing, TE (2002), ‘Avoiding new poverty: Mining-induced displacement and resettlement’, Mining MaSD (eds), International Institute for Environment and Development, London, pp. 1–29. Drydyk, J (2015), ‘The centrality of empowerment in development-induced displacement and resettlement’, in Satiroglu, I and Choi, N (eds), Development-induced displacement and resettlement: New perspectives on persisting problem, Routledge, London, pp. 97–110. Flynn, S and Vergara, L (2015), ‘Land access and resettlement planning at La Granja’, in Kemp, D and Owen, J (eds), CSRM Occasional papers: Mining-induced displacement and resettlement series University of Queensland, Centre for Social Responsibilty in Mining, Brisbane, Australia. Franks, D, Davis, R, Bebbington, A, Ali, S, Kemp, D and Scurrah, M (2014), ‘Conflict translates environmental and social risk into business costs’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 111, no. 21, pp. 7576–7581. Gilberthorpe, E and Banks, G (2012), ‘Development on whose terms? CSR discourse and social realities in Papua New Guinea’s extractive industries sector’, Resources Policy, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 185–193. Graham, M and Woo, J (2009), Fuelling economic growth: The role of public-private sector research in development, Practical Action Publishing, Rugby, UK. Green, D (2016), How change happens, Oxford University Press, UK. Gugler, P and Shi, JY (2009), ‘Corporate social responsibility for developing country multinational corporations: Lost war in pertaining global competitiveness?’ Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 87, no. 1, pp. 3–24. Hasan, R, Mitra, D and Ulubasoglu, M (2006), Institutions and policies for growth and poverty reduction: The role of private sector development, Asian Development Bank, Manila. Hay, I and Muller, S (2014), ‘Questioning geneorisity in the golden age of philanthropy: Towards critical geographies of super-philanthropy’, Progress in Human Geography, vol. 38, no. 5, pp. 635–653. Hinojosa-Valencia, L, Bebbington, A, Hinojosa, L, Bebbington, DH, Burneo, ML and Warnaars, X (2008), ‘Contention and ambiguity: Mining and the possibilities of development’, Development and Change, vol. 39, no. 6, pp. 887–914. ICMM (International Council on Mining and Metals) (2017), Resettlement, International Council on Mining and Metals, London. IFC (International Finance Corporation) (2012), Performance Standard 5: Land acquisition and involuntary resettlement, World Bank Group, Washington, DC. INEI-National Census (2007), Censos Nacionales 2007: XI de Población y VI de Vivienda: Principales Indicadores, Instituto Nacional de Estatistica e Informatica, Lima. International Council on Mining and Metals (2014), The role of mining in national economies, 2nd edn, International Council on Mining and Metals, London. Jamali, D, Karam, C and Blowfield, M (2015), ‘Development-oriented corporate social responsibility’, in Jamali, D, Karam, C and Blowfield, M (eds), Multinational corporations and the global context, Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield, UK.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

67

Rebekah Beatrice Ramsay, Laura Simpson Reeves

Kemp, D (2010), ‘Mining and community development: Problems and possibilities of local-level practice’, Community Development Journal, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 198–218. Kemp, D and Owen, J (2013), ‘Community relations in mining: Core to business but not “core business”’, Resources Policy, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 523–531. Kemp, D and Ramsay, RB (2012), Supporting and sustaining family-centred development: A rapid analysis of the Family Accompaniment Program at Rio Tinto La Granja, Peru, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. KPMG (2016), Peru country mining guide, KPMG Global Mining Institute, Swizerland. Mathur, HM (2006), ‘Resettling people displaced by development projects: Some critical management issues’, Social Change, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 36–86. Mathur, HM (2016), ‘Assessing the social impact of development projects: Experience in India and other Asian countries’, in Mathur, HM (ed.), Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research, Springer International Publishing, Switzerland. Narayan, D (2005), Measuring empowerment: Cross-disciplinary perspectives, The World Bank, Herndon, VA. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (2007), Business for development: Fostering the private sector, OECD Publishing. Paris. Owen, J and Kemp, D (2015), ‘Mining-induced displacement and resettlement: A critical appraisal’, Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 87, pp. 478–488. Parsons, R and Moffat, K (2014), ‘Constructing the meaning of social licence’, Social Epistemology, vol. 28, nos. 3–4, pp. 340–363. Picciotto, R (2013), ‘Involuntary resettlement in infrastructure projects: A development perspective’, in Ingram, GK and Brandt, KL (eds), Infrastructure and land policies: Proceedings of the 2012 Land Policy Conference, Puritan Press Inc,Hollis, NH, pp. 236–262. Robinson, WC (2003), Risks and rights: The causes, consequences, and challenges of development-induced displacement, The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC. Satiroglu, I and Choi, N (2015), Development-induced displacement and resettlement: New perspectives perspectives on persisting problems, Routledge, London. Scott, JC (1985), Weapons of the weak: Everyday forms of peasant resistance, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT. Slack, K (2009), ‘The role of mining in the economics of developing countries: Time for a new approach’, in Richards, JP (ed.), Mining, society and a sustainable world, Springer, Berlin. Terminski, B (2012), ‘Mining-induced displacement and resettlement: Social problem and human rights issue (a global perspective)’, available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2028490. Triscritti, F (2013), ‘Mining, development and corporate–community conflicts in Peru’, Community Development Journal, vol. 48, no. 3, pp. 437–450. Vanclay, F (2017), ‘Project-induced displacement and resettlement: From impoverishment risks to an opportunity for development?’ Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 3–21. WCoD (2000), Dams and development: A new framework for decision-making – The report of the World Commission on Dams, November 2000, Earthscan, London. Welker, MA (2009), ‘“Corporate security begins in the community”: Mining, the corporate social responsibility industry, and environmental advocacy in Indonesia’, Cultural Anthropology, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 142–179. Wiener, E (2011), The concentration of land ownership in Latin America: An approach to current problems, International Land Coalition, Rome. Wise, H and Shtylla, S (2007), ‘The role of the extractive sector in expanding economic opportunity’, Economic Opportunity Series, Harvard University Press, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. World Bank (2004), Involuntary resettlement sourcebook: Planning and implementation in development projects, World Bank, Washington, DC, p. 472. World Bank (2013), Operational Policy 4.12: Involuntary Resettlement, World Bank, Washington, DC.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

68

Part II

Family, gender and child-related violence

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

5 What role for community? Critical reflections on state-driven support for vulnerable children and orphans in South Africa Lochner Marais, Carla Sharp, Motshaatbebe Serekoane, Donald Skinner, Jan Cloete, Kholisa Rani, Michelle Pappin and Molefi Lenka

Introduction

Taylor and Francis

The HIV&AIDS pandemic in South Africa has left behind large numbers of vulnerable children and orphans. Current estimates suggest that 3.7 million children are orphaned and large numbers of non-orphaned children are vulnerable because of poverty (Skinner et al., 2006). Worldwide, attention has turned to community-based care as a means of supporting such children. In line with this trend, the South African government, mainly through the Department of Social Development (DSD), funds a range of community-based organisations (CBOs)1 to provide services to these children. This chapter critically assesses these programs. We argue that the government’s funding policy often ignores the role of community and community development. CBOs are commonly seen as an extension of government – and we would suggest, as a cheap extension of government (in the sense of cost-cutting efficiencies). This is a direct result of the fact that the South African government is funding these organisations. We consider the power relationship between CBOs and government (mainly in terms of what government expects and how the CBOs react), the extent to which government guidelines are adhered to by the CBOs, and the mismatch between government and CBO approaches. We begin by discussing the growing body of literature on community-based care and particularly community-based care for children. We build on a small but growing body of literature that questions the role of government as the initiator and funder of community-based programs in South Africa. We then explain the methods we used to conduct the research on which this chapter is based. We follow this with a discussion of how community-based care is applied in South Africa, and conclude with observations and lessons for policy and practice. Essentially, we argue that government-sponsored funding for community-based care is hampered by a framework of service work emphasising government objectives (a top-down approach), service delivery and tangible products (product goals). The result is that there is very little focus on empowering CBOs, on participation, on community analysis and on the

Not for distribution

71

Lochner Marais et al.

assessment of location-specific issues. As CBOs are dependent on government for funding, they commonly comply with the needs of government. In the end, however, this leaves them dependent on government funding and there is little investment in the development of their own organisations.

The literature on community-based care Research on suitable ways of caring for orphans and vulnerable children (often referred to as OVC) is in short supply. Nevertheless, some international research has shown that care can be provided “in a cost-effective manner by nurses, social workers and trained local citizens” (Desjarlais et al., 1996, p. 12) and that this primary care offers “the best hope of developing effective national programmes at relatively low cost” (WHO, 1984, p. 219). A 2012 special edition of the Community Development Journal on mental health explores the relationship between mental health and community development, putting community-based responses to mental health into the broader context of community-development approaches (Carpenter and Raj, 2012; Christens, 2012; Davis, 2012; Fieldhouse, 2012; Guerin and Guerin, 2012; Knifton, 2012; Sapouna, 2012; Seebohm et al., 2012; Walker and Craig, 2012). As most research on community-based mental health care has been conducted in the developed world, it would be ill-advised to generalise its findings to the developing world without first investigating community-based care in low and middle income countries (Lund and Fischer, 2009). One rationale for community-based care programs is that since the problem of neglected children with socio-emotional health problems is location specific, there is a need a location-based strategy to deal with programs of care and health care (Desjarlais et al., 1996). In fact, recent research suggests there has been a paradigm shift from “community care” to “community control” in the care environment (Carpenter and Raj, 2012). By community control we mean the ability of a community-based organisation to determine its own goals, objectives and approaches to care. The special edition of the Community Development Journal suggests that community development can be achieved through care giving. But despite some support for community-based programs and health workers, such programs are commonly crippled by “the lack of integration and conflict with health professionals, unrealistic expectations, unsupportive environments, poor supervision, lack of appropriate incentives, high turnover and ultimately poor quality and cost-effectiveness” (Schneider et al., 2008, p. 180). In 1990, Walt questioned the view that community health workers were “just another pair of hands” and suggested that much of the existing criticism was indeed relevant. Building on this criticism some scholars have emphasised the importance of training care workers to provide adequate services so as to ensure that the existing hands actually add value (Uwimana et al., 2012). Yet, except for the arguments and cases cited in the special edition of the Community Development Journal, not much literature is available that suggests there is a relationship between community development and providing community-based care. In a review of literature on community-based approaches to orphan care in sub-Saharan Africa, Schenk and Michaelis (2010) reach the following six conclusions in respect of care giving. Much research has been done on preventing HIV infection, but much less on caring for the infected. Outcomes of care workers’ household visits depend on the frequency of visits and care workers’ caseloads. To improve outcomes, care workers need training and ongoing support. It is not always possible to keep them motivated or to obtain long-term funding from external sources. Community ownership of the program and children’s involvement in the program are essential for mobilising communities. Partnership programs seem to be the most successful way

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

72

What role for community?

to ensure adequate care. And finally, cash transfers are effective in providing care for orphans, particularly if given to women, and imposing conditions on the transfer may be beneficial. In South Africa, community development was historically closely linked to the apartheid government’s race-based policies (Westoby, 2014a). This link, coupled with a shift away from community-based health care in the late 1980s (Schneider et al., 2008), meant that neither community development nor community-based care initiatives received immediate attention in the South-African post-apartheid environment. However, since the dawn of the post-apartheid period, a number of community development projects have been documented in education, urban agriculture, community cohesion, land issues (Westoby, 2014a; Westoby and Van Blerk, 2013), cooperatives (Westoby, 2014b) and community-based care programs (Bekker et al., 2006; Moshabela et al., 2013; Schneider et al., 2008; Sinanovic et al., 2003). The few evaluations of post-apartheid community development programs that have been done have noted the risk of these programs being seen as an extension of government functions (Westoby, 2014a; Westoby and Botes, 2012). By the late 1990s, spurred by the escalation of the HIV&AIDS pandemic, the emphasis was once again on community health workers (Haines et al., 2007). By 2004, approximately 40,000 care workers were employed by the Department of Health and a further 22,000 were working in Department of Social Development programs focusing on OVC (Schneider et al., 2008). In 2006, the Department of Health recognised nine categories of community workers: community development workers, community development practitioners, mid-level workers, community caregivers, community health workers, child and youth care workers, youth workers, probation officers or community service officers, and early childhood development practitioners (Schneider et al., 2008). Some topics researched in recent years have been: home-based health care programs in South Africa (Akintola, 2006; Boulle et al., 2010; Schneider et al., 2008; Sinanovic et al., 2003; Tlebere et al., 2007), the plight of caregivers in the household (Kiggundu and OldewageTheron, 2009; Townsend and Dawes, 2004), services to OVC (Kuo and Operario, 2009), the cost benefits of community-based care programs (Sinanovic et al., 2003), the gendered nature of care (Akintola, 2006), the mixed quality of services (Tlebere et al., 2007), and the benefits that CBOs provide to children and families (Sherr et al., 2016). Against the background of this literature, the rest of the chapter discusses current concerns about state-led community development and community-based care. We consider the power relations between government and CBOs and the contested space of government policy. As Westoby (2014a, p. 150) notes in regard to the South African Community Development Worker Programme, development workers who are too close to government “are embedded within a contested space between different conceptions of state and politics”. The important point is that if community-development workers work too closely with the state, they are absorbed into government thinking and practice. In current practice we have already seen substantial differences between capacity building for community development and service work. We use these differences as a framework for assessing the nature of community-based care and the relationship between government and CBOs (see Table 5.1). The differences outlined in Table 5.1 are largely applicable to the relationship between government and CBOs in South Africa. The focus is on professional service delivery, government goals, extending the services of government, a top-down approach and working for someone rather than working with someone. We shall outline these issues in somewhat more detail later in the chapter. Essentially, we ask whether the CBOs with whom we work have

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

73

Lochner Marais et al. Table 5.1 Difference between capacity building for community development versus service delivery Criteria

Capacity building for community development

Capacity building for service work

Process focus Relationship Authority base Democratic style Work Value base Goal focus Analytical base Terms of engagement Learning process

Empowerment Relationship-based Bottom-up Participatory Working with; doing with Equality driven Process goals Community analysis Partisan Action learning

Calling Universality

Vocational Specific

Service delivery Role-based Top-down Representative Working for; doing for Equity driven Product goals Social analysis Professional Information giving; expert teaching Career Replicable

Source: Burkett & Kelly (n.d.)

a community-work orientation or a service-work orientation, and why it is that they can be categorised as having either of the two orientations.

Research methods

Taylor and Francis

The study that informs this chapter used two methods: a semi-structured questionnaire and critical discourse analysis. Qualitative interviews were conducted with the managers and care workers of five CBOs in low income areas of the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, called Old Mangaung Township, and selected because they were the only CBOs in the area dealing with orphans and vulnerable children (see Figure 5.1). Furthermore, at the time of the interviews, the research team was planning a project with these organisations to improve their basic caregiving to orphans and vulnerable children.2 We wanted to understand what they did, why they did it and what drove them to do it. Although there might be regional differences, we are of the opinion that our sample of five CBOs is largely representative of CBOs in the rest of the country. Of the five, three were funded by the government, one was funded through an NGO’s grant-making system, and one was a faith-based organisation with virtually no funding. We were interested in discovering whether the funding from government or non-government bodies made a difference. We interviewed at least two managers at each CBO and all the care workers (a total of 18 care workers). Almost all were women – we interviewed only one man. To guide the management interviews, we used a semi-structured questionnaire covering three issues: problems associated with orphans and vulnerable children, the services the CBO provided, and its level of organisational development. Self-administered questionnaires were used for the care workers, with a fieldworker providing clarification if a respondent did not understand a question. Most of the questionnaires were completed in Sesotho and then translated into English. The objectives of the study and the respondents’ rights were explained before they signed the consent form. Grounded theory was used to assess the results and develop an understanding of the relationship between these CBOs and the Department of Social Development. Critical discourse analysis was used to assess the Department’s funding guidelines, laid down by provincial government for care services provided by CBOs.

Not for distribution

74

What role for community?

Figure 5.1 The location of our study area, Mangaung, within the larger Bloemfontein and Mangaung Municipal Area

Taylor and Francis

The government’s view

The guidelines provide for three service interventions: home and community-based care and support programs, child-care forums and community-based multipurpose centres. The three government-funded CBOs in our sample had received funding for their care programs. The overall aim of community-based care programs is “to assist the Department of Social Development to provide services that will mitigate the social and economic impact of HIV and AIDS” (Free State Provincial Government, 2012, p. 3, emphasis added). The word “assist” implies that CBOs are an extension of government and to some degree contribute to government functions. The assumption is that “government knows best”, that a top-down approach in which government guidelines are prominent is better than a locality specific approach, and that the CBOs represent government. The use of government’s generic project guidelines rather than locally developed guidelines suggests an emphasis on service work as opposed to community development. Unfortunately, we were unable to test these conclusions with government officials. The community-based care program has eight main service areas. Table 5.2 shows these, and lists the activities related to each service area that are funded by the provincial government. In practice, this means that CBOs apply for funding within these stipulated service areas and very specific activities, as identified by government, are funded. There are good reasons for many of the services listed in Table 5.2. But the list prioritises the services that government considers important. It appears not to take into account the importance of assessing local needs or listening to local criticisms (some of which have already been made). It is a top-down list that offers little evidence of CBOs being given the opportunity to contribute or alter the services. In the main (but not exclusively), goals are phrased in terms of products rather than processes, such as “home visits to the frail” or “access to social grants”.

Not for distribution

75

Lochner Marais et al. Table 5.2 Activities funded per service area Service area

Activities that are funded

Care services

Home visits to the frail; caring for the frail; caring for child-headed households; care programs for children rendered vulnerable as a result of HIV&AIDS; recruitment and training (primary level); monitoring of the progress of the family and/or the frail; coordination of teamwork Support groups, e.g. for life skills and information education; home visits; linking families or persons with other services Strengthening and supporting family and community capacity to provide vulnerable children with psychosocial support; strengthening referral mechanisms for children and youth to specialised services; counselling of all forms; ongoing support; other care and support programs Workshops; door-to-door campaigns; exhibitions; public meetings; materials development and dissemination Training workshops; development and distribution of training materials; establishment of networks for post-training implementation of the acquired information Promoting access to social grants; facilitating access to food packages; facilitating access to nutritional supplements Establishing child-care committees to identify orphans and children in affected families; ensuring basic services to the children identified; training of committees; setting up inter-sectoral networks for referrals; monitoring and coordination of services of subsidised service providers

Support services Psychosocial needs

Prevention and behaviour modification programs Training

Social assistance Community mobilisation

Taylor and Francis

Provision of care facilities

Providing temporary shelter for affected persons; care centres for the infected; day-care facilities; integrated facilities, e.g. retirement homes, day-care centres, children’s homes

Not for distribution

Source: Free State Provincial Government, 2012

The item “linking families or persons with other services” (meaning, for example, helping a person get a birth certificate) is a further indication of CBOs becoming an extension of government. The list also shows little evidence of attention being paid to building CBO capacity; rather, CBOs are seen as an extension of government, providing basic services as identified by government. The term “community development” is absent from the relevant government documents: they refer instead to “community mobilisation”. Seemingly, government intention is related to finding broad-based community responses to some of the societal problems. From our interaction with government officials, however, we were unable to obtain a clear indication of policy direction. The guidelines suggest that the government knows what the problems are and how they should be addressed and that CBOs should comply by providing these services in the manner envisaged by government.

How the CBOs view themselves Here, we compare the ways the five CBOs portrayed themselves, particularly as regards the government requirements discussed earlier. Four points in particular emerged from our survey. The first is the way they saw their aims vis-à-vis government aims. Phrases such as “to provide support” and “to provide care” were commonly used by the government-funded CBOs, but less frequently by the other two CBOs. Phrases like this are borrowed directly from the government specifications for the OVC program and reflect the program’s service delivery orientation. This could 76

What role for community?

suggest that some CBOs view themselves as an extension of government. Second, we noticed a significant deviation from the approach followed by the government-funded CBOs: a respondent from the CBO funded by an NGO described this CBO’s aim as being the “creation of early childhood stimulation activities for orphans and vulnerable children”. The wording is strongly suggestive of a well-established NGO working with such children, doing work in partnership with the CBO. Third, all five CBOs mentioned poverty alleviation in their aims, the assumption being that addressing poverty will improve the wellbeing of orphans and vulnerable children. But previous research has shown that only the provision of meals made a positive contribution towards these children’s socio-emotional health (Marais et al., 2014). Although addressing poverty is a noble start, it could distract the care workers from their job of providing the children with emotional care and support. The focus on poverty could make the care workers feel that producing tangible outcomes such as a meal or a birth certificate or a clinic card is sufficient. And fourth, the concept of community development was mentioned in the overall aim and objectives of only one of the CBOs – one of the two not funded by government. One consequence of the service nature of the relationship between government and CBOs is that CBOs do not receive funding for developing their organisations. Four of the CBOs have hierarchical (chair, deputy chair, secretary, treasurer, and so on) rather than functional structures and are mainly oriented to complying with government-identified guidelines and accessing the next grant, rather than developing locality-specific responses to the plight of orphans and vulnerable children.

CBO services

Taylor and Francis

This section looks at what our CBO respondents had to say about the problems they encountered locally. We noted that even at this level the problems they identified were closely connected with services that government wants to see them provide or with what the government guidelines see as some of the key concerns in respect of orphans and vulnerable Table 5.3 sums up their answers. Their answers suggest that the emphasis in government programs on specific services has influenced the way CBO workers consider these children’s problems. The top two problems in the table, although not unimportant, are largely a bureaucratic response. Although a clinic card means free health care and a birth certificate means access to a monthly grant and school attendance is obviously important, achieving these does not go far towards remedying the lack of care for these children in communities. The problems of bullying and the grief that children experience as a result of having lost one or both parents were mentioned by one respondent – unsurprisingly, a worker from a CBO not funded by government. Despite our contention that the two most prominent problems identified by the CBO care workers are directly related to government requirements, the rest of the list does provide a thorough understanding of the concerns related to vulnerable children. The lack of care in the home environment, hunger and ill health were the most prominent problems identified by care workers at the CBOs. The stigma attached to being poor and not having access to a school uniform were also mentioned. An assessment of these reasons varies between deep-rooted emotional concerns, poverty (hunger, ill health) and issues pertaining to accessing government services. The danger of a list such as this one is that attention is then devoted to tangible responses in respect of which progress can be demonstrated. The less tangible responses, such as those related to emotional health, can easily be sidelined and we should like to argue that this is precisely because government largely also highlights only the tangible issues. The net result is that care workers are seen as an extension of government so that capacity is not built and community responses in respect of care are not created.

Not for distribution

77

Lochner Marais et al. Table 5.3 Main problems associated with orphans and vulnerable children, according to CBO care workers Main problems

No. of times mentioned

% of total responses

Lack of birth certificates / clinic cards Not attending school No love or care from parents or caregivers / neglectful parenting or care giving / physical or emotional abuse No school uniforms Ill health / no access to medicine / poor hygiene Hunger Lack of a play area, developmental stimulation, educational play and toys Difficulty in accessing government grants No help with homework Intellectual slowness / battling to understand in school Sexual abuse Drugs Disabilities Lack of adequate shelter Poverty Total

13 11 10

16.0 13.6 12.3

8 7 6 6

9.9 8.7 7.4 7.4

5 5 3 2 2 1 1 1 81

6.2 6.2 3.7 2.5 2.5 1.2 1.2 1.2 100.0

We also asked CBO managers to list the main services provided by their respective CBOs. Their answers (followed in brackets by the number of times the issue was mentioned) largely indicate compliance with the government guidelines: helping with homework (3), helping to obtain birth certificates (3), helping caregivers to access grants (3), providing access to medication (3), providing recreational activities (3), providing clothing (3), doing home visits or facilitating contact with caregivers (2), providing meals (2) and providing school uniforms (2). The absence of counselling and support for the children’s socio-emotional wellbeing was attributed to the limited skills within the CBOs, and one respondent said that that was “not what government is paying us to do”. It appears that the government specifications influence the way CBOs position themselves – presumably to ensure that they obtain funding. Very little mention of the socio-emotional health of orphans and vulnerable children is made in either the government guidelines or the CBOs’ aims and objectives. To a large extent, the government guidelines suggest that the socioeconomic problems caused by HIV&AIDS can be alleviated by ensuring that children and families have access to grants, food and clothing. Our assessment of the data from the interviews and questionnaires suggests that CBO managers and care workers have a fairly comprehensive understanding of the children’s needs. The care workers identified a lack of love and care and the presence of physical and emotional abuse. One of the managers mentioned bullying, sleep problems and the lack of acceptance of these children. Another summarised the need for socio-emotional care in the following words: “Children cannot think or play. They are tired and inactive”. Many of the CBO managers mentioned the need to train lay counsellors on issues such as psychosocial problems, child protection (legal issues), basic social work techniques and home-based care. This confirms that there is a more holistic understanding of the needs of orphans and vulnerable children at the local level. The government guidelines seldom capture the depth of these local problems. The absence of lay counselling, home visits and individual attention for the children, and support programs for parents, caregivers and teachers supports our argument that very little is currently being done to

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

78

What role for community?

care for the children’s socio-emotional health. Thus, although some care workers and managers looked at the children’s problems in a holistic manner, the services provided by the CBOs were skewed towards material needs, addressing poverty and extending government services. We therefore argue that the predetermined services and activities stipulated by the government lead to the neglect of socio-emotional needs.

Discussion In discussing the relevant literature, we emphasised the importance of linking community-based care giving with community development. We also found that, with the exception of a few sources, this link between community development and community-based care is nowhere prominently made in the available literature. In Table 5.1, we compared the approach that supports capacity building for community development with the one which supports service work. We assess these aspects in more detail and then summarise our findings in Table 5.4 below. Government largely focuses on service delivery, regarding CBOs to be an extension of government. Providing the population with identity documents and birth certificates, and addressing poverty (providing food) figure prominently among what government expects CBOs to do. CBOs largely comply with these expectations. On the one hand, this is probably commendable in that there at least is a systematic delivery of the services that government is expected to deliver. It also means that the focus is on delivering those services in accordance with government specifications. The system therefore shows that CBOs do what government requires them to do. This, however, results in an approach in which the “extra pair of hands” are viewed as a means of reducing the cost to government delivering the service. It also suggests that government is allowed to determine the agenda. For example, the effective

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Table 5.4 Service work done by CBOs focusing on orphans and vulnerable children Criteria Process focus Relationship

Authority base

Democratic style Work Value base Goal focus

Analytical base Terms of engagement Learning process Calling Universality

Service work

Assisting government to extend services to the poor Extension of government services requires a role-based approach. Government prioritises and funds – CBOs need to assist. There is also the danger that this role-based relationship between government and the CBOs is also extended to the relationship between the CBOs and the children or to the families of these children Government provides list of services that CBOs have to provide and issues guidelines for compliance; there is little room for CBOs to deviate from both the list and the guidelines Unable to comment on this CBOs essentially do work for government Unable to comment on this Goals mainly articulated in terms of products; limited attention paid to institutional development and to designing aims, objectives and solutions to problems Analysis of main problems based on national assessment of problems associated with OVC Unable to comment on this Unable to comment on this Unable to comment on this National guidelines that should be applied throughout South Africa

79

Lochner Marais et al.

empowerment, training and funding of CBOs to provide better community-based care are low on the list of priorities, this fundamentally being the case because these are not on government’s list of priorities. The broader aims of empowerment might in fact be a threat to government as empowerment could lead CBOs to challenge existing government service delivery or its approaches to community-based care. CBOs, in turn, are largely willing to comply in that their funding depends on how well they are able to provide these services. Government is largely seen as a big brother who might close the funding tap if it so wishes. Consequently, the relationship between government and CBOs tends to be oriented towards specific roles. We argue that the same can be said of the relationship between CBOs and children and their families, and we consider a relationship-based approach to be more likely to improve the care provided by care workers. A relationship-based approach is more likely to consider the support required by care workers and to emphasise general aspects of improved care giving rather than a role-based approach in which specific tasks are predetermined. Relationshipbased approaches are more likely to emphasise the vulnerable children and their circumstances as opposed to providing the children with a set of predetermined services. The current approach is also largely top down and it focuses on the replicability of the services to be delivered. CBOs merely represent government, a fact that is glaringly obvious as the government documents state that CBOs should “assist” government. The result is that there is very little room for CBOs to determine local needs and assets, engage with the parents and children in a participatory way, and analyse the local community. Rather, government’s articulation of the general social analysis of the needs and how they should be addressed remains the dominant approach. The example of identity documents and birth certificates rather than issues pertaining to care being identified as key problems come to mind again. Effectively, CBOs are thus working for government and not with their local communities. All of the above further result in the importance of product goals. The emphasis on accessing a birth certificate as opposed to ensuring that the caregivers improve their care giving while children visit the NGO after work is a case in point. Government’s emphasis on funding services that support specific products rather than funding support to improve care giving comes to mind. The question also arises as to why it is important to link a community-based care approach with community development. Though our study did not investigate this in much detail, a number of comments can be made in this regard. Two main reasons come to mind. First, community-based care approaches have the distinct advantage that they could be preventative rather than reactionary. Currently, government service delivery is largely oriented towards dealing with the consequences of HIV&AIDS. Community-based care programs could assist towards preventing abuse and neglect, and towards providing immediate support. Second, providing care (not services) could well provide a platform from which to take on larger communitydevelopment projects. The sheer scale of the problems associated with orphans and vulnerable children and the implications of these for future generations requires local action that focuses squarely on appropriate care and development. In conclusion, what are the lessons for researchers or community-development workers working in these environments? Three issues come to mind. First, what should be highlighted is the role of community development in terms of developing relations as opposed to engagements in which service delivery is prominent. Second, and linked to this, more community-development workers should be careful not to overemphasise goals and objectives. Third, much can be done about establishing a local identity so as not to create the impression that CBOs work for government. Finally, although researchers working in this environment should attempt to improve the softer skills of caring, they should be aware of the power relations that CBOs have with their funders – of which government could be one.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

80

What role for community?

Conclusion This chapter provided two sets of evidence. First, we assessed government guidelines for CBOs dealing with orphans and vulnerable children. Second, we surveyed the way CBOs and CBO workers react to these guidelines in terms of positioning the CBOs and in terms of services being provided to these children. The findings demonstrate that community-based care for the children is strongly influenced by government guidelines – there is enough evidence to suggest that it is government-led (or service work). According to the provincial government, CBOs should be “assisting” the government and focusing on the children’s socioeconomic wellbeing. In practical terms this has various implications. In particular, it prioritises a generic government conceptualisation of the problems above the local response. Table 5.4 summarises CBO services provided to orphans and vulnerable children. An assumption inherent in this government-dominated approach is that improving the socioeconomic conditions will solve the children’s problems. The approach downplays the children’s socio-emotional problems. A more appropriate funding program would support the development of partnerships between CBOs and welfare or development NGOs and the government and would help to build local capacity. In fact, a community development approach that allowed for community control would be more suitable and most likely more successful. Such an approach would require both long-term commitment and funding that would link CBOs with established NGOs that could help with staff training and organisational development. CBOs would then be able to provide more holistic and locally appropriate care and support to orphans and vulnerable children, focusing on not only material but also socio-emotional needs. From the evidence provided in the chapter, it seems that CBOs are inextricably locked into a service-work arrangement with government in which CBOs represent the interests of government. It is unlikely that government will change its approach. There is, however, room for NGOs to engage with community-based organisations in order to help them develop care programs that empower both the children and the care workers. There is also much room for researchers to investigate the quality of the care that is delivered and the ability of CBOs to design their own care programs and projects. However, following this approach within the current setting of dominance by government is bound to cause its own dilemmas. One wants to do it in such a way that the CBOs improve their caregiving and their own approaches to caregiving without losing their funding stream from government. This immediately prompts one to ask how our researchers react to government intent. Are they largely trying to change it, but also not being so critical as to stop the funding streams? How does one tell government officials that they should emphasise capacity building and local responses to the detriment of their own goals and objectives that will ensure that the former are promoted?

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Notes 1 In the South African context, CBOs can represent a wide range of organisations. These may include activist groups, service-delivery organisations or just a group of people providing care. In order to access funds from donors (including government), CBOs are usually registered as non-profit organisations. 2 Such a program has in the meantime been implemented. Essentially, the focus is on strengthening the ability of care workers to provide care at these CBOs.

References Akintola, O (2006), ‘Gendered home-based care in South Africa: More trouble for the troubled’, African Journal of Aids Research, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 237–247. Bekker, G, Myer, L, Orrell, C, Lawn, S and Wood, R (2006), ‘Rapid scale-up of a community-based HIV treatment service: Programme performance over 3 consecutive years in Guguletu, South Africa’, South African Medical Journal, vol. 96, no. 4, pp. 315–322. 81

Lochner Marais et al.

Boulle, A, Van Cutsem, G, Hilderbrand, K, Cragg, C, Abrahams, M, Mathee, S, Ford, N, Knight, L, Osler, M, Meyers, J, Goemaere, E, Coetzee, D and Maartens, G (2010), ‘Seven-year experience of a primary care antiretroviral treatment programme in Khayelitsha, South Africa’, Aids, vol. 24, pp. 563–572. Burkett, I and Kelly, A (n.d.), Development and practice program: Workbook, Oxfam, Australia, Melbourne. Carpenter, M and Raj, T (2012), ‘Editorial introduction: Towards a paradigm shift from community care to community development in mental health’, Community Development Journal, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 457–472. Christens, B (2012), ‘Targeting empowerment in community development: A community psychology approach towards enhancing local power and well-being’, Community Development Journal, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 538–554. Davis, AM (2012), ‘Community development as mental health promotion: Principles, practice and outcomes’, Community Development Journal, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 506–521. Desjarlais, R, Eisenberg, L, Good, B and Kleinman, A (1996), World mental health: problems and priorities in low-income countries, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. Fieldhouse, J (2012), ‘Mental health, social inclusion, and community development: Lessons from Bristol’, Community Development Journal, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 571–587. Free State Provincial Government (2012), Specifications: HIV&AIDS. Department of Social Development, Bloemfontein, South Africa. Guerin, B and Guerin, P (2012), ‘Rethinking mental health for indigenous Australian communities: Communities as a context for mental health’, Community Development Journal, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 555–570. Haines, A, Sanders, D, Lehmann, U, Rowe, A and Lawn, J (2007), ‘Achieving child survival goals: Potential contribution of community health workers’, Lancet, vol. 369, pp. 2121–2131. Kiggundu, E and Oldewage-Theron, W (2009), ‘Coping: A challenge for guardians of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in a South African township’, Development Southern Africa, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 383–397. Knifton, NQ (2012), ‘Positive mental health attitudes: How community development principles have shaped a ten-year mental health inequalities programme in Scotland’, Community Development Journal, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 588–603. Kuo, C and Operario, D (2009), ‘Caring for AIDS-orphaned children: A systematic review of studies on caregivers’, Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 1–12. Lund, C and Fischer, A (2009), ‘A model for community mental health services in South Africa’, Tropical Medicine and International Health, vol. 14, no. 9, pp. 1040–1047. Marais, L, Sharp, C, Pappin, M, Rani, K, Skinnner, D, Lenka, M and Cloete, J (2014), ‘Communitybased mental health support for orphans and vulnerable children in South Africa: A triangulation study’, Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 151–158. Moshabela, M, Gitomer, S, Qhibi, B and Schneider, H (2013), ‘Development of non-profit organisations providing health and social services in rural South Africa: A three-year longitudinal study’, PLoS One, vol. 8, no. 12, e83861. Sapouna, L (2012), ‘Foucault, Michel 2001, madness and civilization: A history of insanity in the Age of Reason’, Community Development Journal, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 612–617. Schenk, K and Michaelis, A (2010), ‘Community interventions supporting children affected by HIV in sub-Saharan Africa: A review to derive evidence-based principles for programming’, Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, vol. 5, S1, pp. 40–54. Schneider, H, Hlope, H and van Rensburg, D (2008), ‘Community health workers and the response to HIV/AIDS in South Africa: Tensions and prospects’, Health Policy and Planning, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 179–187. Seebohm, P, Gilchrist, A and Morris, D (2012), ‘Bold but balanced: How community development contributes to mental health and inclusion’, Community Development Journal, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 473–490. Sherr, L, Yakubovich, A, Skeen, S, Cluver, LD, Hensels, IS, Macedo, A and Tomlinson, M (2016), ‘How effective is help on the doorstep? A longitudinal evaluation of community-based organisation support’, PloS One, vol. 11, no. 3, e0151305. Sinanovic, E, Floyd, K, Dudley, L, Azevedo, V, Grant, R and Maher, D (2003), ‘Cost and cost-effectiveness of community-based care for tuberculosis in Cape Town, South Africa’, The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, vol. 7, no. 1, S56–S62. Skinner, D, Tsheko, N, Tero-Munyati, S, Segwabe, M, Chibatamoto, P, Mfecane, S, Chandiwana, B, Nkomo, N, Tlou, S and Chitiyo, G (2006), ‘Towards a definition of orphaned and vulnerable children’, Aids and Behaviour, vol. 10, no. 6, pp. 619–626.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

82

What role for community?

Tlebere, P, Jackson, D, Loveday, M, Matizirofa, L, Mbombo, N, Wigton, A, Treger, L and Chopra, M, (2007), ‘Community-based situation analysis of maternal and neonatal care in South Africa to explore factors that impact utilization of maternal health services’, Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, vol. 52, no. 4, pp. 342–350. Townsend, L and Dawes, A (2004), ‘Willingness to care for children orphaned by HIV/AIDS: A study of foster and adoptive parents’, African Journal of AIDS Research, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 69–80. Uwimana, J, Zarowsky, C and Hausler, H (2012), ‘Training community care workers to provide comprehensive TB/HIV/PMTCT integrated care in KwaZulu-Natal: Lessons learnt’, Tropical Medicine and International Health, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 488–496. Walker, G and Craig, R (2012), ‘“Race” on the welfare margins: The UK government’s Delivering Race Equality Mental Health Programme’, Journal of Community Development, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 491–505. Walt, G (1990), Community health workers in national programmes: Just another pair of hands? Open University Press, Philadelphia, PA. Westoby, P (2014a), Theorising the practice of community development: A South African perspective, Ashgate, Farnham, UK. Westoby, P (2014b), ‘Exploring the interface between community development and cooperative development within South Africa: A challenge of theory, practice and policy’, Development in Practice, vol. 24, no. 7, pp. 827–839. Westoby, P and Botes, L (2012), ‘Dilemmas of South Africa’s state-employed community development workers’, British Journal of Social Work, vol. 1, pp. 1–18. Westoby, P and van Blerk, R (2013), ‘An investigation into the training of community-development workers within South Africa’, Development in Practice, vol. 22, no. 8, pp. 1082–1096. WHO (1984), Mental health care in developing countries, Technical report series 698, World Health Organization, Geneva.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

83

6 Community-based strategies to combat child trafficking in Indonesia Harriot Beazley

Introduction This chapter explores lessons learned from a community-based program to combat the trafficking of children in Indonesia. As child trafficking has increased globally, diverse measures have been implemented by governments and international and local non-government organisations (NGOs) to combat the phenomenon. This chapter outlines Save the Children’s (SC) community development activities within the ENABLE (Enabling Communities to Combat Child Trafficking through Education) program to prevent the trafficking of children in the four Indonesian districts of East Java, West Java, Central Java and West Kalimantan, between January 2005 and June 2009.1 By exploring models of what is considered to be “good practice” in the prevention of child trafficking by international NGOs, the chapter describes how the community-based child protection program, with the essential support of local NGO networks, was successful in improving the educational and vocational opportunities for children at risk of becoming involved in trafficking, and in socialising communities to the dangers of undocumented migration. The chapter also identifies important lessons to be drawn from the program’s activities focused on the return, rehabilitation and reintegration (R, R & R) of trafficked children, back into their communities. As an independent child protection consultant for SC, the author was tasked with documenting best practices and lessons learned from the four-year program. The chapter begins by outlining the methodology utilised to review the ENABLE program and the rationale for the approach taken. An overview of child trafficking in Indonesia is then provided, before describing SC’s ENABLE program, and the key community development and rights-based activities within it. An analysis of the community-based activities reflects on the achievements of the program to support communities in overcoming child trafficking, while supporting children’s rights. The chapter then goes on to critically engage with an overtly interventionist model that was also part of the program. It concludes by highlighting the profound differences between the grass root participatory model and an explicitly invasive model which fell significantly short in upholding the rights of the children involved.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Methodology The methodology used for the evaluation was consultative and participatory, involving focus group discussions and interviews with participants who had the closest level of involvement with 84

Combatting child trafficking in Indonesia

ENABLE’s community development activities, including the ENACT (Enabling Community Action) model, and what was termed the ‘Positive Deviance’ (PD) approach to social change. For an in-depth understanding of these models, field activities of participating NGOs in all four districts were observed, and interviews held with NGO staff, the Community Education Committee (KPMD) cadre and government officials. Focus group discussions were also run to obtain the perspectives of children and young people who had participated in the various components of the program. This included children who had been trafficked and those who were considered to be at risk of being trafficked in the future. Lastly, interviews were conducted with NGO staff involved in the R, R & R component of the program in Pontianak (Kalimantan) and Surabaya (East Java), and with girls who had been returned (or deported) from Malaysia, or who had been “rescued” from the commercial sex industry in Surabaya. The evaluation took place over a period of three weeks, across four Indonesian districts and several project sites. Reflections on the ethical challenges that the author encountered during the research process are discussed at the end of the chapter.

Child trafficking in Indonesia Before outlining the ENABLE program it is important to understand the context of child trafficking in Indonesia, and the circumstances within which children are trafficked. Trafficking in children is a global issue affecting tens of thousands of children annually (Blackburn et al., 2010). However, exact numbers are hard to pinpoint as it is a hidden practice, and the scope of the problem is hard to measure (Feingold, 2010). As O’Connell Davidson (2011, p. 3) has observed, the term “trafficking” has “enormous elasticity” due to the vague and expansive definitions ascribed to the phenomenon:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

“Trafficking” is . . . described as a process (recruitment, transportation and control) that can be organized in a variety of different ways, involve types and degrees of compulsion (all of which are undefined – what kind of threats? How much deception? Which types of vulnerability?), and lead to a variety of very different outcomes, linked only by a common purpose, “exploitation”, which itself is undefined. The stereotypical image of trafficking is of young women or girls sold into sexual slavery in foreign countries, but the reality is far more complex (Feingold, 2010). In international law, trafficking was first defined by the United Nations (UN) Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children (known as the “Palermo Protocol”) (UN, 2000).2 Trafficking as outlined by the Protocol refers to the recruitment, transportation, transfer or harbouring or receipt of persons with or without the victim’s consent or knowledge, within or across national borders (UN, 2000). Further, all of those under 18 years of age who are involved in exploitative work are considered to be “trafficked” irrespective of whether they agreed to work in the industry, with “consent” being considered as irrelevant (Sandy, 2009, p. 217; UN, 2000, article 3). Demand for trafficked Indonesian children is high, as cheap labour for domestic servants, factory workers or for commercial sexual exploitation, within Indonesia or overseas in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and Singapore. They are targets for employers who consider children to be more acquiescent and submissive, and easier to exploit. Girls are primarily trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and domestic work, whereas boys are trafficked to work on fishing platforms or in the production, trafficking or sale of drugs (ILO, 2004), or to work in plantations or factories in Malaysia (Ball et al., 2015). SC has also identified a regular flow of underage 85

Harriot Beazley

girls (and some boys) migrating without valid documents over the border from Kalimantan in Indonesia into Kucing, Malaysia, to work in factories or the sex industry (SC, 2009). Girls under 18 have also travelled with false documents to Singapore, Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia to work as domestic servants. The UN Protocol (2000) includes “the abuse of power or a position of vulnerability”, in its definition of trafficking. Consequently, a child’s “consent” can never be a defence to a charge of trafficking. Children seeking opportunities to work overseas believe that better lives are waiting, yet are unaware of the dangers of undocumented migration (Ball et al., 2015; Beazley, 2015a). Children are typically recruited with promises of employment in cities or overseas, and traffickers may use coercive tactics to recruit them, including deception, intimidation, threat and even physical force. Agents arrange travel, passports and job placements by falsifying documents (making children over 18), including identity cards (KTP) and passports (Ball et al., 2015; Beazley, 2015a). Upon reaching their destination children may learn that they have been deceived about their salary or circumstances of their employment. For example, a child may agree to work in a factory in Malaysia but not to the coercive and abusive conditions from which escape is almost impossible. Further, female migrant workers are recruited to work in a factory or as a domestic servant, but are forced into the sex industry. In Kucing, Malaysian girls (and some boys) are forced to work in brothels servicing the plantations and factories (SC, 2009). In many communities in Southeast Asia, out-migration is an accepted and desirable method for achieving personal and family aspirations (Ball et al., 2015; Beazley, 2015a; Camacho, 2007, p. 31). For rural girls who have dropped out of school and have few job skills, going away to be a domestic worker is often the most accessible job opportunity. In Indonesia between 25–50% of domestic workers are under 18, and in many cases under the legal minimum working age of 15 (Rosenberg, 2003, p. 18). Child advocates purport that there are 600,000 child domestic workers in Jakarta alone, and the number who are overseas is unknown (SC, 2009). It is well-documented that child domestic workers face exploitative conditions, and are denied their basic rights, as defined by the United Nations Convention of the Child (Blagbrough, 2008; UNCRC, 1989). Abuses include: long working hours; no breaks or days off; monotonous work; illegal confinement; non-payment of wages, or payment at less than was agreed; physical and psychological abuse; poor living conditions; social isolation; and poor quality food (Blagbrough, 2008; Camacho, 2007; Silvey, 2006). Some of the most severe examples include girls and young women in Saudi Arabia who have been kept in forms of modern day slavery, and have suffered physical, verbal or sexual abuse (Butt et al., 2016; Silvey, 2006). For these reasons child domestic work is considered to be one of the “worst forms of child labour”, as defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 182 (Blagbrough, 2008; ILO, 1999).3 These stories deter some young women from migrating, but many more are willing to take the risk (Beazley, 2015a). Incidents of sexual abuse from employers can be a path to prostitution (Blagbrough, 2008) and the trafficking of children into the local and international commercial sex industry is a significant issue in Indonesia (Beazley, 2015a, 2015b). In 2000 an estimated 30–40% of young women working in the sex industry in Indonesia were believed to be under 18 years of age (Beazley, 2015b; Boediwardhana, 2009). The Indonesian government has since highlighted a rise in child sex workers, including in Surabaya and Malang in East Java. Certain areas have been identified as sources, transit points and destinations for children working in the sex industry, including Indramayu (West Java) and Surakarta (Solo, Central Java) (Beazley, 2015b; UNICEF 2004). Young girls are also trafficked to work in the sex industry in Batam in the Riau islands (close to Singapore) and Kuching in Malaysia (Lindquist, 2010; SC, 2009).

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

86

Combatting child trafficking in Indonesia

As well as economic factors contributing to girls seeking work in these sectors, there are numerous socio-cultural reasons, including diverse cultural constructions of childhood, and what constitutes a “child” in some areas (Beazley, 2015b). For example, if a girl has been married, even at 15 (which is common in many parts of Indonesia), she is no longer regarded as a child (Ball et al., 2015). Research in Thailand and Indonesia has also documented how girls in some areas are socialised by their families to participate in the local sex industry (Beazley 2015b; Martini, 2005; Montgomery 2009; Sano, 2012). Due to complex socioeconomic reasons, some regions in rural Indonesia have developed a “culture of migration” with values and norms that sanction adult and child migration. These are the “sending” areas which have a regular departure of migrants from one rural area to work as domestic workers or in factories, either in the cities, Saudi Arabia or Malaysia (Ball et al., 2015). Such a culture of migration results in migration social networks facilitating the migration process, with child workers in one urban area coming from one village in rural Java (Beazley, 2015a; Blagbrough, 2008; Smith, 2008). Child trafficking in Indonesia is, therefore, a complex process of child rights’ violations, complicated by the fact that many recruiters are children themselves, recruiting their peers when they return home.

The ENABLE program The ENABLE program (2005–2009) was part of SC’s global strategy for the abolition of child trafficking, including the commercial sexual exploitation of children and other “worst forms of child labour” (ILO, 1999). SC adopted the Palermo Protocol (UN, 2000) position that a child under the age of 18 who migrated for work had no “choice” and was, therefore, “trafficked”. However, SC also took a rights-based approach in programming, believing that children have the right to participate in matters that affect them, including the fight against trafficking and exploitation, which is a violation of their rights. This meant that children and young people were consulted at every stage during the design and implementation of the program. Beneficiaries of the ENABLE program were children who had been or were at high risk of being trafficked. The program aimed to prevent the recruitment of children for exploitative work situations, particularly commercial sexual exploitation and domestic service, through the promotion of education and vocational training, and through community-based interventions. The premise was that traffickers would have less success in recruiting children from vulnerable families when children had access to quality education, and when the community was made aware of the negative effects and risks involved in sending children away to work. The program was also focused on “rescuing” children from exploitative circumstances and minimising the long-term damage (including post-traumatic stress disorder) to children removed from such exploitation. SC developed the ENABLE program with a priority for building capacity in rights-based approaches to working with children on sensitive issues. In partnership with local NGOs and community-based organisations, the program worked in collaboration with the Government of Indonesia’s (GOI) Ministry of Education (MONE), including the Department of Out-of-School Education and Youth for Non-Formal Education (NFE). By involving GOI in program implementation and monitoring it was hoped to secure commitment to program implementation after funding had ended.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Good practice, success stories and lessons learned Good practice in community development facilitates the active participation of all community members to meaningfully influence the decisions that affect their lives. A rights-based approach in community development acknowledges individual agency and adheres to an 87

Harriot Beazley

ethical strategy which includes informed consent and the right to refuse to participate. A rights-based approach with children is an approach that establishes children’s participation in all matters that affect them. The key children’s rights principles involved in such an approach are non-discrimination, self-determination and participation (Beazley et al., 2009; UNCRC, 1989). In a rights-based approach children are not to be forced into participation by dominating adults including teachers, carers or NGO workers. The ENABLE program utilised two community development models to raise awareness of the dangers of trafficking, and to promote community solutions to combat child trafficking within high “sending” areas: the ENACT (Enabling Communities through Community Action) model and the PD (Positive Deviance) model.

ENACT model The ENACT model took a community development approach for social change, operating within a framework of participatory action research (PAR) to organise and strengthen community resources, and to create a sense of belonging to the program (Chambers, 1997). It has been well-documented that in-depth, participatory research with communities is the best way to obtain culturally grounded research data in community development. This knowledge is not easily captured in surveys or demographic profiles and requires in-depth, qualitative research, which involves long-term relationship building with communities (see Chambers, 1997). The key principles of the approach include a culturally grounded understanding of community structures and beliefs; assisting individuals to identify their own problems and solutions; being influenced by local ideas and ownership; supporting debate and dialogue on issues in the community; and ensuring communities were agents of their own change. Working groups were established in the four districts to support the ENACT model, consisting of local government officials and local NGO staff. To identify villages that were most in need of assistance the working groups examined local data on poverty, school drop-out rates, unemployment and high migration rates (above 30% of the population). Following PAR principles, program designers determined that NGO staff would live in the communities for a minimum of two months, to develop a close relationship with the community and to fully understand the reality of people’s lives. The model was also levelled at enabling communities to actively participate in identifying existing educational problems and circumstances that led to the trafficking of children, to find solutions to the problems, to map and mobilise local resources to support solutions and to develop community action plans. The program started by placing two local NGO staff in a village in each identified sending area. These staff conducted a Rapid Needs Assessment, socialising the community to the aims and objectives of the ENABLE program, and inviting community participation, including children and young people. This resulted in the formation of Community Education Committees (KPMD), consisting of adults, local informal and formal leaders, and children and young people. The KPMD cadre attended training in participatory research, gender awareness and trafficking issues. PAR data collection then began (facilitated by NGO staff) to identify education problems and circumstances that led to the trafficking of children within the village. The participatory action research was facilitated by local residents instead of outsiders – as often occurs in community development initiatives. The KPMD then presented their research findings to the community, and together they developed an action plan to overcome the problems identified by the research. The action plans included the provision of information on safe migration and the importance of education and healthy living. The goal of the intervention was to support all children to complete junior secondary education or junior secondary equivalency or certification in a vocational skill

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

88

Combatting child trafficking in Indonesia

through non-formal education. After the community action plan was developed the KPMD was able to apply for a maximum of 25 million rupees (US$2,500) to support the action plan’s specific objectives, either in formal or non-formal education programs. For formal educational activities, ENABLE supported the establishment of “open” junior secondary schools where access to secondary school was geographically difficult. Funds also supported adults in the community to serve as school tutors, or to facilitate extracurricular activities. Non-formal education to out-of-school youth, helping them achieve their primary and secondary equivalency diplomas, and for vocational courses including training in sewing and cake making, brick making, furniture making, making banana chips, hospitality and basic mechanics were also funded. The program provided technical assistance and capacity building and training for KPMD cadre to effectively mobilise local resources for education. After two months in the field the NGO workers began to exit the villages, leaving the KPMD in place. The ENACT model was considered by the provincial government to be so successful in reducing child trafficking in the targeted villages that MONE replicated the approach in ten more districts, allotting a permanent budget line in future budgets for similar community-based initiatives.

Positive Deviance: the PD model Within its anti-trafficking initiative SC also partnered with local NGOs to develop a PD approach to social change in communities with a migration prevalence higher than 30%. PD is a participatory and asset-based approach to social change, and has been utilised for the past 30 years in a range of health, nutrition and child health interventions in Southeast Asia and elsewhere (Dura and Singhal, 2009; Marsh et al., 2004). As with the ENACT model, it is grounded in the use of local resources and local knowledge for community intervention (Dura and Singhal, 2009; Marsh et al., 2004). Although a confusing and flawed term, the aim of the PD approach was to prevent the trafficking of children through appropriate and sustainable grassroots initiatives. The phrase refers to individuals (or families) who face the same challenges as their peers (and who are therefore also considered to be “at risk”), but who have certain behaviours or practices outside the norm, which are beneficial to them. These behaviours – known as “PD behaviours” – result in families at risk of trafficking their children finding solutions to their problems and having better outcomes than their neighbours or their peers, including not sending their children away to work (Dura and Singhal, 2009; Marsh et al., 2004). In the “sending” villages of Java and Kalimantan, the approach meant identifying families who kept their children at home and supporting communities to adopt the same behaviours and achieve the same improved outcomes as these families (Marsh et al., 2004). The PD approach conducted community-based participatory research (through social mapping, interviews and focus group discussions), to identify which families did not send children away to work (Dura and Singhal, 2009; Martini, 2005). Criteria for the PD approach were a village with poverty, high school drop-out rates, and high unemployment and migration rates above 30%. NGO workers lived in the identified villages for six months with the intention of understanding community structures, social and cultural behaviour, and identifying why some families did not allow their children to migrate for work. A typical “positive deviant” family was identified as a low income family with at least three children who still had their daughters in school. The “PD” participatory research was conducted in 22 villages in the 4 districts. The research period was time consuming and intense, but the findings were extremely useful in identifying ways to combat trafficking and were used to socialise families to alternative behaviour. Through

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

89

Harriot Beazley

the PD enquiry in two “sending areas” – West Java and West Kalimantan – local NGO partners and KPMD cadre made key observations about the economic practices of “PD families”. Parents engaged in a variety of income-generating activities including growing diverse crops, raising poultry and livestock, and establishing fish farms. Families were adept at saving money, and spending money on their child’s education or establishing a small business for her. Other families spent money on material possessions: DVD machines, motorbikes, mobile phones and laptops. Children of PD families were not given money for snacks. Instead their parents made snacks that their children shared. PD parents also went fishing for dinner (instead of buying meat or eggs), and they ate less breakfast, avoiding expensive items like coffee and eggs. Facilitators reported that PD families were more aware of their child’s future and did not want them to be a farm worker or domestic servant, actively supporting them to go to school and find local, permanent employment. PD families were invited to become examples to the community. Their behaviours were presented by local KPMD cadre as models of success to other families with children “at risk” in the same village. Communities then established village action plans, which included community-based anti-trafficking campaigns. The campaigns included posters and radio shows based on PD families and children, to promote behavioural change among non-PD families (see also Dura and Singhal, 2009). KPMD cadre and NGO workers in all four districts cited the key successes of the ENACT and PD models as raising awareness of the importance of children’s (particularly girls’) education, the ability for girls to gain an education, and the success of non-formal education to prevent children from dropping out of school. They also noted a perceivable change in the attitude of local people following awareness-raising workshops and poster campaigns, and how people now understood the difference between legal and illegal (documented and undocumented) migration, and the importance of safe migration. They were certain the number of undocumented migrants from the villages had declined and that community attitudes had changed from feelings of helplessness to one of purposeful action, enabled by the research. The participatory processes created a strong sense of ownership through the KPMD cadre which galvanised the village government, resulting in village officials committing resources to disseminate anti-trafficking efforts to neighbouring villages. In this way cadre from the first village became trainers and co-facilitators for subsequent villages. A network of KPMD cadre was subsequently formed, creating a forum for sharing experiences and lessons learned from the PD and ENACT processes, and meeting outside of the project to discuss anti-trafficking strategies.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

KPMD The community-based education committees (KPMDs) were a pivotal mechanism within the ENACT and PD models and an example of good practice in sustainable community development, as the KPMDs were able to continue to perform and deliver benefits to the community once donor funding has ended. Discussions with KPMD cadre revealed the sustainable success of the program was due to KPMDs forming independently, through a participatory process, as unpaid volunteers with feelings of ownership in intervention strategies at the village level. The cadre observed there had been more dialogue, debate and discussion visible in the villages than before their formation (Dura and Singhal, 2009). They believed the success was due to communities participating in intervention programs, instead of the usual over-reliance on elite community leaders in government-led community development initiatives. When asked to compare the ENABLE program to other community development initiatives, a KPMD cadre from Tulungagung (West Java) answered: 90

Combatting child trafficking in Indonesia

It is very different indeed. Because other programs never go straight to the community, but this was the aim of ENABLE. The programs before ENABLE just went straight to the village administration, without talking to anyone in the community to understand what we wanted. Before ENABLE people were never consulted. The government only goes to certain people (and always the same people), but ENABLE doesn’t work like that – it invites lots of people to give their opinions. (KPMD cadre, personal communication) Through such processes individuals were identified as leaders, including poorer people, women, and children and young people whose opinions were never usually heard. The aspirations of young people were subsequently understood, and their views were included in community decision making. This led to peer-to-peer education as child researchers knew how to access other “at risk” children, to talk to them about the project. For example, in Sambas, Kalimantan, Eve (18), had been trafficked when she was 11 years old. She had used false documents to obtain a passport, and her migration to Malaysia to work in a factory was supported by her parents and assisted by an agent (calo). Eve had stayed in Malaysia without coming home for six years. During an interview the young woman described the exploitative working conditions in the factory and long working hours (7 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day with half an hour break). When she was sick with malaria she was forced to continue working, and when that was impossible her wages were stopped. She was offered no medical assistance and she was only able to eat by being fed by her friends. Finally, Eve decided to return to her village in Kalimantan. When she went home she was recruited by the KPMD in her village to learn new skills making banana chips and cakes to sell. Eve also became an advocate against migration to other young people who came to the classes. She said that it was not a good experience overall, and that she advises others that working in Malaysia is not as exciting as it seems. Eve said that now there is a lot more awareness in the communities about the dangers of trafficking than when she first went to Malaysia, and she told how mothers will now ask calo if they are resmi (legal). As a result of this increased awareness, illegal agents and syndicates were no longer brave enough to enter the villages seeking new recruits. Other successes of the ENABLE program were cited by KPMD cadre as: being able to create village programs without involving the provincial government; collecting valuable data on vulnerable families and children for other government and NGO programs (the data collected via the PRA processes was far more accurate than data held by the village administration); gaining valuable research experience in participatory methodologies; creating programs for children who had dropped out of school; helping school children with resources; providing skills training for men and women; and socialising the community against the dangers of trafficking to the extent that young people no longer wanted to migrate overseas to work. Cadre also noted that communities were more aware of the benefits of education for nine years (instead of five until the end of primary school) and about the UNCRC (1989). They also emphasised how seeing boys and girls engaged in educational and income-generating activities was inspirational for other young people, creating peer-based modelling which benefited the whole community. The KPMD cadre were pleased it was an established independent body which could apply for its own grants with the Minister of Education and MONE for activities. The sustainability of the system was therefore far greater than expected:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

There are so many programs that fail in every sector. Once the funds are finished the activities are finished. ENABLE, from my perspective is a model that all programs should emulate in the future, as it is a social model that empowers the community. In this way we can transfer learning and have a form of networking between community, NGOs and government. (KPMD member, West Java) 91

Harriot Beazley

In terms of legislation in East Java there was success in anti-trafficking legislation when the KPMD advocated to the village government for a local law on trafficking and migration. This was helpful yet there were still conflicts between the law and local people’s cultural perceptions of acceptable behaviour in terms of sending children away to work. As well as passing laws, socialisation initiatives to raise awareness among parents and the community on the rights of children and child protection issues were still needed. A further issue subsumed within this point was the cultural significance of the concept of the “child”, and how “children were seen the same as adults” in some parts of Java, and expected to work from a young age (Martini, 2005). Although some girls involved in domestic service and other work were children (as defined by the UNCRC), they had adult status within the community, as they were working and able to contribute to the family income. Further, the Indonesian marriage law, which prohibits marriage before the age of 18 had not yet been widely enforced and girls were still getting married at 15 in some project sites (Ball et al., 2015; Beazley, 2015b). Since the laws on migration had been enforced, making it harder to migrate overseas for work through informal channels, it was reported that in some districts girls were getting married instead. This may have been because they saw marriage as a better option to school, or because they were unable to migrate and so there was “nothing else to do”.

The R, R and R of ‘victims of trafficking’ Along with the ENACT and PD models for the prevention of trafficking from high sending areas, a model for the ‘R, R & R’ of children who had been trafficked was established by the program. This model aimed to create a reintegration process for vulnerable girls (and boys) returning from working in domestic service and in the “special entertainment industry” (restaurants, bars, brothels and karaoke bars) within Indonesia and overseas in Malaysia. The R, R & R model was established by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with SC, in consultation with the Indonesian police and the Department of Immigration. The model engaged with these various stakeholders to provide a more systematic and holistic process for “victim assistance”. The process focused on caring for children who had been “rescued” from trafficking. All of these children were described as “victims” of trafficking by international child protection organisations and NGO workers, irrespective of their individual circumstances (IOM, 2006).

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Rescue The R, R & R approach required a network of NGOs involved in “rescuing” trafficked children from their place of “work” (or receiving them from police custody following their arrest or deportation), rehabilitating them in shelters, and reintegrating them back into their communities in Kalimantan and Java. Most of the girls were “rescued” by the police from their place of work in Malaysia, and then deported or handed over to NGOs in Kalimantan for rehabilitation. These NGOs facilitated the return of girls from East Java in cooperation with SC’s affiliate NGO in Surabaya. A Surabaya-based NGO focused on the rescue of girls working in the sex industry in Surabaya. Local pimps, older sex workers (who had unrestricted access to sex work venues), and the police worked together to “rescue” exploited children from the six Lokasi (prostitution areas) in the city. The rescue operation began by identifying girls who were working underage in different bars and brothels. Success was dependent upon the commitment and approach of partner institutions such as police and local government, and was deemed to have occurred 92

Combatting child trafficking in Indonesia

when a girl had been removed from her place of work and integrated back into her community. The rescue process, however, was extremely problematic and disturbing in terms of correct child protection protocols, including numerous situations when the police removed a girl under duress. Quite often a rescue took place without a girl’s prior knowledge or consent, which breached the principle of doing “no harm” and “best interests of the child” (UNCRC, 1989). The process was sometimes violent, disorienting and traumatic, especially when a girl was seized from a place where she had friends, social networks and where she felt relatively secure. The underage girl in these scenarios was permitted absolutely no agency. The very fact that they are consistently called “victims” by the NGOs involved in these “rescues” immediately denies them their right or ability to make choices in matters that affect them (Beazley, 2015b; Magar, 2012).

Rehabilitation Once in their care, NGOs in Kalimantan and Java referred the “rescued” children to “recovery shelters” or safe houses and to health and legal services. The girls were housed in these shelters from two weeks to a few months before being returned to their village. At the NGO the girls were offered services such as new clothes, medical check-ups (for STIs and HIV/AIDS), counselling, and information on their reproductive rights, the dangers of undocumented migration, children’s rights and domestic violence. Such information sought to prevent them from being re-trafficked. They were also provided with training in vocational skills such as sewing, cake making, handicrafts or beauty salon skills. Many were also provided with basic literacy and numeracy classes, having dropped out of primary school. In the shelters, girls were expected to follow the house rules including times for getting up and going to bed and to curb behaviours considered to be unacceptable, such as smoking, cutting themselves and using inappropriate language. The NGO staff also tried to change the way the girls dressed, to prepare them to be returned to a conservative and predominantly Muslim society. The girls’ mobile phones were confiscated “for their own safety”, to prevent them from being in contact with their pimps or agents. The NGO staff developed individualised case management plans for the reintegration of the children back into their families, which took into account the best interests of each child. The NGO staff worked hard with the girls to convince them to return home, which sometimes included threats of legal consequences. For example, one particular NGO operated in an Indonesian border town with Malaysia, and worked closely with SC to return, rehabilitate and reintegrate a target of 25 “victims of trafficking” per year. The “victims” were handed over to NGOs in Malaysia by Malaysian immigration or police, and taken to the NGO once they had been deported. While at the NGO staff filled in forms designed by the IOM, which sought basic information about the child, including their identity, family and origin. After a maximum of four days, they were taken to an NGO in Pontianak (Kalimantan) to facilitate their rehabilitation and return to their village. At the time of the site visit there were a total of 15 children in the NGO’s care, between the ages of 14 and 17 years old, although staff said there were sometimes girls as young as 12 years old. Many of the girls originated from Sambas in Kalimantan, near to the Malaysian border. The girls were from poor families and took pride in the fact that they had gone away to work, so that they could buy things to bring home when they visited during Lebaran (festivities following the Muslim fasting month). The staff said that girls who had been trafficked in this way were usually unmarried, and saw the trip to Malaysia as a way of making money for themselves and their family before they got married. Many of the girls said they migrated to Malaysia due to poverty. After 2 years the NGO had processed 49 children, 8 of whom were boys. Two of these boys, aged 13 and

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

93

Harriot Beazley

14 years old, had been working as sex workers in plantation barracks. The NGO staff said that of the 49 children only 1 girl was ready to return to formal education. The rest had no desire to return to school. After a number of months in the shelter the children were considered to be rehabilitated, and were accompanied back home if they were from Sambas, or back to the partner NGOs in Surabaya or Bandung if they were from Java, who then accommodated the children into their own programs of rehabilitation and reintegration.

Reintegration Once the training and “rehabilitation” in the shelters was complete, the children were escorted home to be “reintegrated” back into their communities. The process included an assessment of the child’s existing family situation, income-earning opportunities and the family’s willingness to accept the child back into the family home. At the village level the “victim services” were organised so that they were integrated with community-based organisations, including the KPMD, if one existed. It was reported that having support services available at the village level helped reduce the likelihood of girls leaving their villages again. Close monitoring during the first three months of reintegration was important, as children needed to adapt to what had become an unfamiliar social environment. NGO partners monitored the girls’ psychological state, their apparent motivation to engage with the community and the level of community support. Despite careful planning and monitoring, the reintegration process was problematic for numerous reasons. It was not possible, for example, to organise support services for all the children returned to their villages. Further, for many children spending only two weeks in the shelters was insufficient recovery time before returning home, especially to areas without support services. Also, some organisations reported that signs of psychological trauma from the children’s experiences only emerged once they were home when there was no one there to support them. Social stigma and discrimination was also experienced by many children in the village, in spite of NGO staff attempts to conceal the nature of their previous work from the community. This together with a lack of economic alternatives or local support mechanisms meant children often left the village again shortly after they had returned, putting themselves at risk of being re-trafficked. Many girls had also grown accustomed to their new lifestyles in the cities, with greater independence, mobile phones, new clothes and social lives, and their ability to earn relatively large amounts of money to support their families (Beazley, 2015b; Locke, 2010; Magar, 2012). In fact, some parents did not want to see their child when they were returned home, and reportedly asked NGO staff “why did you bring her home? She is only another mouth to feed!” Often, therefore, children decided to return to the sex industry to be with their friends and social networks where they felt safe and belonged. Reports of rescued children being retrafficked were not unusual.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Ethical reflections The research process for the evaluation of the ENABLE program raised some ethical dilemmas for myself as researcher. It was an extremely large program which was spread across multiple districts, provinces and project sites. Due to the budget and SC reporting timelines, I was required to make rapid site visits and to meet with numerous groups of people for short periods of time to ask them about their experiences of the program. Such a high speed approach goes against the whole ethos of community development evaluation and practice (Chambers, 1997). The pre-arranged agenda included my turning up for meetings with vulnerable children who had 94

Combatting child trafficking in Indonesia

been trafficked. As a child rights advocate and researcher, I had my own code of conduct to observe. For example, it was my responsibility to obtain voluntary informed consent from the child participants in the research process. However, the nature of the planning for the evaluation along with the local Indonesian culture – which assumes children will do what they are told by adults – meant that all meetings were arranged with children from whom I had not obtained consent. On more than one occasion I found myself meeting with a group of young people who had no idea why they were there or what I was going to ask them about. Such circumstances posed serious ethical challenges and I had to adapt my approach to ensure that I carefully explained the reason for my being there, and to give the children the opportunity to refuse to participate if they wished. Further, although I was conducting the evaluation for SC as a consultant and I had access to an insider’s perspective, I was an outsider and my viewpoint was not necessarily the same as those who were working on the program. Some of the NGO and Indonesian government workers I spoke with were new to the idea of community development and a rights-based approach. From a child rights’ perspective I was particularly challenged by the nature of the R, R & R component of the program and I found it hard to have confidence in the views of the NGO staff who advocated its approach. It was particularly hard for me to write up my project report to the organisation on this component, and I have been far more candid in this chapter.

Conclusion An analysis of ENABLE’s anti-trafficking activities reveals considerable success in strengthening the capacity of local agencies and institutions to prevent the trafficking and exploitation of children from poor families. A culturally grounded understanding of community structures and beliefs was essential for building effective interventions, and the program’s success at the village level was due to the commitment to community participation, through the activities of the ENACT and PD models, and the establishment of the KPMDs. The KPMDs raised community awareness of the importance of girls’ education and the dangers of undocumented migration; provided young people with vocational training for livelihood sustainability; and assisted in developing prevention strategies at the village level. One unforeseen consequence which arose from the community interventions, however, was an increase in teenage girls getting married instead of going overseas to work, which had not been an objective of the program. Although the program met with some success in the community, it was limited by underlying structural concerns (Magar, 2012). For example, the issues of gender inequality and structural disadvantage were not targeted by this program. More could have also been done to address the root causes of families’ socioeconomic fragilities by working to address the barriers, inequities and injustices that exist in Indonesian society. Further, and in direct contrast to the exemplars of best practice in community development in the ENACT and PD models, the R, R & R component of the program was not a community-led or participatory process, neither was it aligned with the principle of doing no harm. NGOs worked with a number of different agencies, including government officials and police, who operated in a top-down manner with dubious ethics and practices, none of which were in the best interests of the child. The R, R & R model was the antithesis of the community-led ENACT and PD models and did not take a rights-based approach by acknowledging children’s agency and including them in the decision making and planning in an ethical way (Beazley et al., 2009). If SC wished to stay true to its principles of rights-based interventions for trafficking, then the girls within the R, R & R component of the program

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

95

Harriot Beazley

should have been treated as empowered individuals who had the capacity to exercise their agency and to participate in decisions that affected them, rather than as “victims”. Interventions should always use “do no harm” strategies to work against repressive policies and practices that are implemented in the name of “protection” (Beazley, 2015b). Instead the girls were progressively disempowered at every stage of the R, R & R model. To forcefully remove a vulnerable girl from her social support network, to confiscate her possessions, to hold her against her will and then to force her into a hostile social environment are all clear violations of her rights. There is no denying that there are serious cases of ill treatment, sexual exploitation and trafficking of children in Indonesia that need to be urgently addressed. It is also indisputable that the young workers engaged by the ENABLE program were structurally disadvantaged, facing violence and abuse, as well as significant health issues (Beazley, 2015b; UNICEF, 2004). However, there are many reasons why sex workers do what they do, and not all sex workers are abused and desperately in need of rescue (Beazley, 2015b). In fact, the commercial sex industry can be a positive experience for some adolescent sex workers, who see it as the best option available to them to earn money for themselves and their families, and where they can find friendship and support (see Beazley, 2015b; Martini, 2005; Montgomery, 2009; Sano, 2012) There is a critical need for international child welfare agencies, development organisations, donors and policy makers to cease projecting their adultist, universalistic, moralistic and negative perceptions onto the lives of young people, and to begin with a far more rights-based participatory research approach with children and young people who are trafficked. Such a strategy is vital in order to comprehend young people’s own views and experiences of trafficking “without compromising their privacy, personal autonomy or freedom of movement” (Magar, 2012, p. 641). The ENABLE program came a long way to fulfilling the principles of good practice in rights-based community development, by working with the community to raise awareness about the dangers of trafficking and the importance of education and training through the ENACT and PD models, and ensuring the long-term sustainability of these solutions. However, the program fell short of accomplishing the same success in assisting children who had already been “trafficked”. Much of this failure was to do with the way these girls’ lives were socially constructed (“trafficked”, “lack of choice”, “victims”), which denied them their agency and their ability to participate in decisions about how they live their lives.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Notes 1 The views expressed in this chapter do not necessarily reflect the views of Save the Children. 2 Supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted 15 November 2000, entered into force 25 December 2003. 3 ILO Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour (including Domestic Service, Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and working on Fishing Platforms).

References Ball, J, Butt, L and Beazley, H (2015), Children and families on the move: Stateless children in Indonesia, University of Victoria, Australia, Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives. Beazley, H (2015a), ‘Multiple identities, multiple realities: Children who migrate independently for work in Southeast Asia’, Children’s Geographies, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 296–309. Beazley, H (2015b), ‘“I just ate some chilli”: Identities, bodies and sexual practices of young sex workers in Java’, in Bennett, LR and Davies, SG (eds), Sex and sexualities in contemporary Indonesia: Sexual politics, diversity, representations and health, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 183–202. 96

Combatting child trafficking in Indonesia

Beazley, H, Bessell, S, Ennew, J and Waterson, R (2009), ‘Editorial: The right to be properly researched – Research with children in a messy real world’, Children’s Geographies, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 365–378. Blackburn, A, Taylor, R and Davis, JE (2010), ‘Understanding the complexities of human trafficking and child sexual exploitation: The case of Southeast Asia’, Women and Criminal Justice, vol. 20, nos. 1–2, pp. 105–126. Blagbrough, J (2008), ‘Child domestic labour: A modern form of slavery’, Children and Society, vol. 22, pp, 179–190. Boediwardhana, W (2009, June 12), ‘Surabaya and Malang hubs for child sex exploitation’, Jakarta Post. Retrieved from www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/06/05/surabaya-malang-hubs-childsex-exploitation039.html. Butt, L, Ball, J and Beazley, H (2016), ‘False papers and family fictions: Household responses to “gift children” born to Indonesian women during transnational migration’, Citizenship Studies, vol. 20, nos. 6–7, pp. 795–810. Camacho, AZV (2007), Understanding the migration experiences of child domestic workers: Towards alternative perspectives on children and migration. Conference Report of Focus on Children in Migration, 20–21 March, Warsaw, Poland. Chambers, R (1997), Whose reality counts? Putting the last first, Intermediate Technology Publications, London. Dura, L and Singhal, A (2009), ‘Utilizing a positive deviance approach to reduce girls’ trafficking in Indonesia: Asset-based communicative acts that make a difference’, Journal of Creative Communications, vol. 4, pp. 1–17. Feingold, D (2010), ‘Trafficking in numbers: the social construction of human trafficking data’, in Andreas, P and Greenhill, KM (eds), Sex, drugs, and body counts: The politics of numbers in global crime and conflict, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, pp. 46–74. International Labour Organisation (1999), Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour. Retrieved from http://www.ilo.org/ipec/facts/WorstFormsofChildLabour/lang--en/index.htm International Labour Organisation (2004), The use of children in the production sales and trafficking of drugs: A synthesis of participatory action – Orientated research programs in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, ILO, International Program for the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC). International Organisation for Migration (2010), Labour migration from Indonesia, Geneva, Switzerland: International Organisation for Migration. Lindquist, J (2010), ‘Labour recruitment, circuits of capital, and gendered mobility: Reconceptualizing the Indonesian migration industry’, Pacific Affairs, vol. 83, no. 1, pp. 115–132. Locke, R (2010), Rescued, rehabilitated, returned: Institutional approaches to the rehabilitation of survivors of sex trafficking in India and Nepal, university thesis and dissertation, paper 378. University of Denver. Digital Commons. Magar, V (2012), ‘Rescue and rehabilitation: A critical analysis of sex workers’ anti-trafficking response in India’, Signs, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 619–644. Marsh, D, Schroeder, D, Dearden, D, Sternin, J and Sternin, M (2004), ‘The power of positive deviance’, British Medical Journal, vol. 239, pp. 1177–1179. Martini, T (2005), ‘Positive deviance for girl trafficking prevention: Experience from south Malang’, Positive Deviance Bulletin, vol. 1, no. 4. Retrieved from www.positivedeviance.org/materials/ publications.html. Montgomery, H (2009), ‘Buying innocence: Child sex tourists in Thailand’, Third World Quarterly, vol. 29, no. 5, pp. 903–917. O’Connell Davidson, J (2011), ‘Moving children? Child trafficking, child migration and child rights’, Critical Social Policy, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 454–477. Rosenberg, R (2003), Trafficking of women and children in Indonesia. Jakarta, International Catholic Migration Commission and American Center for International Labor Solidarity. Retrieved from www.icmc.net/ pubs/trafficking-women-and-children-indonesia. Sandy, L (2009), ‘Behind closed doors: Debt-bonded sex workers in Sihanoukville, Cambodia’, The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 216–230. Sano, A (2012), ‘Agency and resilience in the sex trade: Adolescent girls in rural Indramayu’, The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 2–35. Save the Children (2009), The ENABLE program: Enabling communities to combat child trafficking through education (2005–2009) – Good practice, success stories and lessons learned, Save the Children, Jakarta. Silvey, R (2006), ‘Consuming the transnational family: Indonesian migrant domestic workers to Saudi Arabia’, Global Networks, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 23–40.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

97

Harriot Beazley

Smith, T (2008), Becoming a medicine man: An exploration of one space between childhood and adulthood in Java. Paper presented at the 17th Biennial Conference of the ASAA, Melbourne, Australia. Retrieved from http://artsonline.monash.edu.au/mai/files/2012/07/tracimsmith.pdf. UNICEF (2004), Commercial sexual exploitation of children in Solo (Central Java) and Indramayu (West Java), Indonesia: Participatory research with children. UNICEF, Jakarta. United Nations (2000), Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children, document A/55/383, 2 November 2000. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, UN General Assembly, New York. Retrieved from: www.unicef.org.au/Upload/UNICEF/Media/ Our%20work/childfriendlycrc.pdf.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

98

7 Preventing violence against women The development and evaluation of a CALD community family violence project Deborah Western and Claire Varley

Introduction

Taylor and Francis

Violence against women is an endemic problem throughout the world with global estimates indicating that one in three women experiences physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime (United Nations Women, 2016a). This violence is frequently perpetrated by someone women know and trust, most often a male partner, ex-partner or other family member (United Nations Women, 2016a). Family violence, a component of men’s violence against women,1 includes physical, emotional, sexual, financial and spiritual violence and has numerous impacts on the lives of women and their children, varying from physical injuries and mental health concerns through to practical consequences such as homelessness and unemployment (Webster, 2016). In the most severe instances of family violence, women, and sometimes their children, have been killed. Reflecting the framework employed in this Handbook, family violence has been recognised as a “wicked” problem by authors such as Laing and Humphreys (2013), Western and Mason (2013) and Kearns and Coen (2014). Family violence is prevalent, serious, complex, overwhelming and frequently appears to be unresolvable. Nevertheless, and importantly, it is preventable, and this understanding is seen in the many and varied national action plans, strategies and policies in countries throughout the world in efforts to reduce and eliminate family violence (United Nations Women, 2016b). The prevention of men’s violence against women requires integrated approaches and solutions. These include long-term commitment, leadership and action; the collaborative whole of government and joined-up approaches (Ross et al., 2011); community participation and ownership; funding and resources; and sustained changes in gendered stereotypes, attitudes and behaviours that enable, tolerate and condone violence towards women (Our Watch, ANROWs and VicHealth, 2015; United Nations Women, 2015). Globally, the key driver of violence against women is recognised as gender inequality between women and men (Our Watch, ANROWs and VicHealth, 2015; United Nations Women, 2015). This chapter looks at the major contemporary understandings and frameworks employed in strategies to eliminate men’s violence against women and, more specifically, family violence. It then

Not for distribution

99

Deborah Western and Claire Varley

considers how this knowledge informed a community-based family violence prevention project to address this Wicked Problem in partnership with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in the outer northern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. This place-based project – the Whittlesea CALD Communities Family Violence Project (WCFVP) – was informed by a model of family violence prevention initiated and developed specifically for the communities in which it was delivered. An integrated model, it brought together six distinct but intersecting elements working across the family violence spectrum – prevention, early intervention and response. The project’s stated intent was to support vulnerable or marginalised communities to be active participants in prevention and intervention through development and ownership of the project. Community awareness-raising activities were central in generating continuing community involvement, participation and ownership, as well as long-term commitment, leadership and action. From the beginning research processes were embedded as central features in the project design. This was important because the project was based on a model not trialled anywhere before, although its development was informed by community consultations, a scoping exercise and contemporary knowledge about community family violence prevention strategies (see, for example, VicHealth, 2007; Commonwealth of Australia, 2009). In this sense the project held a complex mix of local knowledge interacting with “good practice” and theoretical frameworks, and endeavoured to contribute to the evidence base for implementing such work in practice. Research focused on the six different elements of the model, as well as the overall integrated model. A qualitative methodology informed by a complementary critical-feminist perspective and a participatory action research approach incorporating mixed methods was chosen as the research design. This design had capacity to align with the dynamic nature of the project and the involvement of community members and organisations in the project’s continuing development and implementation. As a place-based community development project, this approach was intended to ensure local experience and expertise remained at the heart of design, delivery, evaluation and research. In addition to exploring features and achievements of this family violence prevention project in CALD communities, this chapter considers some benefits and limitations of project implementation and development from a community development and action research perspective. This chapter is co-authored by the external researcher2 and the project coordinator.3

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Contemporary understandings and frameworks in family violence prevention strategies Global attention to the scale, nature and impact of men’s violence against women has increased in the last few decades. Following the adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1979, the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women in 1993 by the United Nations General Assembly, and the addition of the Beijing Platform for Action in 1995 (Fourth World Conference on Women, 1995), men’s violence against women has progressively been recognised as a violation of women’s basic human rights. A human rights framework positions violence against women as a form of discrimination that prohibits women from enjoying rights such as liberty and security of the person, freedom from wrongful gender stereotyping, and freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Cusack, 2009). In strategies to reduce and prevent men’s violence against women, the rights of girls and women must be acknowledged and realised, often requiring transformations in gendered and structural power relationships. The human rights framework has been used as a foundation for understanding men’s violence against women by those working in the public health field. This extension of the framework has positioned men’s violence against women as a public health issue (Garcia-Moreno and Watts, 100

Preventing violence against women

2011; VicHealth, 2009) and this includes a strong emphasis on primary prevention. Primary prevention strategies aim to prevent violence from occurring in the first place and include universal strategies such as educational activities exploring and strengthening attitudes towards gender equality. Secondary prevention or early intervention (VicHealth, 2007; Our Watch, VicHealth and ANROWS, 2015) refers to activities and services that are provided in response to early signs of violence in efforts to prevent the violence from escalating and enabling those at risk to access safety strategies and plans. Tertiary prevention or response (VicHealth, 2007) is provided after violence has occurred and includes support, advocacy, crisis and counselling services for women and their children, behaviour change programs for men who use violence against women, and criminal and civil justice responses such as family violence intervention orders. As VicHealth (2007) notes, while these three levels of prevention can be distinguished, they cannot always be separated or delineated. For example, an activity described largely as early intervention can also be seen as preventative, and much prevention work can prompt or result in disclosures or identification from those experiencing violence. This lack of delineation is not necessarily problematic; acknowledging and using the links between prevention, early intervention and response can be key to holistic yet individualised family violence prevention practice and policy in communities. An integrated response can provide opportunities for multi-faceted strategic work, particularly important where multiple forms of men’s violence against women occur and where differential responses are required throughout the life-courses of individuals, families and communities. Advocacy organisations argue that men’s violence against women, and family violence more specifically, can be prevented (UN Women, 2015). These organisations recognise that prevention and elimination of men’s violence against women require long-term effort, multiple strategies and commitment from governments, organisations and communities as well as coordinated and multi-sectoral approaches. A socio-ecological systems framework, based on Bronfenbrenner’s work (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) and Heise’s adaption of this work to focus more specifically on men’s violence against women (Heise, 1998), is often used within social/ public health prevention approaches to provide a way to visualise and theorise the occurrence of violence against women across different systems and levels. A clear example of the public health approach that employs a socio-ecological systems framework is that employed in Victoria’s most recent prevention of violence against women framework, Change the Story (Our Watch et al., 2015). A socio-ecological systems framework recognises that prevention requires many co-occurring, integrated strategies and interventions with consistent, reinforcing messages working across individual, relationship, community and societal levels. This includes targeted initiatives in different settings and with different population groups. Within the socio-ecological systems framework, a range of core factors must be addressed when seeking to prevent men’s violence against women (Our Watch, 2015). These core factors revolve around gender inequality and include: gendered, harmful and conservative cultural and social norms, expectations, behaviours and attitudes about women and men; non-existing, limited or poorly enforced legal responses; a general level of tolerance of violence in the community; and acceptance of attitudes that condone family violence. Given these gendered drivers of violence against women, Our Watch et al. (2015, p. 9) provide a number of essential actions to address them. These are: challenge the condoning of violence against women; promote women’s independence and decision making in public life and relationships; foster positive personal identities and challenge gender stereotypes and roles; strengthen positive, equal and respectful relations between and among women and men, girls and boys; and promote and normalise gender equality in public and private life. While it is difficult for any one project to address all of these factors, integrated models seek to design and deliver complementary activities that cumulatively seek to cover as many

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

101

Deborah Western and Claire Varley

of these core factors at different levels and in different systems as possible. In this regard, the Whittlesea CALD Communities Family Violence Project was developed and implemented, not as a discrete project intending to achieve social change on its own, but in conjunction with other prevention efforts within the City of Whittlesea, as well as within the northern region of Melbourne and the state of Victoria. Shared learning, linkages and opportunities are important both for sustainability and the generational work that is required to address the attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that support or excuse men’s violence against women. Integrated prevention activities and strategies create both a pathway into other prevention work and an informed focus or direction for new prevention initiatives.

Links and similarities between family violence prevention strategies and community development principles In this project, family violence prevention strategies (informed by the frameworks noted earlier) and normative community development principles each enabled community-focused, placebased, holistic, integrated, coordinated, multiple and sustainable initiatives (Ife, 2013) to be developed. Both aim to create the conditions for empowerment – for people in communities to increase their knowledge and capacity to engage in and support social, cultural and behavioural change; and among professionals such that they can understand local issues and gain local knowledge. In this way, learning and awareness-raising is a two-way process; this mutuality and reciprocity are also feminist principles of research (Pillow and Mayo, 2007). Gilchrist (2009) contends there are three major models of community development, each informed by different degrees of community participation and different political perspectives. A consensus model informed by a conservative political stance accepts that there is generic agreement about the ways in which social issues can be resolved and that responsibility can be placed on local communities for such resolution without change occurring in societal norms or arrangements. A pluralist model informed by a liberal political position holds that there are disadvantaged groups within the community, and community work can bring attention to them and lobby for basic change. Compared with the consensus model, more value is placed on community engagements and partnerships. The conflict model is guided by a radical political framework that recognises power differentials and structural and systemic disadvantages within the community. Community work, characterised by community organising and involvement, campaigning and advocacy, works towards challenging and changing the causes of oppression and inequality. Gilchrist (2009) notes that radical community work stresses people’s civil rights and aims for social justice. While each of the models’ influence was evident in informing the development and implementation of the WCFVP, the conflict model resonates most strongly with community-based family violence prevention strategies. However, rather than align solely with any single model of community development, the project worked from the idea of community development being a diverse and contextual process that was designed and adjusted to suit a particular “community” at that particular time and setting. This reflexivity meant that project participants were able to engage at a level and commitment that suited their particular interests, needs or ability to participate. The project worked from a feminist understanding of power – the ”personal is political” – recognising that participation and increased access to information and networks can itself be a political act through building individual and social capital and capacity. With this information about FV prevention strategies and community development models in mind, the next section of this chapter introduces the Whittlesea CALD Communities Family Violence Project and model in more detail.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

102

Preventing violence against women

A community development approach from the beginning: the Whittlesea CALD Communities Family Violence Project Background to the project The City of Whittlesea is a large interface local government area (LGA) in Melbourne’s outer north, home to both established communities in the LGA’s south and rapidly expanding population growth in the northern growth suburbs. Its population is diverse, with a larger proportion of people born overseas (34%) and a larger proportion of people born in non-English speaking countries (32%) than the Melbourne statistical average (Flory, 2012). Like other interface LGAs, it experiences pockets of intergenerational disadvantage in the south alongside growing social issues such as mortgage stress, social isolation and lack of community connections associated with poorly resourced, rapidly expanding growth areas. The LGA has some of the highest rates of family violence in the northern metropolitan region (WHIN, 2016), and CALD communities typically face additional barriers in accessing information, services and supports to address family violence. Impetus for the project originated in a scoping exercise undertaken by the Whittlesea Community Futures (WCF) CALD Cluster group with funding from the Scanlon Foundation.4 WCF is a partnership of multidisciplinary agencies working together to improve opportunities for people in the City of Whittlesea. The CALD Cluster’s Action Plan identified family violence as one of three key priority areas, with the community facing many challenges in service delivery and response. A project worker undertook the scoping exercise, overseen by a steering group of representatives from professional organisations.5 A range of methods were employed to explore local experiences of family violence, including direct consultations and interviews with survivors of violence, young people, community and religious leaders, and service providers. A needs analysis and service mapping were conducted, as well as an extensive literature review and analysis of local, national and international sources regarding the evidence base for relevant theoretical frameworks and good practice in preventing family violence. The scoping report concluded that the experience of family violence within CALD communities was multi-layered and complex; thus, a multi-strategy mix of prevention and early intervention strategies was required. The integrated, place-based model aimed to support CALD communities, newly arrived migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in the LGA to break the cycle of family violence and empower communities to confront and respond to the challenge of preventing men’s violence against women. The model and its evaluation were designed to be flexible and responsive to ongoing community needs and guidance, and implementation was overseen by both a steering group of professional organisations and a community advisory group. While the scoping exercise provides a valuable example of the involvement of local community members and organisations in the initiation, research and development of a tailored community project, the focus of this chapter is the subsequent model itself and its implementation and emerging outcomes.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

The integrated model The model incorporated six intersecting elements: 1

Coordination and integration. Following the scoping exercise’s philosophy of ensuring community representation, a steering group of implementing organisations was established to oversee the project. This was the first task of the project in order to improve coordination and integration of service delivery, response and prevention activities and strategies. 103

Deborah Western and Claire Varley

2

3

4

The steering group consisted of nine local, regional and state-based services working across the violence against women spectrum, many of whom had participated in the scoping exercise’s steering group. They included specialist family violence services, police, local government, community health and legal services, and settlement services.6 Empowerment of CALD women through women’s support groups. The model aimed to address the isolation of CALD women by increasing their social connectedness through participation in groups. Social groups were seen as crucial venues for providing information to women about their rights, access to services and support, and to strengthen their confidence in seeking this support. It was anticipated that these activities would also contribute to strengthening gender equality in terms of access to services and awareness of rights, thereby contributing to efforts to reduce and prevent family violence. Building the capacity of community and religious leaders. Through this element, the model aimed to increase the capacity of community and religious leaders to respond to individual disclosures of family violence in their communities as well as to work on a broader societal level to address family violence in their communities. The scoping exercise found that these leaders were often the first point of disclosure for women seeking support after family violence or for men who had used violence. The response received shaped women’s and men’s subsequent decisions and actions. When a response suggested that the acceptable action was to maintain the integrity of the family unit irrespective of violence (often going un-named), or other concerns, progress towards safety, women’s rights and gender equality was hardly likely. Prevention of family violence: early intervention in the settlement process. The model recognised that stressors in the settlement process may impact on the capacity of refugees and newly arrived migrants to initiate and preserve equal and respectful relationships. Early intervention during the settlement process, including the provision of information and education about respectful relationships, was identified as an opportunity to reach different family members at potential times of tension or transition and, therefore, of opportunities for change. Prevention of family violence: programs targeting young people. This element aimed to work with young people to cultivate and encourage equal and respectful relationships and to challenge and change violence supportive attitudes. It was closely linked to element 4. Reducing recidivism. Men’s behaviour change (MBC) programs aim to increase the safety of women and their children by addressing the causes of men’s violent behaviour and requiring men to take responsibility for their behaviour. This element aimed to increase access to MBC programs for CALD men through the development of language/culturally specific MBC programs.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

5

6

The role of research: a participatory approach to learning and community work Research rationale and methodology From inception the project intended to contribute to the evidence base for place-based, integrated community family violence prevention projects in CALD communities. The project evolved over time as funding was secured and in response to ongoing community-informed input and research. The research aimed to evaluate the model and, thus, research activities with community participants, facilitators and other stakeholders were integrated into the project. As each element was developed, funded and implemented, the activities and processes in that 104

Preventing violence against women

element were researched at, approximately, six monthly intervals. Building on the findings and outcomes of these individual research activities, the overall model was then researched to gauge its impact. Community development principles and a strengths-based approach placed community knowledge, expertise and experience at the centre of project design, delivery and evaluation. A participatory action research approach aimed for reflectivity and responsiveness, and this meant that community voices, aspirations and solutions were part of an ongoing cycle of adjustment and development. As Ledwith (2011) notes, research, particularly that of a participatory nature, is central to community development practice because it helps ensure that practice remains meaningful to changing social and political contexts. The prevention of family violence has attained a considerable profile in recent years in Victoria, Australia. This has resulted from factors including heightened public, media and government attention in the wake of increasing reports of family violence, public incidents of violence against women and their children, the appointment of Rosie Batty a survivor/advocate as Australian of the Year 2015, the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence which reported in 2016, and the launch of the state government’s 10-Year Plan to End Family Violence and its Gender Equality Strategy in late 2016. These factors have largely arisen from advocacy, awareness-raising, publicity and calls for legislative and policy change originating from communities amidst changing social and political contexts in which tolerance for family violence is being questioned and challenged. Defining the problem of family violence has come from communities, including workers on the “frontlines” of community work and women themselves, where the toll of injuries, loss, trauma and deaths is experienced every day. In order to ensure the relevance and utility of the WCFVP research for communities in a time of shifting understandings of family violence and innovative efforts to prevent it, a broad qualitative participatory action research (PAR) approach guided the selection and development of the research methodology, methods and ethical principles. PAR encourages community members to come together as co-participants, or co-researchers, in efforts to bring about social change (Heron, 1996). The philosophy here is that research is undertaken with people, rather than on them, and that they are active participants in discovering and creating new knowledge which can then generate further social change in their communities (Cahill et al., 2010; Heron, 1996). Processes of action and reflection are typically key components of research work within a PAR framework. Activities, programs, tools and resources are trialled and reflected upon in order to research what works and what impacts have occurred. Upon reflection, these actions may be refined, employed again or replaced with newly created alternatives, informed by the different perspectives of those in the community. The processes of action and reflection continue until those involved believe they have exhausted the learnings to be achieved and that collaborative change has occurred. The iterative, informative nature of PAR is clearly evident and fits well with the radical model of community development. Another key characteristic of PAR is that diversity within communities is acknowledged and valued because of the range of experiences, knowledge, skills and interest that are brought into community work and community-oriented research. Efforts to reduce power differentials between community members, between community groups, and between community members and any external researchers, are central. Given the theoretical understandings of family violence that underpinned the development and implementation of the WCFVP, critical-feminist community research principles were important inclusions in the research processes. Many feminist research principles reflect those within the PAR approach and include the valuing of diversity, efforts to acknowledge and minimise power differentials among community research participants, the drive to achieve social

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

105

Deborah Western and Claire Varley

change and transformation, and the foregrounding and valuing of typically marginalised and less visible community members (Ackerly and True, 2010) – in this instance CALD women experiencing family violence. Critical-feminist research principles also highlight the importance of recognising and challenging structural, systemic and intersecting oppressions in the community; a key radical community development principle too. Collaborative partnerships between academic researchers, community organisations and community members are commonly developed in PAR work and in community-based participatory research (Yuan et al., 2016). The Steering Group of the WCFVP elected to engage an external, independent party to research and evaluate the project, working alongside the project coordinator to design and deliver the research activities. Research methods included focus groups, semi-structured interviews, surveys/questionnaires, reflection activities, audits and program logic. Multiple methods and sources of data collection were undertaken in efforts to involve as many community and organisational participants as possible and to gain a variety of perspectives and feedback. Formative analysis (such as ongoing research and evaluation with support groups, facilitators and project staff) and summative analysis (such as surveys at the conclusion of a group activity) were undertaken.

Examples of research processes and outcomes: prevention as a participation process Research processes and outcomes from two elements of the model are now considered to illustrate how the cyclical, iterative process of PAR and the principles of radical community development helped to inform the ongoing development and refinement of the model. The two elements considered are: coordination and integration, and the empowerment of CALD women through women’s support groups (WSG).

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Project element: coordination and integration

The objective of this element was to establish a multi-agency steering group to oversee the progress, coordination, implementation and evaluation of the project. Two research methods were utilised to gauge how well the objective was achieved in the project’s first two years. Steering group (SG) members undertook ongoing, informal community-informed reflection in the SG and this comprised the participant-facilitated research component for this element. Focus groups conducted by the external researcher comprised the externally facilitated research. The data was transcribed, combined and thematically analysed.

Example 1: Cultivating a culture of continuing commitment to the project and the community action-focused dynamic within the WCFVP and steering group A focus on action and task completion by the SG was a key motivating factor in maintaining the generally high level of SG members’ involvement in project development and implementation. Consequently, continued momentum and progress with the project, both as a whole and with individual elements, occurred. Reflecting the action-reflection processes within action research, there was an underpinning agreement by SG members to complete actions decided upon during SG meetings and to report back on progress and outcomes at subsequent SG meetings. Tasks

106

Preventing violence against women included facilitating and contributing to workshops and information sessions, liaising with media and sourcing information for submissions. In this way, the work undertaken by SG members was not separate from their “usual work”. It fitted into the prevention of men’s violence against women work undertaken by their individual organisations and created a two-way, mutually beneficial dynamic between the SG and a range of community organisations. SG and project work fed back into organisational work and organisational work fed into the project work.

Example 2: Creation of the women’s advisory group (WAG) The women’s advisory group (WAG) was established during the first year of the project’s implementation on the project coordinator’s recommendation when she joined the project. Reflecting the inclusive nature of the project, her recommendation was that a group representing the target communities was necessary to ensure ongoing responsiveness and ownership of the project. The WAG provided ongoing community feedback and advice on all elements of the project to the project coordinator, and through her to the SG and the WCFVP overall. In the first iteration of this group, Sri Lankan, Indonesian, Malaysian, Indian, Iranian and Iraqi communities were represented. WAG members supported the project by facilitating engagement with community and religious leaders (element 3) and suggesting ways to make information sessions more accessible or relevant for women, including the development of CALD-specific family violence resources for use in the information sessions (element 2). In turn, WAG members undertook a series of training

Taylor and Francis

sessions to build capacity and confidence as community family violence resources.

Not for distribution

Externally facilitated research into the coordination and integration element The external researcher facilitated four focus groups with SG members over a period of two years. In addition, two electronic surveys (with the focus group questions) were available to SG members during the week of two of the focus groups in the event that absent SG members wanted to provide information and/or SG members who had attended a focus group wanted to expand on their feedback. Further adding to the data collection methods, one focus group with members of the WAG, three interviews with the project coordinator and one interview with the project support worker were held over the two years.

Example 3 : Researching the steering group The focus groups and interviews explored participants’ understandings of the coordination and integration roles of the SG and the WAG; how well the SG was meeting its purpose; its strengths and limitations; the WCFVP’s development and its achievements, strengths and challenges. The research confirmed assumptions that the multi-agency SG consistently and comprehensively oversaw the progress, implementation and evaluation of the project. Progress in original priorities such as the appointment of a project worker, completion of three rounds of WSG’s grants (continued)

107

Deborah Western and Claire Varley (continued) (as of 2016), initial engagement with religious leaders, and consolidation of the roles of SG members were evident from early in the life of the project. Foundational work around all six elements of the project, including those that were yet to be funded or fully implemented, had been undertaken and this contributed to the sense that the project was consistently evolving and being informed by the needs of the CALD communities. Indeed, this reflected one of the original aims of the project: to develop over time and to be continually informed in its development by consultation, evaluation, reflection, learnings and feedback. The innovation and thoroughness of this work, combined with the regular flow of information to and from the SG and consultations with community members, contributed to the legitimacy with which the community and organisations viewed the project.

Project element: empowerment of CALD women through WSGs The Scoping Exercise found CALD women often faced factors such as social isolation, language barriers, being newly arrived, and lack of community connections that prevented them from having access to information about family violence, legal rights, entitlements and services. This element of the model focused on supporting and expanding opportunities for CALD women to develop their knowledge about their rights and to access these services. A small-grants program was developed for new or existing women’s support groups in the City of Whittlesea that aimed to increase participation of CALD women. Family violence, community legal education and women’s leadership resources and training were provided to group facilitators and participants. In order to research the effectiveness of the WSGs and women’s experiences of participating in them, two research methods were utilised:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

1 2

Ongoing reflection and research activities completed by the women participants during the groups (participant-facilitated research) Externally facilitated focus groups with WSG facilitators

Participant-facilitated research into the empowerment of CALD women through WSGs element Reflecting the nature of community-oriented, participatory research and the importance of establishing safety and trust with research participants, research activities with women in the WSGs were integrated as part of each group session and were facilitated by the project coordinator with whom participants had an existing relationship. It is worth noting that community expertise was employed to ensure women’s safe participation in WSGs; while family violence information was a key component of these groups, terms such as “family violence” in advertising the grants or information sessions were never used. Before-and-after surveys included statements such as “I know a lot about what family violence is and what my legal rights are” for women to respond to along a simple Likert scale. These activities needed to be quick and straight-forward to complete, as well as ensuring they could be completed by women who spoke little or no English. These surveys not only provided information about participant learning and experiences, but gave the women an opportunity to reflect on their learning and what was changing for them. 108

Preventing violence against women

Example 4: Participatory action research with WSG facilitators Following the end of the first round of WSGs, facilitators reported that there was so much information provided in their sole training session that more time was needed to discuss it, understand it and plan how it would be incorporated into group activities. They also wanted strategies for managing disclosures from women in the groups, identifying and managing tensions or conflicts between group members and for responding to cultural differences. As a result, in years two and three, three training and information sessions were provided to group facilitators. These sessions covered “Establishing a group and group skills”, “Grant-writing and sustainability” and “Identifying and responding to family violence”.

Externally facilitated research into the empowerment of CALD women through WSGs element Information for the research into the WSGs was also sourced from focus groups with WSG facilitators and interviews with the project workers. The focus groups were held after the completion of all sessions for all groups in each round of funding. Facilitators were asked to reflect on and discuss their thoughts about the processes involved in the facilitation of the groups and the outcomes, achievements, strengths and limitations of the WSGs. Focus group discussions were transcribed and thematically analysed. Additional data came from the final written reports and financial acquittals from each group and quantitative data collected by the project coordinator.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Example 5: Prevention through participation and learning

A capacity building approach provided a solid foundation for the structuring and facilitation of the WSGs by resourcing the community to take action about family violence. While each WSG had an explicit purpose or focus, such as singing in a choir or learning recipes from different cultures, additional outcomes were identified for all groups. Chief among these was the opportunity for women to come together, have time to themselves, develop relationships, and share knowledge and experiences. A strength of group work is the opportunity for group members to realise they are not alone in their experiences. This was true of the group members in the WSGs and was particularly important in relation to women’s experiences of family violence. Identifying and building on opportunities for learning was a strong feature of this element of the project. The WSGs became key sites for family violence identification and disclosure as safe spaces were created to provide family violence information, awareness and prevention strategies. Women became more confident in seeking referrals to organisations such as legal services, police and family violence services. During and following the first round of WSGs, one in five women sought further information and advice outside the group. This increased to one in three women following year two. Some women engaged in further education and others became more involved in community activities as a consequence of attending their group and meeting other women in their community.

109

Deborah Western and Claire Varley

Discussion This section of the chapter presents thoughts and reflections on some of the strengths and limitations of the WCFVP and its model, as well as on community development as a method for working towards the reduction and prevention of family violence in CALD communities. In this chapter we presented two elements of a preventing violence against women model that largely worked. We did this because these two elements were the most well-developed at the time of writing and because we believed this contributed to the growing body of research that looks at what are effective preventing violence at work (PVAW) strategies. The five examples presented in the previous section illustrate components within two elements of the Whittlesea Community Family Violence Project and model that achieved their objectives. Although space prohibits presentation of a fuller account of the research outcomes, the final research found that a place-based, integrated, coordinated community-focused family violence prevention model for CALD communities had many strengths and successes. A variety of learning, training and participatory community activities combined with opportunities for people to share experiences with others in their community and take action for preventing family violence. Encouragement from community members to bring about change was a crucial motivating factor, whether this was in relation to women in their WSG supporting each other to seek information about intervention orders, or young people in respectful relationships, sport-oriented activities discussing their attitudes towards gender equality. The project’s stated intent to support vulnerable or marginalised communities to be active participants in prevention and intervention through development and ownership of the project was a central strength of the WCFVP model. The rationale for developing a multi-strategy mix of prevention and early intervention strategies to address the complex, multi-layered problem of family violence in CALD communities was borne out. Working on the different system levels of individual, family, group and broader community, and in different contexts such as with women in support groups and men in MBC programs, the model reflected the influence of the socio-ecological systems framework and the three models, particularly the radical model, of community development. By example, some participants wanted only to use the project to access information about rights and services to increase their personal knowledge about family violence. Other participants wanted to engage in more comprehensive capacity building so they could position themselves as community advocates or resources, building both their social power and skillset. Community-focused and informed leadership and coordination from the SG enabled oversight and integration of the various activities and elements of the model. Community development projects need to recognise whose voices are included and whose are not. At its core, and reflecting the characteristics of the radical community development model, the project aimed to increase the access and engagement of a section of the community who had been marginalised or ignored by “mainstream” prevention efforts. Strategies to facilitate opportunities to engage these voices included the WAG, which provided ongoing community feedback and guidance; the PAR process; and a flexible design to ensure responsive and adjustable delivery of the project. It is inevitable that the project did not engage all isolated or vulnerable community members, but this was never its intention. When viewed as part of the broader prevention work being done within the LGA, region and state, the project sought rather to engage community members who were interested or willing to be involved and provide them with consistent messaging and potential linkages to other prevention work. This fitted with the longer-term aspirations of prevention work in providing opportunities to initiate or encourage previously marginalised

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

110

Preventing violence against women

or excluded community members in the broader public discourse. Effective engagement was dependent on providing avenues to engage, capacity build and co-deliver projects alongside those to whom they were delivered. Limitations of the model included the lack of attention given to some marginalised voices. For example, WSG facilitators suggested that future WSGs make provision for the inclusion of women in lesbian relationships who have experienced family violence. This was an evident gap in the model; a radical community development model and a critical feminist intersectional perspective call for the inclusion of all community members in transformational change efforts. Some WSGs faced issues common to many groups in terms of competing power dynamics where assertive women were heard more often and exercised more influence than quieter women, less confident in their ability to communicate. This was an issue monitored and managed by WSG facilitators and will continue to be an area of further development with WSG members. Another area of the model requiring future attention and development is that of the community and religious leaders’ element. Not all leaders were ready to engage with the project or with the messages about family violence; some attitudes reflected the conservative, gendered stereotypes of women’s and men’s positions in the community and traditional values of keeping the family together at all costs. This element was an example of the long-term nature of family violence prevention work and the importance of establishing relationships with community members and leaders to keep opportunities for discussion and change open. Perhaps the most significant challenges to the project’s continuing development and implementation were funding and the long-term commitment to the prevention of family violence from communities, organisations and other stakeholders. While organisational partnerships were critical in the funding and resourcing of elements such as the MBC program, funding sources are often outside the control of communities and organisational priorities may change over time. The movement of key personnel in and out of organisations, and their changed availability to participate in prevention work, was a reality. A well-informed and resourced SG remained a crucial component in the successful continuation of the project and in managing these sorts of changes.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

How is change and transformation seen in PVAW work? At the risk of sounding too positive about the achievements of the WCFVP in its early years, or at least the two elements that were reviewed, this section of the chapter provides some thoughts about the notion of change and transformation in PVAW work. Reducing and preventing violence against women is an enormous task and clearly will not be achieved in the short term. Efforts from different sectors of the community, as acknowledged in documents like Change the Story and Victoria’s Gender Equality Strategy, are crucial. As a consequence, community development and community work must reflect each community, its structural elements and contexts, its organisations and its people. PVAW work is a relatively new field of change and development and so from that position, is still forming and evaluating what works and what does not. Revisiting the role that gender inequality plays in family violence and violence against women more broadly, provides an insight into the challenges associated with this work. Attitudinal change in stereotypical, conservative and gendered social norms and expectations about women’s and men’s “place” in society and how they are expected to behave requires long-term work and persistence. Not only change is sought; sustainability of that change is non-negotiable. In reviewing the development 111

Deborah Western and Claire Varley

of the WSGs and the participation of individual women in those groups, large-scale structural change towards gender equality and reductions in family violence are unlikely to be visible in the early lives of these groups, unless one looks with an informed perspective. Feminist community development approaches and feminist research principles remind us to look at individual stories of change, often at the micro level of change, and to gradually build a picture of how these individual stories from individual women contribute to more evident and growing experiences of gender equality (State of Victoria, 2016). Such examples include more women accessing legal aid to achieve safety from a violent partner for themselves and their children in their own homes; one woman no longer needing to prepare a meal and wash the dishes every night because her partner now believes that household tasks should be evenly shared in the family; or more adolescent boys bringing a mate to task because of a sexist joke. Without a feminist approach to, and analysis of, community development practices in relation to PVAW work, the “malestream” view of what constitutes transformation and change tends to prevail. In conclusion, this chapter introduced the Whittlesea Community Family Violence Project (WCFVP); an innovative community-based and community-informed initiative developed in response to the high rate of family violence in the City of Whittlesea and the need to establish an evidence-informed, integrated, place-based family violence prevention strategy for CALD communities. The development, implementation and continuing evolution of this community family violence project was explored in the light of radical community development principles, violence prevention frameworks and PAR. Research activities, embedded as core processes in the project design, highlighted achievements and strengths of the project and confirmed the importance of community participation and ownership in family violence prevention work.

Notes

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

1 The terms “men’s violence against women” (MVAW) and “family violence” (FV) are both employed in this chapter, but not interchangeably. MVAW is a broad term that refers to men’s violence that women experience largely because they are women. In this chapter, this terminology is used when referring to broader community prevention of men’s violence against women programs, activities and strategies. Where the term “domestic violence” typically refers to men’s violence against women in domestic settings between people who are, or were, in an intimate relationship, “family violence” also encompasses violence that occurs between other family members. Family violence is a term that many Australian Indigenous communities use (Domestic Violence Victoria, 2006; Victorian Government, 2005). In this chapter, “family violence” is used when referring to more specific awareness-raising and behaviour change activities centred on family contexts. 2 Deborah Western. 3 Claire Varley. 4 http://scanlonfoundation.org.au/who-we-are/purpose-history/. 5 These included community/welfare organisations, the police, community health, family violence services, local government and Whittlesea Community Connections who seconded the project worker. 6 Whittlesea Community Connections, City of Whittlesea, Salvation Army Crossroads Family Violence Service, Berry Street Northern Family and Domestic Violence Service,Victoria Police, Kildonan Uniting Care, inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence, Plenty Valley Community Health and Whittlesea Community Futures.

References Ackerly, B and True, J (2010), Doing feminist research in political and social science, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK. Bronfenbrenner, U (1979), The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. 112

Preventing violence against women

Cahill, C, Cerecer, D and Bradley, M (2010), ‘“Dreaming of . . .”: Reflections on participatory action research as a feminist praxis of critical hope’, Affilia, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 406–416. Commonwealth of Australia (2009), The national plan to reduce violence against women and their children 2010–2022, FaHCSIA, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra. Cusack, S (2009), Advancing women’s rights through human rights law: Possibilities and practical action, Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse, University of New South Wales, Sydney. Domestic Violence Victoria (2006), Code of practice for specialist family violence services for women and children, Domestic Violence Victoria, Melbourne. Flory, R (2012), Whittlesea CALD communities family violence project: Scoping exercise report, Whittlesea Community Futures and Whittlesea Community Connections, Melbourne. Fourth World Conference on Women (1995), Beijing Platform for Action, United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations, Geneva. Garcia-Moreno, C and Watts, C (2011), ‘Violence against women: An urgent public health priority’, Bulletin of the World Health Organisation, vol. 89, no. 2, pp. 2–3. Gilchrist, A (2009), The well-connected community: A networking approach to community development, 2nd edn, Policy Press, Bristol, UK. Heise, L (1998), ‘Violence against women: An integrated, ecological framework’, Violence Against Women, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 262–290. Heron, J (1996), Co-operative inquiry: Research into the human condition, Sage, London. Ife, J (2013), Community development in an uncertain world: Vision, analysis and practice, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne. Kearns, N and Coen, L (2014), ‘Charting the trajectory of domestic violence policy change in the Republic of Ireland since the mid-1990s: A path towards integration?’ International Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 1–8. Laing, L and Humphreys, C (2013), Social work and domestic violence: Developing critical and reflective practice, Sage, London. Ledwith, M (2011), Community development: A critical approach, Policy Press, Bristol, UK. Our Watch, Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) and VicHealth, (2015), Change the story: A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia, Our Watch, Melbourne. Pillow, W and Mayo, C (2007), ‘Towards understandings of feminist ethnography’, in Hesse-Biber, S (ed.), Handbook of feminist research: Theory and praxisi, Sage, London, pp. 155–171. Ross, S, Frere, M, Healey, L and Humphreys, C (2011), ‘A whole of government strategy for family violence reform’, The Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 70, no. 2, pp. 131–142. State of Victoria (2016), Safe and strong, a Victorian gender equality strategy: Preventing violence against women through gender equality, Melbourne, Department of Premier and Cabinet. United Nations (1993), Declaration on the elimination of violence against women, United Nations. United Nations Women (2015), A framework to underpin action to prevent violence against women. United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women); International Labour Organization (ILO); United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); World Health Organization (WHO) UN Women Headquarters. Retrieved from www.unwomen. org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/library/publications/2015/prevention_framework_ unwomen_nov2015.pdf?la=en&vs=5223. United Nations Women (2016a), Facts and figures: Ending violence against women. Retrieved from: www. unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/facts-and-figures#notes. United Nations Women (2016b), Global database on violence against women. Retrieved from: http://evawglobal-database.unwomen.org/en. VicHealth (2004), The health costs of violence: Measuring the burden of disease caused by intimate partner violence, Department of Human Services, State of Victoria. VicHealth (2007), Preventing violence before it occurs: A framework and background paper to guide the primary prevention of violence against women in Victoria, Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, State of Victoria. VicHealth (2009), Preventing violence against women: A framework for action, Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, State of Victoria. Victorian Government (2005), Final response to the Victorian Indigenous family violence task force: Final report, Department of Victorian Communities, Melbourne.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

113

Deborah Western and Claire Varley

Webster, K (2016), A preventable burden: Measuring and addressing the prevalence and health impacts of intimate partner violence in Australian women, ANROWS, Sydney. Western, D and Mason, R (2013), ‘Gender-based violence in Australia: A state-based joined-up approach’, in Nakray, K (ed.), Gender-based violence and public health: International perspectives on budgets and policies, Routledge, London. WHIN (2016), Violence against women: Information and facts 2015–16, WHIN, Melbourne. Retrieved from: www.whin.org.au/images/PDFs/FViolence/FVFactsheets2016/FVFactsheet_NMR_final_Dec_2016_ Final.pdf. Yuan, N, Gaines, T, Jones, L, Rodriguez, L, Hamilton, N and Kinnish, K (2016), ‘Bridging the gap between research and practice by strengthening academic-community partnerships for violence research’, Psychology of Violence, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 27–33.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

114

Part III

Indigenous marginalisation

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

8 Storying unarmed insurgencies Collective narrative methods for researching civil resistance Jason MacLeod

Introduction This chapter explores the use of collective narrative methods to research and contribute to unarmed insurgencies. Integrating narrative community work (Denborough, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014; Denborough et al., 2006) with a theory of civil resistance, as articulated by Stellan Vinthagen (2015), I outline methods for generating useful knowledge for theorists and practitioners. These theoretical and practice frameworks, and research methodologies and methods, are grounded in a particular place and the stories of those who live there. That place – West Papua, an Indonesian colony and Melanesian nation-in-waiting – is home to restless people and communities not content with the world as it is. I hope that by focusing on a particular place, people and struggle, I will raise more generalisable insights relevant to those working in other contexts or who approach community work with a different orientation. Throughout the chapter I use the notion of “witnessing” as a metaphor for praxis. I refer to research as witnessing, and the researcher as a witness, in three particular ways. First, I think of witnessing as observing, analysing and documenting, sometimes alone and sometimes as part of a collective process. In other words, as uncontroversial social science research. Second, I draw on the tradition of “outside witness” as described by narrative theorist and practitioner Michael White (1995, 1999, 2007) and developed for diverse community settings by researcher and practitioner David Denborough (2008), Cheryl White, Barbara Wingard and others connected to the Dulwich Centre in Adelaide (dulwichcentre.com.au/). The “outsider witness”, in narrative practice, is a third party, or parties, who acts as an audience to those telling or performing stories of their lives. These audiences are invited to listen to and acknowledge preferred stories and identity claims of the person or people the witness is accompanying (Denborough, 2008; White, 1999, 2007). Third, I connect research with the tradition of “bearing witness” as understood by many Quakers (Guiton, 2005) and others steeped in traditions of unarmed resistance. Bearing witness in this sense flows from the Quaker tradition of “speaking truth to power” (Tolles, 1956). Closely connected to ideas of “public witness”, “bearing witness” means taking collective and public action that is also nonviolent. Collective action can be either that which proposes positive changes that affirm the value of all life or action that opposes injustice (Deming, 1995). It

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

117

Jason MacLeod

seeks to contribute to a situation whereby human beings can live to their full potential and the living earth is protected. For Quakers, acts of “bearing witness” evolve out of a process of deep listening, responding to and testing the stirrings of one’s inward light which resides in the conscience.1 I think of “bearing witness”, and I use the phrase in this chapter, in the same way that Stellan Vinthagen (2015) describes nonviolent resistance: to act without violence and against violence.2 I use the term “bearing witness”, “civil resistance”, “nonviolent action” and “unarmed insurgency” to mean the same thing. Because much has been written about social science research, including methods for enabling participation and creative ways of documenting research, I will not address more conventional social science research methods like ethnography and interviewing, which are often entwined with collective narrative methods. For the same reason I will not directly examine participatory action research, or its derivative action learning, which I also draw on in my practice. Instead, I will explore the second and third ways of witnessing: research as an act of witnessing social movements through paying attention to, lifting up and strengthening self-identified liberating narratives and, research as bearing witness. In doing so I am interested in how ideas of witnessing and research might make a contribution to social movements. The chapter begins with outlining the context. I briefly share a little of my own biography and position myself as a researcher. I then discuss the setting in which my colleagues and I work. I introduce narrative community work before proceeding to unpack how to apply this to civil resistance research. Articulating both narrative community work and civil resistance creates the foundations for an exploration of narrative research techniques for storying unarmed insurgency across four dimensions: strategy, dialogue, norms and utopian enactment, the main part of this chapter.

Context

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

On my father’s side I am a fifth generation Australian, a descendant of crofters from Dail Mor,3 a tiny hamlet nestled into the Atlantic coast of the Outer Hebrides. My father’s people have been shaped by a deep attachment to the land, and a history of suffering and struggle against English colonisation, Scottish lairds and migration (Hunter, 2010; McIntosh, 2004). On my mother’s side I am a second generation Australian, a descendant from working class folk from Surrey, England. I disclose this history because knowing where we come from, the centrality of place, genealogy and being conscious of the ways in which our histories are entwined with colonialism, is essential for working with indigenous people. So too is a commitment to decolonisation and self-determination (Dé Ishtar, 2005; Land, 2015; Smith, 1999). In 1991 I was invited to stand alongside West Papuans enacting their own local and national visions of merdeka (freedom) (MacLeod, 2015a, pp. 86–107). In recent years, particularly since 2005, that work has become more structured. With a West Papuan colleague, Rose Moiwend4 and a wider diffused network of activists, we formed a small organisation, Pasifika, which contributes to social movement, inside and outside West Papua through popular education, action research and organising. The purpose of this work is to accompany West Papuans as they enact their political and socio-cultural aspirations. Pasifika’s research in West Papua is shaped by an epistemology concerned with the individual and collective process of making meaning. This attention to social constructivism is further influenced by critical social theory, particularly the tradition of popular education that traces its roots back to Paolo Freire (1996). However, this chapter does not explicitly explore either our epistemological standpoint or theoretical perspective. Instead, I focus on collective narrative methods and how these might be used to trace the multiple and diverse perspectives 118

Storying unarmed insurgencies

in civil resistance struggles, the forms which these narratives take, and the different ways people interpret the events and actions they are part of. This is a deliberate return to the art of storytelling as a method of researching civil resistance. The people and plots in these stories centre on the strategies and tactics embedded within acts of nonviolent resistance, the ways communities try to undermine state power, attract support of third parties and maintain individual and communal resilience in the face of repression. I am also directing my attention to the role of social norms, dialogue and utopian enactment in civil resistance movements. For those unfamiliar with the conflict or the geopolitics of the region, West Papua is the western half of the island of New Guinea. The eastern half is known as Papua New Guinea, an independent state since 1975. The western half of the island is known as West Papua, an Indonesian colony occupied since 1963 in much the same way that East Timor was prior to independence. The people of both sides of the island of New Guinea are Melanesian, historically, politically and culturally distinct from Indonesians. The border that separates West Papua and Papua New Guinea is largely artificial, a line ruled on a map in the mid eighteenth century by white folks arguing over the spoils of empire. The Muyu, Ok and Malind Anim, for instance, might have their food gardens on one side of the border and their homes on the other. With around 1,100 distinct languages, Papuans represent the most culturally and linguistically diverse people on the planet, a vital reservoir of human experience and knowledge. Five root causes drive conflict between the Indonesian state and West Papuans who long to be free: historical grievances surrounding the undemocratic transfer of sovereignty from The Netherlands to Indonesia; state violence from the Indonesian security forces; unregulated migration into West Papua by Indonesian Malays; economic exploitation; and institutional racism (MacLeod, 2015a). In West Papua, the root problem is political, not economic. Based on 16 years of fieldwork with West Papuans, inside and outside the country, it is clear to me that the overwhelming majority of Papuans, except for those displaced by extractive industry or transmigration projects, do not want for lack of food or development. If anything, economic growth-oriented development is the problem. Papuans want to make decisions about the things that affect them.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Narrative community work Narrative community work is a burgeoning field of practice and research (Denborough, 2008, 2012; White, 2003). The history – at least the history connected to the Dulwich Centre in Adelaide, South Australia, where I first encountered these methods – dates back to the 1980s when anthropologist and social worker, David Epston (2001), began to link those who “consulted him in therapy to others experiencing similar difficulties”, in ways that enabled people experiencing tough times to support each other. First employing fax machines, then later internet communication technologies, some of these support networks like “leagues of resistance” grew to have international dimensions. The first community gathering employing narrative methods occurred in 1994 in Camp Cooyong, South Australia. Initiated by the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia and the Dulwich Centre, the event brought together Australian Aboriginal people who wanted to respond to one of the recommendations in the official inquiry into Aboriginal deaths in police custody. The combination of community consultations (semi-structured informal interviews), a residential gathering and community rituals contributed to a collective document that “thickly described” (Geertz, 2000) Aboriginal healing knowledges and made these available for the wider community (Dulwich Centre Newsletter, 1995). Given the beguiling complexity, depth and diversity of narrative community work practice, a complete articulation and theorising of narrative community work’s core organising principles 119

Jason MacLeod

is beyond the scope of this chapter. However, there are four central narrative ideas that I wish to make explicit. They are: responding to community initiatives, externalising conversations, definitional ceremonies and co-research. The purpose of narrative community work is to strengthen community initiatives and nourish identities that act as bulwarks to distress and harbour potential for transformation. Narrative community workers attempt to uncover the implicit skills and knowledge, values and histories contained within submerged storylines. We are concerned with not only accounts of hardship but also of ways in which people respond to such difficulties. Through a combination of thoughtful questioning, documentation, ritual and folk culture, the narrative practitioner tries to make these “double-storied testimonies” more visible to those who articulate them (Denborough et al., 2006, p. 20). By “double storied testimonies” I mean narrative accounts that are one part story of suffering and another part story of sustenance and resistance. The stories that express the initiatives people take to sustain themselves and generate change might not be grandiose accounts of change. They may not even be sufficient to transform the situation. But they are always significant. People are often willing to participate in making their testimonies available to a wider audience when they know that this is part of making a contribution to others. This is particularly important when working with marginalised and devalued groups, who often feel “they can’t get their own life together, let alone offer something to someone else” (Denborough, 2008, p. 3). If people have internalised that they are somehow the problem, which is often the case with oppressed communities, then early work is directed at identifying that the problem is separate from, and outside of, the people experiencing it. A key tool for this is externalising conversations. An externalising conversation objectifies the problem, in contrast to unhelpful social practices of objectifying people. When “the problem ceases to represent the ‘truth’ about people’s identities . . . options for successful problem resolution suddenly become visible and accessible” (White, 2007, p. 9). In my work accompanying communities of people in resistance to the Indonesian government’s occupation of West Papua, we not only objectify “the occupation” we also objectify problems like “frustration”, “violence”, “lack of self-confidence” and “lack of self-belief”. In exploring these ideas, we have been influenced by practitioners in Malawi and elsewhere who have experimented with theatrical techniques to externalise problems (Denborough, 2008, pp. 204–207; Sliep, 2005). For example, we have encouraged people to see “The Occupation” as a particularly “nasty” creature, one with mythical, but not omnipotent, qualities. Drawing on responses from previous interviews, we then proceed to interview “The Occupation” asking, for example, where it comes from, what it does, its effects on communities, its purpose, how it sustains itself, who helps it, who its parents and children are. We enquire about its history and connections to other places and practices that help sustain it. These kinds of questions draw on people’s collective knowledge to build a group analysis that can simultaneously hold multiple and diverse narrative perspectives in tension with one another. These accounts, grounded in people’s lived experience, enable participants to piece together a detailed picture of power, how it works and the ways ordinary people get recruited into aiding and abetting their own oppression. They gain insight into the reality that they are not the problem; the “problem is the problem”. They begin to understand how the occupation has been built brick by brick. They start to identify the cracks and fissures where dissent might be channelled. The next key principle I illuminate is “definitional ceremonies”. First coined by anthropologist Barbara Myerhoff (1982, 1986) and later developed by Michael White (1995, 1999) and David Epston (White, 2007, p. 178), definitional ceremonies create spaces for people to tell or perform their stories before a chosen audience. This audience, described as an “outsider

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

120

Storying unarmed insurgencies

witness” in narrative work, responds to these stories with retellings that “are shaped by a specific tradition of acknowledgement” (White, 2007, p. 165). The ceremony concludes with the original storyteller giving voice to what they heard the outsider witness, or witnesses, say and what that means for them. These three steps – telling or performing a significant story or stories, the structured retelling by an outside witness, and the retelling of the outside witnesses’ retelling – might transpire in one place at one time, or they might occur across time and place (Denborough et al., 2006). In the second stage of the definitional ceremony, the outsider witness is encouraged to acknowledge what has been shared in ways that are categorically different from other social traditions of affirmation and appreciation. White (2007, pp. 190–194) found that a four-part structured response – encompassing identifying the expression, describing the image, embodying responses and acknowledging transport – contributes significantly to rich story development. Definitional ceremonies deepen analysis, activate a context conducive to collective action and, most importantly, from a social movement perspective, they draw in third parties into accompanying civil resistance struggles. Because these definitional ceremonies can be profound for those who participate in them, it is important to take time and to think carefully with key individuals and groups with whom the researcher is working about how they are structured and performed so that those at the heart of the research process – the co-researchers – experience a deep and genuine sense of acknowledgement. One of the most moving definitional ceremonies I have experienced concerned an Aboriginal Dance Troupe, Biddigal Performing Arts (April 2016) adapting and performing a collective testimony developed by Daniel Rayar, Tineke Rumkabu, David Denborough and myself (MacLeod, 2015a, pp. 234–242) to a wider audience as part of an opening to a conference, and conducted in the presence of a number of the original West Papuan story tellers. These West Papuans then responded to the kinaesthetic telling of the testimony with their own dance; a retelling of the telling. The testimony was later further developed by Biddigal Performing Arts in dialogue with West Papuans and Papua New Guineans and performed as “Ngali Guman – We Are One” in Cairns in December 2016. Definitional ceremonies such as these are alchemic spaces where the worlds of research, action, healing, community and performance collide and spark. Finally, as part of the process of entering a particular community and place, and joining with a particular struggle, it is important to create a small team interested in documenting the skills and knowledge of the community and then sharing these more widely as part of making a contribution to others who are going through tough times. These co-researchers help determine the research agenda, respond thoughtfully to ethical concerns, and help ensure that useful social knowledge is recorded and made accessible to a wider audience. Co-researchers become integral to linking this kind of research with building social movement power. Co-researchers add another layer of accountability – and community – to the research process. I now elaborate on my interpretation of “bearing witness”, using the work of Stellan Vinthagen (2015). This will lay a foundation for a later discussion about the contribution of narrative practices to researching civil resistance across Vinthagen’s four different dimensions. I then relate how narrative practices can assist in articulating and understanding insider accounts and activist wisdom of what it means to bear witness.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Bearing witness and civil resistance Civil resistance, or bearing witness, is collective action for social and political change that is not violent. At the same time, it is action designed to transform violence. In other words, it is shared action that is against violence and conducted without violence (Vinthagen, 2015). In 121

Jason MacLeod

the most significant theoretical development of civil resistance since Gene Sharp’s Politics of Nonviolent Action (1973), scholar-practitioner Stellan Vinthagen describes civil resistance as a force operating across four dimensions: strategy, norms, dialogue and utopian enactment. In recent years, the most thoroughly explored dimension of civil resistance has been strategy. Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan (2011), for instance, illustrate how nonviolent action is more effective than violence. Civil resistance lowers the bar to participation in social movements because when movements animate nonviolent action in ways that support ordinary people to withdraw their cooperation with unjust rulers, it raises political and economic costs for the opponent, shifting power dynamics in favour of just outcomes (Sharp, 1973). But nonviolent action can also be viewed as normative action, developing personal ethics, attitudes and behaviour in support of a just and sustainable peace as well as laying the foundations for more equitable and environmentally sound social, political and economic institutions, what Gandhi called the “constructive program”. These two dimensions – strategy and ethics – are the most well-known aspects of nonviolent action. Unhelpfully, the means and ends, normative action on the one hand and a commitment to concrete outcomes on the other, are often viewed along an antagonistic spectrum ranging from pragmatic to principled action (Burrowes, 1996; Stiehm, 1968). In regard to this dichotomy, Gandhi is upheld as the champion of ethics while Sharp is lauded as the doyen of strategy.5 Vinthagen’s model loosens up this polarised debate, recognising the importance of both while integrating two other features into a more holistic view of nonviolent action: dialogue and utopian enactment. Dialogue is about understanding the ways in which “nonviolence speaks”, creating the conditions for greater trust and deeper rational understanding between movement adherents, opponents and third parties. Utopian enactment, which can also be viewed as dramatic expression, departs from what is sometimes considered “rational communication”, to the realms of identity, emotions and aesthetics. Vinthagen argues for actions that reveal a world “as if” injustice and enmity were not present. Following Gandhi, he describes the importance of voluntary suffering to reach the emotional heart of others. He illustrates how the arts and humour are regularly used by nonviolent activists to promote human solidarity and develop action that explicitly counters and transforms “enemy images”. Vinthagen invites activists to simultaneously develop all four dimensions in order to cultivate more effective civil resistance. He also calls on researchers to explore, critique and improve this model of civil resistance through reflective experimentation and further research. Vinthagen’s theory – particularly his innovative synthesis of Gandhi and Sharp – resonates with my own experience of civil resistance and provides a framework for systematically developing nonviolent collective action. To illustrate Vinthagen’s thesis, I offer my own experience of using narrative methods to explore civil resistance. The strength of this approach is that it privileges insider views of civil resistance while simultaneously contributing to transformative action at the level of movements, campaigns, social action groups and the holistic development of individual activists. Its limitation is that it favours insider accounts that are specific and qualitative rather than generalisable and quantitative.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

A narrative technique for witnessing strategy Social movements and the more discreet campaigns that drive them, are more likely to succeed when they increase citizen participation and shrewdly apply strategy to undermine state and corporate control, build movement power and persist over time, even in the face of repression (Chenoweth and Stephan, 2011; Schock, 2005; Sharp, 1973). 122

Storying unarmed insurgencies

To research civil resistance strategy in these contexts, use is made of a technique known as “Playing for Life” (see MacLeod and Whelan, 2015, pp. 121–126) for a complete description of the process. This process supports activists to focus on their own latent strategy skills, to learn from one another and to interrogate power-over. The process, adapted from Dulwich Centre’s “team of life” (MacLeod and Whelan, 2015) and developed by David Denborough and myself, uses football (“soccer” in the Australian, New Zealand and North American context), as a metaphor for exploring people’s applied skills and lived knowledge about strategy. Football becomes a “scaffold” (White, 2007, pp. 263–266) for conversations about strategy and tactics for a very simple reason: people in West Papua are crazy about it. However, it is possible to use other metaphors to explore strategy. Previously we used gardening and fishing, activities that are part of everyday life in West Papua. The most important thing is to find metaphors or generative codes (Freire, 1996) that people are passionate about. In West Papua, when conversation turns to football, people sit at the edge of their seat, eager to participate in what quickly becomes a very animated discussion. After all, Persipura, West Papua’s national team, has won the Indonesian grand final several times. Papuans swell with pride when they talk about their team. Upon these football games people project their hopes and frustrations about the conflictual dynamics between West Papua and Indonesia. We use the language of football as a way to scaffold a bigger and deeper dialogue, tracking between people’s knowledge of football with a discussion of diverse skills and knowledges employed in campaigns of nonviolent action. When we first used this technique, we brought in a celebrated and wellknown football coach to assist the facilitation team. In these situations, we make time for people to draw, write songs, sing and perform their knowledge of strategy and tactics. In this way, we not only work with the excitement people have and generate, we also anchor their knowledge in song, dance and story which then become more easily accessible at later dates. The process thickly describes the kinds of things people have already achieved. When we have done this people become energised around diverse ways of storying success, elevating the skills and knowledge they have developed through action. It also prompts conversations about what else they might have done. As Yunupingu and others point out (Denborough et al., 2006), by richly describing and celebrating these kinds of skills and knowledges, it is more likely that these initiatives, even when insufficient, will be strengthened and, when applied again, can enhance collective action muscle.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Storying dialogue Dialogue for community development is profoundly relational work, both as “conversation in context” and also as “a mutual and critical process of building shared understanding, meaning and creative action” (Westoby and Dowling, 2013, p. 5). Community workers try to create dialogical conditions of curiosity, respect and mutuality, to enable bonding between people, the foundation of shared action. This is equally true for civil resistance struggles, but the focus of dialogue is strategically directed. Ultimately, protagonists use sustained collective nonviolent action to compel power-holders to enter into some kind of problem-solving strategy. This might include “track one dialogue” like political negotiations, treaties and other kinds of political processes. Vinthagen expands our perspective on dialogue by recognising that civil resistance also energises “track three dialogue”, engaging ordinary people in public and private conversations, drawing them into the movement, confronting and transforming enemy images, and sparking imagination about possible futures that are just and sustainable. Narrative community work supports both civil resistance and community development understandings of dialogue. What signifies narrative community work is that the dialogue is structured by eliciting double 123

Jason MacLeod

storied testimonies and conducting definitional ceremonies. First, stories of how people have sustained themselves through tough times and how they have struggled for change are explored. Then, skills and knowledge associated with particular initiatives, and the values, traditions, communities and history connected to stories of these initiatives, are unearthed and richly described. These stories are fashioned into collective testimonies. Often collective testimonies are created using the written word. But they might also incorporate song, images and dance. These “texts” become tools for articulating group analyses, inviting further dialogue with wider audiences and strengthening collective action. In the process of “Playing for Life” as described earlier, for instance, we begin with a dialogue about football, starting with curiosity about the strategies football teams use to win the game then moving to explore other notions of success such as strategies not to lose the game, strategies to win the tournament, strategies to win the tournament next year (not this year), strategies to keep the team together, strategies to lift spirits, strategies for developing popular support. These questions are examples of scaffolding conversations that help researchers excavate social knowledge. As the conversation moves to an exploration of campaigns of nonviolent action, we might introduce other questions such as: who are the coaches of their campaign? Who are the goalkeepers (the people who defend the campaign and the campaigners, or protect the thing/s that people care about)? Who are their key defenders? Who are in attack, helping the campaign to win? Care is taken to explore the role of others, not only individuals, but also institutions, God, the ancestors, nature spirits and other elements. We also ask what are the other key roles or positions in the campaign team? Who plays those roles in their campaign? Again, we use the metaphor of football as a way to help people recognise significant actions and norms that might otherwise be overlooked. For example, we might ask, who is the person who brings the oranges at half time and what do the oranges represent in their campaign? Who is in reserve but has not yet played? Why are they on the bench and not on the field? Or, who is on your team who has passed on, people who are no longer alive but who have played critical roles? We draw people’s attention to third parties, expressing curiosity about spectators, people who cheer on the “team”, hoping they do well. As we talk together we encourage the participants to name and find space for children, the next generation, older generations, ancestors, the land and even other species who might play significant roles. We ask what kind of values or beliefs does the team stand for? Are there particular cultural practices or traditions that support the team? For instance, is there a campaign theme song or dance? What about logos and uniforms? Are there any rulebooks that help people think about how they play and perform? What about sponsors; are there people who provide significant material support? As shown in Figure 8.1, these kinds of questions illustrate how we use the metaphor of football and key words associated with football as “scaffolding” for a deeper dialogue about social action. Particular care needs to be taken when this dialogue traverses tricky terrain, times when people have been deeply wounded. In West Papua, a place stained by more than 50 years of violent occupation, conversations inevitably enter painful dialogical spaces. How do community workers accompany people when they talk about these events and in ways that do not re-traumatise people or lay down additional layers of hurt? We are guided through this landscape by scholar practitioners like David Denborough (2005), Ignacio Martín-Baró (1996), Johanna Macy and Chris Johnstone (2012), and Angela and John Paul Lederach (2010). Emphasising that this work is not therapy – although it may well be therapeutic – vetting participants, privileging stories of sustenance and resistance, and highlighting the ways these can make a contribution to others, helps to steer the process away from that which could be re-traumatising.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

124

Storying unarmed insurgencies

Figure 8.1 An example of using the “Playing for Life” process to support mine workers in West Papua to reflect on the skills and knowledge involved in winning a 100% wage increase and forming a Papuan-led organisation

Narrating norms The third dimension of Vinthagen’s civil resistance framework concerns norms. It also includes the creation of new institutions that reflect a vision of a nonviolent society. Norms have long been studied in social science. They are the non-formal and often unwritten “rules” of expected behaviour of groups and people in various social situations. Normativity may be codified in legislation, but norms are different from laws. Norms include etiquette, rituals, traditions and cultural practices that members of groups – small and large – get socialised into through participation in daily life. Over time, these norms become internalised, regulating behaviour and belonging, influencing group members’ motives and habits. All groups, communities and societies have norms. It is one of the things that help bind people together, and in some cases, keep people apart. The normative worlds of people, however, even those from the same group, may look fundamentally different from one another. Nonviolent activists simultaneously uphold some norms while criticising and even breaking others. The civil rights activists who campaigned for equal rights in the United States, for example, claimed norms of equality, taking responsibility for one’s actions and not harming others in word and deed. At the same time, these activists also criticised and broke widely held social norms like obeying authorities. Through training and participation in the movement, social behaviour previously abhorred, like being arrested and serving time in jail, became reframed as badges of honour. This was true not only for the Civil Rights movement but also the Indian independence movement, as well as many others. Vinthagen argues that activists who participate in nonviolent resistance movements begin to internalise new social movement norms through training and education, joining social action groups, participating in campaigns of nonviolent action, living in communities of resistance and being part of creating cultures of nonviolence. Mohandas Gandhi, for example, developed norms of not just nonviolently resisting British colonialism. He also emphasised satyagraha, the individual search for Truth/God, actively building the nonviolent society, what he called the constructive program, and engaging in work for the good of all, sarvodaya. These were all important norms that gave the Indian independence movement its unique character.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

125

Jason MacLeod

Narrative research into the localised norms of “bearing witness” involve exploring the stories connected to the values, practices, communities and histories of people in nonviolent movements. The narrative researcher examining nonviolent resistance movements is curious about what norms people claim as well as what norms they break and why they might do so. In the case of West Papua, my colleagues and I explore the stories of why people take action, where that comes from and the traditions, communities and histories collective action is connected to. Collective narrative practice has assisted us to research the way norms are used to frame campaigns of nonviolent action. In the “Bring West Papua Back to the Family”, a campaign that successfully secured the United Liberation Movement for West Papua’s membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MacLeod, 2015b), we used narrative techniques to research the rich meaning of different “codes” that would mobilise people. In one workshop a mixed group of Melanesians, Polynesians and Micronesians “discovered” and vigorously discussed the ways in which the idea of “family” had deep social and political resonance across the Pacific. As a result, West Papuan leaders, solidarity activists and researchers developed stickers, posters and videos to widely socialise the meme “Bring West Papua Back to the Family” (see Figure 8.26), which was designed to support the West Papuan leadership’s goal to become members of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (Macleod, 2015b). We also use nonviolent action workshops as laboratories to simultaneously create, investigate and disseminate norms. Unity, for example, is a norm highly desired by the movement. It is also one that has been found wanting for decades. In the early years, all our workshops on nonviolent action were with single groups, defined by political affiliation, ethnicity or religion. Through research – observation, conversation, reflection and analysis – and with the explicit consent of movement leaders, we decided to use the workshops as spaces where we would bring people from diverse groups together and place them in situations which were both safe and

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Figure 8.2 A painting of the “Bring West Papua Back to the Family” campaign across Melanesia Credit: Michael Kumnick, Charlie Hill Smith and Pasifika.

126

Storying unarmed insurgencies

agitating. Drawing on the work of John Paul Lederach (1997, pp. 38–55), we selected mid-level leaders, young people with connections to both the leadership of their various groups and with the grassroots. We explored the problems of disunity, the exceptions where unity existed, as well as the practices that helped form it. Much of this was done indirectly, through participatory exercises that helped deepen people’s bonds with one another, without ever mentioning the word unity. It is this notion of performativity that brings us to Vinthagen’s fourth dimension of “bearing witness”, utopian enactment.

A technique for researching utopian enactment Narrative methods are ideal for researching utopian enactment, or dramatic expression, because they naturally have a strong performative dimension. In “utopian enactment”, one imagines the world “as if” the protagonists preferred future was already breaking through. However, for Vinthagen (2015, p. 209) utopian enactment is also about the willingness to “voluntarily suffer”7 in order to transform not only oneself, but the relational and emotional dynamics of conflict, including persistent and destructive “enemy images”. Vinthagen describes utopian enactment as: [a]cting in a way that looks towards the future within and in confrontation with a violent conflict, where the high risk of violent repercussions is taken into account. Utopian enactment is focused on an individual’s relationship to the other, the opponent, and it attempts to counter prevailing images, emotional predispositions and attitudes towards the activists by acting in a way that is the opposite of the expected behaviour. At the same time, it embodies an attractive, shared possibility of living together in respect and mutuality, in the hope of opening up new relationships with the other.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Narrative research methods and utopian enactment intersect when songs, dances or visual art are used to document people’s skills and knowledge of what sustains them and how they are creating change. Sometimes the dances, visual art or songs created are used in definitional ceremonies to powerfully retell narratives of resistance and sustenance. At other times, songs, dances and works of art developed through narrative processes can be performed outwardly to new audiences as new acts of resistance, reconciliation or conflict transformation. Utopian enactment as part of definitional ceremonies, or as acts of further resistance, becomes research when the knowledge generated is intentionally recorded, analysed and shared in ways that contribute to collective action. In my own work, my colleagues and I have incorporated song writing and art as expressions of people’s skills and knowledge of sustenance and resistance.8 Through delving into song we have also made space for people to uncover the ways in which artistic practices intersect with and strengthen identity and resistance. In order to give the reader a glimpse of what this might look like in practice, let us return to the example of unity mentioned earlier. In one memorable workshop, participants – Muslims and Christians, highlanders and islanders, women and men, young people and older people – sat up late one night and wrote this song: There are no highlanders, There are no people from the coast, There are no Christians, There are no Muslims, 127

Jason MacLeod

There are no islanders, There are no mainlanders, Refrain: There is no difference in race, religion or tribe We are all the same, members of the Papuan nation Let us unite For freedom9 The important thing here is not so much the quality – which was stunning – but the meaning the song has for the participants, the role of ritual in anchoring social knowledge in people’s consciousness, and the way emotion and culture can be used to confront and alter conflict dynamics. As we embrace performativity, we have come to develop a much deeper understanding and appreciation of the role of the arts in social struggle and how it influences the wider field in which social movement takes place.

Storying unarmed insurgencies Storying civil resistance involves several iterative steps. •

Relationship and invitation. Negotiating entry into any community and with any research population emerges from relationship and invitation. From this beginning the researcher seeks clarity about the nature and scope of the work. An important part of this discussion includes consultation with key leaders and elders concerning protocols and contributions the research and researcher might make to the community in question. This negotiation includes developing an accountability structure like a team of elders the researcher can go back to for advice and direction. The accountability group also ensures the research maintains a decolonising focus and character (Tamesese and Waldegrave, 1996; Tamesese et al., 1998). Form a research team made up of co-researchers. Co-researchers do not necessarily need qualifications or even formal education. It is more important to include people who are good at listening, well connected with their communities, and have a sense of passion and responsibility for the research question. Try to form small teams of at least 3 people but no more than 12. These teams need to include men and women and several insiders from the community in question. Develop clarity about the research methodology and how the research will proceed. Interview people and build relationships. Start with interviewing the co-research team. Support them to ask questions of one another. Think through how you want to record conversations. Is taking notes or using a recording device helpful or is it less intrusive not to record the conversation then retreat to a quiet spot shortly after the interview to write up the dialogue. Whatever the method, check the transcript with those interviewed. This step could become a form of outside witnessing. Consider engaging in group work. The context will determine if group work is possible or desirable. If it is, I recommend the tools described in Collective Narrative Methodologies by David Denborough (2008) and MacLeod and Whelan (2015, pp. 121–126). For groups that include people new to activism, or where it is important to educate people on the history of the particular social movement, consider using the narrative timeline (Denborough, 2008).

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution



• •



128

Storying unarmed insurgencies

• • • • •



• • •

Discuss and analyse emerging themes with co-researchers and key people from the community. These themes or “codes”, help direct the development of the draft collective testimony. Draft the testimony. Usually I do this work alone in a quiet place then take it to a small co-researcher group for comments and editing. Seek feedback on the draft testimony from those who have participated in the research. Check if there is anyone else to whom the research team needs to be accountable. Finalise the draft testimony. It is helpful to frame the final version as a draft. This gives permission to people to change it at any time. Explore dramatic expressions of the collective testimony. Seek out visual artists, singer songwriters, dancers or other artists to help anchor the testimony in expressions of folk culture. By linking collective testimonies with folk culture, the skills and knowledge contained within it become more accessible and more easily retrieved. Perform definitional ceremonies in ways that draw in new audiences. View these as a series of events, employing different mediums across time and space that build on one another. Consider using testimonies as “message sticks” to build solidarity across different communities separated by distance, language and culture (Denborough et al., 2006). Write up the research. This is, more often than not, a solo project. Check the final draft with elders and the accountability group. Discuss co-authorship. Link testimonies and definitional ceremonies with strategic campaigns of nonviolent action that bear witness to people’s hopes, dreams and values. From the beginning, be clear about why communities want to do this work in order for the research to be linked to bigger aspirations.

Taylor and Francis

Conclusion

Not for distribution

In this chapter I have looked at how narrative community work methods might enable researchers to explore each of the four dimensions of civil resistance – power-breaking strategy, normative action, dialogue and utopian enactment – and how the four dimensions interact and reinforce or complement the others. The narrative methods and framework described, provide unique entry points to understand civil resistance. They not only help uncover the pragmatic, rational and technical aspects of civil resistance, they also direct a researcher’s attention to activists’ normative worlds, exploring the realms of morality, emotion and culture. They enable rich story development, value the social knowledge of insiders and contribute to social movement, opening up space to explore and reflect back activist wisdom about what works, what does not work and why. These methodologies also hint at something else, a space where action, reflection, analysis and documentation mix, and a method for combining and working with these different energies. This intentional and skilful blurring of the lines between research, and actively bearing witness to social and political struggles through employing narrative methods, is, I like to think, moving research towards poesis. Fellow Hebridean and Quaker, Alistair McIntosh (2004, p. 153), thinks of poesis as crystallising subterranean thinking and latent desires into shared analysis and action for a better world. When it comes to social change, McIntosh writes, “academic insight alone [is] not up for the job. There also [has] to be magic: a constellating force that provide[s] vision . . . born of passion, of life . . . [contributing to] the making and fresh upwelling of reality”. This speaks to my experience. Narrative community work research methods have potential to help inject ingredients to alchemic social change. They put tools in the hands of researchers and community workers eager to identify, and perhaps even awaken and mobilise, endogenous resources that drive transformative change. 129

Jason MacLeod

To date, however, there has been very little social movement research using narrative techniques. There has been even less research into how collective narrative methodologies might support social movements. This chapter makes a contribution to that conversation. It is an approach to research that uncovers and makes visible activist wisdom in ways that inform theory and simultaneously contribute to building social movements. Experimentation with collective narrative methods to investigate civil resistance leaves me with lingering hopes that in addition to better understanding the dynamics of civil resistance, we might also disturb problem-saturated conversations, enflame desires and ignite action for a world much better than the one we have.

Acknowledgements Thank you to Lynda Shevellar, Peter Westoby, Gerry Guiton, David Denborough and Anna Johansson for helpful comments on earlier versions of the text.

Notes 1 As Guiton (2005) writes, Quakers relate to the conscience not as God but as a source through which to access that of God. While the “voice” of the conscience may be changeable it is stirred by the Spirit, which is eternal. Spirit speaks to us through the conscience, in stillness and silence, leading us towards Truth/God, even though we can only ever know it partially and relatively. So for Quakers “bearing witness” can also be understood as nonviolent action in response to the leadings of the Spirit. 2 I use violence in the same way that Johan Galtung does, acknowledging its direct, structural, cultural and ecological dimensions (Galtung, 1969, 1990). 3 Dalmore in English. 4 Rose Moiwend asks that she be named and recognised as a researcher and practitioner. This work would not be possible without her. 5 This false dichotomy ignores the fact that Sharp entered the field out of an ethical concern about the US government’s support of the Korean War, spending significant time in jail for conscientious objection. It also overlooks the reality that Gandhi was a master strategist, willing at times to make very pragmatic decisions. 6 From left to right the five executive members of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua: Benny Wenda, Leonie Tanggahma, Octo Mote, Derek Manuarii (Solomon Islands MP), Rex Rumakiek and Jacob Rumbiak. Behind are the flags of West Papua, The Republic of South Maluku and Vanuatu. The campaign resulted in the ULMWP becoming a member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. At the same time, the Indonesian government also became a member, effectively turning the sub-regional organisation into a permanent forum for dialogue. Credit: Michael Kumnick, Charlie Hill Smith and Pasifika. 7 Voluntary suffering is not readily embraced in some contexts where I work. In these situations, I find myself referring instead to the willingness of West Papuans to persist in a just cause even in the face of threats, harassment, intimidation and violence, and doing so in ways that respect the dignity and humanity of the other. In West Papua it often means holding firmly to one’s “truth” and a commitment to love even when treated brutally. I have seen that quality exhibited over and over again by many West Papuan activists. 8 See also David Denborough (2002). 9 Tak ada orang gunung / Tak ada juga orang pantai / Tak ada orang Kristen / Tak ada pula orang Muslim / Tak ada orang pulau / Tak ada orang tanah besar. / Refrain:Tak ada perbedaan ras Papua, agama dan suku / Kita semua sama-sama Bangsa Papua (x2) / Mari kita jadi satu / Untuk bebas.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

References Burrowes, RJ (1996), The strategy of nonviolent defense: A Gandhian approach, State University of New York Press, Albany, NY. Chenoweth, E and Stephan, MJ (2011), Why civil resistance works: The strategic logic of nonviolent conflict, Hoffman, B (ed.), Columbia studies in terrorism and irregular warfare, Columbia University Press, New York. 130

Storying unarmed insurgencies

Dé Ishta, Z (2005), Holding Yawulyu: White culture and black women’s law, North Melbourne, Spinifex Press. Deming, B (1995), ‘On revolution and equilibrium: Liberation’, in Lynd, S and Lynd, A (eds), Nonviolence in America: A documentary history, rev. ed., Orbis Books, Maryknoll, NY. Denborough, D (2002), ‘Community song writing and narrative practice’, Clinical Psychology, vol. 17. Retrieved from: http://dulwichcentre.com.au/community-song-writing-and-narrative-practice. Denborough, D (2005), ‘A framework for receiving and documenting testimonies of trauma’, The International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, vols 3–4, pp. 34–42. Denborough, D (2008), Collective narrative practice: Responding to individuals, groups, and communities who have experienced trauma, Dulwich Centre Publications, Adelaide. Denborough, D (2010), Working with memory in the shadow of genocide: The narrative practices of Ibuka trauma counsellors, Dulwich Centre Publications, Adelaide. Denborough, D (2012), ‘Visiting memories together: The use of collective narrative pedagogy in Srebrenica’, in Westoby, P and Shevellar, L (eds), Learning and mobilising for community development: A radical tradition of community-based education and training, Ashgate, Farnham, UK and Burlington, VT. Denborough, D (2014), Raising our heads above the clouds: The use of narrative practices to motivate social action and economic development. The work of Caleb Wakhungu and the Mt Elgon Self-Help Community Project, Dulwich Centre Publications, Adelaide. Denborough, D, Koolmatrie, C, Mununggirritj, D, Marika, D, Dhurrkay, W and Yunupingu, M (2006), ‘Linking stories and initiatives: A narrative approach to working with the skills and knowledge of communities’, International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, vol. 2, pp. 19–51. Dulwich Centre Newsletter (1995), Reclaiming our stories, reclaiming our lives, Dulwich Centre Publications, Adelaide. Epston, D (2001), ‘Anthropology, archives, co-research and narrative therapy’, in Denborough, D (ed.), Family therapy; Exploring the field’s past, present and possible futures, Dulwich Centre Publications, Adelaide, pp. 177–182. Freire, P (1996), Pedagogy of the oppressed, trans. Myra Bergman Ramos, Penguin, London. Galtung, J (1969), ‘Violence, peace, and peace research’, Journal of Peace Research, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 167–191. Galtung, J (1990), ‘Cultural violence’, Journal of Peace Research, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 291–305. Geertz, C (2000), Available light: Anthropological reflections on philosophical topic, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. Guiton, G (2005), The growth and development of Quaker testimony 1652–1661 and 1960–1994: Conflict, nonviolence, and conciliation, Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY and Queenston, ON and Lampeter, Wales. Hunter, J (2010), The making of the crofting community, Birlinn, Glasgow. Land, C (2015), Decolonizing solidarity: Dilemmas and directions for supporters of Indigenous struggles, Zed Books, London. Lederach, A and Lederach, JP (2010), When blood and bones cry out: Journeys through the soundscape of healing and reconciliation, University of Queensland Press, Brisbane. Lederach, JP (1997), Building peace: Sustainable reconciliation in divided societies, United States Institute of Peace Press, Washington, DC. MacLeod, J (2015a), Merdeka and the morning star: Civil resistance in West Papua, University of Queensland Press, Brisbane. Macleod, J (2015b), ‘A new hopeful chapter in West Papua’s 50-year freedom struggle’, Waging Nonviolence. Retrieved from: wagingnonviolence.org/feature/new-hopeful-chapter-west-papuas-50-year-freedomstruggle-begins/. MacLeod, J and Whelan, J (2015), People power manual: Campaign strategy, The Change Agency and Pasifika, Brisbane, pp. 121–126. Macy, J and Johnstone, C (2012), Active hope: How to face the mess we’re in without going crazy, Finch Publishing, Sydney. Martín-Baró, I (1996), ‘Writings for a liberation psychology’, in Aron, A and Corne, S (eds), Writings for a liberation psychology, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA and London. McIntosh, A (2004), Soil and soul, Aurum Press, London. Myerhoff, B (1982), ‘Life history among the elderly: Performance, visibility and remembering’, in Ruby, J (ed.), A crack in the mirror: Reflexive perspective in anthropology, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, PA, pp. 99–117. Myerhoff, B (1986), ‘Life not death in Venice: Its second life’, in Turner, V and Bruner, E (eds), The anthropology of experience, University of Illinois Press, Chicago, IL, pp. 261–286.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

131

Jason MacLeod

Schock, K (2005), Unarmed insurrections: People power in nondemocracies, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN. Sharp, G (1973), The politics of nonviolent action, Porter Sargent and Extending Horizons Books, Boston, MA. Sliep, Y (2005), ‘A narrative theatre approach to working with communities affected by trauma, conflict and war’, International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, vol. 1, pp. 65–71. Smith, LT (1999), Decolonizing methodologies: Research and Indigenous peoples, Zed Books, London and University of Otago Press, Otago, New Zealand. Stiehm, J (1968), ‘Nonviolence is two’, Sociological Inquiry, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 23–30. Tamesese, K and Waldegrave, C (1996), ‘Cultural and gender accountability in the “just therapy” approach’, in White, C, McLean, C and Carey, M (eds), Men’s ways of being, Westview Press, Boulder, CO, pp. 51–62. Tamesese, K, Waldegrave, C, Tuhaka, F and Campbell, W (1998), ‘Furthering conversation about partnership and accountability: Talking about issues of leadership, ethics and care’, Dulwich Centre Journal, vol. 4, pp. 51–62. Tolles, FB (1956), The Ward lecture 1956: Quakerism and politics. Quaker Pamphlets Retrieved from: www. quaker.org/pamphlets/ward1956a.html. Vinthagen, S (2015), A theory of nonviolent action: How civil resistance works, Zed Books, London. Westoby, P and Dowling, G (2013), Theory and practice of dialogical community development: International perspectives, Routledge, London and New York. White, M (1999), ‘Reflecting teamwork as definitional ceremony revisited’, Gecko: A Journal of Deconstruction and Narrative Ideas in Therapeutic Practice, vol. 2. pp. 55–92. Reprinted in White, M (2000), Reflections on narrative practice: Essays and interviews, Dulwich Centre Publications, Adelaide, pp. 59–85. White, M (2003), ‘Narrative practices and community assignments’, International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, vol. 2, pp. 17–55. White, M (2007), Maps of narrative practices, W.W. Norton, New York. White, M (1995), ‘Reflecting teamwork as definitional ceremony’, in White, M (ed.), Re-authoring lives: Interviews and essays, Dulwich Centre Publications, Adelaide, pp. 172–198.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

132

9 “Singing on country and singing for country” Music in work with Australian Aboriginal communities Dave Palmer

Introduction This chapter takes the reader throughout remote Aboriginal Australia, examining the part music and song making plays in community development. It is based upon recent research carried out in the Kimberley, Pilbara, and Central Australian regions of Australia and includes a discussion of the efficacy of combining song making, music and community development. In particular, the chapter will draw out how traditional music and contemporary practices worked in tandem to help reinvigorate Aboriginal communities. The discussion in this chapter is based on a number of ethnographically based “evaluation” studies of Aboriginal community-controlled projects that seek to find solutions to a range of social challenges. The researcher’s role had him “following along” with the work and was prompted by the triple need to: 1) respond to the reporting obligations of funding bodies; 2) document processes used by Aboriginal organisations; and 3) reflect upon the success and efficacy of projects. The various evaluations involved attempts to accommodate the demands of an “audit culture” (with its obsession to “measure” outcomes against contracted objectives) with a more open and reflexive approach that allowed for observations to be made about practice, unintended consequences and community benefits (Felices-Luna, 2014, pp. 195–215). The research approach adopted drew upon a mix of traditions including critical ethnography, collective narrative practice, post-colonial theory, social program evaluation, action research, dialogical induction and Aboriginal ontology. Importantly, the work was carried out with the invitation of local groups; was designed to be relevant and provide useful observations to practitioners; was capable of combining local people’s objectives as well as outside funding bodies; and was shaped by an understanding of local traditions, language and practices.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

The “first story” – contemporary Aboriginal Australia From the late nineteenth century to the 1960s, many remote Aboriginal towns and settlements were created as a consequence of the multiple influences of pearling, mining and pastoral activity. For much of this period the larger regional population in places like the Kimberley, Pilbara and 133

Dave Palmer

Central Desert remained Aboriginal people, many of whom provided cheap or unpaid labour for industry. As a consequence, many of today’s senior people grew up close to their traditional lands, combining seasonal labour and the customary economy to subsist. Until the 1960s, there were strict controls and curfews placed on Aboriginal people’s movement to and within towns. Camps on the periphery of pastoral stations became home for many. With the introduction in 1968 of award wages for Aboriginal workers, many were forced off their country and moved as “refugees” to town reserves (Palmer and Buchanan, 2007). In the 1980s people started moving back to country, establishing remote communities on small annexed sections of pastoral leases or as part of reacquired Aboriginal land. For some of this time governments offered some economic support, providing infrastructure funding, work for the dole support and servicing support (i.e. education, welfare, health services). Some of these communities have failed to survive given the diminution of government support, poor access to services and unsustainable work opportunities. However, some have managed to stay, drawing on a bare-bones “hybrid” economy (Altman, 2005). Currently, many of these places hold onto a relatively young population, in contrast to the pattern of ageing in non-Aboriginal Australia. There are enormous challenges confronting these young people. Jobs and training opportunities are few. Although many communities have small local schools with dedicated and talented teachers, access to diverse learning opportunities is limited. Support services are often hundreds of kilometres away, particularly mental health support services. Travelling through these places it is immediately apparent that despite the many years of resource development, pastoral wealth and pearling success, many Aboriginal people have benefited little. Today, there is no shortage of challenges facing these same families (Edmunds, 2012). This includes problems associated with alcohol and substance misuse, challenges associated with child safety and wellbeing, poor educational participation and school attendance, family violence, overcrowding of houses, poor health and life expectancy, low labour market participation, and unsatisfactory access to land and heritage management (Shanks, 2009). Aboriginal people are also disproportionately incarcerated. For example, in Western Australia, while only representing 3% of the state population, Aboriginal people account for 39% of the adult prisoner population (WA Department of Corrective Services, 31 March 2015). These social facts are well-known and make up a familiar storyline about contemporary Aboriginal Australians. We might call them the familiar “first story” of dysfunction, social alienation and despair. This “first story” of Aboriginal Australians is laden with massive trauma, challenge and sadness (Denborough, 2008). As Denborough observes, this “first story” of problematic conditions tends to shape the way we think about work with community. It is not an untrue story, but it is an incomplete story. Also, importantly, this general narrative can be very debilitating. As Denborough (2014, p. 25) says, if practitioners and communities come to believe that their story only has problems, tragedies and insurmountable trauma then it becomes very difficult to take action.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Research, music and getting to the heart of the Aboriginal story On the other hand, communities have a second story, indeed many other stories. In every Aboriginal community I have visited there is a “second story” of extraordinary strength and resilience in and around these communities. In a range of places law and culture are in the midst of a renaissance. Many local organisations are taking on leadership in housing, education, land and sea management, and heritage preservation. Locally produced fine art, media and business enterprises are on the rise. Aboriginal involvement in a range of small businesses in tourism, mining, health, cultural development and land management is slowly on the rise. 134

“Singing on country and singing for country”

Turning to these “second stories” can be of enormous value, particularly for researchers. They can help us more deeply understand what has happened to a community. They can assist communities “reframe”, revise and retell their stories, helping them to take more charge and celebrate their own agency. They can, using the words of the late Michael White, help researchers: Find sparkling actions that are often discounted . . . find fascination in experiences previously overlooked and find solutions to problems and predicaments in landscapes often previously considered bereft. (Cited in Denborough, 2014, p. 25) Turning to these “second stories” is also important because they are shaped by the language and ontologies of Aboriginal people. These differ enormously from the structure and framing that “outsiders” rely upon. Typically, “Western” researchers approach their work with Aboriginal groups using the following narrative structure as a frame, taking much of its inspiration from romantic or classic racialised traditions. Here, so the story goes, Aboriginal knowledge and Aboriginal people have been smashed (often to the point of “extinction”) by outside forces. Ironically this “story” purportedly lays the way for more research. I say ironically because, as Edward Said and others have reminded us, science and the academy have long been deeply implicated in the process of colonial subjugation of Aboriginal knowledge and have since played a huge part in the “Orientalisation” of Aboriginal knowledge (Said, 1978). This “death of culture” thesis represents Aboriginal people as “broken people”, culturally deprived and lost, devoid of any traditional knowledge and living in dysfunctional states with little access to the knowledge, language and benefits of modernity. The only hints of their “authentic” knowledge remain in remnant artefacts, often called “tangible heritage”, and in the form of burial sites, rock art, tools and the occasional scared tree. Conveniently, this ontological framing sets up and supports the emergence of “new high priests” of Aboriginal story (Buchanan et al., 2016). In contrast, Aboriginal ontologies tend to have a different narrative structure, drawing upon different ways of framing. In these sets of stories, there is an interconnected relationship between knowledge/law (tjukurpa), country (ngurra), family and community relationships (waltja), and cultural safety, spirit and health (ipilypa). Where all elements exist, knowledge will flourish. Importantly, the ongoing health (what “Westerners” might call knowledge integrity), of a community is held in song, on country, through Kanyirninpa (holding knowledge across the generations) (McCoy, 2008). In this way, Aboriginal knowledge is a living thing, made alive through story and song, visits to country and maintained by good relationships across family. Rather than collecting and capturing it, knowledge is maintained by dancing it, singing it, playing it, speaking it and sharing it. In this way, the knowledge experts are the dancers, singers, storytellers, teachers, and carers of children. In other words, the way that knowledge is made strong and brought back from “sleeping” is to reignite its production. Aboriginal communities don’t necessarily put knowledge somewhere (like books, museums, dictionaries, etc.), they get it happening, through song and story. This shaped an understanding of music and story as research methodology as well as research subject matter. In other words, the research process adopted with each of the three projects involved participating in the active process of 1) making music, 2) telling stories and 3) being drawn into the ontological frames of knowledge/law (tjukurpa), country (ngurra), family and community relationships (waltja), and cultural safety, spirit and health (ipilypa).

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

135

Dave Palmer

In the case of the research cited in this chapter, the methodology adopted also drew heavily upon direct participation in music production. It involved what in Western traditions we describe as ethnographic participation. In particular it involved learning language, story and song; listening, at times playing, singing and participating in performance. At times this necessitated joining project work as a ukulele player, singer, percussionist, music student and workshop participant. In all three cases it involved joining the project work on many occasions to “track along” with activities. This involved dropping the illusion that there is a division between “knowing and doing” (Edwards and Thomas, 2010, p. 409). Instead it was necessary to adopt a research gait (or way of being) where reflection on the experience of the practice is the methodology. As those following the reflective practice traditions observe, the most powerful “technologies” for examining experience were to be “stories and songs (narrative and musical accounts of experience) and dialogue (building thinking about experience out loud)” (Amulya, n.d., p. 3).

The value of music to community Even if we have no sense of the value of music in Aboriginal ontology, we can accept that music has been central both in the resilience and the telling of this “second story”. Indeed, there is now some good “Western” generated evidence that demonstrates a relationship between involvement in music and positive social achievements in many of these settings. The research shows us that from the earliest of developmental stages children who take musical training do much better in things such as language, literacy, hearing discrimination, timing and motor skills control (Williamson, 2014, p. 41). This is because music exercises neuronal function, helping us become cognitively and emotionally fit (Sennett, 2008, p. 274). In part this is because listening and playing music is not just something we do with our mind and ears, it is also motoric. As Nietzsche (cited in Sacks, 2008, p. xii) wrote, “we listen to music with our muscles”. Music is also critical in the development of one’s capacity for social and intellectual flexibility and improvisation. It helps exercise dexterity, allowing us to metamorphose and reconfigure socially across a range of different settings. For example, the ability to code-switch (a skill increasingly necessary in the global economy) and move between languages, work and cultural settings, is specifically associated with many musical forms such as jazz, blues and country. Thus, playing music helps people become better at negotiating borders, edges, dealing with unforeseen circumstances, following rules and conventions while experimenting with possibilities and creating new rules (Sennett, 2008, p. 237). Music is also good for our mental health. Mood and emotion management are strongly shaped by music. The research backs up what most of us know from experience, that music can be very powerful in influencing feelings of happiness, sadness, excitement, peace and arousal (Bicknell, 2009, p. 57). Music, even in its passive use, has a well-established correlation with other associated body markers such as lowering of heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, muscular tension and oxygen consumption. This in turn leads to a reduction in pain, anxiety and stress. All of these combined benefits can lead to other healthy outcomes. Research with people who have undergone spinal surgery established a correlation between the use of favourite music with the ability to control and limit pain medication (Williamson, 2014, p. 54). This is because music aids with the release of neurotransmitters and natural opiates (for example, dopamine), helps with the reduction in the levels of cortisol and increase salivary immunoglobulin A, a natural antibody in our immune system (Williamson, 2014, pp. 202–203). Not surprisingly music is

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

136

“Singing on country and singing for country”

now being used in a range of therapies, particularly associated with the treatment of depression, schizophrenia, substance use, learning difficulties, insomnia, acquired brain injury and various forms of dementia (Sennett, 2008, p. 269; Williamson, 2014, p. 218). “Active” involvement in music is also directly correlated with other positive social outcomes such as community building, social solidarity and respectful treatment of others. This occurs in the earliest of stages in the human lifecycle when music and musical activity helps to build and buttress early attachment between babies, their parents and other caregivers. Musical experience can set off certain neurotransmitters, such as oxytocin and endorphins, which are instrumental in “dissolving” our sense of isolation. In this way, music acts as a “biotechnology” for group formation (Freeman cited in Bicknell, 2009, p. 107). Music is also very useful in helping encourage collective action and group dynamics. Understanding this has led political leaders across millennia to draw on song, beat and rhythm as tools for organising their charges to march long distances and fight for their interests. Any fan of exercise will tell you of music’s value during “workouts” (Bicknell, 2009, p. 98). Likewise, nation making would not be possible without the mobilisation of music, in the form of anthems, slogans and folktale (Anderson, 1983). Music is also very important in communication. It often helps people reduce barriers associated with language and cultural difference. Its power in evoking emotions and expressing non-verbal meaning makes it a perfect tool for those seeking to build relationships across cultures, age, gender, ability and learning. As Scrutton (cited by Bicknell, 2009, p. 130–131) so poetically puts it, when we play music together we are forced to respond to others, moving with them and their timing, negotiating sound, pitch, timbre and melody, often building harmony. Clearly music is many things to many people. It makes us feel better, relieves boredom, takes us to other places, provides a rhythm in life, helps us contend with physical effort, meditate, prepare our minds and drives our desire (Bicknell, 2009, p. 141). Perhaps its breathtaking power is in its ability to influence on all of these levels, bringing us together to help forge healthy community.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Accounts from Aboriginal community development As many have observed, singing, dancing, painting and performing ceremony has long been used to help maintain and build Aboriginal people’s connection to country and to each other. Indeed, for many, country, community and “singing” are inseparable. The practice of singing is literally a way of life, a way of bringing country to life and in turn the way one comes to life in country (Muecke, 1997). As the musicologist Catherine Ellis (1985) so clearly put it when talking about Anangu culture, “music is the central repository of knowledge”. Ellis’s mentor Ted Strehlow made similar observations about Arentte in Central Australia: The whole life of the region was, in a sense, conducted according to song, the secrets of which were central to the laws of the culture . . . the whole region was animated by song that gave almost everything – fauna, flora, much of the topography – meanings. The terrain was a narrative, and song, like rain, united the sky with the earth, and day with the stars of the night . . . To sing the song was to transmit proprietorial responsibilities to others. (Cited by Hill, 2002, p. 44) It is then not surprising to see that music is featuring centrally in a range of community development projects. What follows is a description of how this is occurring in four different places. 137

Dave Palmer

Yijala Yala and the Murru Band Murru is a story of how music has drawn those involved back into processes that have always been a part of the cultural and spiritual life of the Ngarluma, Yindjibarndi and Banyjima people right back to the ancestors who sang petroglyphs (rock art) onto the rocks of the region, through to the present where a community is using music, theatre, film and other media to re-write a story and heal themselves and their families. In 2010, arts and community development organisation Big hART began work in Roebourne (in the Pilbara region of Western Australia) when members of the Aboriginal community asked Woodside Energy to support an exploratory arts-based project. Woodside, through its Conservation Agreement with the Australian Government, were keen to support work to protect, identify, manage and transmit knowledge about the heritage of the hugely significant Burrup Peninsula and Dampier Archipelago with its concentration of hundreds of thousands of rock engravings, ceremonial standing stones, stone pits and circular stone arrangements. The richness of this art is unparalleled in Australia and is considered exceptional by international standards (Australian Government, 2012; Bird and Hallam, 2006; Vinnicombe, 2002). On the advice of members of the Roebourne Aboriginal community, the project was called Yijala Yala, which means “now” in both Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi. Both Aboriginal people from Roebourne and Big hART knew that in order to tell the story of the incredible cultural heritage of “the Burrup”, they also had to change the negative story (first story) of alcohol and substance abuse, domestic violence, poor educational performance, high levels of incarceration and a high profile death in custody in the 1980s that the media loves to tell. They then set about creating a range of arts-based projects such as the “Love Punks” digital animation work with young people, filming of family stories and the “Hip Bone Sticking Out” stage production. After listening carefully to members of the Roebourne community, Big hART also began to run twice-weekly arts workshops in the prison, with the prisoners themselves asking that it be focused on music. As Music Director Dudley Billing described it:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

The initial group consisted of six guys, all in for a while. There was a long fingered blues piano man from the desert. Another was a teenage car thief from further south who adored writing songs. The third was a guitar slinger and songwriting virtuoso from the N.T. Another was a solid young Afghan/Aboriginal man who can write ballads that make you cry. The fifth was a country gospel guy who had a habit of racing in late in his kitchen hair net. The last was a sweet old Kurruma man with a ukelele tucked under his arm. Everyone was an Aboriginal man, but that almost goes without saying at Roebourne Regional. During the life of the project 430 men were involved. They worked with well-recognised musicians and producers from elsewhere around the country, moving from jamming to song writing; songwriting to rehearsing and polishing songs; eventually to recording three CDs for local distribution. After producing three CDs in 2013, Yijala Yala staff enlisted a range of high profile musicians, singers and songwriters from elsewhere to visit Roebourne and collaborate with the community and prisoners on a compilation album to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the passing of 16-year-old John Pat in a Roebourne police cell on 28 September 1983. This album is titled Murru – the nickname used by John’s family when he was a boy.1 The public outcome of the project is the Murru Album, and the Murru Concert, a collection of songs co-written with prisoners, community members and professional musicians, 138

“Singing on country and singing for country”

was performed by the likes of national stars such as Archie Roach, Wendy Matthews, Bill Chambers, Harry Hookey, Lucky Oceans, Emma Donovan, John Bennett, alongside musicians from Roebourne such as Angus Smith, Kendall Smith, Roy Evans, Patrick Churnside, Josie Alec and Tyson Mowarin. The album is dedicated to the young man known both as John Pat and Murru who in 1983 died in police custody. It is performed against a stunning backdrop of panoramic and animated images capturing the dynamic energy and strength of Roebourne. The Murru Concert opened the Melbourne International Festival of Arts in Federation Square on 10 October 2014 to an audience of 6,000 people. The project had and continues to benefit the Roebourne community. For example, Yijala Yala staff assisted prisoners to prepare for and provide entertainment at the two prison family events each year. As well as the success of the National Murru tour, the13-track album released as a CD was distributed to 1,500 people and digitally sold via iTunes. The DVDs and the artworks created as a part of other Yijala Yala projects – music, comic books in language, digital animation apps and a theatre show – all draw on deep involvement with music and help build an archive, a way of keeping memories alive, and tools by which to share and teach future generations. It is a collection of documents that together tell an alternative story of life for people in Roebourne.2 The work has also helped shape a new project called “Tjabbi”, a traditional music-based project that involves young people in learning old songs from the area.

The Yiriman Project The Yiriman Project is an award-winning community-based initiative from the Kimberley region, set up in 2000 in response to the fact that senior Aboriginal people are “worrying for young people”. Yiriman arranges “back to country” trips in an attempt to keep young people out of trouble, healthy and strong and build their involvement in “culture and law”. Young people join other generations in visits to country and the “old people” (ancestors who have since passed away and returned to traditional lands). This cultural solution has been enormously successful, helping achieve an array of other positive social outcomes such as preparing young people for work, teaching them language, building their leadership and nurturing enterprises such as ranger teams and bush harvest work. As senior cultural elder Mr Joe Brown makes clear, song and music is central to this work:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Yiriman (is) taking out kids who getting into trouble. Elders do lots of singing, get young people into language group, we tell them what skin they are. Get them working down there. Respecting old people. Cutting boomerang. Drive kids out looking for food, kangaroo, turkey. Learn how to find a feed. Old people bin tell story, young people pick up that story. (Cited in Palmer, 2010, p. 12) The following description of another senior man (now deceased) involved in Yiriman gives us a sense of the importance of song in this work: Despite the physical challenges, this old man loves returning to country. He is often the first one in the car when he goes on Yiriman trips. And he sings on country. He sings to show respect to the old people who came before, passed away and now dwell in country. Every morning on trips people wake up to his voice in traditional song. Every night he is singing by the fire. When people visit important places 139

Dave Palmer

he sings. He sings to look after and teach young people, making them present feel welcome and secure, warm and wrapped up in his arms. This is what this old man and that mob love to do. For them it is like going to the movies but better. (Cited in Palmer, 2012, pp. 41–42) Yiriman trips can last from a couple of days to a couple of weeks, depending on the area being travelled to, the work being undertaken and the time of year. Mostly they involve travelling to the desert, over terrain that is sandy, with low lying bush and spinifex grass, where water is sparse and distances between sites great. Anywhere from 12 to almost 100 people participate in the trips. For those involved, the physical demands can be quite arduous. The participants, young and old, sometimes walk between 15 and 20 kilometres a day, regularly combining travel with other tasks such as digging, hunting and collecting firewood. As the following account of one trip shows, song is central to trips: The three older men traveled in support vehicles. They started singing for country first thing in the morning. It didn’t matter where we were . . . whether we stopped for a cuppa tea, lunch or to go to the toilet . . . first thing in the morning and last thing at night . . . wherever we stopped the old boys would sing out to country. In the afternoon the old fellas sit down on the ground, singing the young fellas back into the camp, singing for the old people (spirits) to keep them safe and singing out to the boys so they felt nurtured into the last part of each walk. (Palmer, 2013, p. 23) The structure of most days includes a morning meeting led by elders to plan the day, a morning “talking culture” session (focusing on skin and family systems, language, cultural health and safety, codes of conduct, respect), packing camp, physical activity (that is, walking, artifact production, wild harvest production, ranger activity, fire management work, hunting), trips to cultural sites (including knowledge transmission and other cultural protocols), preparing and cooking meals, and elders leading stories, singing and dance. While on country, senior people have a very strong role in governing the day to day arrangements, educating the young and directing movements. This often happens through song so that young people are safely guided through their education, their travels and their rest with the sweet sounds of traditional singing.3 One of the most moving elements of the trips is the way that young people are brought into increased communion with elders. Often during the early part of the trips young people’s nervousness, fear and awe are made manifest in the physical distance they maintain from the camp of the senior people. However, by the time the trip is moving towards its conclusion, all have come together through singing and dancing (Palmer, 2013). Each night, song holds together deep discussions about language, culture, life in town and importantly stories about the day’s walk. Typically, while listening to the beautiful tones of elders singing, young people rest on their swags by the fire thinking and talking about their personal situations, the things that hurt them, the things they worry about, abuse, alcohol, drugs and self-harm (cited in Palmer, 2013).

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Ngapartji Ngapartji Ngapartji Ngapartji is another well-recognised Big hART project that operated from 2005 to 2010. It began after Big hART staff and actor and Anangu man Trevor Jamieson built relationships with Anangu women who were keen to tell the story of the removal of people from their traditional lands and the subsequent threats that occurred to language and culture. Project 140

“Singing on country and singing for country”

staff based themselves in Alice Springs and carried out language, literacy, arts-based and music workshops with Pitjantjatjara people living in town camps and various remote communities through the Anangu, Pitjantjatjara, and Yunjtjatjara Lands. These workshops then shaped creative development work leading to performances such as the Ngapartji Ngapartji and Nyuntu Ngali stage shows, an on-line language course in Pitjantjatjara (the Ninti site), short films (including language lessons and music clips), musical recordings and CDs, a project website, a documentary to be screened on the ABC and “Memory Basket” resources pack for project participants, organisations and other interested groups. Anangu (Aboriginal people from this region), both old and young, joined professional nonIndigenous artists as performers on-stage, behind the camera, on-line, with the microphone and in the art gallery. In the process, a range of socially productive “outcomes” were achieved, providing opportunities for Anangu in literacy development, crime prevention work, education, language maintenance and arts practice. The main performance piece, called Ngapartji Ngapartji,4 tells the family story of Trevor’s Tjamu or grandfather and other Pitjantjatjara people who were forced out of the desert in South Australia and Western Australia when the Australian and British governments carried out nuclear testing at Maralinga and Emu Junction from the 1950s. The show moves through the highs and lows of Anangu life, taking audiences through an introduction to Pitjantjatjara language, introducing Australians to the magic and talent of Anangu song, dance and performance and pressing home to people the strength and resilience of Western Desert people.5 Music was central to the work. For example, throughout the five-year period the project team visited remote communities to carry out Sound Lab Workshops. Hundreds of people were involved in recording music. There was writing of original music pieces, tracks recorded and music videos produced. In one workshop five CDs were recorded, including a gospel CD, a reggae album and a special CD of inma irititja or old songs remembered by the old people. Discos and community viewing nights were also held to showcase live performance and music. Local musicians performed the songs they recorded over the workshop period. Often the whole community attended. Music offered an important “bridge” between young people’s interests, old cultural forms and the development of new literacies:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

[t]he young people often came to music workshops with half written lyrics, sometimes they had learnt a riff from a popular song and wanted to add lyrics, some of the songs were really well formed. They would work on what they had, sometimes taking it all the way to produce a video clip. They would often start with a song in Pitjantjatjara and then write down a translation. The idea was always to try and extend what young people were capable of doing, gently moving to new places with their literacy. The beauty of using music and performance is that it is fun and they really like it. (Project worker cited in Palmer, 2010, p. 69) The workshops helped bring people together to produce other things. For example, the connection between music produced as part of the Ngapartji Ngapartji performance and activity in art centres was something noted by a number of people. One person noted: While working in the Arts Centre the women would play the music over and over and over . . . it was like a sound for the Arts Centre and it made this such a productive place, creating a wonderful feeling of pride, warmth and joy . . . women sang along, laughed, reminisced, talked about what was happening in the community and loved each other’s company. (Cited in Palmer, 2010, p. 108) 141

Dave Palmer

Music was the thread that ran through everything in this project. Through theatre, community stories were articulated, literally and symbolically sung, for all of Australia to hear. Senior women used music to help them act as guardians of the stage production, always present in the background, offering song as the spiritual guide to the story and often using it in support of the stage script (Palmer, 2010).

How is it that music has become important in these projects? In all four communities, musical traditions stretch back tens of thousands of years linking it to the way one’s status, one’s identity, one’s being in the world is forged. Where communities still practise law and ceremony, one’s musical skills serve as a sign that they have successfully negotiated ceremonial achievement. In this way music is both the marker of social standing and the means through which it is obtained (Ellis, 1985, p. 1; Stubington, 2007, p. 111). In these places not only do Aboriginal understandings of country see people as being brought into being by country, but their “daily and yearly interactions with country are communicative events” often expressed through song and music (Rose et al., 2002, p. 43), as is evident in the Yiriman story, when travelling Aboriginal people often call or “sing out” to country to announce themselves (Dunbar-Hall and Gibson, 2004, p. 26). Those who have seen the work of Ngapartji Ngapartji understand that this works because country is seen as something that moves, that creates rhythms, that maintains a (heart) beat (Rose et al., 2002, pp. 45–46). This work replicates longstanding cultural practices that link the act of “singing” and making music with being on country and maintaining spiritual, economic and familial ties (Rose et al., 2002). Operating in this cultural time and space then demands that one finds the beat, paying attention to the tempo of country, even when they are distant from a place (as were men involved in Murru). “Singing for country” also works because it offers a means whereby young people share with elders. This was particularly important in the four projects, given the scale and dislocation that Aboriginal families have had to endure and the pressure global change and new technology are putting on contact between older and younger people (McGrath and Brennan, 2011, pp. 344–345). As Ellis (1985, p. 54) points out, music has been a very powerful force in bringing people together across the generations. It has acted as an important educative tool, allowing transmission of knowledge and tradition. She observes that an important feature in this “open song” context is that members of family learn and participate simultaneously (Ellis, 1985, p. 112). This is more profound than at first it may appear. Deborah Bird Rose (2004) observes that the process of being on country and singing for country not only involves the young and their living elders “going along together”, but it also demands a shared relationship with elders and ancestors long passed away. In this way, singing out to country recognises that one’s place in the world is shaped by the prior existence of other beings, both human and the “inanimate” environment, both alive and “dead” (Muecke, 2004, p. 69). It is little wonder then that in all four settings people speak of country in the same way as they speak about their human relatives. Bradley’s (2010, p. 228) observations elsewhere are pertinent to the work discussed:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

People visit country and listen to country; they sing for country and cry for country. They worry greatly about country and speak longingly of places they are unable to visit because it is now a part of pastoral property, a mining lease, or just too hard to get without transport . . . Country can also accept and reject, be hard or happy – just as people can be with one another. Close relatives will often address each other as country, and when people see animal or plant species that are their Dreaming they will often call out, “Hello country!” 142

“Singing on country and singing for country”

Music has also been powerful in these projects because in relying so heavily on aural senses, it offers an important accompaniment to other social and cultural processes in Aboriginal life. Often music played a critical role in supporting other cultural work such as the production of art, artifacts and the collection of bush products. In part this is because the act of making music, sound and rhythm while on country allows people to literally connect with the ground, fixing a bond between people’s bodies with the sentient land (Magowan and Neuenfeldt, 2005, p. 62; Watson, 2003, p. 53). Music’s role in assisting those involved with the four projects to deal with conflict, trauma and healing was also acutely important. In part this was because the skills, repertoires and practices necessary for successful performance of music are the same needed for dealing with community challenges. Through practice and involvement with the various elements of music during the four projects people were able to take on a variety of different sounds, styles, notes, languages, poetic devices, timings and rhythms (discordant elements) and find ways to have them come together in congruent, harmonious and pleasant-sounding songs (Ellis, 1985, p. 54). This demanded that people work carefully, weaving their voices, their instruments and their minds together, balancing their capacity for personal autonomy at the same time as managing communal interests. This has long been one of the functions of music in Aboriginal life in situations with much tension, where having groups arrive at any kind of cohesion and resolution is a major challenge (Myers, 1991).

Conclusion Old songs and song cycles have criss-crossed the continent of Australia for many thousands of years, investing places and people with powerful sounds and stories. Music has been the means through which the younger generations have been initiated into community. It is how people have navigated from place to place, singing themselves safely as they go along. Old healers have used song, percussion and voice to maintain the health of people. Music has kept people alive over thousands of years. As the examples cited in this chapter demonstrate, these traditions continue to shape communities in subtle but profound ways. The accounts from this chapter demonstrate that music, particularly where it draws on people’s history and traditions, can play a critical part in attempts to respond to the challenges facing Aboriginal communities. As the work of CAN demonstrates, it is being used to encourage formal education and encouraging young people to stay in school. The Yiriman Project has been drawing on the power of song to rebuild and maintain culture. Indeed, traditional song is central in the move for people’s return to country. The Yijala Yala Project has combined contemporary forms of music with ancient songs and new technology to build opportunities in the cultural economy as well as respond to the need to keep middle-aged men healthy when they return from prison. Music in the work of Ngapartji Ngapartji has been instrumental in helping maintain language. These stories are creative examples of how to use the old social practice of making music to help keep Aboriginal communities healthy and strong. They represent stories of how community workers and local communities can work together to replace discord and trauma with strength, spirit and song.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Notes 1 Listen to one of the songs produced as part of Yijala Yala’s work in the Roebourne Regional Prison: http://yijalayala.bighart.org/roebourne-regional-prison-music-program/. 2 Take a look at the range of musical elements in Yijala Yala projects: https://vimeo.com/user5307782/videos. 3 Take yourself on a Yiriman trip by watching the video: www.yiriman.org.au. 143

Dave Palmer

4 The translation often offered for the term “Ngapartji Ngapartji” is “I give, you give in return”. 5 Check out the documentary Nothing Rhymes with Ngapartji to see the way music is infused into the project: www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvo4p7QfMFI.

References Altman, J (2005), The Indigenous hybrid economy: A realistic sustainable option for remote communities? Paper presented to the Australian Fabian Society, 26 October 2005. Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research. Topical Issue No 2, Melbourne. Amulya, J (n.d.), What is reflective practice? Center for Reflective Community Practice, MIT, Cambridge, MA. Anderson, B (1983), Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism, Verso, London. Australian Government (2012), The potential outstanding universal value of the Dampier Archipelago site and threats to that site. A report by the Australian Heritage Council to the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra: Heritage Council of Australia. Retrieved from: www. environment.gov.au/system/files/pages/5b14f51b-b7e1-432f-8049-1e653713607d/files/outstandinguniversal-values-may2012.pdf. Bicknell, J (2009), Why music moves us, Palgrave Macmillan, London. Bird, C and Hallam, SJ (2006), A review of archaeology and rock art in the Dampier Archipelago. A report prepared for the National Trust of Australia (WA), Perth. Bradley, J (2010), Singing saltwater country: Journey to the songlines of Carpentaria, Unwin & Allen, Sydney. Buchanan, J, Collard, L, Cumming, I, Palmer, D, Scott, K and Hartley, J (2016), ‘Noongar boordier gnulla katitjin: The influence of Noonar knowledge’, Cultural Science, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 37–53. Denborough, D (2008), Collective narrative practice: Responding to individuals, groups and communities who have experienced trauma, Dulwich Centre, Adelaide. Denborough, D (2014), Retelling the stories of our lives: Everyday narrative therapy to draw inspiration and transform experience, W.W. Norton New York. Dunbar-Hall, P and Gibson, C (2004), Deadly sounds, deadly places: Contemporary Aboriginal music in Australia, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney. Edmunds, M (2012), A good life: Human rights and encounters with modernity, ANU EPress, Canberra. Retrieved from: http://press.anu.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/whole.pdf. Edwards, G and Thomas, G (2010), ‘Can reflective practice be taught?’ Educational Studies, vol. 36, no. 4, pp. 403–414. Ellis, CJ (1985), Aboriginal music: Education for living, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia. Felices-Luna, M (2014), ‘Fighting the big bad wolf: Why all the fuss about ethics review boards?’ in Kilty, JM, Felices-Lunan, M and Fabian, SC (eds), Demarginalizing voices: Commitment, emotion, and action in qualitative research, UBC Press, Vancouver, pp. 195–215. Hill, B (2002), Broken song: T.G.H. Strehlow and Aboriginal possession, Vintage, Sydney. Magowan, F and Neuenfeldt, K (eds) (2005), Landscapes of Indigenous performance: Music, song and dance of the Torres Strait and Arnhem Land, Aboriginal Studies, Canberra. McCoy, BF (2008), Holding men: Kanyirninpa and the health of Aboriginal men, Aboriginal Studies, Canberra. McGrath, B and Brennan, MA (2011), ‘Tradition, cultures and communities: Exploring the potentials of music and the arts for community development in Appalachia’, Community Development, vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 340–358. Muecke, S (1997), No road (bitumen all the way), Freemantle Arts Centre, Freemantle, Western Australia. Muecke, S (2004), Ancient and modern: Time, culture and Indigenous philosophy, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney. Myers, FD (1991), Pintupi country, Pintupi self: Sentiment, place and politics among western desert Aborigines, University of California Press, Berkeley, CA. Palmer, D (2010), Ngapartji Ngapartji: The consequences of kindness, Big hART, Alice Springs. Palmer, D (2012), ‘“We got to look at our old people, use a different school”: The Yiriman Project, going back to country and bringing out stories across generations in the Kimberley’, in Westoby, P and Shevellar, L (eds), Community-based education and training: Learning and mobilising within community development work, New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, BC, pp. 41–54. Palmer, D (2013), ‘We know they healthy cos they on country with old people’: Demonstrating the value of the Yiriman Project, 2010–2013, Final Report 2013, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, Fitzroy Crossing, Western Australia.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

144

“Singing on country and singing for country”

Palmer, D and Buchanan, J (2007), From moorditch moort to ‘capacity building’: A history of community development in Western Australia, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Murdoch University, Western Australia. Retrieved from: http://whatnow.net.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/History-of-CDin-WA.pdf Rose, DB (2004), Reports from a wild country: Ethics for decolonisation, University of New South Wales, Sydney. Rose, DB, D’Amico, S, Daiyi, N, Deveraux, K, Daiyi, M, Ford, L and Bright, A (2002), Country of the heart: An Indigenous Australian homeland, Aboriginal Studies, Canberra. Sacks, O (2008), Musicophilia: Tales of music and the brain, Alfred A. Knopf, New York. Said, E (1978), Orientalism, London: Penguin. Sennett, R (2008), The craftsman, Penguin, London. Shanks, H (2009), Roebourne report: Issues, current responses & strategies for consideration, July 2009, Department of Indigenous Affairs, Pilbara, Western Australia. Stubington, J (2007), Singing the land: The power of performance in Aboriginal life, Currency, Sydney. Vinnicombe, P (2002), ‘Petroglyphs of the Dampier archipelago: Background to development and descriptive analysis’, Rock Art Research, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 3–27. WA Department of Corrective Services (2015), Adult prisoners in custody: Quick reference statistics, 31 March 2015, Western Australia Government, Perth. Watson, C (2003), Piercing the ground, Fremantle Arts Centre, Freemantle, Western Australia. Williamson, V (2014), You are the music: How music reveals what it means to be human, Icon, London.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

145

10 Complicating dynamics Adapting the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework to a remote Indigenous context in Australia Mark Moran, Laura Simpson Reeves and Alyson Wright

Introduction Following a brief overview of the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework, this chapter first reflects on how this tool has been used in developing country contexts, and its limited application to Indigenous Australia. It then analyses the case through the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework, and discusses how the tool was adapted to suit the case study context. It concludes by reflecting on the value that international development tools can bring to Indigenous contexts, but how flexibility is needed in how different tools are applied to Indigenous contexts.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

The resilience of the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework Development practitioners and academics have long used the notion of sustainable livelihoods to challenge narrow conceptualisations of economic development. Notions of assets and their effect(s) on livelihoods initiated from Robert Chambers’ work on Participatory Rural Appraisal, although theoretical origins can be traced back as far as the 1960s (Chambers, 1983, 1992, 1994). Livelihoods are broadly understood as ways of making a living, which may include paid employment, subsistence agriculture, volunteering in local governance activities, education, construction skills or craft making. Chambers and Conway (1991, p. 6) proposed the following definition of sustainable livelihoods: A livelihood comprises the capabilities, assets (stores, resources, claims and access) and activities required for a means of living: a livelihood is sustainable which can cope with and recover from stress and shocks, maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets, and provide sustainable livelihood opportunities for the next generation; and which contributes net benefits to other livelihoods at the local and global levels and in the short and long term. More than purely income generating activities, livelihoods strategies may encompass food security and nutrition, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, access to microfinance or supply chain management. 146

Complicating dynamics

The Sustainable Livelihoods Framework is a tool used in international development, which encourages practitioners and communities to consider the range of assets that settlements, households or communities can draw on to work towards achieving livelihoods outcomes and developing strategies for overcoming vulnerabilities and shocks. In doing so, it asks the community and households to draw on their strengths – or assets – as opportunities to reduce poverty and disadvantage. Taking a strength-based approach provides a series of activities which can be used in discussions between practitioners and community members and households. These discussions initially focus on assets to help highlight the core influences and processes contributing to sustainable livelihoods, and to understand the community’s interactions with the outside world. It focuses on the possibilities these assets provide to improve livelihood outcomes, rather than concentrating on deficits or problems. Once the assets have been identified, they can be drawn upon as the basis for development, recovery or preservation, depending on the community’s needs and priorities. There are several versions of this Framework in existence. The most common iteration – and the one used in this research – was developed by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). The DFID Sustainable Rural Livelihoods Advisory Committee built on the work of the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) and others in the late 1990s to design the Framework seen in Figure 10.1. (DFID, 1999–2001). This Framework investigates household or community assets and develops strategies for utilising these effectively to achieve communitydetermined objectives. The Sustainable Livelihoods Framework has been widely applied – to varying degrees of success – to a range of different contexts. DFID initially used the Framework to help inform project and program design in their overseas poverty reduction work. In India, for example, a research study explored the interface between democratic decentralisation and watershed

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution i n

Livelihood Assets H

Vulnerability context

N Influence & access

S P

Transforming structures and processes

F

Livelihood strategies

o r d e r t o

Livelihood outcomes

a c h i e v e Key H = Human Capital N = Natural Capital F = Financial Capital

S = Social Capital P = Physical Capital

Figure 10.1 DFID’s Sustainable Livelihoods Framework Source: Department for International Development, 1999–2001, Sustainable Livelihoods Guidance Sheets, Department for International Development, London. Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

147

Mark Moran et al.

management programs (Baumann, 2000). The study found the Framework useful for analysing decentralised natural resource management as it formed the basis of a neutral starting point, but suggested that political capital be added as an asset (Baumann, 2000), turning the pentagon into a hexagon. Similarly, Farrington et al. (1999) found that when using the tool to design new programs in Pakistan and Zambia, it helped the team to identify common goals and set up a platform for policy linkages. During the same period, IDS applied the framework for policydirected research in Mali, particularly looking at how to best represent complexity (Brock, 1999), and Moser (1998) applied the asset pentagon aspect of the Framework in an attempt to assess urban poverty reduction strategies. More recently, aspects of the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework have been adapted by practitioners to suit different contexts. Larson et al. (2007), for instance, used a modified version of the Framework to understand the effects of decentralisation on forest-dependent people in Latin America. Larson and her colleagues particularly drew on the vulnerability context felt by forestdependent peoples, their high need for access to natural capital, and the effects of both formal and informal institutional mechanisms. Chen et al. (2013) similarly focused on the livelihoods assets pentagon, but to measure and evaluate the influence of forest commons governance in China. In particular, they compared how community members scored various assets before and after a community-based co-management governance strategy was introduced. The Framework thus provides a strong base which can be applied and adapted as necessary to different contexts. Fisher (2002) first proposed the application of the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework to remote Indigenous populations not long after he took up the position as Chief Operating Officer of the Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT) in Australia. Despite its popularity in the international development sphere, there had been little application of the Framework to remote Indigenous populations in Australia prior to this time (Davies et al., 2008). CAT proceeded to adopt the Framework as a new tool for working with remote communities across central Australia. The organisation settled on the notion of livelihoods as a means to challenge narrow policy conceptualisations that reduced the complexity of Indigenous disadvantage to “real jobs” and “increased school attendance”. CAT realised the need to test the Framework and build an evidence base to support its application to remote Indigenous communities. This led to “The Transformation of Assets for Sustainable Livelihoods in a Remote Aboriginal Settlement” project (Moran et al., 2007), which was subsequently funded by the then newly established Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre (DKCRC).1 The purpose of the project initially was to identify, understand and assess the resource flows coming in and out of a remote settlement. However, the scope was expanded to allow testing of the Framework.2

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Applying the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework to remote Australia The research discussed in this chapter took place in a remote Aboriginal settlement in central Australia, Engawala. It had a population at the time of approximately 135 residents from the Eastern Arrernte language group. Engawala is located approximately 200 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs and 1,500 kilometres south of Darwin. It has a typical arid climate, with low and erratic rainfall, long and hot summers, and sunny winters with frosty mornings (Moran et al., 2007, pp. 9–10). CAT conducted action research in Engawala between 2004 and 2007. The research method was developed in the traditions of grounded theory and participatory action research. Consistent with Howitt et al. (1990), action research benefits the communities in which they occur via a dialectic learning process rather than a one-way collection of data. As such, action research 148

Complicating dynamics

involves cycles of data collection, analysis and feedback, which then inform reinterpretation of the data and further analysis. During the first year of the project and prior to any data collection, two of the researchers focused on engaging with the community, building trusted relationships, helping with community-governance tasks, and raising awareness about the project. Thereafter, community members were engaged in data collection surveys and discussions throughout the research, including as paid research assistants, as interpreters and as research participants. After completing data collection, the research team presented the emerging analysis to the community to gain their feedback and to garner further interpretative insights. The fieldwork and data collection were undertaken between August 2005 and October 2006, although not continuously, due to interruptions by sorry business,3 and changes in project or community staff. The primary method of data collection was through face to face semistructured interviews with key community elders, leaders and residents. In these interviews, the research team discussed the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework, and specifically worked to build on existing livelihood assets in the community. They also undertook focus groups, community workshops and surveys across with the broader community and community-based stakeholders. The mixed gender and age of the research team allowed them to work across women, men and youth groups. This was important as the research team was trying to obtain livelihood strategies that could be broadly adopted across the community. In each of the methods they worked closely with community members as assistant researchers to collect data, and with community elders to establish protocols for the focus groups or community meetings. Small focus group discussions were held with groups of five to ten community members, as well as at larger community meetings; these meetings allowed for the testing of methods, providing and obtaining feedback on emerging findings, expounding community aspirations and planning future work. Many of the residents in the area spoke some English as an additional language, so local interpreters were used when needed (Moran et al., 2007, pp. 12–13). Due to limited literacy levels in the community, accessible pictorial representations were used to present the findings, facilitate community discussion and feedback (see Figure 10.2). The research team also utilised observations as a key method for data collection. Members of the team benefited from developing long-term relationships with the community, which meant that they were often privy to interactions and events that were outside the scope of the research project. Observations from these events helped the team to develop a deeper understanding of context, as well as the direct and indirect benefits and costs of policies or decisions made outside the community. The research team also accessed secondary data through government databases or reports, which was validated against the empirical fieldwork data. Interviews with key stakeholders outside of Engawala were conducted, including those working in government departments with frontline experience in the community (Moran et al., 2007, pp. 12–14). Significant participatory processes were utilised to involve community members in the research and to deliver practical outcomes to benefit the community. The researchers were committed to the notion of “local ownership”, whereby community development is driven by the local participants directly affected by the initiative, rather than by external parties (Hunt, 2013). Although the participants included local leaders and elders, the project fell short of working through a local governing structure. The local governance capability in the community was greatly diminished due to ongoing structural shifts in federal and jurisdictional policies and legislation. Initially, the community independently self-governed itself via the Engawala Community Incorporated, which was formed after Engawala gained land title via an excision from Alcoota Pastoral Property in 1974. Then in 1993, it became a ward of a regional Federation of ten communities, under the local government authority of the Anmatjere Community Government Council (or more simply Anmatjere). Engawala was located at the remote periphery of the

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

149

Mark Moran et al. Human

Social

Natural

Physical

Financial

S

Figure 10.2 Engawala asset pentagon Source: Moran, M., Wright, A., Renehan, P. et al. 2007, ‘The Transformation of Assets for Sustainable Livelihoods in a Remote Aboriginal Settlement’, DKCRC Research Report 28, Centre for Appropriate Technology and the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre Alice Springs, p. 54.

Taylor and Francis

Federation and it continued to assert its autonomy, largely as a function of it retaining the management and associated funding of the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP).4 When it lost management of the CDEP to Anmatjere in 2006, Engawala local governance was reduced to an advisory board (Wright, 2010). Then in late 2006, the Northern Territory Government announced its policy to reform local government, signalling the eventual absorption of Anmatjere into a vast Central Desert Shire (a.k.a. Super Shires), stretching in a band north of Alice Springs from Queensland to Western Australia (Sanders and Holcombe, 2008). Their “governance” was then relocated to a distant Alice Springs. Engawala community leaders requested that the project team work directly with them, as they felt disenfranchised from decision making, first by Anmatjere and then Central Desert Shire, with their administrative centres a two-hour drive by vehicle. The project team was also at pains to avoid duplication with another research project which was specifically examining the governance of the Anmatjere Council (Sanders and Holcombe, 2008). Thus, the project team’s engagement remained with Engawala, rather than the official local government authority serving the community. They limited their engagement with the Anmatjere to the local manager based in Engawala. Other institutional forces also impacted on the project. Importantly, the project shaped ongoing policy and advocacy work by CAT and the lead author (Moran, 2010). A public debate began in 2005 which questioned the very viability of communities, sparked by then Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Amanda Vanstone, who described remote Aboriginal communities as “cultural museums” (Eastley, 2005). This ignited a group of neoliberal commentators including the Bennelong Society’s “Leaving Remote Communities” conference in September 2006 (Comrie-Thomson, 2006), which was followed by the 2007 release of the Lands of Shame by Helen Hughes (2007) from the Centre for Independent Studies; all of which questioned

Not for distribution

150

Complicating dynamics

the viability of remote communities. This commentary supported a range of policy proposals – from total withdrawal of support for remote settlements altogether, through to shifting funding from small remote settlements to larger and less remote (and urban) localities. Contrary views were slow to mobilise, partly because the questions raised – why are health, education, employment, and law and order outcomes so “bad” in Australian Indigenous communities? – were valid (Stafford Smith et al., 2008). Thus this research sought to bring some empirical rigour to this debate, in addition to its aforementioned aims (for more on the viability of remote settlements, see Moran, 2010; Stafford Smith et al., 2008). These debates were critically important, as they occurred in the lead up to the Northern Territory Emergency Response5 implemented in mid-2007.

Contextualising livelihoods assets In order to understand the position of the authors in the reflections below, it is necessary to first comprehend how the Framework needed to be adapted to the unique context of Indigenous Australia. While the study found that aspects of the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework, particularly the asset pentagon, had merit in understanding the context, much of the tool was not applicable to remote Indigenous Australian communities, or needed significant modifications in order to make it relevant. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians make up 3% of Australia’s population (ABS, 2016), and are subject to a wide range of developmental interventions (Moran, 2016). Australian Government expenditure for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians is more than double that of non-Indigenous Australians (Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision, 2014),6 which has led to a plethora of programs and services. The economic context of remote Indigenous communities is largely dominated by these public finances, which dwarfs the private market and subsistence activity typical to developing communities in low and middle income countries. The basic needs of many remote Indigenous settlements (including shelter, water, food and income) are largely met by different levels of government, and the inflow of resources is predominantly inputs provided by the state (including money, skilled workers, social services and vehicles). Thus, the development context needed to be reimagined and contextualised. The difference in development context between developing communities in low income countries and what was experienced in remote Aboriginal settlements in Australia can be clearly seen through the community exercise of ranking assets as part of the livelihoods asset pentagon. The pentagon sits at the heart of the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework and isolates five different assets or capital that a community or household can mobilise to realise a future livelihoods benefit: social, human, natural, financial and physical. Many of these assets also overlap, which can cause difficulties when defining or allocating assets to each capital, regardless of the context. Through a combination of group workshops and individual interviews with community leaders, the researchers and community participants worked together to firstly define and determine the assets, and to measure or quantify these; then to rank the relative strengths of the five assets on an ascending scale of one to five (see Figure 10.2), along the five internal axes of the pentagon (depicted as dotted lines), with zero at the centre and five at each apex. Collectively, the community in discussions with the researchers settled on the following scores: natural capital and social capital were allocated a four; human and physical capital both received a three; and financial capital was given the lowest ranking of two (see Table 10.1). This permitted an internal pentagonal shape to emerge within the asset pentagon. While the scoring of assets may be seen as a somewhat simplistic representation of the complex dynamics at play in the community, the discussions that took place around the allocation of scores and

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

151

Mark Moran et al. Table 10.1 Assessment of livelihood capitals in Engawala in 2006–07 Type

Ranking

Definition

Engawala

Natural

4

Social

4

Human

3

Natural resources include intangible public goods (e.g. atmosphere) to divisible goods used for production (e.g. trees, land, water) Networks of relationships and social norms that allow and enable people in a society to act collectively Skills, knowledge and experience of members of the community

• • • • • • • • • • • •

Physical

3

Human-made tangible assets used in production

• •

Financial

2

Flows of cash for consumption and production

• • • •

Flora Fauna Grasses Trees River sand Kinship relationships Local organisations Regional governing bodies Informal organisations (self-managed) Limited paid employment opportunities Short-term work at nearby cattle station Chronic health problems affecting ability to work Public health infrastructure (water, power, sewerage) Community buildings (school, clinic, community office, store) Social housing Welfare payments Public goods and services Informal loans to kin

Taylor and Francis

what residents of Engawala valued were very significant in the research method and analysis. The discussions provided key insights for the research team into the priorities and perceptions of the community, and were able to draw on these insights when developing the project’s recommendations. Table 10.1 highlights the capital examined with Engawala community members in the project. Typical to most remote Indigenous settlements, natural capital ranked highly in the store of assets at Engawala. Local flora and fauna were used as food sources, while grasses and trees were utilised as wind breaks or shade structures and as firewood. The community had access to river sand, which was used as part of concrete mix or for landscaping. Social capital and relationship through kinship networks are a central aspect of remote Indigenous communities in Australia, and are arguably their most available and dependable asset. Kinship norms of reciprocity and exchange permit flows in both directions – effectively forming a social bank from which people draw. Engawala also had a functioning system of local organisations, networked into regional governing bodies. Several self-managed informal organisations were also active, including organising for sporting competitions. At the time of the research, the entire community came together every day for a communal lunch, using pooled funds from individual CDEP participants’ payments. The cohesion of the Engawala community and its collective ability to pull together and get things done at times set it apart from other communities in the central Australian region where feuds between families and differing language groups occur and last for many years. At the time of the fieldwork, an Indigenous resident held only one of the five full-time positions in the community, while another five Indigenous residents also held part-time positions (Moran et al., 2007, pp. 29, 55, 86). While residents occasionally secured mustering or shortterm work at the nearby Alcoota Station, the small number of available positions, alongside the

Not for distribution

152

Complicating dynamics

skills needed to perform the required tasks, gave little scope for Engawala people wanting to pursue paid employment. The community also struggled with a range of chronic health problems, including high prevalence of diabetes and high levels of trachoma and rheumatic fever in the children (Moran et al., 2007, p. 35). Nonetheless, human capital was scored three out of five due to the community’s assertion that they had unrealised potential with latent skills and an ability to do more. Engawala enjoyed a relatively high standard of public health infrastructure and a range of community buildings compared to other settlements of similar size and remoteness in Australia (Moran et al., 2007, p. 55). Shelter was provided via social housing, although there were problems with overcrowding and maintenance (Moran et al., 2007, pp. 43–45). As Engawala was a Community Living Area,7 and the community holds the land in communal title, these assets could not be sold or borrowed against, or (at time of research) leased for additional development purposes, and thus had minimal economic value (Moran et al., 2007, p. 76). Consequently, they did not provide economic returns or assets that could be leveraged to improve livelihood outcomes (Moran et al., 2007, p. 55). Financial capital was given the lowest score of all capital. Engawala, like many Indigenous communities in Australia, has high reliance on recirculation of public income, largely through welfare payments and access to public goods (for example, social housing, community infrastructure) and services (for example, education, health). The remoteness and small size limits the available economic and market opportunities other than limited Indigenous art sales or small-scale ecotourism. At the time of the research, no individual in Engawala was engaged in private enterprise (Moran et al., 2007, p. 39). There was limited personal savings or disposable income; what savings did exist was largely through informal loans to kin, with the expectation of repayments at times of need. This exercise of identifying the various assets and their relative strengths formed the basis for the strategies and recommendations that followed. The analysis revealed that social and natural capital were the most readily available forms of capital in terms of their accessibility and transformability towards achieving livelihood strategies (Moran et al., 2007, p. 55). This differs from many low and middle income country contexts, where increasing urbanisation has meant human capital, particularly one’s labour, is the most important and valuable asset (Moser, 1998). Understanding these assets and their relative strengths in this community’s context illuminates how the research process was conducted in the community.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Contextualising vulnerabilities The vulnerability aspect of the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework encapsulates factors that may undermine livelihoods strategies and are largely outside the control of the community. The factors are contextual and often have a direct impact on a community’s or an individual’s ability to use their assets to pursue and maintain sustainable livelihoods (DFID, 1999–2001, pp. 13–14). Disadvantaged and vulnerable groups are more exposed than their wealthier counterparts, particularly if they have access to fewer assets. It quickly became apparent that the nature of vulnerability in remote Indigenous Australia differs significantly. In international development contexts, vulnerabilities often manifest as sudden shocks, long-term trends or seasonal cycles (DFID, 1999–2001; Moser, 1998). This may be in the form of sharp spikes in food prices, crop failure linked to changing climate, an infectious disease outbreak or increased natural disaster rates such as cyclones, floods or drought. These shocks often erode the natural and physical capital on which the community heavily relies, severely threatening livelihoods and leaving little room for recovery. 153

Mark Moran et al.

In remote Indigenous communities in Australia, however, the link between natural capital and vulnerability is not as strong. While there are strong cultural connections to land, there is little reliance on agriculture as a livelihoods source. While subsistence hunting and collection continues to be highly valued culturally and socially, its contribution to food supply is dwarfed by goods purchased at the local community store. Consequently, remote Indigenous communities in Australia have become highly commoditised. While the strength of natural assets can reduce in Australia through natural disasters, such as floods, cyclones or bushfires, there are strong social protection and welfare measures in place to counter such shocks. This is arguably different from many of the contexts in which the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework has been previously applied; in these contexts, there is often a weak state or minimal social protection services available. The team also faced challenges in engaging local leaders to identify vulnerabilities. This was partly due to participants’ reluctance to discuss negative events, or the events crossed over into private domains that were not deemed appropriate to discuss with outsiders. In preparation, the researchers drew up a list of potential factors affecting the community’s vulnerability to trends, shocks and seasonality. These included factors such as family members moving to, or leaving Engawala, substance abuse, declines in underground water supplies, the death of a community leader, commodity prices (including fuel), and technology failure (Moran et al., 2007, p. 60). When vulnerabilities were expressed by the participants, they rarely included these factors. Indeed, one leader said that any environmental factors (such as water running out) could be addressed by community members temporarily leaving the site (Moran et al., 2007, p. 61). Instead, the vulnerabilities that community leaders identified were more closely related to: a) changes to government policies and services; and b) social problems, particularly concerning youth engagement and opportunities. Indeed, at the time the fieldwork was undertaken, many of the government-funded programs in the area were undergoing review, including the CDEP, which had the potential to severely negatively impact household finances (Moran et al., 2007, p. 61).8 As such, the government (at all levels) almost completely determined the local economy, and resource inflows were largely beyond local control. Community members acknowledged that the fluid whims of Canberra contributed significantly to not only their vulnerability but also to their agency to achieve their livelihood outcomes and enact their strategies. External institutions and processes, therefore, became the focal point of community perceptions of vulnerability. The Sustainable Livelihoods Framework also provides for “transforming structures and processes”, which refers to the institutional environment and governance arrangements through which community assets transform into livelihood strategies (see Figure 10.1) (DFID, 1999–2001, pp. 27–32). The external institutional environment has a significant impact on the capability of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups to achieve their aspirations. According to the original DFID Framework (1999–2001, pp. 27–32), this includes both structures (for example, governments, the private sector, NGOs) and processes (for example, laws, policies, culture). In an Australian Indigenous context, the external institutional context is especially crowded and fragmented, in line with the quantum of public financing. To further complicate matters, this external institutional environment in Engawala specifically, and Indigenous Australia more broadly, is largely supply driven, with external conceptualisations of social problems and their solutions (Moran, 2016). Participants perceived that their vulnerabilities were linked to external decision making, rather than to anything in their local environment or control. This was particularly exacerbated in the local community at the time the research took place, as the previous community governing council was amalgamated into the larger regional Anmatjere Council, and discussion had begun across the NT for the further amalgamation of Community Governing Councils.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

154

Complicating dynamics

Taken together, considerable adaptation was necessary to both assets and vulnerabilities to successfully apply the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework to an Australian Indigenous context.

Participation and communication Participatory action research requires active dialogue between the research team and the participants. As others have noted, the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework works also as a participatory communications tool, drawing “both outsiders and residents into an intercultural field in which knowledge sharing and innovation towards achieving livelihoods outcomes are possible” (Davies et al., 2008, p. 59). Under a participatory communications framework, this dialogue should be purposeful, with the intention of developing activities that can work towards achieving collectively agreed goals (Bessette, 2004; Simpson Reeves, 2015). The Framework, therefore, aligned with the research team’s desire to not only involve the community in the research, but also to achieve a practical outcome as a result. Community members were hired during the data collection phase as paid research assistants or as interpreters. Community elders or employees within the community were interviewed individually, or invited to focus group sessions (usually between five and ten participants). Several public meetings were held. The research team also became privy to events and social interactions outside the project scope, and this helped the team to understand both the direct and indirect costs and benefits of decisions made outside of the community. While the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework proved to be an effective theoretical model for understanding the system by the researchers and in reporting, the analysis and recommendations that resulted from the application of the framework were not utilised by the community or people in Engawala beyond the end of the project. There were a number of reasons for this, some of which have been alluded to earlier, including the lack of local governing structures and lack of ongoing project resources and funding. The research team was aware of the limitations of reliance on English spoken throughout the project and written into the project reports. Hence, the research team spent considerable time trying to find ways to communicate the Framework, and used visual methods to overcome cultural or linguistic barriers, as well as to make the more abstract concepts more tangible. A graphical interpretation of the Framework was developed, called the “livelihoods bicycle” (). A bicycle was chosen as it has many parts that need to function together, and was thus seen as a suitable metaphor for the many aspects to achieve livelihoods strategies and development outcomes. A bicycle also conveys action and engagement, which the team hoped would convey the need for energy and movement (Moran et al., 2007, pp. 82–85). The team also presented the Framework to the community using narrative form, which was consistent with the local cultural practice of storytelling (Moran et al., 2007, p. 82). It was hoped that the story would provoke dialogue, and work as a checklist for the community to consider when planning or utilising the Framework. While the livelihoods bicycle was generally well-received, many of the concepts embedded in it remained abstract. Words such as ‘vulnerabilities’, ‘assets’ and ‘institutional’ were new for many residents at Engawala, and despite this pictorial representation, the use of complex English in the Framework was an ongoing issue. One participant, after listening carefully throughout the discussion, asked when she would be able to collect a bicycle for her son. While the research tried to avoid using these complex words in community discussions, the use of these words in the report is significant and partly explains the tension between the “project in the field” and the “project in the research report”. This is not an uncommon occurrence; institutional demands and expectations of evidence-based findings limit how community development

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

155

Mark Moran et al.

researchers communicate both to their research participants and employers/funders. As occurred in Engawala, these tensions are often best resolved through different communication channels and products. But nonetheless, some important data and concepts then get lost. The project team faced challenges in bridging the gap between the worldviews and life worlds of Engawala people, and the system of Indigenous affairs and its high level of administrative complexity. Effective communication involves a range of competencies – including language, culture, gender sensitivity, and the longevity and mutual respect that comes from trusted relationships – but it is also requires tools and methods to reach common understandings of complex contexts. In Engawala, for instance, people’s perceptions of the external institutional environment highlighted these challenges. Despite its many layers, silos and conditionalities, people tended to see the administrative system of Indigenous affairs as an amorphous whole. This was not necessarily an impediment though; residents were well aware of its effects and were adept at getting on with things regardless, at times manoeuvring or “playing the game” to their advantage. The research team decided that communicating the external institutional environmental effects on Engawala could be described through a simple abstraction to the weather: “people may have little control over its effects, but they have learnt to ‘make hay while the sun shines’ and to ‘bunker down’ when storms appeared on the horizon” (Moran et al., 2007, p. 264). This illustration aimed to link an abstract and complex concept to something that had a common understanding. Despite the efforts of the research team to translate technical concepts, by the time the report was being drafted, community participation in interpreting the research and distilling findings reduced to a few key community leaders and local employees, and even then, it required the heavy involvement of the research team. By the time that a first draft was in circulation, the community meetings had largely become a reporting exercise. At the end of the process, tensions emerged within the research team as to the extent to which decisions were being made back in the office, rather than with the community and around what benefits would arise for the community from the project. At this point, completion and funding pressures emerged, so the research team finalised the report largely in isolation from the community. The meetings with the community were used to report findings and check if the community had any objections to what was being presented in the report. Although some community members and CAT staff were keen to continue discussions, there was no funding remaining to continue the process after the reporting deadline, and a way forward was not found.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Ownership and governance The challenges of interweaving community development practice through a research project are not new. Two recent works by Jane Hunt (2016) and Robert Chapman and colleagues (2014) offer some insight into what successful practice looks like and how to build governance capacity in the context of Indigenous Australia. Their insights can be used to reflect on why the Engawala project fell short on delivery, and why the project lacked the transformative momentum to achieve sustainable aspirations and initiatives developed through the application of the sustainable livelihoods framework. First, Hunt (2016) and Chapman et al. (2014) both strongly assert the role of Indigenouscontrolled governance and respect of Indigenous worldviews and leadership as being integral to the social change process. Chapman et al. (2014, p. 33) further elaborate on this, highlighting that their approach was “to understand people’s own worldviews and perspectives before attempting more substantial facilitative work”. It is interesting to reflect on the first year of the project, when two members of the research team spent close to a year working with the community. During this period, there were few 156

Complicating dynamics

expectations placed on the process, and the researchers and community leaders were free to shape the agenda. Rather than working up livelihood strategies for the future, the two researchers became engaged with the delivery of immediate practical needs, including minor building works in a community playground. Thereafter, the research team engaged in a number of practical tasks, including the installation of a communal phone for the settlement, repairs to the irrigation system and provision of bucket stoves (Moran et al., 2007, p. 13). The researchers were ethically compelled to do this, in line with an organisational principle of CAT known as “no survey, without service”. The community responded well to this practical assistance. Indeed, on hindsight, it seems that the community wanted more practical operational support to govern the community, than to plan for livelihood strategies. As the sustainable livelihoods analysis revealed, Engawala’s opportunity to proceed independently was tightly subscribed. The local situation had only worsened with Engawala losing both its autonomy as a local community organisation and its retention of CDEP resources. Although a number of natural and social assets within Engawala were identified, they still needed financial or other governance support for them to be deployed. Consistent with Hunt and Chapman, the institutional model that is proven to mediate community control through this intercultural space has been community-based Indigenous organisations, which the NT government was busily dismantling at the time of the research. In addition to a lack of formalised governance at the community level, the strategies were not developed with consideration of the different gender roles and who leads initiatives. The analysis and livelihood strategies proceeded at a community, rather than an individual or family level, which meant that there was little onus on anyone in the community to lead implementation of the initiatives. Despite the efforts at operational support, at some point the familiar pragmatics of implementation and funding deliverables took over. While the Engawala project remained participatory throughout implementation, the research team pushed forward with a Framework which they adapted to the local context. Key Engawala leaders endorsed and supported the project, and worked closely with the research team, but the onus of responsibility remained with the researchers. Community members were willing participants, but they did not lead, facilitate or take ownership over the research. The final report presents sensible strategies to the support community aspirations. The research team naively hoped community would at some point pick them up and run with them, but this moment did not eventuate. This is not because the ideas that were presented in the report were not feasible; they were all reasonable and contextually relevant solutions and strategies. Had the researchers stayed on, or had they been able to embed their work with local leaders or into a local governance structure, there is every chance that the report’s recommendations would have been implemented. But the project funding ceased and CAT returned to its base in Alice Springs. Furthermore, the structural changes around a rolling set of local government reforms prevented CAT from embedding the project into a local governance structure. Looking back, it would have been better to start the project within a formalised community or regional governance structure which had discretionary funds or the ability to acquire funds to implement livelihood ideas. The research team also failed to fully comprehend the gendered leadership that already existed within the community and to work with these individual leaders to strengthen their individual aspirations.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Conclusion The case study demonstrates how the Australian Indigenous environment differs contextually to those typically found in broader international development. Uncritically transplanting international development frameworks and practices to Indigenous affairs will only lead to 157

Mark Moran et al.

misunderstandings. There is, however, much that can be learnt by adapting such frameworks. Strength-based frameworks such as the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework positively elevate the development potential of disadvantaged groups, whereas most service delivery approaches to Indigenous affairs assume deficit and intractable disadvantage. While this case highlights that international development practices cannot be simply transplanted to Australian Indigenous contexts, significant insights are revealed in the process of adapting them. The Sustainable Livelihoods Framework provided an opportunity to analyse the development potential of Engawala, and to identify the strengths the community might draw on to increase their livelihood opportunities. Most of the resulting strategies drew on the relative strength of natural and social capital: Aboriginal art; joint tourism ventures; firewood collection and sale in Alice Springs; land management and ranger programs; and training and employment in the adjacent Alcoota cattle station (Moran et al., 2007, pp. 86–90). By taking a strengths-based approach, the project thus highlighted how Engawala’s assets are much broader than the narrow concepts of employment, income and jobs. It thereby contributed to advocacy efforts by CAT and others to counter a Canberra-based economic rationalist narrative which questioned the economic viability of remote communities (Eastley, 2005). It also helped to raise the profile of Engawala, a little-known remote community to which policy makers had historically given little attention. Although the research team collaborated with local governance structures, including the local manager of Anamatjere Council, the project essentially remained an external project driven by CAT. Participation occurred through facilitated meetings and participatory workshops, but this all ceased at the end of the project. While the project and subsequent final report did raise awareness about Engawala’s assets and needs among their stakeholders, it did not secure any commitments or additional resources to transform those assets into long-lasting benefits for community. The community was facing considerable change and declining autonomy under local government reforms, so it welcomed whatever support CAT provided. But this support was ultimately transitory and ended with the project funding. Thus, the team and the community never really embedded the derived livelihood strategies within the funding governance structures that could have implemented them. Consequently – although not surprisingly – none of the strategies was realised. The shortcomings of the project were not for want of commitment or effort on behalf of the research team to facilitate a participatory process. There was also a real commitment from the community to make it work, to provide answers and to drive new opportunities for the families in their community. The challenge of implementing a community-led project was significant, particularly considering the gap between the lifeworld of Engawala people and the administrative complexity of Indigenous affairs more broadly. Given the general lack of understanding within the community of the system of Indigenous affairs, the community was at a loss as to how to navigate it strategically. The Framework did assist with the engagement and communication process, and the community participated willingly in the research project. The final report did bring a deep understanding of context and potential strategies for development, and it remains an important resource for community development workers and researchers. Based on the authors’ current knowledge, many of the strategies defined would still be relevant for leaders to revisit, should favourable governance and funding opportunities return in the future. Any effort to restart the process would benefit from being realigned within an appropriate and legitimate governing structure, attuned to the individual aspirations of a gendered leadership.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Acknowledgements We would like to acknowledge Peter Renehan, Anna Szava, Nerida Horner (nee Beard) and Elliat Rich, all of whom contributed to the case study and the developing of the modified 158

Complicating dynamics

Sustainable Livelihoods Framework. We would especially like to thank the community of Engawala for their participation in the case study research. A longer version of the case study described in this chapter first appeared in a Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre Report in 2007.

Notes 1 Later, the Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation (CRC-REP). 2 From 2004 to 2010, a number of other research projects emerged from the DKCRC applying the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework to desert Aboriginal communities (for examples, see Grey-Gardner, 2008; LaFlamme, 2007, 2010). 3 “Sorry business” refers to Aboriginal cultural practices and rituals around death. 4 The now defunct CDEP scheme exchanged unemployment benefits for work opportunities or training managed by a local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community organisation. For more information, see DFD (2009). 5 The Northern Territory Emergency Response (known as “Intervention”) was an Australian Government package of legislative and policy changes to welfare provisions, law enforcement, land tenure and other measures to address allegations of widespread child sexual abuse in Northern Territory Aboriginal communities (Altman and Hinkson, 2007; Hunter, 2008). 6 In Financial Year 2012–2013, the ratio of expenditure on Indigenous to non-Indigenous Australians was 2.08 to 1. This is partially due to a greater intensity of service use, and partially due to the higher cost of providing services to remote areas. For more details, see Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision (2014). 7 Communal Living Areas are small excisions on land that is held under a pastoral lease. For more information, see www.clc.org.au/articles/info/community-living-areas. 8 Throughout the subsequent years, CDEP was removed and replaced by the Work for the Dole scheme, which is not specific to Indigenous Australians (see Altman, 2008).

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

References

Altman, J (2008), Killing CDEP softly? Reforming workfare in remote Australia. Retrieved from: www.crikey. com.au/2008/10/09/killing-cdep-softly-reforming-workfare-in-remote-australia/. Altman, J and Hinkso, M (2007), Coercive reconciliation: Stabilise, normalise, exit Aboriginal Australia, Arena Publications, North Carlton, Victoria. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2016), Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, June 2011. Retrieved from: www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/mf/3238.0.55.001. Baumann, P (2000), Sustainable livelihoods and political capital: Arguments and evidence from decentralisation and natural resource management in India, Overseas Development Organisation, London. Bessette, G (2004), Involving the community: A guide to participatory development communication, International Development Research Centre, Penang, Malaysia. Brock, K (1999), Implementing a Sustainable Livelihoods Framework for policy-directed research: Reflections from practice in Mali, Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, UK. Chambers, R (1983), Rural development: Putting the last first, Longman Scientific and Technical, Harlow, UK. Chambers, R (1992), ‘Rural appraisal: Rapid, relaxed and participatory‘, IDS Discussion Paper no. 311, UK Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, UK. Chambers, R (1994), ‘Participatory rural appraisal (PRA): Challenges, potentials and paradigm‘, World Development, vol. 22, pp. 1437–1454. Chambers, R and Conway, R (1991), ‘Sustainable rural livelihoods: Practical concepts for the 21st century’, IDS Discussion Paper no. 296. Institute for Development Studies, Brighton, UK. Chapman, R, Holmes, M, Kelly, L, Smith, D, Weepers, J and Wright, A (2014), Yakarra-paradija-pina: Insights from a developmental approach to rebuilding governance in Aboriginal communities, The Lajamanu Community and the Central Land Council, Alice Springs, Australia. Chen, H, Zhu, T, Krott, M, Calvo, JS, Ganesh, SP and Makoto, I (2013), ‘Measurement and evaluation of livelihood assets in sustainable forest commons governance’, Land Use Policy, vol. 30, pp. 908–914. Comrie-Thomson, P (2006), ‘Leaving remote communities‘, ABC Radio National – Counterpoint. 159

Mark Moran et al.

Davies, J, White, J, Wright, A, Maru, Y and LaFlamme, M (2008), ‘Applying the sustainable livelihoods approach in Australian desert Aboriginal development’, The Rangelands Journal, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 55–65. Department for International Development (1999–2001), Sustainable livelihoods guidance sheets, Department for International Development, London. DFD (Department of Finance and Deregulation) (2009), Evaluation of the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) Program, Office of Evaluation and Audit (Indigenous Programs), Canberra. Eastley, T (2005), Vanstone says remote Indigenous communities becoming ‘cultural museums‘, ABC AM, Retrieved from: www.abc.net.au/am/content/2005/s1527233.htm. Farrington, J, Carne, D, Ashley, C and Turton, C (1999), Sustainable livelihoods in practice: Early applications of concepts in rural areas, Overseas Development Institute, London. Fisher, S (2002), A livelihood less ordinary: Applying the sustainable livelihoods approach in the Australian Indigenous context, Centre for Appropriate Technology, Alice Springs, Australia. Grey-Gardner, R (2008), Remote community water management, Centre for Appropriate Technology, Alice Springs, Australia. Howitt, R, Crough, G and Pritchard, B (1990), ‘Participation, power and social research in central Australia’, Australian Aboriginal Studies, no. 1, pp. 2–10. Hughes, H (2007), Lands of shame: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ‘homelands‘ in transition, Centre for Independent Studies, Sydney. Hunt, J (2013), ‘Engaging with Indigenous Australia: Exploring the conditions for effective relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities’, Issues paper no. 5, Closing the Gap Clearinghouse, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and Melbourne, Australian Institute of Family Studies, Canberra. Hunt, J (2016), ‘Let‘s talk about success: Exploring factors behind positive change in Aboriginal communities’, CAEPR Working Paper 106/2016, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Australian National University, Canberra. Hunter, SV (2008), ‘Child maltreatment in remote aboriginal communities and the Northern Territory emergency response: A complex issue’, Australian Social Work, vol. 61, no. 4, pp. 372–388. LaFlamme, M (2007), ‘Developing a shared model for sustainable Aboriginal livelihoods in natural-cultural resource management’, Land, Water and Environmental Management: Integrated Systems for sustainability. MODSIM 2007 International congress on Modelling and Simulation, Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand, Christchurch, pp. 288–294. LaFlamme, M (2010), Sustainable desert livelihoods: A cross-cultural framework, Desert Knowledge CRC, Alice Springs, Australia. Larson, AM, Pacheco P, Toni, F and Vallejo, M (2007), ‘The effects of forestry decentralization on access to livelihood assets’, The Journal of Environment and Development, vol. 16, pp. 251–368. Moran, M (2010), ‘The viability of “hub” settlements’, Dialogu, vol. 29, pp. 38–51. Moran, M (2016), Serious whitefella stuff: When solutions became the problem in Indigenous affairs, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne. Moran, M, Wright, A, Renehan, P, Szava, A, Beard, N and Rich, E (2007), ‘The transformation of assets for sustainable livelihoods in a remote Aboriginal settlement’, DKCRC Research Report 28, Centre for Appropriate Technology and the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre, Alice Springs, Australia. Moser, C (1998), ‘The asset vulnerability framework: Reassessing urban poverty reduction strategies’, World Development, vol. 26, pp. 1–19. Sanders, W and Holcombe, S (2008), ‘Sustainable governance for small desert settlements: Learning from multi-settlement regionalism and Anmatjere Community government council’, The Rangelands Journal, vol. 30, pp. 137–147. Simpson Reeves, L (2015), ‘Visualizing participatory development communication in social change processes: Challenging the notion that visual research methods are inherently participatory’, International Journal of Communication, vol. 9, pp. 3327–3346. Stafford Smith, M, Moran, M and Seemann, K (2008), ‘The viability and resilience of communities and settlements in desert Australia’, The Rangelands Journal, vol. 30, pp. 123–135. Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision (SCRGSP), (2014), 2014 Indigenous Expenditure Report, Productivity Commission, Canberra. Wright, A (2010), The governance role of local boards: A scoping study from six communities, Central Land Council, Alice Springs, Australia.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

160

11 The Martu Leadership Program Community-led development and experimentalism Ann Ingamells and Peter Johnson

Introduction When the work is done, The task accomplished,

Taylor and Francis

The People will say

“We have done this ourselves”1

Not for distribution

Remote Australia is the target of significant policy investment intended to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.2 Much of it misses its mark! Commentators, both Aboriginal and not, have much to say about this, and the call for a changed approach is resounding (Empowered Communities, 20153; IDEI, 2013; Marrie, 2015; Morley, 2015; Stanley, 2013; Walker et al., 2012). This literature argues for a devolution of authority and resources to the local or regional level, where people with local knowledge and experience can have the flexibility to design and deliver programs suited to their context, albeit within broader policy parameters. For Australian Indigenous communities, this is a call for Indigenousled development. This chapter endorses calls for Indigenous-led development in Indigenous communities, yet recognises that governments are still in the early stages of establishing policy frameworks to support this, and communities vary significantly in their readiness to lead their own development. Through a case study of the Martu Leadership Program (MLP), the chapter speaks to the structures, resources and opportunities that are enabling Martu communities of remote Western Australia to increase their level of control over the conditions of their lives. Importantly, the case study provides a nuanced account of locally emergent or adaptive programming, social learning, relational contracting and the relation between local autonomy and accountability. These elements contribute to a policy framework that enables Indigenous control over Indigenous community life and wellbeing (Sullivan, 2015). The same elements, understood from the local level, inform community development practice.

161

Ann Ingamells and Peter Johnson

The conventional policy approach Locally developed and adaptive programs have been a rarity within the Australian policy domain. Governments review data, set policy, design programs, determine where, and by whom, services will be delivered. Even when Australian governments have drawn on the nomenclature of community development, they have rarely meant locally developed and adaptive programs. They regulate, audit and in other ways manage the process from a public investment perspective. This policy approach has become known as the “command-control” administrative system (Caldwell, 2014). This is further complicated by the fact that, to date, policy, in design and implementation have mostly reflected Western values, norms and aspirations. Concerns about the command-control system can be summarised as urban thinking, underpinned by urban assumptions applied at a distance, where very different circumstances apply: small populations, scant (and expensive) infrastructure, significant distances from markets, mobile populations and service personnel, a mismatch between available labour pools and labour force requirements, and the unresolved legacy of colonisation which manifests more overtly in remote areas. Such factors cut across developing initiatives, and contribute to persistent policy failure (Empowered Communities, 2015; Shergold, 2013; Sullivan, 2015; Walker et al., 2012).

Experimentalism Governments are hearing the calls for local-led development, and while the main pathway beyond command-control still tends to be the market, there is an increasing emphasis on what some are calling “experimentalism” (Caldwell, 2014; Marsh, 2010; Sabel and Zeitlin, 2012). This approach requires that government and local/regional stakeholders agree on a direction with a timeframe for review, and enables a region or locality to take up the authority and resources and employ them in ways that have good local fit. The question of accountability, however, remains unresolved. Sullivan (2015) argues for reciprocal accountability in Aboriginal communities, between government, organisations and communities. Sabel and Zeitlin (2012) and Caldwell (2014), recommend a social learning approach where similar organisations, working towards similar outcomes, learn openly from each others’ successes and failings. Government and other investors learn from them and adapt their own processes and future decision making based on that learning. The shift from command-control to experimentalism and the shift from prescribed program delivery to community development both demand new mindsets, new sensibilities, new forms of relationship and new skills, at every level. The risk in any wide-scale change is that while policy and funding mechanisms can change quickly, such change will not achieve the anticipated result if the transitions (psychological and in capacity) needed to make the changes effective are not given the time, attention and resources they need to develop.4 A not unlikely scenario is that authority would be devolved to local stakeholders who simply emulate the command-control model from a more local power base. This is likely to divide rather than mobilise local communities. The case study presented here has immediate relevance for policy and on the ground community development practice. It illustrates the many transitions that need to occur for a community to shift from being a site of government controlled service delivery (low local autonomy, high external control and poor outcomes) to a site which is actively working to increase the authority of local people over local development.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

162

The martu leadership program

Some notes on methodology Three points need to be made about the methodology underpinning this chapter. First, the material drawn on here is not anecdotal. It is the outcome of three years of systematic documentation, rigorous reflection, skilful adaptive practice and programming, along with ongoing evaluation. Second, evaluation is highlighted, because it is likely that successful programs in remote communities are emergent and adaptive, and evaluation methods for emergent programs are not well understood, valued or funded. Emergent programs are rarely evaluated, or are evaluated through the wrong methodology, or the evaluation is not seen as credible because it uses a methodology which is defined as “weak” within traditional evaluation hierarchies.5 This leads to loss of learnings, and has enormous significance for all stakeholders. In the case of the Martu Leadership Program, two complementary evaluation streams addressed this: developmental evaluation and social return on investment. Developmental evaluation is most fitted to interventions in contexts of uncertainty where outcomes cannot be predicted in advance (Quinn Patton, 2015; Sullivan, 2015). It is a tracking, sense-making method which assists actors, who are themselves embedded in the complexity, to identify patterns that are emerging from the work, interpret those patterns, assess and respond to them. The focus is less on what is achieved and more on how it is achieved. The social return on investment study focuses on what is achieved, and assesses the value for participants, their families, communities and associated stakeholders. The evidence that the program is having profound effects, is mounting. It is best understood qualitatively at this stage, but quantitative measures will become increasingly possible over time. Social Ventures Australia’s recent assessment is that:

Taylor and Francis

Martu are empowered: they have the confidence, knowledge and social connections to work with each other and whitefellas to shape a new future for Martu in modern Australia. (SVA, 2017, p. 6)

Not for distribution

Finally, the authors of this chapter are whitefellas,6 (the developmental evaluator and a program manager), but the story told here is one which the Martu have authorised and which they desire to have communicated widely.7 Translation of the learnings from the MLP into the policy machinery will challenge the ingenuity of Martu and government alike. This chapter also speaks to that conundrum.

Part one: Martu and their context People act out of their own culture, history and politics. This is why context is so important. From a community development perspective, any change initiative begins with the people themselves, starts where they are at, responds to their context, builds on their strengths and negotiates pathways through the various opportunities and constraints of their lives. The MLP is not replicable but these principles are. The lessons from this case study will be helpful to other communities so long as it is read with appreciation for people in their context.

The Martu Martu are the traditional custodians of a vast area of the Great Sandy, Little Sandy and Gibson Deserts in the Western Desert of the Pilbara. Their country stretches from the Percival Lakes

163

Ann Ingamells and Peter Johnson

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution Figure 11.1 Map showing Martu lands

in the north to south of Lake Disappointment, and far to the east of the Canning Stock Route, stretching towards the Western Australia/Northern Territory border. The shaded area in Figure 11.1 shows the Martu Lands. Martu are among the most recent of Australia’s Indigenous people to make contact with the European world, with many coming in from a completely traditional desert life only in the 1950s and 1960s. Many living Martu have stories of first contact with European civilisation and of coming into stations and missions from the desert (Johnson et al., 2005). This means that contemporary young Martu adults are one or two generations from a completely traditional desert life. Martu experience similar challenges to other remote communities struggling under the impact of European society. Alcohol and other drugs, mental illness, family violence, foetal alcohol syndrome, poor educational outcomes, low employment, frequent incarceration, ill health and early death are endemic. The context is one of staggering challenges, yet there are also enormous strengths. Martu still identify as one people, their Elders are in living memory of a traditional and fully cultural life in the desert, culture still holds strong appeal for young Martu

164

The martu leadership program

and many still live on country. These strengths were the starting point for the MLP. Other communities will have different strengths, yet it may well be that beginning with the strengths of the community, rather than with the problems and deficits, is one thing that all successful programs have in common.

Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa: a Martu organisation Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa (KJ) is a Martu organisation, active throughout all Martu communities. It is run by Martu directors representing those communities, assisted by three non-Martu Advisory Directors. KJ is the major employer of Martu. The ranger program employs about 40 Martu in permanent positions and another 300 in casual positions, paying around $2m in Martu salaries annually. The ranger program is complemented by a suite of cultural programs (Puntura-ya Ninti) and the MLP.8 Each remote community is different in terms of the infrastructure available to it to develop and drive local initiatives. KJ has worked solidly for more than a decade to establish credibility both within Martu society and beyond it. Martu have always been part of this work and the Martu Board is gradually developing a range of strategies to enable community members’ participation in governance. It has, however, only been through the MLP that a wider group of Martu have come to appreciate and develop facility with those aspects of good governance which are so significant to whitefella partners and funders. One off, externally delivered, governance workshops, or manuals on the web, have not met Martu need, rather explicit governance education in situ, over time, relevant to local need has proven highly effective. This is an important starting point if local people are to drive local development. The policy question is how it could be properly resourced.

Taylor and Francis

Part two: the MLP

Not for distribution

The MLP began in 2014 with the aim of building the capacity of young Martu adults to negotiate the interface between the “whitefella” and Martu worlds. The proposed emergent approach to adult education did not fit any government program criteria, so the program was undertaken through a partnership between KJ and World Vision Australia.9

Partnership and relational contracting KJ has carried primary responsibility for program design and implementation, and World Vision has raised most of the funds for the first three years of the program. The partnership, however, has actively involved both partners in the learning, in many program activities and in building relationships between all parts of both organisations, including relations between MLP participants and World Vision CEO, Board and sponsors. World Vision, as both partner and funder, has effectively engaged relational contracting, which is part of the framework associated with devolution of resources and authority to the local level (Sullivan, 2015). By participating in six-weekly reflection sessions with KJ and the developmental evaluator, World Vision staff and the organisation as a whole have learned alongside KJ program staff; by participating in some of the program activities, World Vision staff have learned alongside Martu, and Martu have learned what a partnership is and what they themselves can do to contribute to the partnership. This mutual set of relationships and learning has meant that the necessity for program adaptations along the way has been evident to, and supported by, both organisations, and reciprocal accountability is an integral part of the ongoing relationship.

165

Ann Ingamells and Peter Johnson

Developing readiness and levers for transformative change KJ’s cultural heritage work and the Ranger Program established firm foundations for Martu working together on business that they valued; however, these activities occurred very much within the Martu world. They alone could not sufficiently equip Martu with the knowledge, exposure, confidence and social support that they needed to shape a new future for Martu. Martu communities are still administered largely by whitefellas: many Martu organisations struggle to stay solvent; Martu contact with mainstream society is often negative, for example, through the police, the courts, social security, child protection agencies, and even, sadly negative, through education and training organisations. KJ Directors recognised that effective, practical learning about the whitefella world would be necessary if Martu were to turn around their situation. They also recognised that the younger generation had even less understanding than their Elders of how the systems that control much of their lives work, and less grasp of the English language than their Elders. The MLP was designed to fill this gap by helping the younger generation to develop skills to navigate two worlds, and redefine for themselves what it means to be Martu in twenty-first-century Australia. “Leadership” was a very attractive title for young Martu, engaging their aspiration in ways that “education”, “training” or even “employment” do not. The significance of this MLP initiative may not be immediately evident to those unfamiliar with desert people. Since first contact, Martu have resisted assimilation. They have shown capacity to endure significant hardship rather than give in to pressures to become more “white”. Martu have maintained a strength and resilience, despite the many harmful consequences of adaptation to European society. This resilience is based in a will to maintain Martu society with its social, cultural and religious life. Challenging though this has been, the desire remains deeply embedded in young Martu. Paradoxically, this desire for continuity is the primary lever for change! It was clear to KJ directors that an isolationist, idealised retrieval of traditional life would not be helpful. Rather, young Martu, with the support of their Elders, needed to create and hold a vision that would be compatible with contemporary life.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Mobilising aspiration in the MLP For aspiration to be unlocked, it was critical that participants themselves articulate what the leadership program would be and do. Prior to the program, it was impossible to have this conversation. Martu are practical and concrete in their approaches, and abstract discussions about intended programs have little traction. However, Martu adults of the relevant generation were aware that there were problems in the Martu organisations of which they were members. They did not know how to think about those problems or what to do about them: as one person said, “we were facing a concrete wall!” KJ began to provide a small group of men with concepts about corporate governance, the roles of boards and the powers of various board positions. Some of these sessions were long and technical, and the men were riveted. The information spoke cogently to experiences and deep concerns they had had, as members and board members of organisations, but had no way of comprehending. The same group of men began observing KJ board meetings, where proper process was observed. A trip was made to Perth to a BHP Billiton annual general meeting, where they again observed process. They visited a corporate law group who further explained corporate process to them. “Lights”, they said, “were coming on”. A consolidating strategy was for the participants themselves to develop lists comparing good and poor corporate process, good and poor meeting process, good and poor chairing, good and poor leading. Without needing to read or write, 166

The martu leadership program

these brainstorm lists developed from their own experience and observations, reinforced new learning and helped to create new pathways forward. The desire to learn so as to more effectively conduct their own Martu business was building quickly. Moreover, every step in the learning process was then shared with families, friends and community members. This emerged from participants themselves – what is learned is also taught, participants say: “this ninti (knowledge) is for everyone!!” Learning how organisations work led to what was probably the most immediate shift in MLP participants’ sense of their own power. It was revelatory for them to realise that members owned not-for-profit companies, rather than the directors and that those directors were obliged to spend company funds only for appropriate purposes to further the company’s business. They saw that they were learning how to properly and effectively exercise power at the points where Martu and mainstream worlds meet.

Martu purpose: Martu ownership To back track to the beginning phase of the MLP, a very significant dimension of program practice should be emphasised. As evaluators, we tracked the efforts of the first MLP facilitator to encourage participants to articulate the purpose of the MLP. This did not just happen, it took many intentional conversations, many concrete experiences over the first few months of the program, and then, on a long trip across the desert, it came out in the form of a diagram in the sand articulated first, between the men themselves, in Martu Wangka language. The diagram was a clear articulation of Martu society, separate from, yet linked with mainstream Australian society. It conveyed the Leadership Program as providing the mechanism to enable Martu to learn about the whitefella world so as to strengthen the Martu world, while also teaching whitefellas about the Martu world (see Figure 11.2). Interestingly, this diagram is easier to understand when drawn in the sand or on the side of a dusty vehicle. Martu always begin explaining it by drawing just two intersecting circles – one for the Martu world and one for the whitefella world. (They really want whitefellas to get that there is a Martu society.) Then they explain that as they, Martu, learn about governance, the Martu world grows – they draw another circle around the Martu world, and as they learn about companies, their world gets stronger again – another circle around the Martu world, and so on. Importantly, as they reciprocate by teaching whitefellas about the Martu world, this, they believe, grows the whitefella world. (Note again, the reciprocity, or two-way intent of Martu thinking.) This diagram spoke to all Martu. It has been shared again and again, in their own language with wives, fathers, brother, Elders, community gatherings and, also, in English, with policy makers, government ministers and their advisors and the many mainstream organisations that Martu have visited. The levers for positive change were triggered. The levers were embedded in who Martu are, their history, their experience of the world, their aspirations, not in policy or externally conceived programs. In this diagram and the processes arising from it, non-Martu staff and stakeholders learned several things: (1) that the levers for change are there in newly tapped, or renewed, Martu aspiration; (2) that change is a two-way process between cultures, and that nothing less than twoway processes would suffice; (3) that this would be no ordinary program designed to bring about change in the lives of enrolled participants, but rather was beginning to be shaped by Martu into a much broader vehicle and platform for a changed future in Martu-mainstream relations; and (4) that given the right mechanism and opportunity, Martu would formulate their own representation and explanation of the appropriate relationship between societies. Non-Martu also

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

167

Ann Ingamells and Peter Johnson

Taylor and Francis

Figure 11.2 Purpose of MLP

Not for distribution

gained an important insight into the kinds of representations and communication methods that work well among Martu, and that should be employed within the program. At first, it was a surprise that Martu used a diagram to shape their purpose for participating in the program, and that the diagram spoke so clearly both to the program participants and wider community members. On reflection, it is not so surprising. Encounter with mainstream society drastically disrupted the Martu experience of the world. Paulo Freire, a favourite author for community developers, would say that under such circumstances people lose their means for talking about their world. The first step out of silence is to talk about their present experience of the world in their own terms and their own language. It is even better if they can externalise this – in a story or diagram, for only then can they reflect on it, probe it, examine it and begin to change it. For Freire, this is literacy in action and the foundation step for other literacies: “Before learners attempt to read and write the word, they need to read and write the world” (Freire and Macedo, 1987). For Martu, art has long been their means of talking about the internal dynamics of Martu life, and now it is diagrams that carry them forward into conversations in the cross-cultural sphere – a space where these young men had previously moved in silence. Appropriately, non-Martu KJ staff then learn from Martu and enable emerging Martu representations of their world to inform the program.

Program design, components and adaptations A primary objective of the MLP was initially, and remains, the education of a generation of young Martu adults, so that they can live effectively in two worlds, in a way which resonates 168

The martu leadership program

for them. The intended focus of this education is an understanding of mainstream structures, processes and methods. Taking pressing issues for Martu as a guide, the five principal fields of study were designed to be: 1

2

3

4

5

Governance of not-for-profit companies. Martu own many not-for-profit companies, including their native title-prescribed body corporate, their cultural organisation (KJ), the organisations which manage each community, their health service. In total, these companies administer over AU$30m annually and their governance, operations and competence have a significant impact on every Martu person’s quality of life. Engagement with for-profit companies. Martu engage with mining companies to negotiate agreements affecting their native title. They also engage with private sector service providers and the corporate social responsibility arms of large corporations. They could beneficially engage with these and others, given skills and opportunities. Governance of native title and of trusts. Native title over a vast area of land represents Martu people’s single, major tangible asset. Revenue from negotiation of future acts on that land flows into trusts; millions of dollars in discretionary funds can be held in these charitable trusts. Governance of these two assets has an enormous impact on Martu wellbeing and opportunities for development. Government. As governments increasingly seek to engage with Indigenous communities to negotiate programs of social and economic development, Martu capability at this interface will significantly determine the quality of resources, programs and outcomes and the level of Martu control over them. Law. The criminal law has a far higher direct impact on most Martu families than on the majority of mainstream families. At any one time, between 100 and 120 Martu are likely to be incarcerated. Most Martu men have spent time in prison. Criminal charges and court hearings are regular parts of people’s lives.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

In the program design stage, it was almost impossible to conceive how such sophisticated content could be delivered to people where literacy (understood as reading and writing in English language) was so underdeveloped. Accepted mainstream wisdom is to teach literacy skills first. But this would be starting with a deficit and it was not what Martu were asking for. Martu are now, three years later, increasingly literate in corporate law and other topics identified earlier, but many can still not read and write. That will come when they see it as relevant. Meanwhile, diagrams have become a significant learning tool, graphs are used to teach financial governance, wide exposure and role plays open up new learning, and lots of time is given to reflection and consolidation. Exposure to governments, companies, boards, leaders in a range of fields and other Aboriginal communities have all played important parts in expanding horizons, increasing motivation, providing ideas and concepts, and in building confidence. Participation in consultations and presenting at conferences have added to this. Martu learn through practical engagement and application, so the coursework undertaken in workshops is reinforced through a range of other activities, key elements of which are listed in Table 11.1. Martu teach as they learn. In the first year of the program, few in the community understood what the MLP was. Even the participants were largely taking it on trust. In the second year of the program, recruitment was easy because the first cohort had spread their learning into community along the way. Almost every young adult wanted to be part of the second intake. The initial cohort led most of the induction activities. They taught in language, interpreting 169

Ann Ingamells and Peter Johnson Table 11.1 Components of adult education program Topic

Sub-topic

Coursework

Group-based educational sessions delivered by KJ staff or external partners – technical concepts are introduced and discussed. Coursework topics are drawn from the above categories as they assume immediate relevance in Martu life Meeting with State and Commonwealth government departments and mainstream companies to learn how the mainstream world works and give presentations about Martu, KJ and the MLP Giving presentations builds confidence and consolidates the two-way learning approach. It paves the way to dialogue between Martu and key stakeholders and builds important networks Meeting with or writing to different levels of government to represent the interests of Martu and the MLP on specific issues. This involves preparatory consultation among Martu and feedback following such activities Meetings with companies and other organisations, taking part in workshops and conferences – all widen Martu horizons about what is possible and build networks Trips to cities provide an opportunity to order taxis, take public transport, eat in restaurants and explore urban environments – experiences that are all essential to understanding whitefella culture and how whitefellas think and work Active engagement in Martu companies, including AGMs, through speaking up, asking questions and chairing meetings, examining finances Identifying how other Aboriginal groups develop their communities, maintain their culture and initiate and manage economic activity Each new cohort now begins the MLP with a three-day off country hike. This introduces healthy recreation, builds endurance, team spirit, personal confidence and cohesion of purpose

Meeting with mainstream companies and government Giving presentations and public speaking Lobbying on behalf of Martu or the MLP

Study trips around Australia Informal learning and immersion in whitefella culture Engaging in and chairing meetings for Martu companies Visits to Aboriginal communities Off country hikes

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

for non-Martu as they went. An important form of teaching, in terms of community, was the modelling of new ways of doing Martu business. Where large community meetings had often previously been places of intimidation, bullying and conflict, to the point where even the Elders shook their heads in resignation, the MLP participants took every opportunity to chair meetings. They did this in consultation with the Elders, reviving a sadly neglected community practice. They ensured agendas were set and followed, that everyone had the opportunity to speak, that bullies could not control, and that attendees had the information they needed in order to contribute. They did this with increasing skill so that everyone was surprised and much relieved. Reflecting on this, participants said it was eye-opening for them to realise that the chair of an organisation or a meeting was not the boss, but more like the referee. This insight gave them immediate confidence to act. Even police officers in attendance commented on the transformation. The MLP participants themselves insist on visiting every community to inform people of what the MLP is about, and what they are doing. This too revives a familiar, but neglected, practice. These presentations in the different remote communities become opportunities to share the learnings, reinforce new and more positive stories and generate renewed harmony between different Martu groups. Importantly, Martu teach whitefellas. Initially, this 170

The martu leadership program

took the form of a presentation using PowerPoint, whiteboard and story. Increasingly, it is a more dialogical and reciprocal engagement with a specific intent to achieve some goal, as the story in Part three below indicates. Initially an educational program for young Martu adults, three years later, it has become clear that the emerging program is achieving so much more than this. For example, the MLP participants consult the Elders on all issues and report back to the Elders; wherever possible they try to have an Elder travel with them. This means the Elders now see a whole new level of responsibility being taken, their hope for their communities and culture is rekindled, and their support for the young people is growing. This renews what was, in traditional desert life, called kanyirninpa. McCoy (2010) describes this as “holding” meaning – the old “holding” the young and the young respecting the old, with social and cultural reproduction embedded in the holding relationships. Similarly, conflicts between different groups of Martu were common prior to the program, and three years later, there has emerged a generational identity providing impetus to work together. The MLP participants have insisted that the program be open to women as well as men, to Martu who live in outlying communities and villages as well as for those who live on country. Because Martu take what they learn and act on it quickly, they have moved the program to being a vehicle for change and a platform for engagement with the mainstream world, as well as an education program. The program is becoming the accepted vehicle through which Martu are progressing important social and economic changes and through which they engage with those non-Martu who may be able to assist them with this. Australian policy has struggled to find terms for programs that do not fit neatly into discrete departments, ministries or silos, yet, from a community development perspective, such emerging action from the bottom up, across various domains of local life, is normal. This section closes with a Martu contribution from the evaluation of the first phase of the project. Over two days in late 2016, MLP participants helped the evaluators to understand what they value about the program and the changes they see in Martu society as a result of the program. They name these emphases in their own language, and, in the diagram below (Figure 11.3), an approximate English translation is provided:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution Strategies and aspiration Martu aspirations to shape a new future are awakened, and Martu form strategies to make this happen

Social strength Traditional authority structures are reinvigorated – the old hold and trust the young, and the young respect and support the old

Partnership Martu are united and have the ability and assertiveness to partner with whitefellas who can empower and learn from Martu

Yiwarra

Kanyirninpa

Palya Confidence and resilience Martu feel stronger in themselves and in their community

Kujungkarrini

Ninti Mainstream knowledge Martu understand more about mainstream culture, law, companies, finance and government

Figure 11.3 Martu outcomes Source: Diagram provided by Social Ventures Australia from their 2017 SROI Report, p. 22.

171

Ann Ingamells and Peter Johnson

Each of the above areas holds deep significance for Martu, and their naming of them in relation to the program indicates both the extent to which this program has become theirs, the extent to which the initial adult education program has adapted along the way, and the extent to which deeper transformations are occurring. In a sense the naming of these qualities, constitutes a Martu theory of change. If they can be internally strong in these areas, they can strengthen the more mundane aspects of life.

Part three: the second phase of the MLP 2017–2020 The second phase of the program, begun in 2017, has a much more action-oriented focus. Participants are learning from doing, as they build on the experiences of the early program. New participants still need the adult education program, but they begin at a different point because of the work already done in communities by the earlier cohorts. More experienced participants continue to want the MLP program because they are still learning and because it has become for them a legitimate vehicle and platform for change. The enormous energy released through participation in the program means that Martu want to drive change in many aspects of community life. Their thinking about change is specific, for example, fewer Martu in prison, government listening to them more, stronger Martu organisations, jobs on country for their young ones. These, and many others, are the kinds of things Martu want to work on and learn from over the next few years. SVA (2017) represented these in more abstract categories in Figure 11.4. In working on these changes, Martu aspire to strengthen

Taylor and Francis The Martu Leadership Group is enabling Martu to shape their future

Healthy Martu

Not for distribution Martu communities

Education Awakened desire to learn about the mainstream world

Social Issues A new platform for Martu communities to discuss and address social issues

Governance A new platform for Martu communities to develop their governance capacity

Engagement A new platform to engage effectively with mainstream stakeholders

Yiwarra

Kanyirninpa

Social strength

Kujungkarrini Partnership

The Martu Leadership Group has experienced many changes

Palya

Confidence and resilience

Ninti

Mainstream knowledge

MLP

Figure 11.4 MLP 2017–2020 platforms for action and underpinning Martu qualities Source: Diagram provided by Social Ventures Australia from their 2017 SROI Report, p. 23.

172

Economy

Govern an ce

Economy A new platform for planning Martu economic development

Strategies and aspiration Martu Leadership Group

Palya / strength Mythology / aspiration

The martu leadership program

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Figure 11.5 The criminal justice system and diversionary program

Source: This Martu diagram appears in Social Ventures Australia Consulting 2017, The Martu Leadership Program: Evaluation of a Pilot Program using the Social Return on Investment (SROI) Methodology. SVA Consulting, p. 48.

the qualities they value, Palya, Kanyirinpa, Yiwarra, Kujungkarrini and Ninti, believing that from these qualities will come the energy and perseverance for action. It is too early to discuss the second stage of the program in any depth, but in order to illustrate the ways in which Martu are driving it, and the practicality of the approach, we tell one final story. Martu hold together the various parts of this story, and tell it to others, through Figure 11.5, and we refer iteratively to that diagram throughout the account.

The emerging criminal justice story When Martu tell this story, it starts with the moment when a young Martu turned the magistrate’s head around. Early in stage one of the program, a young Martu man was in Newman Magistrate’s Court awaiting sentencing. This is a usual scenario, and one in which Martu have generally appeared passive and silent. As is usual the magistrate asked whether the man had anything to say of relevance to sentencing. The man cleared his throat. A moment of silence followed. The magistrate looked up, he had had no expectation of a reply from the Martu man. Shyly at first, and respectfully, the man began to speak – indicating that he understood that the magistrate needed to look back at the man’s past offences, but he wanted the magistrate to know that he himself was turning around, putting trouble behind him, and doing a program 173

Ann Ingamells and Peter Johnson

that would help him to help his community. Did the magistrate register the significance of this moment? Possibly! After some thought, he agreed, with conditions, to suspend the sentence. He also made it clear that he wanted to know more about the program. The Martu man was elated. Had Martu ever changed a magistrate’s mind before? He didn’t think so. Keen to provide the magistrate with more information about the program, he decided the best way to do this was to take him on country with the MLP participants. A changed community narrative began at that moment. That magistrate camped out with Martu and senior community members and became a firm advocate for the program. He invited participants and Elders to present to a conference of magistrates, and created the context for senior magistrates and senior Martu to greet each other appropriately. That magistrate’s time in Newman was coming to an end, however, and the new magistrate was an unknown to Martu. If they were to turn her head around, they would need to start relationship building again. There is more to this story shortly, but first a different part of the criminal justice journey. Meanwhile, the Aboriginal Legal Service based in the State’s capital, Perth, visited the Pilbara as part of a consultation process. Martu, honing their skills in presenting their case to those conducting consultations, prepared themselves seriously and brought forth a number of issues. Happily, the Legal Service invited Martu to work with them to address key issues of Martu concern. This new addition to their network, combined with their new understanding that the law can be changed, opened new ways for Martu to think about their situation. “Law” entered the diagram, bottom left, and Martu gained a new appreciation of this underpinning of the whole criminal justice system and its apparatus. Several of the issues that Martu raised with the Aboriginal Legal Service concerned police treatment of Martu, and the poor relationships between police and Martu. Several actions took place as program staff and the Legal Service supported Martu to put themselves on a different footing with police. They met with local officers in charge, they visited police training headquarters and met with senior staff, and they began to play an active role in police cultural awareness training. These steps are establishing a two-way education process between Martu and police. “Police” entered the diagram, third place from bottom left. Gradually Martu are putting the pieces of the criminal justice system together in a new way, a way in which they are not just its passive victims. To the top of the diagram, prison and parole are depicted. Early in 2017, the program negotiated permission to visit Roebourne prison to deliver workshops to Martu inmates. This led to MLP participants sharing their learning with Martu prisoners. For two hours, the prisoners sat, glued to their seats, all eyes on the presenters, amazed that their peers, many of whom were in prison themselves not so long ago, are now speaking so fluently, in language, about things of such importance. Even to have language spoken in Roebourne prison and accorded a proper space there, was a culturally affirming thing. Now, trips to Roebourne to deliver workshops are a regular occurrence. Deep discussions are had on the long drive home about Martu, trouble, police, prison and sentencing. The second pictogram from bottom left on the diagram represents the trouble that Martu repeatedly get into, which triggers the actions of the criminal justice system. Gradually, as they have mapped the system and begun to understand the effort involved in changing it, Martu have come to see that the part they could potentially have most control over is this part – the behaviours that land them in trouble. This has opened a whole new dimension of awareness and change, concerned with alcohol and its impact on Martu offending, which will continue to find new forms of action. Through these processes Martu discovered that there is such a thing as a diversionary program, which is a form of sentence based around rehabilitation rather than imprisonment.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

174

The martu leadership program

A diversionary program can be delivered in the community and is designed to educate the person who has offended and remedy the offending behaviour. Amidst profound discussions about the implications of such programs, Martu came to a decision that they should run such a program. The diversionary program then came into the diagram in a quite central position, as one way that Martu could contribute positively into the system. The diagram now tells a new story of action for change, and Martu speak to it confidently and enthusiastically. In 2017, Martu initiated an unprecedented event. In a sense this was a capstone of the learning and work Martu had already achieved and a platform to launch the very serious next stage of the MLP. They invited the Pilbara Magistrate, senior officers from Newman police, the Jigalong police officer, senior Roebourne prison staff, lawyers from the Aboriginal Legal Service and the Perth-based police diversity officer, on an educative excursion to a beautiful part of their country, where they camped not too distant from one of the Martu communities. Many Martu attended, including people from the Ranger Program and senior community members, around 60 people in total. The men and women of the MLP worked together to make this happen and ensured their own readiness through a number of preparatory workshops. The agenda was to explore with these stakeholders how to reduce the number of Martu in prison and to find ways of getting better outcomes for Martu from the criminal justice system. Martu had many ideas they wanted to share.10 On the first day they showed the visitors around the Martu community, and took them to special places on country. Then, as the visitors settled into position in the desert open air classroom, the MLP participants began to explain how the criminal justice system impacts on Martu. One after another Martu spoke, some in English, some in language. To speak, they moved to the front of the 60-strong audience. They used the diagram (Figure 11.5) to guide their explanations. They introduced the idea of the diversionary program and there was a lengthy discussion about it, involving input from most of the people assembled. In a later session Martu divided themselves between smaller groups meeting with police, prison officers and the magistrate. The women met with the magistrate, wanting her to know that Martu did not understand the system, particularly the ways it operated in relation to family violence. This gathering will have flow-on effects for time to come, as one stakeholder said:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

We know what we are doing is not working and we now know that if the conversation is opened, Aboriginal people do know how we might resolve things. We have to allow them to be the voice that drives into the future . . . I can see now that I can change what I do so as to improve things for Martu. That’s exciting! An immediate outcome was that the magistrate invited the women to Newman Magistrate’s Court to learn more about how it works. At one point in this process, the women reversed roles. The Martu women played the magistrate’s role, with the magistrate in the dock. They ran the process in Martu Wangka, determined the appropriate sentence and sentenced her in language. She understood little of what was going on, and admitted to feeling quite disempowered. The effect of course was empowering for the Martu women and the magistrate, and each had greater empathy for each other’s position. If we use the Martu principles to reflect on this gathering, it might look something like this: Palya – Confidence: Martu are confident in their learning and ready to share it with senior whitefellas. This was a celebration of learning acquired through the MLP and of confidence achieved. Ninti – knowledge: Martu demonstrated their growing knowledge of the criminal justice system and its needed changes. 175

Ann Ingamells and Peter Johnson

Kanyirninpa – Renewed social strength between generations. This meeting both showed and enhanced the renewed relationship of respect between the old people and the young adults. Several senior Elders attended and observed how the younger adults presented, engaged and gained respect from very senior whitefellas. They appeared to be proud of the young people and, although they are guarded with their praise, were clearly supportive. Yiwarra – Strategies and plans: Martu shaped and delivered an agenda as part of their determination to build a better future. Kujungkarrini – walking together or partnership: Old hostilities and competition between Martu have melted away, they are working as one to do something of importance to all. In the process they are building partnerships with whitefellas who can help them. Hopefully this brief story helps readers grasp the importance of these principles to Martu. We can consider this gathering too, in terms of the emerging platforms for action. Education: This gathering would have been inconceivable without the MLP. The value of learning was clearly on display, and the necessity for ongoing learning was equally evident. Economy: There will be economic initiatives, including jobs, emerging over time as a result of seeds planted in this gathering. One example could be a Martu-led diversionary program. Governance: This gathering consolidated this younger group of Martu adults as a political force, acting in concert with the Elders. A form of community governance is emerging from inside the community, and whitefellas present acknowledged this by asking for advice on things that they struggle with. Social issues: This was the heart of the meeting and an entire strategy with multiple parts was furthered. Engagement with government and key stakeholders: Strong engagement was manifest.

Taylor and Francis

Discussion

Not for distribution

On the ground, Martu, operating in conditions of chronic uncertainty, and facing enormous challenges in many areas of their lives, are establishing the platforms and practices of their own future. Their increasing ownership of the program has ensured that change is genuinely transformative. They cannot undertake this work alone. Providing some conceptual frames to clarify and give more concrete form to what is emerging is a skilful role, and one which KJ has taken very seriously, engaging a raft of supportive expertise in the process. Martu now have a network of people with diverse expertise that they can call on as they need to. The relationship between KJ and Martu is a foundation for all that has happened. Martu have come to trust KJ. Such trust is an asset and a responsibility for any organisation, and it has been dramatically enhanced by the MLP. The whitefella staff at KJ have a paramount role in maintaining the relationships and the trust. Current staff have a strong conception that their role is to help give structure to what Martu know will work. This is important because so often staff see their primary responsibility as delivering the program rather than engaging and enabling the people. Such distinctions may seem subtle, but they are critical. As a developmental evaluator, it has been possible to identify multiple points where whitefella staff have opened the way for Martu to give expression to their own vision, their own skills and their own community process. At no stage has the program focused on changing people’s values, attitudes or behaviour (a common focus of social practice). There is a praxis here which is critical to the future of whitefella–Indigenous social change processes. A policy strategy is sorely needed to fund and adequately prepare practitioners and communities for this work. In line with experimentalist approaches, Martu are open about their work, their progress, their struggles and their learning. Participants themselves have established multiple layers of 176

The martu leadership program

accountability – to each other, to their communities, to their mentors and Elders. They take seriously their accountability to funders. Martu bring a depth to reflection which gives some insight into the quality of learning. They have moved from being silent in most mainstream contexts to speaking and acting confidently and with intention. Always they seek to learn from others and to teach reciprocally. They continue to face social and personal challenges, and they are now open about these too. There have been some significant lessons for evaluators. First, it is imperative to understand the method of approach of the program. In this instance, this has meant having an understanding of community development and the kinds of dynamics that are consistent with the method. There were times when staff were under pressure from non-Martu stakeholders to tackle literacy or tackle the alcohol problem. Luckily, staff knew that to do this would detract from the momentum growing within Martu, but it was also helpful that the evaluators could see and affirm this. It has been important that the evaluators not get caught up in monitoring individual progress, because although there are individual gains, the main benefits are at the level of the group. This is a generational program, aimed at raising the abilities and aspirations of a generation of young Martu. Individuals may come and go, but a skilled generation that can work well together and with Elders offers a culturally resonant promise for a sustainable future. Reflection has been vital to program development. Many sessions involved discussions about the meaning of things in this cross-cultural context. It is so easy to interpret according to one’s own cultural framework and get quite a wrong understanding. The sessions followed the emerging method and adaptations providing insight into how the program has achieved the changes it has. This has value beyond the program, enabling an in-depth community development case study. This chapter began by raising the connection between the MLP and the policy context. By inference, the case study has raised the question of what an enabling policy and funding regime might look like. Here we summarise some of the elements that have been found to be critical within the case study. From command-control to community-led development: A command-control approach could never achieve the kinds of outcomes discussed in this chapter. Community-led development is a powerful approach, yet requires different mindsets, different ways of using power and different sorts of relationships. This involves much learning for government and communities. Recognition of a distinct society: Martu have made clear that they live within a distinct society, and it is there that their aspirations and endeavours towards change are embedded. They believe policy would be more effective if those making it, and implementing it, accepted this fact. This is foundational for Martu and potentially for other Indigenous communities. Participation in two-way learning: Martu talk often about two-way learning. In this, there are multiple dynamics. Young adults must learn and become mature in both the Martu cultural way and the mainstream way. They must learn from the elders and give back by supporting and listening to the elders. They need to gain acceptance from, and have credibility with, their own community and whitefella society. This means negotiating the opportunities and constraints of both. They must also learn from whitefellas and give back by teaching them about Martu society. Martu assume that whitefellas value learning from Martu, but the ultimate evidence of that learning will lie in better policy, better decisions and mutual work for better outcomes. Adult learning for adult life: This is an immediate policy necessity. A great deal of money has been invested in training in remote communities for jobs that do not exist, yet the need for responsive adult education goes unmet. This case study illustrates its importance and some

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

177

Ann Ingamells and Peter Johnson

effective approaches to it. The case study also illustrates that adult learning of sophisticated concepts depends on their relevance to the community concerned, rather than on the literacy levels of the learners. A local organisation: It is hard to imagine how remote Indigenous communities can grow and change and develop in the modern context without their own organisational structures. Yet, organisations (and policy and programs) are whitefella constructs. Aboriginal people need many opportunities to understand those constructs if they are to make their organisations work for them. A range of approaches and investments may be helpful here, but their purpose must be to strengthen the people’s own capacity to run their own organisations. Long-term investment in long-term goals: An enabling approach would stabilise funding for a period long enough for consolidation of change. Operating a program of this kind is challenging. Once there is momentum, the pace of action is fast and the program must keep pace with it. There are no spare personnel to write endless funding applications. Martu and government could readily agree on some long-term goals, but the more local flexibility there is around outputs and short- and medium-term outcomes the better. Bottom-up and emergent approaches: Community development, adaptive programming and developmental evaluation are highly valuable approaches in enabling community-led change. Yet, skilled personnel in these areas are few and far between. Both professional staff and community members need ongoing opportunities to become adept with these more enabling approaches. Community economies: Most remote communities have a hybrid economy of some sort (art, cultural heritage work, ranger work, community service work). People may work at several jobs part time, including unpaid community work. There are many ways in which policy makers and investors could help strengthen local economies and could save much of the current money that is misdirected at unsuitable service delivery. Changing policy mindsets: Because change is two-way, those responsible for policy, programming and funding need new skills and mindsets for relational contracting and mutual accountability. This means being willing and able to change even fundamental assumptions about program direction, content, methods and short-term outcomes to harness what is clearly working and dispense with what is not. This will provide greater capacity to secure shared long-term outcomes.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Conclusion All of these messages have been said before. The aim here has been to provide practical and indepth insight into how they work in practice and how they are cut across by unhelpful imposed practices. We repeat here, just in case it has not come through loudly enough, that Martu purpose is to build Martu society. It is only through the MLP that they have come to recognise that Martu society, in its modern context, can be stronger if it has greater knowledge of whitefella society. Every step of the way, Martu have shared their own knowledge in a reciprocal way. They believe this enriches whitefella society. From a Martu perspective, this mutuality is the foundation stone for policy success. The danger in attempting to convey the multifaceted character of the MLP in such a chapter as this is that, despite describing so many key components and activities, we miss the ultimate character. The MLP empowers a generation who have suffered deep harm from the continuing violence of post-colonial impacts and cross-cultural collision. The program for learning, the platforms for speaking, the vehicles for change are all mobilised to that one end. The program empowers this generation, in their modern context, to shape their own futures, create their own 178

The martu leadership program

priorities, their own social and political vehicles for change, their own unifying social direction. These express their emergent, contemporary and resonant narrative of what it means to be a young Martu adult living fully across two worlds.

Notes 1 This quote is attributed to Lao Tzu and presumed from the Tao Te Ching. 2 Australian Indigenous peoples include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. This chapter is about Aboriginal people of the remote desert areas, rather than the Peoples of the Torres Strait Islands. There are many different Aboriginal groups across remote Australia, and the Martu are one such group. 3 Empowered Communities (2015) is a recent high-profile initiative of Aboriginal people across eight regions, who have negotiated with national government a degree of local authority for the ongoing development of their communities, in line with the principle of subsidiarity and methods of community development. Martu communities are not part of this initiative. 4 Bridges (2009) distinguishes between change and transition. Change, for example, can mean a new structure, but transition means the mental and psychological, relational and practice changes that will ensure the new structure operates in a new way. 5 Random controlled trials, results based evaluations and even cost benefit analyses have limited usefulness in complex remote contexts – see Hudson, 2017. 6 The term “whitefellas” is common in Martu parlance and we use it here in preference to the cumbersome “non-Indigenous people”. It embraces male and female and people of any ethnicity other than Australian Indigenous people. 7 By using the term authorised we speak to concerns about cultural appropriation. There are certainly parts of the Martu story that whitefellas are not permitted to tell. Parts told in this chapter are those which Martu have explicitly identified as appropriate to be told, as part of their intent to share the learnings with whitefellas. 8 The Commonwealth funded ranger program is one of the most successful policy initiatives in remote communities, providing employment which fits with traditional values, doing what people want to do, producing outcomes (for country) which people value. The MLP may not have been possible without the platform which the KJ Ranger Program provides. 9 Government has since partially funded the women’s leadership program. 10 For a short video see www.kj.org.au/justice-camp-2017/.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

References Bridges, W (2009), Managing transitions, 3rd edn, Nicholas Brealey, London. Caldwell, B (2014), Realigning the governance of schools in Australia energising an experimentalist approach. Educational transformations. A paper for the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU Workshop on the theme of ‘Twenty first century public management: The experimentalist alternative’. Retrieved from: http://educationaltransformations.com.au/wp-content/uploads/ANU-Caldwell-Paper.pdf. Empowered Communities (2015), Empowered peoples design report, Wunan Foundation. Retrieved from: www.empoweredcommunities.org.au. Freire, P and Macedo, D (1987), ‘Literacy: Reading the word and the world’, in Macedo, D (ed.), Literacy: Reading the word and the world, Bergin & Garvey, Westport, CT and London. Part of chapter available at https://resources.oncourse.iu.edu/access/content/user/mikuleck/Filemanager_Public_Files/L501/ Unit%201%20Definitions/Freire%201998.pdf. Hudson, S (2017), Evaluating Indigenous programs: A toolkit for change, Centre Independent Studies. Retrieved from: www.cis.org.au/publications/research-reports/evaluating-indigenous-programs-a-toolkit-forchange/. IDEI Team (2013), What conditions will enable Indigenous-led development to thrive in Australia: A work in progress. Retrieved from: www.worldvision.com.au/docs/default-source/publications/australiaand-the-pacific/what-conditions-will-enable-indigenous-led-development-to-thrive-in-australia-. pdf?sfvrsn=4. Johnson, P, Nixon, Y and Davenport, S (2005), Cleared out: First contact in the Western Desert, Aboriginal Studies Press, AIATSIS Canberra. 179

Ann Ingamells and Peter Johnson

Marrie, H (2015), ‘Tackling the “Indigenous industry”’. Submission to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Reference Committee: Inquiry into Commonwealth Indigenous Advancement Strategy Tendering Processes. Sub_19.pdf. Retrieved from: www.aph.gov.au. Marsh, I (2010), Innovation and public policy: The challenge of an emerging paradigm, Australian Innovation Research Centre, University of Tasmania. Retrieved from: www.utas.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_ file/0016/111184/Innovation-and-Public-Policy.pdf. McCoy, B (2010), Holding men, kanyirninpa and the health of Aboriginal men, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra. Morley, S (2015), What works in effective Indigenous community managed programs & organisations? CFCA Paper 32, Retrieved from: https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/what-works-effective-indigenous-communitymanaged-programs-and-organisations. Quinn Patton, M (2015), ‘State of the art practice of developmental evaluation: Answers to common & recurring questions’, in Quinn Patton, M, McKegg, K and Wehipeihana, N (eds), Developmental Evaluation Exemplars: Principles in Practice, Guilford Press, New York, pp. 1–28. Retrieved from: www. cehd.umn.edu/OLPD/MESI/spring/2016/Patton-Chapter1.pdf. Sabel, CF and Zeitlin, J (2012), ‘Experimentalist governance’, in Levi-Faur, D (ed.), The Oxford handbook of governance, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. Shergold, P (2013), Foreword, (n.p.) in Craven R, Dillon, A and Parbury, N. (eds), Black & White: Australians All, at the Crossroads. Connorcourt. Retrieved from: www.amazon.com.au/black-whiteAustralians-All-Crossroads-ebook/dp/B00D94X7ZY. Social Ventures Australia Consulting (2017), The Martu Leadership Program: Evaluation of a pilot program using the social return on investment (SROI) methodology, Social Ventures Australia Consulting, Sydney. Stanley, F (2013), ‘On the ground: The key to successful policy outcomes’, Griffith Review, vol. 41, pp. 200–210. Sullivan, P (2015), A reciprocal relationship: Accountability for public value in the Aboriginal community sector, The Lowitja Institute, Melbourne. Retrieved from: www.lowitja.org.au/sites/default/files/docs/LowitjaAccountability-WEB.pdf. Walker BW, Porter DJ and Marsh I (2012), Fixing the hole in Australia’s heartland: How government needs to work in remote Australia, Desert Knowledge Australia, Alice Springs. Retrieved from: www.desert knowledge.com.au/Files/Fixing-the-hole-in-Australia-s-Heartland.aspx.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

180

12 Enhancing Aboriginal child welfare through multisector community collaboration Judy Gillespie

Introduction This chapter discusses research with and about a multisector community collaboration, offering it as both a community development strategy and viable policy approach to enhance Aboriginal child welfare and reduce the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children and families in statutory child protection.1 The discussion is based on research that began in the spring of 2008 as a combination of longitudinal case study research and community-based participatory research (CBPR) focusing on the membership and work of an Aboriginal Interagency Committee (AIC) operating in a rural/remote area of northwestern Alberta, Canada (Gillespie and Whitford, 2009). AIC members were involved in defining the research questions, in gathering, organising, and analysing information, and in reflecting on its relevance to their social change goals and strategies. The first half of the chapter highlights the relevance of community development to the welfare of Aboriginal children and families. While the contextual focus is Canada, the issues and arguments presented are relevant for other Anglophone child welfare systems with similar colonial and neocolonial practices. Research is presented into multisector community collaboration as a community development strategy to improve the welfare of Aboriginal children and families through the promotion of social change. This is followed by a discussion of the relationship of these findings to other research on multisector community change initiatives, noting similarities and differences as well as the challenges of evaluating their impacts and outcomes. The chapter concludes by revisiting the need for further discussion and dialogue regarding the promotion of social change at the community level as one element in the full spectrum of approaches to address child and family wellbeing.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Child welfare and community development Child welfare systems in Anglophone countries – Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America – have developed within a broader framework of liberal democracy (Lonne et al., 2009). Within this framework, childrearing has always constituted a central dilemma; how to ensure the care and protection of dependent and vulnerable 181

Judy Gillespie

children while simultaneously maintaining the privacy of the family and the autonomy of parents to rear children as they see fit. Despite some differences, policy approaches in these countries are generally characterised by highly individualistic and residual “child protection” systems in which families are left largely to their own devices unless and until children are identified as being “at risk” (Lonne et al., 2009). The focus is then on the deficits of these specific families with interventions geared to “fixing” these deficits or to re/placement of children into a new family. Prevention and early intervention approaches are often minimal and also highly individualistic, maintaining the focus on deficits ascribed to specific “at risk” individuals and groups. Largely ignored are broader contributing social relations and dynamics. The problem with this residual and individualistic approach is that child maltreatment is one of the most tricky, complex and intractable of “Wicked” problems (Devaney and Spratt, 2009). It is intricately related to a host of other Wicked Problems from substance abuse to poverty, mental illness, that encompass a complex interplay of individual, social and structural issues unique to each situation. Thus, while interventions to address individual issues are important, they are not sufficient, and there have been longstanding calls for incorporation of community development strategies and processes into child protection systems (Barter, 1999; Hudson, 1999; Lonne, 2013; Wharf, 2002). Yet, as the following section illustrates, nowhere is the need for a collective focus more relevant than in relation to Aboriginal child welfare.

Aboriginal child welfare in Canada Despite a lack of consistent measurement between and within various jurisdictions, it is widely known that Aboriginal children are significantly overrepresented in statutory child protection systems and that this trend is international in scope (Australian Institute of Health and Family, 2010; Bennett and Auger, 2013; Delfabbro et al., 2010; Public Health Agency of Canada, 2010; Thoburn, 2008; US Department of Health and Human Services, 2009). One Canadian study noted that Aboriginal children constitute approximately 5% of the total Canadian child population while comprising 40 to 80% of the children in foster home, group home or institutional care (Trocmé et al., 2004). A more recent Canadian study notes that rates of investigations of Aboriginal families are more than four times that of non-Aboriginal families, with substantiation of child protection concerns and rates of out of home placement also significantly higher for Aboriginal children and families (Sinha et al., 2011). An Australian study showed Australian Aboriginal children are nine times more likely to be placed in out of home care than non-Aboriginal children (Australian Institute of Health and Family, 2010). Furthermore, studies have reported that the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children increases as they move more deeply into child protection systems in Canadian (Blackstock et al., 2004), American (Carter, 2009; Harris and Hackett, 2008) and Australian contexts (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2010; Tilbury, 2009). This overrepresentation of Aboriginal children and families in statutory child protection systems is one of the more obvious outcomes of colonisation of Aboriginal peoples in each of these countries, and Canada provides a stark example of this. Prior to European contact, Aboriginal child welfare was sustained in the country now known as Canada for thousands of years through socio-cultural lifeworlds that placed a high degree of value on children and ensured traditions, identities, roles and relations that nurtured children’s physical, spiritual, social, emotional and intellectual growth (Blackstock and Trocmé, 2005). European colonisation attacked these lifeworlds through genocide, displacement, outlawing of cultural traditions and enforced removal of children from families and communities and placement in residential schools where they were

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

182

Enhancing Aboriginal child welfare

forbidden their language and customs, and where disease, neglect, and physical and sexual abuse were rampant. The disturbance of a people’s lifeworld has profound impacts. Traditions, social roles and relations that inform and sustain individual and collective identity are weakened or lost (Hand, 2006; Pettipas, 1994). Alienation, interpersonal violence, depression, addictions and suicide become common (Duran and Duran, 2000). While many Aboriginal people survived and resisted these assaults on their personal and collective wellbeing, for many others the impacts have been severe and multigenerational. In Canada, as in other countries with a history of colonisation, Aboriginal peoples are overrepresented in almost all negative measures of wellbeing. They are proportionally more likely to suffer mental and physical health problems, be unemployed, live in poverty, experience interpersonal violence, have poor housing and drop out of school. These issues are exacerbated by longstanding and entrenched racism that privileges Eurocentric identities, cultures and practices, and translates into postcolonial practices that continue to marginalise and exclude (Peters, 2005; Sandercock, 2004; Walker, 2008). Given the above, it is not surprising that analysis of “pathways” to overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in child protection systems suggests multiple intersecting and overlapping factors at individual, neighborhood/community and societal levels, rendering Aboriginal child welfare an exceedingly intractable and complex or “wicked”, social problem. Criticisms of individualistic and residual approaches to child protection are thus particularly resonant for Aboriginal communities and scholars who call for approaches that address the community and structural issues impacting Aboriginal family and child wellbeing, and that respect the resilience embedded within Aboriginal ways of caring for children, families and communities (Blackstock and Trocmé, 2005; Hardy et al., 2006; Hart, 2002). Their critiques suggest the need for forms and strategies of community development that challenge postcolonial attitudes and practices, and through which Aboriginal people are empowered in “place-making” (Walker, 2008). Yet there is a significant dearth of theoretical frameworks to aid in the identification and development of such forms and strategies. This research drew primarily on Tseng et al.’s (2002) concept of promotion of social change:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Promotion [of social change] lends itself to an opening up of intervention possibilities that extend beyond the mere absence of problems . . . Prevention goals often are constrained to be the absence of problems or deviations from prescribed norms, and these goals are achieved by moving individuals and settings toward predefined and presumed-superior states by countering their deviation from those states. These efforts not only run the risk of maintaining the status quo, but they can limit the possibilities for individuals and communities to exercise their potentials. (Tseng et al., 2002, pp. 404–405) Most importantly Tseng et al. (2002) note that in the promotion of social change the target of intervention is social systems rather than individuals. While not denying the importance of prevention, early intervention or child protection, given widespread recognition of the role of social and structural issues, promotion of social change constitutes a “missing link” in the full spectrum of approaches needed to promote child and family wellbeing. Research examining social change at the community level is of particular interest. The following section discusses research conducted between 2008 and 2012, examining the promotion of social change by a multisector collaboration aimed at enhancing Aboriginal wellbeing. 183

Judy Gillespie

A case study in the promotion of social change As noted earlier, this research was a combination of longitudinal case study research and CBPR focusing on the membership and work of an Aboriginal Interagency Committee (AIC) operating in a rural/remote area of northwestern Alberta, Canada. The Peace River Aboriginal Interagency Committee has a 20-year history in the Peace River region of northwestern Alberta, Canada. The region encompasses the town of Peace River (pop. 6,729) as well as numerous smaller settlements. Begun originally as a grassroots forum for information sharing between service providers, over time the group has become more action-focused, oriented to the promotion of social change to improve the lives of Aboriginal people. Yet the committee remains an informal organisation with no formal funding. In all its activities it relies on voluntary participation, donations and funds contributed by agencies and organisations both within and outside of the region. The essence of the case study is its detailed examination of one or more naturally occurring phenomena, specifically chosen by the researcher due to its broader social significance (Neuman, 1997). The case of the AIC was of interest due to its focus on the promotion of social change at the community level and the implications of this for Aboriginal child welfare. CBPR, on the other hand, is a collaborative process that begins with a research topic of importance to the community with the aim of combining knowledge and action for social change. It involves all participants as equals in the research process, recognising the unique strengths of each (Minkler, 2004). The tensions between these two methodologies are obvious – but turned out to be surmountable. The research began with a presentation to the AIC identifying both of these goals: the desire to “study” the membership and work of the AIC due to a belief in its broader social significance, along with the desire to conduct research that was identified by members as relevant and helpful to them and their social change efforts. A tentative agreement was struck and the research began with a focus group that involved AIC members in defining ways the research could be relevant to their needs as well as the role they wished to play in data collection, analysis, reflection and dissemination. This process was revisited annually through the three-year period of the research. It should also be noted that the research was influenced by Aboriginal ways of knowing (see, for example, Ermine, 1995; Little Bear, 2000). While there was a certain amount of congruence between these and CBPR, notably the creation and use of knowledge for the benefit of the community, and the recognition that this requires reflection and attunement to subjective experience, there were also tensions and areas of divergence that required ongoing and mutually respectful dialogue and flexibility and adaptability in the application of research methods. Information was gathered by observing and participating in AIC meetings, through two focus groups and through semi-structured interviews with AIC members, through examination of documents including minutes of interagency meetings, correspondence to or from the interagency committee (or its subcommittees), and documents from the member agencies themselves. The information was analysed qualitatively using a reflexive-dialectical approach that encompassed four broad “domains of analysis”: subjective individual meanings and values; social discourses and dialogues; individual words and actions; and social systems, structures and events (Kemmis and McTaggart, 2000). The following section presents three aspects of the findings from this research: first, aspects of AIC membership; second, the nature of the AIC’s promotion of social change; and third, factors identified as critical to enabling and sustaining the AIC.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

184

Enhancing Aboriginal child welfare

Research findings Membership Information on and analysis of membership encompassed three areas: examining multisector participation in the AIC, identifying factors enabling and sustaining participation, and exploring the meaning of membership. Longitudinal analysis of multisector participation in the AIC focused on AIC meeting attendance based on attendees’ identified affiliation. AIC meeting minutes spanning 2002 to 2011 constituted the primary data source; minutes were reviewed to ascertain individual attendees and their respective affiliations (individuals listed as meeting guests were excluded from the analysis). The range of individuals attending monthly meetings was 8–26, with 12 being the average. Overall, a total of 224 individuals with 89 distinct affiliations attended meetings. These affiliations were coded into 9 community sectors and 28 subsectors. Strength of subsector participation was analysed by totalling annual attendees within each subsector. Analysis showed long-term involvement of individuals, agencies and organisations across most major community sectors including representatives from community-based agencies and government departments across health, social services, education and justice, and municipal and Aboriginal leaders as well as representatives from business, cultural and spiritual organisations. AIC membership encompasses both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. The involvement of many members is specifically supported by the mandates of the organisations or programs that employ them. Others are members because their work has given them firsthand knowledge of the need for broader social change to enhance Aboriginal wellbeing. Many Aboriginal members suggested membership provides them with an important source of connection and shared purpose with other Aboriginal people. Both Aboriginal and nonAboriginal members indicated that they particularly appreciated the AIC’s action focus, the focus on achieving change as opposed to an interagency organisation that is strictly information sharing. The collaborative approach to achieving this was particularly valued as captured in the following quotes:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

We’re all working individually but we’re working together as a whole with the same goals and visions. (AIC member) It is really working at something outside ourselves . . . We are all working into the circle to further the . . . build up the life and values of First Nation, in whatever way each of us, and through our organisations, can do it. So we are kind of turned outward and we all meet there in the middle somehow. Each one is not worried about guarding their own pet project, somehow we have a sense of “what I’m about”, is building up this community of Aboriginal people, but everyone in the circle is contributing toward that. So we are all affirming what is happening. (AIC member)

Promotion of social change Information on and analysis of the AIC’s promotion of social change encompassed three questions: what is the nature of social change promoted by the AIC, how does this promotion occur, and what are its impacts? Analysis identified three aspects in the promotion of social change: 185

Judy Gillespie







Strengthening Aboriginal lifeworlds: This encompasses celebrating Aboriginal identity and enhancing social relations between diverse Aboriginal identities and cultures within the community and broader region, as well as supporting and enhancing cultural knowledge, traditions and practices. Enhancing relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community members: This encompasses promoting Aboriginal culture, traditions and identities within the broader community as well as enhancing understanding and respect of non-Aboriginal people towards Aboriginal identity, culture, traditions and knowledge. Challenging institutional racism: Institutional policies often reflect limited understanding of cultural differences or lived experience. The AIC highlights and attempts to address blatant as well as subtle forms of institutional racism that impact Aboriginal wellbeing.

While it is impossible to offer a comprehensive examination of all the activities and events that the committee has coordinated, the following briefly highlight some activities and efforts that reflect the above.

Aboriginal Gathering and Pow-wow The presence of cultural assets, and preservation and participation in cultural traditions, have been identified as important aspects in Aboriginal wellbeing, promoting bonding and fostering child and family resilience (Filbert and Flynn, 2010; Lalonde, 2005). In 2016 the AIC organised the 21st annual Aboriginal Gathering and 13th annual Pow-wow. The event brings together Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal individuals and groups across the region in organising, volunteering, donating and celebrating the diverse cultural assets and traditions that are present within the region. There are prayers and ceremonies, music and dancing, feasting, and displays of traditional crafts.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Sisters in Spirit

Interpersonal violence is one of the most common reasons for child protection referrals, and Aboriginal women in Canada are heavily overrepresented as victims of interpersonal violence with forms of violence significantly more likely to be the most severe and potentially lifethreatening (Standing Committee on the Status of Women, 2011). The intergenerational cycle is a vicious one – children are traumatised by the victimisation of mothers, grandmothers, sisters and other female family members, yet this trauma often remains unresolved and unattended by the larger community, and many affected children grow into adults who perpetuate the cycle. Sisters in Spirit vigils were developed by the Native Women’s Association of Canada to draw attention to violence against Aboriginal women, to honour the lives of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls, and to support and assist in healing for families who have lost loved ones to violence (Native Women’s Association of Canada, 2012). An AIC subcommittee has organised the annual Sisters in Spirit vigil every year since their inception by the Native Women’s Association of Canada.

Aboriginal dance arbour Symbols and structures representative of Aboriginal culture and traditions have disappeared from most Canadian communities to be replaced by symbols and structures of other cultures. The not-so-subtle message is that Aboriginal symbols and structures are unimportant or no 186

Enhancing Aboriginal child welfare

longer relevant to community life. The AIC secured land and funding for the construction of an Aboriginal dance arbour that provides a permanent facility at which to hold Aboriginal Gatherings and Pow-wows. The structure raises the profile of Aboriginal people and communicates the importance of Aboriginal culture within the regional fabric.

General health and social planning/advocacy Aboriginal people often encounter institutional racism in the form of barriers to health care, housing and other basic services, and by being disproportionally affected by cuts to services; this too has been identified as an underlying factor in Aboriginal child protection (Trocmé et al., 2004). The AIC consistently identifies and engages in advocacy to address systemic issues at the local level and has included the provision of dental care, access to housing, cuts to public transportation and enabling more culturally relevant approaches to foster care recruitment. Social change goals and activities are identified through a collective planning process that typically occurs annually, though additional needs and activities may be identified and implemented outside of this formal process. Activities are coordinated through various subcommittees; members participate in subcommittees based on interest or the relevance of subcommittee activities to their organisational mandate. These subcommittees may be long or short term depending on how quickly they achieve their intended outcomes. The AIC also uses an asset-based approach in its social change efforts, drawing on members’ contacts and organisational resources and mobilising a wide range of individuals and groups well beyond that of its immediate membership. For example, analysis of the 2011 Sister’s in Spirit Memorial identified 33 different community groups that donated time, talent, money or material goods to the event. Information regarding the effects of the AIC’s promotion of social change was gathered primarily through stories. Three of these are presented below. The first concerns the impact of the Sisters in Spirit Memorial from the point of view of the woman who initiated their adoption by the AIC:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

We had a couple of memorials to remember the Montreal Massacre2 where a number of female students at the Polytechnique were murdered, and we had smallish turnouts, 20–25 people would come to a candlelight ceremony to remember those people. And I was keeping track of who the murdered and missing women were around Peace River, and especially deaths from family violence, and they were overwhelmingly Aboriginal women . . . So when I heard about the Sisters in Spirit Campaign, sponsored by the Native Women’s Association of Canada, I thought, that might resonate with people here. So I took a proposal to [the AIC] and I was just thrilled with the result! Two Aboriginal members quickly volunteered to be co-chairs of the organising committee . . . That buy-in was absolutely there, and we had, I think in the very first year, 70 people or something . . . And it was because the Aboriginal Interagency was able to reach out and find people who had been affected by this tragedy and they came and told their stories. We read the names of 40 missing or murdered Aboriginal women, mostly women from northwestern Alberta, and we invited family members of four missing or murdered Aboriginal women to come and talk about what they remembered of their loved one . . . And that really was much more meaningful to people in this area. And this past year we had over 200 people at the memorial . . . So, that has really forwarded awareness of violence against women, and particularly Aboriginal women. (AIC member) 187

Judy Gillespie

From someone working with Aboriginal women came this story: The Sisters in Spirit, for example, well, women in . . . are telling me about abuse that happens, and they want to bring their children to the Sisters in Spirit Walk so that they can know how we care for these people [who have lost family members to violence] and how women are honoured. A story concerning the impact of the Pow-wow came from someone working with Aboriginal youth in the community: I’ve seen those kids come alive because they’ve learned to dance and they find themselves, and I mean, I have amazing success stories, where I had a kid that was leading down the road of addictions and everything else and she came around because she learned to dance. And within herself she found out that she’s a really good writer, because she started to write about her dance in poetry, and then has gone on and on and on. So, that’s just one little success story. I’ve seen other kids that, they’d wear their hoodie over their head, and you’d never see them, and then when they started to dance, all of a sudden they’re walking prouder. They’re saying they’re Cree, and their proud of it, and before they would say they were Mexican. You know? There was no pride there. (AIC member)

Enabling and sustaining the AIC

Taylor and Francis

Four factors were identified as critical to enabling and sustaining the AIC and its promotion of social change. First, its shared vision, values and goals. The work of the AIC is grounded in a collective vision, mission and values that have been developed by its members. These are periodically reviewed to ensure their continuing relevance. Goals and strategic activities linked to the above are developed by the members on a regular (annual or bi-annual) basis. Differences and disagreements are part of the process and are handled through dialogue; listening to one another and trying to arrive at a high degree of consensus since this is part of the identified values. In the words of one AIC member:

Not for distribution

[j]ust the respectfulness with which we treat each other . . . there can be differences of opinion, and I guess one of the things that, that tends to happen is that we just uh wait until we have more of a consensus. There’s no hurry to over-rule people and move on. It [the AIC] will try to allow different opinions in a respectful way, and still move forward towards [a common] goal. (AIC member) A second essential component in enabling and sustaining the AIC appears to be its formal structure. The AIC holds monthly meetings, while subcommittees also meet on a regular basis. Meetings enable planning, reflection, identification of new issues, networking and information sharing. An email distribution list facilitates information sharing between members as well as with a wider audience of community and regional stakeholders. Monthly AIC meetings include a presentation from an invited guest or representative of an AIC member organisation, and these may lead to the identification of issues that become targets for social change. For example, the housing sector, previously absent from the community network, is now included via representatives from North Peace Housing. A representative from the organisation presented at a 2012 188

Enhancing Aboriginal child welfare

meeting; a housing subcommittee was formed immediately after to address issues identified in the presentation. Agendas emailed prior to meetings provide further structure. AIC meetings and subcommittee meetings are facilitated by committee chairs/co-chairs that move the committee through the various agenda items. Expert facilitation is utilised for meetings that review the AIC’s collective mission, vision and values, as well as for meetings that involve setting annual goals and activities. The third component identified as critical to enabling and sustaining the AIC is its supporting infrastructure. Space for AIC meetings and subcommittee meetings is provided by the Sagitawa Friendship Centre and other participating organisations. The Friendship Centre also plays the role of banker for funds that are collected and dispersed in support of various AIC activities. Committee and subcommittee chairs/co-chairs provide leadership and coordination, while expert facilitation at visioning and planning sessions is provided through the formal role of one of the AIC members. Administrative support is provided through two positions within the Northwest Child and Family Service Authority. The AIC is further enabled and sustained through organisations that support representative participation in the AIC, from municipal districts to community-based organisations, to government departments, and through the donations and in-kind support that these organisations provide to its social change activities. The fourth component identified as critical to enabling and sustaining the AIC and its work is Aboriginal leadership and grounding in Aboriginal traditions and cultural practices that reflect the diversity of Aboriginal identities within the region. While there is no formal requirement that committee or subcommittee chairs must be Aboriginal, the involvement of Aboriginal members in the leadership of the AIC was identified by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal members as an important component in its success. AIC meetings open with a prayer and often include a smudging ceremony for those who wish to participate. Ceremonies are held at least annually for the AIC membership and have included traditional pipe ceremonies, feasts and round dances as well as a cultural camp to enable members to learn more about the diverse Aboriginal cultures in the area. The inclusion of cultural and spiritual traditions depends on the guidance and support of Elders. Elders assist members in the articulation of their collective vision, mission and values, and in thinking about specific goals and strategies. Elders also provide mentorship to AIC leaders, enabling them with greater skill and confidence. These aspects were identified as important by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal members as noted below:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

I like that we open with a prayer, I really appreciate that. I like the way we have the Elder if she’s there or he’s there opening with a prayer . . . a traditional prayer. I like the respect that is there. (AIC member) The more a person walks with First Nation, or among the people, we have discovered that they are a very spiritual people. It is woven into their culture. It is so a part of who they are that if we want to be an Aboriginal Interagency, then we need to walk that path too. (AIC member) Because Little Red is different than Peace River and Métis from the Manning area are a little different yet again, and then we have towards Worsley, so yeah, there’s some Beaver here, some Dene influence & that, some Cree, so yeah, you know . . . we are trying to unify it, but create sort of equal representation and then bringing in that knowledge . . . as well respect for and belief in the importance of the traditions, values, and culture of [all the different] Aboriginal people. (AIC member) 189

Judy Gillespie

Discussion Multisector (or multistakeholder) collaborations have been a long-standing feature of community practice, encompassing a diverse array of objectives and strategies (Bradshaw, 2000; Craig, 2007; Jones et al., 2008; Roberts-Degennaro, 1997). They reflect the knowledge that complex social issues – such as Aboriginal child welfare – cannot be effectively addressed by any community organisation or government department working in isolation. Such issues result from the interplay of multiple factors. As Kania and Kramer state, “No single organisation is responsible for any major social problem, nor can any single organisation cure it” (Kania and Kramer, 2011, pp. 38–39). Multisector collaborations are viewed as promising avenues for the attainment of bridging and linking capital that facilitate connections between diverse groups within a specific locality, increasing social cohesion, promoting social inclusion and fostering greater opportunities and access to resources for traditionally marginalised groups (Ennis and West, 2013; Gilchrist, 2009). As this case study illustrates, multisector collaborations depend on a high degree of contextual knowledge; knowledge of the people and particular circumstances in communities (Bradford, 2005). They require the inclusion of representatives of community-based agencies with awareness of the lived experiences of residents, as well as the “joined-up” efforts of local representatives of senior and municipal government departments to enable the boundary-spanning cooperation, coordination and communication that are key to successful social change (Bradford, 2005; Gilchrist, 2009; Walker, 2008). And they require theories of change that go beyond a focus on vulnerable individuals, families or groups using workable “points of entry” to achieve social change. The social change focus of the AIC has been identified as a key component in its success and the story of its initial development of the Sisters in Spirit vigils illustrates the importance of local knowledge and joined up efforts, as well as a workable point of entry. The long-term multisector collaboration the AIC has achieved is difficult to establish and even more difficult to sustain (Hudson, 2004; Kania and Kramer, 2011; Miller et al., 2012; Provan et al., 2005; Torjman and Leviton-Reid, 2003). Successful multisector collaboration has been linked to a number of conditions including: a common agenda grounded in a theory of change, mutually reinforcing activities, strong leadership, continuous communication, backbone support, ongoing financial support and shared measurement systems. These same enabling and sustaining conditions have been noted in the AIC, along with the importance of Aboriginal leadership and grounding in Aboriginal knowledge, culture and traditions that reflect the diversity of Aboriginal residents. A final component identified in the success of multisector social change initiatives is that of effective evaluation of impacts and outcomes. Perceptions of the effectiveness of multisector collaboration can affect internal as well as external commitment and support, consequently assessing their impacts is a major concern (Kania and Kramer, 2011; Torjman and LevitonReid, 2003). Kania and Kramer (2011) argue that effective evaluation provides a form of action research that enables collective efforts to remain aligned, holding participants accountable to one another and facilitating processes of feedback on successes and failures within the various change strategies. This requires collecting data and measuring results on indicators at the community level and across all participating organisations. However, defining and obtaining clear measures for social change initiatives is highly challenging (Almog and Habib, 2013; Auspos and Kubisch, 2012; Berkowitz, 2001; Torjman and Leviton-Reid, 2003). Multisector collaborations entail complex, non-linear social change processes that are not amenable to reductionist methods of evaluation. In part this is because broad goals and visions for social change are long term; strategies to work towards them require significant flexibility in response to constantly changing

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

190

Enhancing Aboriginal child welfare

factors and dynamics within communities. In addition, change efforts are often affected by factors outside community control. With respect to multisector collaborations such as the AIC, it is not clear how culturally relevant ways of knowing might be incorporated into approaches to “data” and “measurement”, particularly as they relate to their social change efforts.

Conclusion As Kania and Kramer note: “Substantially greater progress could be made in alleviating many of our most serious and complex social problems if non-profits, governments, businesses, and the public were brought together around a common agenda to create collective impact” (2011, p. 38). Aboriginal child welfare certainly constitutes a serious and complex social problem; however, limited collaboration and isolated interventions remain the primary approaches. In part this reflects resistance to abandoning traditional approaches of individualising and partialising the problems and then funding single sector organisations to address one or two of the parts. It is also due to the tendency to treat community as a backdrop to, rather than an integral element in, child and family wellbeing, and to view promotion of social change at the community level as a crucial element in a spectrum of approaches to child and family wellbeing. And perhaps it is also due to the challenges of assessing the impacts of community change efforts. This chapter has showcased a case study of a long-term multisector collaboration as a community development approach to enhancing the wellbeing of Aboriginal people in northwestern Alberta. The conditions that enable and sustain this collaboration have been discussed as well as the importance of developing culturally relevant strategies of assessing its impacts and outcomes. While based on a single case study situated within a specific geographical and socio-political context, it hopefully offers inspiration and practical ideas for other contexts as well as the opportunity for further dialogue and investigation.

Taylor and Francis

Notes

Not for distribution

1 The term Aboriginal is used in place of Indigenous to reflect the colonised peoples of North America and Australia. In Canada this encompasses First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples; in the United States it encompasses American Indians; and in Australia, Aborigines. 2 The École Polytechnique Massacre, also known as the Montreal Massacre, occurred on 6 December 1989 at the École Polytechnique in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Twenty-five-year-old Marc Lépine, armed with a rifle and hunting knife, shot 28 people before killing himself. He deliberately targeted women as he claimed to be “fighting feminism”.

References Almog, Y and Habib, J (2013), The role of shared measurement in collaborations and its effective implementation: What have we learned thus far? Paper presented at The Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) Conference ‘Collaboration among Government, Market, and Society: Forging Partnerships and Encouraging Competition’, May, Shanghai, China. Retrieved from: http://brookdale. jdc.org.il/_Uploads/dbsAttachedFiles/The_Role_of_Shared_Measurement_in_Collaborations_and_ its_Effective_Implementation.pdf. Auspos, P and Kubisch, A (2012), Performance management in complex, place based work: What it is, what it isn’t, and why it matters, The Aspen Institute, Washington, DC. Australian Institute of Health and Family (2010), Child protection australia 2008–09. Retrieved from: http:// www.aihw.gov.au/publications/cws/cpa07–08/cpa07–08.pdf. Barter, K (1999), ‘Building community: A conceptual framework for child welfare’, Journal of Child and Youth Care, vol. 13, pp. 49–72. 191

Judy Gillespie

Bennett, M and Auger, A (2013), First Nations and non-Aboriginal children in child protection services, Prince George, BC: National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health. Retrieved from: www.ccnsanccah.ca/docs/health/FS-ChildProtectiveServices-Bennett-Auger-EN.pdf. Berkowitz, B (2001), ‘Studying the outcomes of community based coalitions’, American Journal of Community Psychology, vol. 29, pp. 213–227. Blackstock, C and Trocmé, N (2005), ‘Community-based child welfare for Aboriginal children: Supporting resilience through structural change’, in Ungar, M (ed.), Handbook for working with children and youth: Pathways to resilience across cultures and contexts, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 105–120. Blackstock, C, Trocmé, N and Bennett, M (2004), ‘Child maltreatment investigations among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal families in Canada’, Violence Against Women, vol. 10, no. 8, pp. 901–916. Bradford, N (2005), Place-based public policy: Towards a new urban and community agenda for Canada, Family Network Research Report F5. Canadian Policy Research Networks, Ottawa, Canada. Bradshaw, T (2000), ‘Complex community development projects: Collaboration, complex comprehensive programs and community coalitions in complex society’, Community Development Journal, vol. 35, pp. 133–145. Carter, V (2009), ‘Prediction of placement into out-of-home care for American Indian/Alaskan Natives compared to non-Indians’, Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 31, no. 8, pp. 840–846. Craig, G (2007), ‘Defining community and its development’, Journal of Community Practice, vol. 15, pp xxiii–xxvii. Delfabbro, P, Hirte, C, Rogers, N and Wilson, R (2010), ‘The over-representation of young Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people in the South Australian child system: A longitudinal analysis’, Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 32, pp. 1418–1425. Devaney, J and Spratt, T (2009), ‘Child abuse as a complex and wicked problem: Reflecting on policy developments in the United Kingdom in working with children and families with multiple problems’, Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 31, pp. 635–641. Duran, B and Duran, E (2000), ‘Applied postcolonial clinical and research strategies’, in Battiste, M (ed.), Reclaiming Indigenous voice and vision, UBC Press, Vancouver. Ennis, G and West, D (2013), ‘Community development and umbrella bodies: Networking for neighbourhood change’, British Journal of Social Work, vol. 44, no. 6, pp. 1582–1601. Ermine, W (1995), ‘Aboriginal epistemology’, in Battiste, M and Barman, J (eds), First Nations education in Canada: The circle unfolds, UBC Press, Vancouver, pp. 101–112. Filbert, K and Flynn, R (2010, ‘Developmental and cultural assets and resilient outcomes in First Nations young people in care: An initial test of an explanatory model’, Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 560–564. Gilchrist, A (2009), The well-connected community: A networking approach to community development, 2nd edn, Policy Press, Bristol, UK. Gillespie, J and Whitford, D (2009), Keeping the circle strong: Community networking to address off-reserve child welfare, Institute on Governance, Ottawa, ON. Retrieved from: http://iog.ca/wp-content/ uploads/2013/01/August2009_Keeping_the_Circle_Strong.pdf. Hand, C (2006), ‘An Ojibwe perspective on the welfare of children: Lessons of the past and visions for the future’, Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 20–46. Hardy, M, Schibler, B and Hamilton, I (2006), Strengthen the commitment: An external review of the child and family services system, Manitoba Minister of Family Services and Housing, Winnipeg, MB. Retrieved from: http://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/childfam/pubs/strengthen_the_commitment.pdf. Harris, M and Hackett, W (2008), ‘Decision points in child welfare: An action research model to address disproportionality’, Child and Youth Services Review, vol. 30, pp. 199–215. Hart, M (2002), Seeking Mino-Pimatisiwin: An Aboriginal approach to helping, Fernwood Publishing, Halifax, NS. Hudson, B (2004), ‘Analyzing network partnerships: Benson revisited’, Public Management Review, vol. 6, pp. 75–94. Hudson, P (1999), ‘Community development and child protection: A case for integration’, Community Development Journal, vol. 34, pp. 346–355. Jones, J, Crook, W and Reid Webb, J (2008), ‘Collaboration for the provision of services: A review of the literature’, Journal of Community Practice, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 41–71. Kania, J and Kramer, M (2011), ‘Collective impact’, Stanford Social Innovation Review, (Winter), 36–41. Retrieved from: https://volunteer.ca/content/ssir-collective-impact. Kemmis, S and McTaggart, R (2000), ‘Participatory action research’, in Denzin, N and Lincoln, Y (eds), Handbook of qualitative research, 2nd edn, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

192

Enhancing Aboriginal child welfare

Lalonde, C (2005), ‘Identity formation and cultural resilience in Aboriginal communities’, in Flynn, R, Dudding, P and Barber, J (eds), Promoting resilience in child welfare, University of Ottawa Press, Ottawa, ON, pp. 52–71. Little Bear, L (2000), ‘Jagged worldviews colliding’, in Battiste, M (ed.), Reclaiming Indigenous voice and vision, UBC Press, Vancouver, pp. 77–85. Lonne, B (2013), ‘Reshaping our protective systems: Issues and options’, Communities, children and families Australia, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 9–20. Lonne, B, Parton, N, Thomson, J and Harries, M (2009), Reforming child protection, Routledge, London and New York. Miller, J, Rhema, S, Faul, A, D’Ambrosio, J, Yankeelov, P, Amer, R and Clark, R (2012), ‘Strength in process: Using concept mapping to inform community coalition development’, Journal of Community Practice, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 432–456. Minkler, M (2004), ‘Ethical challenges for the “outside” researcher in community-based participatory research’, Health Education and Behavior, vol. 31, pp. 684–696. Native Women’s Association of Canada (2012), SIS vigils. Retrieved from: http://www.nwac.ca/programs/ sis-vigils. Neuman, W (1997), Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches, 3rd edn, Allyn and Bacon, Boston, MA. Peters, E (2005), ‘Indigeneity and marginalisation: Planning for and with urban Aboriginal communities in Canada’, Progress in Planning, vol. 63, pp. 327–404. Pettipas, K (1994), Severing the ties that bind: Government repression of Indigenous religious ceremonies on the prairies, University of Manitoba Press, Winnipeg, MB. Provan, K, Veazie, M, Staten, L and Teufel-Shone, N (2005), ‘The use of network analysis to strengthen community partnerships’, Public Administration Review, vol. 65, pp. 603–613. Public Health Agency of Canada (2010), Canadian incidence study of reported child abuse and neglect – 2008: Major findings. Ottawa. Roberts-DeGennaro, M (1997), ‘Conceptual framework of coalitions in an organizational context’, in Weil, M (ed.), Community practice models in action, Haworth, NY, pp. 91–107. Sandercock, L (2004), ‘Commentary: Indigenous planning and the burden of colonialism’, Planning Theory and Practice, vol. 5, pp. 95–124. Sinha, V, Trocmé, N, Fallon, B, MacLaurin, B, Fast, E, Thomas-Prokop, S et al. (2011), Kiskisik Awasisak: remember the children – Understanding the overrepresentation of First Nations children in the child welfare system, Assembly of First Nations, Ottawa, ON. Retrieved from: http://cwrp.ca/sites/default/ files/publications/en/FNCIS-2008_March2012_RevisedFinal.pdf. Standing Committee on the Status of Women (2011), Call into the night: An overview of violence against Aboriginal women, House of Commons Canada, Ottawa, ON. Retrieved from: http://www.parl.gc.ca/ content/hoc/Committee/403/FEWO/Reports/RP5056509/feworp14/feworp14-e.pdf. Thoburn, J (2008), ‘Globalisation and child welfare: Some lessons from a cross-national study of children in out-of-home care’, Social Work Monographs, UEA, Norwich. Retrieved from: www.uea.ac.uk/swk/ research/publications/monographs/welcome.htm. Tilbury, C (2009), ‘The over-representation of Indigenous children in the Australian child welfare system’, International Journal of Social Welfare, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 57–64. Torjman, S and Leviton-Reid, E (2003), Comprehensive community initiatives, Caledon Institute of Social Policy, Ottawa, Canada. Trocmé, N, Knoke, D and Blackstock, C (2004), ‘Pathways to the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in Canada’s child welfare system’, Social Service Review, vol. 78, no. 4, pp. 577–600. Tseng, V, Chesir-Teran, D, Becker-Klein, R, Chan, M, Duran, V, Roberts, A and Bardoliwalla, N (2002), ‘Promotion of social change: A conceptual framework’, American Journal of Community Psychology, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 401–427. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau (2009), The AFCARS report: Preliminary estimates for FY 2008 as of October 2009. Retrieved from: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/ afcars/tar/report16.htm. Walker, R (2008), ‘Improving the interface between urban municipalities and Aboriginal communities’, Canadian Journal of Urban Research, vol. 17, no. 1 (Summer Supplement), pp. 20–36. Wharf, B (2002), ‘Building a case for community approaches to child welfare’, in Wharf, B (ed.), Community Work Approaches to Child Welfare, Broadview Press, Toronto, ON, pp. 181–197.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

193

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Part IV

Food and climate

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

13 Stories of climate-induced mobility Responses, challenges and the need for an institutional framework to guide these transitions Sarah Henly-Shepard, Karen E McNamara and Robin Bronen

Taylor and Francis

Introduction: the context of climate-induced mobility

The movement of people from one place to another has been occurring since time immemorial. In more recent years, there has been increasing scrutiny of mobility as a consequence of climate change making certain places uninhabitable. Communities1 are on the frontlines of climatic changes. There are a host of reasons why people become mobile, arising from a diverse set of push and pull factors (De Haan, 2000), such as socio-cultural and environmental stressors or triggers. Similarly, there is a plethora of ways in which mobility can manifest – from voluntary or forced, from migration to displacement to relocation. Here, we consider mobility as encompassing all population movements. It is critical to understand that all communities have underlying root causes of vulnerability to climate change-related impacts, such as poverty, inequity of access to basic services, education, human rights abuses and injustice, among others (Ribot, 2009, 2014). Given these undercurrents, which will be explored in each case study, climate change has driven, and will continue to drive, human mobility via three principal pathways, which will be discussed in this chapter. The first is through the slow ongoing climatic stressors causing the depletion and negative transformation of ecosystems, such as drought, thawing permafrost and sea level rise. The second pathway is through extreme acute weather events or shocks, such as cyclones and floods. Finally, a third pathway for climate change to influence human mobility is through the cyclical or compounding combination of the first two pathways: exacerbated ongoing environmental change coupled with repeated extreme weather events. These climate-induced drivers and impacts prompt distinct patterns of human mobility, based on the temporal nature of migration and the demographics of population movements, among other dynamics (Bronen, 2014). It is pertinent to mention that the majority of mass mobility or migrations of populations, whether due to direct or indirect impacts from climate change (such as severe drought in the Sahel), are often the result of multiple factors including disasters, conflict, violence and war.

Not for distribution

197

Sarah Henly-Shepard et al.

Notable community climate hotspots range from low-lying coral atolls losing ground to sea level rise, to communities built on thawing permafrost (Bronen, 2014; Tacoli, 2009; Warner and Afifi, 2014). Climate change and associated natural hazards can adversely affect the hospitability of terrain for settlements and livelihoods. Natural resource degradation and climate stressors, such as increased oceanic and atmospheric temperatures, drought and extreme weather events, contribute to declines in the sustainable productivity of agriculture, fishing and other critical livelihood practices. The results of such events include shelter, livelihood, food and water insecurity, and public health issues, which undermine community wellbeing and development. Such factors are at the root of much of the world’s humanitarian crises and related mobility of mass populations (Tanner et al., 2015). Despite a flurry of advice cautioning the impact of climate change on human wellbeing and mobility patterns, international UN frameworks, including the international climate change negotiations, have paid limited attention to this issue, until recently. At the 16th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010, there was mention of the role of environmental stress, most notably climate change and sea level rise, on human mobility. Contained within an ad hoc working group on long-term cooperative action under the Convention, parties were invited, “to undertake, inter alia: measures to enhance understanding and cooperation related to national, regional and international climate change induced displacement, migration and planned relocation, where appropriate” (UNFCCC, 2010, p. 5). This was an unprecedented and historical event. It was the first time that mobility – in relation to climate change – was mentioned in an internationally negotiated text on climate change. However, little traction was gained until the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in 2015, where negotiators included text related to climate change mobility within the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (Warsaw Mechanism). The UNFCCC therein requested that the executive committee of the Warsaw Mechanism establish a task force to “develop recommendations for integrated approaches to avert, minimise and address displacement related to the adverse impacts of climate change” (UNFCCC, 2015, p. 8). The Sustainable Development Goals recognise the “positive contribution of migrants for inclusive growth and sustainable development” (UN, 2015, p. 8) and call out the objective to “facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies” (UN, 2015, p. 8); however, there is no explicit mention of or links with climate displacement or mobility. The 2015–2030 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR, 2015) mentions the need for governments to engage with relevant stakeholders, including migrants, in local disaster risk management (UNISDR, 2015, p. 18), recognising that “migrants contribute to the resilience of communities and societies, and their knowledge, skills and capacities can be useful in the design and implementation of disaster risk reduction”. However, migration and displacement are primarily referred to in relation to disasters, and not climate-induced environmental change such as sea level rise, despite recognising the role that climate plays in exacerbating disasters and impeding development (UNISDR, 2015). Outside this sphere, however, debates and discussions about this topic have flourished. The relationship between climate change, community development and wellbeing, and human mobility have been conceptualised in the literature in a variety of ways. For instance, Bogardi and Warner (2009) have argued that places around the world, especially low-lying island nations, are on the precipice of mass evacuation (see also Myers, 1993). As a way of responding to this,

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

198

Stories of climate-induced mobility

a number of scholars have pressed for an international legal mechanism to protect those affected (Biermann and Boas, 2010; Williams, 2008). A plethora of intergovernmental organisations and news media have often used sensationalist language to depict a threatening environment, juxtaposed to passive victims of climate change in need of protecting and “saving” (Ranson-Cooper et al., 2015). There has, however, been a groundswell of academic literature that has critiqued these depictions, arguing that such characterisations can constrain individual agency (Collinson, 2011) and a more emancipatory approach to climate change (Bettini, 2013). Crucially, such depiction of “victims”, which can also be construed in ways that racialise the “other” (Baldwin, 2012), are often in direct opposition to how those affected wish to be represented (Farbotko and Lazrus, 2012; Kelman, 2010; Masquelier, 2006). Some academics argue that climate change is not a significant factor in human mobility. They stipulate that social and economic factors (for example, community development and market systems) play a more significant role in peoples’ decisions to move, than the impacts of climate change (Black et al., 2013; Locke, 2009; Raleigh et al., 2008). However, this position inherently isolates (or implies immunity from) socio-economic factors from any potential impacts from climate change. An alternative view is that the impacts of climate change will have severe implications on people, places and socio-ecological, economic, political and infrastructural systems, and thus ultimately the ability for people to continue or improve their livelihoods and wellbeing (Bronen, 2014; Rogers and Wang, 2006; Warner and Afifi, 2014; Warner et al., 2009). A growing number of researchers claim the potential of migration and relocation as an adaptation solution (Black et al., 2011; Castles, 2002; Hugo, 1996; Piguet et al., 2011). However, a body of researchers has resisted such a framing of the issue, calling instead for it to be considered a failure of both mitigation and adaptation (Bettini, 2013; Heine and Petersen, 2008; Methmann and Oels, 2015; Raleigh and Jordan, 2010). Academic research and international policy frameworks play critical roles in fostering national and local government and civil society participation, transparency and commitment to following progressive standards for development, human rights, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and disaster risk reduction. However, academic debates and incongruence continue, and despite written commitments to effectively link the international policy frameworks of the UN, there is inadequate acknowledgement of, and commitment to address, the paramount issue of mobility and relocation in relation to climate. This chapter seeks to respond to the urgent call for immediate and effective climate mobility action by proposing an institutional policy framework to address these research and policy lacuna. The framework is built upon new evidence from three international case studies showcasing instances of mobility as a consequence of various direct and indirect impacts of climate change on negative ecological transformation, community development and livelihoods, and hazard risks. In particular, the case studies illustrate the strengths and constraints of the diverse institutional responses by national governments to deal with this suite of impacts upon mobility, and the need for a new institutional framework for addressing the three pathways of climate-induced mobility transitions, and to support addressing identified gaps in policy and evidence. This framework provides a set of core principles and guidance for various stakeholders around the world who are experiencing and/or addressing the effects of climate change on habitability, community development, natural resource and environmental management and mobility. The focus of this chapter is to enable improved institutional responses to climate mobility, through the development of a framework for adoption by governments, while building the evidence base and academic dialogue for effective strategies. The ultimate aim is to stimulate more

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

199

Sarah Henly-Shepard et al.

timely, effective and sustainable outcomes for individuals, households and communities who are at the forefront of these climate impacts and mobility transitions.

Case studies Background and context As indicated earlier, for the purposes of this chapter, the authors focus on the three climaterelated human mobility pathways (slow-onset climatic stressors, extreme weather events, and their interaction) as applied within three distinct case studies, wherein conflict and war are not present factors. Regarding the first pathway, previous research indicates that climate-induced environmental change (for example, prolonged drought) initially affects people at the individual or household level, rather than creating a mass population exodus (Bronen, 2014). Socioeconomic factors may play a more dominant role in the decision to move or remain in place, because resource-secure households may be more readily able to relocate, if desired, to escape the impacts of climate change. The cross-border labour migration scheme proposed by the Kiribati Government is an example of a governmental response to this type of climateinduced change, where the demographic focal point is at the individual or household level (Office of Te Beretitenti, 2015). Second, extreme weather events (for example, cyclone/hurricane and flood), particularly in resource-scarce and highly vulnerable communities, often result in humanitarian crises, causing temporary mass displacement whereby entire communities are forced to evacuate. Due to the temporal nature of such direct and imminent threats, socio-economic factors at the individual or household level will be less influential in the decision to relocate as opposed to temporary evacuation. The internal forced displacement in Bangladesh caused by Cyclones Aila (2009) and Sidr (2007) are examples of this type of displacement. Third, permanent mass displacement may occur wherein entire communities are inevitably forced to relocate, due to the combination of repeat extreme weather events with ongoing and accelerating local environmental change. Such situations may render communities and systems uninhabitable for the near to long term, if not irrevocably. In the latter extreme situation, it is unlikely that individual and household socio-economic factors will play a critical role in the unavoidable decision to relocate. This situation is similar to the displacement caused by the construction of dams, where an entire location is inundated with water and the financial resources available to an individual or household will not prevent the forced displacement (Scudder, 2011). The climate-induced community relocations occurring internally in Alaska are examples of this type of population movement.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Case study methods The following case studies are based on data collection undertaken by the individual authors. The details of the methods utilised are provided below. In summary, key informant interviews were the principal method used across all case study sites, with 44 undertaken in total between 2010 and 2014 (n=13 in Kiribati; n=16 in Bangladesh; n=15 in Alaska). Despite the limited sample sizes, the comprehensive qualitative interviews provide diverse and significant insight into the national contexts of policy, climate impacts, mobility, and the inherent challenges and potential solutions.

200

Stories of climate-induced mobility

Kiribati Located in the central Pacific Ocean, and residing on land that sits at a mere two to three metres above sea level, the people of the Republic of Kiribati have long voiced their concern about the impact of climate change on their nation and their survival. Both arable land and potable water are limited across the country, which is being degraded by sea level rise and salt water intrusion, increasing the exposure of people to the effects of climate change (Hunter and Storey, 2010). Fieldwork undertaken by one of the authors (McNamara) in October and November 2014 sought to document and analyse the institutional responses, such as diverse policies and programs, aimed at reducing the country’s vulnerability to climate change. The study undertook in-depth, semistructured interviews with government officials (n=4), intergovernmental organisations (n=5), and international and local non-governmental organisations (n=4). These interviews were transcribed and then returned to interviewees to allow them to validate their responses. Once this was complete, the transcripts were manually coded into themes to identify the key issues that emerged related to climate change and mobility. These issues ranged from ideas and perspectives on optimal policy responses, specific roles of various stakeholders and challenges around responsibility.

Bangladesh Considered to be one of the most at-risk countries in South Asia (and globally) to the impacts of climate change (IPCC, 2014) and natural hazards, the People’s Republic of Bangladesh is faced with a multitude of climate change impacts facing various parts of the country. These include cyclones, droughts, flooding, saline water intrusion, storm surges and riverbank erosion, which affect the habitability of many places. Fieldwork in September and October 2013 by one of the authors (McNamara) sought to identify the institutional responses to such challenges across the country. Several in-depth interviews were undertaken with government officials, including key ministries and departments (n=5), relevant intergovernmental organisations (n=6), and international and local non-governmental organisations (n=5). As with the interviews undertaken in Kiribati, these interviews were transcribed and then returned to interviewees to allow them to validate their responses. Once all transcripts were validated by individual participants, the author manually coded the transcripts into themes to identify the key issues in Bangladesh around climate change and mobility. These key issues included the challenges and realities of increasing rural-urban transitions, ideas and perspectives on optimal policy responses, varying roles of stakeholders and questions of responsibility.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Alaska Rising global temperatures are having a significant impact on Alaska, as evidenced by already thawing permafrost, declining Arctic sea ice and changing local environments. Fieldwork undertaken by one of the authors (Bronen) in 2010 consisted of 15 structured and unstructured interviews with State and Federal government agency representatives responsible for the relocation effort. The study also included an analysis of key documents, including organisational documents of the Alaska Subcabinet on Climate Change Immediate Action Workgroup, erosion assessments conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hazard Impact Assessments, community relocation reports and federal government relocation, erosion and climate change reports. In addition, data gathering included observation at approximately 70 intergovernmental meetings between 2007 and 2016, including meetings of the Newtok Planning Group and the Subcabinet on Climate Change Immediate Action Workgroup.

201

Sarah Henly-Shepard et al.

Findings Case study 1: cross-border “migration with dignity” in Kiribati With a population of just over 100,000 people (known as i-Kiribati people), Kiribati is made up of 32 atolls scattered across the southern Pacific Ocean. Long-term habitability in these lowlying atolls is threatened by climate change, particularly rises in sea level (Nurse et al., 2014). Kiribati has no internal migration option, as migration to higher ground is restricted due to the narrow width of most islands (Wyett, 2014). The country’s leaders have therefore attempted to develop new opportunities for citizens to migrate abroad. In an effort to reduce the country’s vulnerability to climate change, numerous diverse policies and programs have surfaced. The “migration with dignity” policy, spearheaded by former President Anote Tong, is part of Kiribati’s long-term nation-wide relocation strategy (Office of Te Beretitenti, 2015). There are a number of parts to this policy. First is the creation of opportunities for those who wish to migrate abroad now and in the near future. The objective here is to forge expatriate communities in various receiving countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, so that they may support other migrants in the longer term, and also to enhance the opportunity for remittances to be sent to familial and other networks. Despite only allowing for temporary migration, some of the international labour programs go part way in fulfilling this objective. These schemes include seasonal employers in the fruit-picking and horticulture industries in New Zealand and Australia (Australian Government, 2017), and seafarers who work for international shipping companies in North America and Europe. The second part of this policy is to improve the levels of educational and vocational qualifications that can be obtained in Kiribati, so that they match those that are available in the places where residents migrate. The capital Tarawa hosts the Kiribati Institute of Technology, which provides technical and vocational training, and the cost is largely subsidised by the government. i-Kiribati migrating may need support in their transition from an agrarian, agricultural subsistence island economy, to the host community cash-based economy, requiring assistance to integrate into a new culture, and new skills to enable access to these market systems. Policy makers hope that this training and upskilling will provide opportunities to migrate abroad “with dignity”, positioning i-Kiribati nationals to be productive workers in, and contributors to, the national economies of host countries. A final component of this policy relates to the purchase of land in Fiji. Negotiations were finalised in 2014 on the acquisition of 6,000 acres of land by the Kiribati Government on Fiji’s second largest island (Vanua Levu). The Kiribati Government has indicated that the land is for food security for i-Kiribati people, but it is unclear if there are longer-term plans for relocation. The “migration with dignity” policy, however, only “speaks to” a limited number of i-Kiribati. It helps pave the way for those who are ready to migrate/relocate, but it does not reach everyone, especially those with very limited literacy skills, those whose livelihoods are largely subsistent, or those who do not wish to migrate/relocate at all. As such, this policy falls short of ensuring protective migration measures and mechanisms equitably for all (McNamara, 2015). Yet, the Kiribati Government is constrained in its options to protect the human rights of all residents. This is due to challenges with fostering internal migration, and limited international and regional mechanisms to address the need for large numbers of people to migrate. Despite this, it is a pragmatic approach to respond to the country’s increasing inhabitability across the islands due to the impacts of climate change. Some researchers argue that it is a visionary policy given the nascent legal and political practices that it creates (Klepp and Herbeck, 2016). Our argument, however, is that it should not be considered as a stand-alone institutional solution to the impacts of climate change for Kiribati, but an opportunity among others to enhance capacity to cope with, and live in, an increasingly

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

202

Stories of climate-induced mobility

warming world. Therefore, the proposed institutional framework explored further on will attempt to strengthen core recommendations to link with, and support the improvement of, such national policies and mechanisms.

Case study 2: internal forced displacement in Bangladesh With close to 150 million people spread across 147,570km2, Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world (Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, 2016), and is faced with numerous challenges in relation to poverty, climate change and extreme weather events. Many parts of the country are highly susceptible to cyclones, flooding, droughts, saline water intrusion, riverbank erosion and subsidence. Floodplains cover 80% of land in Bangladesh (Brouwer et al., 2007). In rural areas, those affected by such hazards are often displaced to nearby embankments, which were built in the late 1990s to protect areas from flooding and cyclone damage. Yet, due to their limited upkeep caused by “government negligence” (Karitiki, 2011, p. 35), and constant loss of land due to riverbank erosion, most embankments provide temporary and inadequate protection for those who stay. In addition to the lack of adequate land and shelter, livelihood opportunities are limited and threatened. As a result, many migrate to urban centres to forge a new livelihood and home. Those displaced to urban centres are outside the scope of ongoing government assistance and protection, as these people are forced to make these transitions on their own. The focus of the government’s efforts is predominately on providing temporary shelter/relief following an acute onset event such as a cyclone. For instance, during and following a cyclone, temporary shelter (along with some emergency supplies) is often provided for a few days, but these shelters have been criticised for being inadequate in number and hosting poor sanitation facilities, further adding to the vulnerability of those affected (Karitiki, 2011). In the case of frequent recurrent flooding events, however, no or limited shelter/relief is provided to those who are displaced, predominately to nearby embankments, forcing them to either live with this ongoing level of risk, or migrate permanently without support provisions. Recently, however, many permanent homes have been built in the affected areas to house those displaced by Cyclones Aila (2009) and Sidr (2007). Given the scale of the cyclone damage to public and private resources and infrastructure, many families could not return to their homes. As such, 40 houses have been built a few kilometres from their original homes, as well as a boundary protective will to help minimise damage caused by any future climatic-hydrometeorological disasters. Under this initiative the government housed the poorest and most vulnerable, a strong approach to ensuring protection of the rights and human security of those most severely affected and with the least resources to adapt and recover. However, this initiative only addressed the needs of 20% of the affected population. About 200 people out of thousands displaced will be housed. The current approach is not only reactionary, in that the root causes of people’s vulnerability to these hazards has not necessarily been addressed, but it also means that not all affected people are protected. In conclusion, this provides further impetus for the proposed institutional framework, which will offer national recommendations to standardise the decision-making processes and mechanisms to facilitate inclusive, adequate, appropriate and timely displacement planning and provisions.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Case study 3: internal voluntary permanent relocation in Alaska In Alaska, the combination of recurrent extreme weather events with thawing permafrost, decreased Arctic sea ice and accelerating rates of erosion, is disproportionately affecting Alaskan 203

Sarah Henly-Shepard et al.

Native communities. Such impacts are forcing them to choose relocation as their long-term adaptation strategy. The United States General Accounting Office (GAO) found that flooding and erosion affect 184 out of 213 Alaskan Native villages, with 31 of these imminently threatened, 12 of which need relocation (GAO, 2003, 2009). Despite state and national expenditure of millions of dollars towards erosion control and flood protection, these measures have not been able to protect some communities. Three of the communities (Kivalina, Newtok and Shishmaref) described in the 2003 United States GAO report were identified as the most critical to relocate, due to accelerating rates of erosion and the inability of seawalls to provide longterm protection. These three city and tribal governments concluded decades ago that relocation was the only plausible solution to protect their respective communities from life-threatening biophysical changes. These decisions were based on multidisciplinary and intergovernmental environmental monitoring and assessments that documented the progressive loss of land (Bronen and Chapin, 2013). The ancestors of the current residents of Kivalina, Newtok and Shishmaref historically moved seasonally among coastal and inland hunting and fishing camps. This migratory lifestyle changed during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The construction of schools along the western coast of Alaska, and the requirement that Alaskan Native children attend school, caused the Alaskan Native population to consolidate and settle (Bronen and Chapin, 2013). The accessibility of the barge to transport construction materials determined the location of the schools. The building of permanent schools, housing and community infrastructure led to a shift from seasonal migration to the establishment of permanent communities at the school sites selected by the national government. This reduced the flexibility and adaptability of each community, as it created a new set of dependencies on government to respond effectively to environmental changes. Now, amidst extreme environmental change and habitat loss, these communities are forced to relocate yet again. To facilitate relocation, each community has undertaken a three-pronged process that involved: 1) identification of a new village site; 2) resident voter approval of the relocation site; and 3) documentation to substantiate the need to relocate and the suitability of the relocation site for the community (Bronen and Chapin, 2013). Each community commissioned several social-ecological assessments and relocation evaluations. Despite the similarity of the steps taken by each community to relocate, only Newtok has begun the relocation process, but still no community has relocated. This is due in part to the lack of an institutional framework to guide government agencies and authorise the expenditure of funding for the relocation effort. This has created numerous challenges and barriers, which have made the relocation process for each community painstakingly slow (Bronen and Chapin, 2013). Without this framework and authorisation, government agencies have struggled to assist communities with financing, support and resources in the relocation process.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

An institutional framework for climate-induced mobility Drawing from these case studies, we have highlighted lessons on the challenges with adequately, ethically and sustainably addressing climate-induced mobility, and the implications this has for livelihoods and broader community development. In Kiribati thus far, the national institutional response has focused on international “migration with dignity”, by re-training citizens for country-wide migration over time. Due to the accelerated rate of environmental and habitability losses in Kiribati, and the urgent nature of migration decision making, there remain many unanswered questions on the long-term suitability of this institutional response and policy. In Bangladesh, there is no comprehensive national institutional mechanism to deal with mobility in 204

Stories of climate-induced mobility

proactive planning for climate- and otherwise-displaced persons, particularly for recurrent hazards like flooding. Instead, the government offers only limited temporary shelter and emergency responses. This leads to unsustainable short-term solutions for those displaced by acute emergencies, and no long-term sustainable solutions for those displaced by ongoing recurrent and slow-onset climatic hazards and environmental degradation. In Alaska, there has been a participatory community process to guide the relocation process, but due to a lack of state and federal government frameworks and capacity, both in organisational, technical and financial resources, the process has been cumbersome and not as responsive and timely as is needed, compared to the rate of environmental change and degrading suitability of community locations. The three mobility transition pathways, juxtaposed to the three case studies, illustrate the inherent challenges of institutional responses to climate-related mobility and migration. There is a need to create pro-active transboundary, interdisciplinary and inclusive governance strategies based on human rights protections (Bronen, 2011). These are required to ensure that institutional responses are appropriate and sustainable across all scales – individual, household, community, national and international. A common theme threaded throughout the case studies is the need for an institutional framework to guide these transitions across the three pathways by which climate change impacts human mobility. In the case of Kiribati, an institutional framework would be useful so that people can cross borders and relocate permanently if they so wish to remain safe from climate change threats. In Bangladesh and Alaska, each location could use an institutional framework to govern the internal displacement and relocation of populations. We argue that four suggested core principles should shape such an institutional framework for climate-induced mobility, grounded in the literature review and three case studies highlighted here. Principle 1. The first core principle of such a framework is the need for inclusive and transparent community-led decision-making authority and processes, before, during and after mobility transitions. Inclusive participatory engagement of directly affected community stakeholders fosters transparency, which is critical to ensure that the decision-making process is constructed in a manner that is socio-culturally appropriate and timely, given the urgent nature of much of the climate-induced mobility situations the three case studies present. The communities affected by climate change-induced movements or other impacts should ultimately convene, facilitate and lead these processes, as properly nested within longer-term community development initiatives and policies, while government agencies and non-governmental organisations provide funding and technical assistance to implement these decisions. Principle 2. The second core principle relates to accountability, which follows closely on Principle 1. All stakeholders – civil society groups, business, government, communities and so on – should be guided by clear, actionable and accountable mechanisms, as outlined in this framework. Accountability mechanisms should be co-developed by all stakeholders, and may include open communications platforms and publicly shared information on governmental commitment of funding, political or logistical support of potential migration and relocation services for communities. This will improve decision-making transparency, cross-stakeholder communication, and social and political pressure mechanisms, to ensure accountability and efficiency. Principle 3. Building on the first two core principles, the third is to foster community-led sustainable development and leadership capacity-building. Community-driven ownership and leadership of mobility processes and policies, and coordinating these with broader community development initiatives at the grassroots level, ensure that they will be based on members’ cultural, social and environmental value systems and histories. This will promote the transparent development and implementation of more appropriate, ethical and sustainable crossgenerational establishment of: 1) safe, long-term housing and settlements; 2) improved natural

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

205

Sarah Henly-Shepard et al.

resource management for sustainable development and livelihood diversification options; and 3) adequate and appropriate mobility processes and resources that support these first two points. This integrated approach to community development and mobility fosters a progressive, proactive, humane approach to mobility, through supporting socio-culturally-rooted pathways for psychosocial and intergenerational processing of communities’ mobility options, choices and pathways. This includes dealing with the potential loss of (and developing new transformative relationships with) hereditary lands, and their associated sense of place and histories. Such an approach and framework will promote an adaptive co-learning and management dynamic, enabling communities to re-establish and transform their connections and futures living and co-existing in new environments, geographies and socio-political systems. This platform will better position those affected to define new development trajectories, and the needed educational, political, social and financial capacity-building and support systems critical to success. Principle 4. The fourth and final principle of the framework is to facilitate short-, mid- and long-term adaptive management implementation assessments of the environmental, community development, socio-political and human rights implications (Henly-Shepard, 2013) and outcomes of various mobility transition scenarios. Such mobility scenarios, and their potential impacts on the socioecological systems of communities affected by climate, must be driven by diverse stakeholder knowledge, including local and traditional ecological knowledge, and cross-disciplinary Western science and technology (for example, socio-ecological maps and models). This process will shed light on the cost-benefit effects of proposed mobility transition scenarios, and as such will improve decision making across the three core principles of transparency, accountability and community-driven processes. These models, and the participatory processes needed to generate them, will better ensure that people and their aspirations for development and wellbeing, livelihoods, self-efficacy, dignity and sense of place are upheld. Mechanisms. Mechanisms for such an institutional framework would need to include, at minimum: 1) political buy-in and clear judicial and legislative linkages between the framework and national, regional and local policies; 2) dedicated and sufficient funding allocated to the implementation of the core principles and associated costs and services related to diverse mobility transitions; and 3) cross-disciplinary, transboundary and participatory advisory boards to facilitate transparency and accountability on these transitions, upholding these mechanisms and core principles.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Concluding remarks Each of the case studies demonstrates complex issues with which governments need to contend when responding to the impacts of climate change on human mobility and community development. In the case of Kiribati, institutional holes exist when options to safeguard livelihoods and community development are centred on a few. For Bangladesh, the post-disaster response is critical yet short-sighted, and at present lacks comprehensive institutional coverage on the part of the government to safeguard livelihoods affected by all acute-onset changes and longerterm environmental degradation. For Alaska, the critical institutional gap relates to the missing framework that would guide decision making and the needed funding to support the precise determination of when (and how) a permanent relocation needs to occur, and what the associated community development and livelihoods options may be. Notwithstanding our recognition that the movement away from hereditary homelands is a last resort for communities and individuals, a cross-cutting theme of the case studies presented is the need for a principles-based institutional framework and mechanisms that can be applied across diverse settings to guide such complex, difficult decision making. Such a framework will 206

Stories of climate-induced mobility

enable transparent community-led decision-making processes, accountability mechanisms, and evidence of the environmental, social, community development and human rights implications of these mobility transitions for communities on the frontlines of climate change.

Note 1 Communities are considered here to be a defined yet fluid self-defining group of people, connected by one or more geographical, ethnic, racial, social, cultural, religious, political or other important characteristics or boundaries.

References Australian Government (2017), Seasonal work programme. Retrieved from: www.employment.gov.au/seasonalworker-programme. Baldwin, A (2012), ‘Orientalising environmental citizenship: Climate change, migration and the potentiality of race’, Citizenship Studies, vol. 16, pp. 625–640. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, Statistics and Informatics Division, Ministry of Planning (2016), Quarterly Labour Force Survey Bangladesh 2015–2016. Bettini, G (2013), ‘Climate barbarians at the gate? A critique of apocalyptic narratives on “climate refugees”’, Geoforum, vol. 5, pp. 63–72. Biermann, F and Boas, I (2010), ‘Preparing for a warmer world: Towards a global governance system to protect climate refugees’, Global Environmental Politics, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 60–88. Black, R, Kniveton, D and Schmidt-Verkerk, K (2013), ‘Migration and climate change: Toward an integrated assessment of sensitivity’, in Faist, T and Schade, J (eds), Disentangling migration and climate change, Springer, London, pp. 29–53. Black, R, Stephen, RGB, Thomas, SM and Beddington, JR (2011), ‘Migration as adaptation’, Nature, vol. 478, no. 7370, p. 447–449. Bogardi, J and Warner, K (2009), ‘Here comes the flood’, Nature Report Climate Change, vol. 3 (January), pp. 9–11. Bronen, R (2011), ‘Climate-induced community relocations: Creating an adaptive governance framework based in human rights doctrine’, N.Y.U Review of Law and Social Change, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 101–148. Bronen, R (2014), ‘Community relocations: The Arctic and South Pacific’, in Martin, SF, Weerasinghe, S and Taylor, A (eds), Humanitarian crises and migration: Causes, consequences and responses, Routledge, London and New York. Bronen, R and Chapin, FS (2013), ‘Adaptive governance and institutional strategies for climateinduced community relocations in Alaska’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 110, no. 23, pp. 9320–9325. Brouwer, R, Akter, S, Brander, L and Haque, E (2007), ‘Socioeconomic vulnerability and adaptation to environmental risk: A case study of climate change and flooding in Bangladesh’, Risk Analysis, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 313–326. Castles, S (2002), ‘Environmental change and forced migration: Making sense of the debate’, New Issues in Refugee Research – UNHCR Working Paper 70, UNHCR, Geneva. Collinson, S (2011), Migration and global environmental change: Review of the social drivers of migration, Government Office for Science, London. De Haan, A (2000), Migrants, livelihoods and rights: The relevance of migration in development policies. social development working paper no. 4, DFID, London. Farbotko, C and Lazrus, H (2012), ‘The first climate refugees? Contesting global narratives of climate change in Tuvalu’, Global Environmental Change, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 382–390. GAO (2003), Alaska native villages: Most are affected by flooding and erosion, but few qualify for federal assistance, GAO, Washington, DC. GAO (2009), Alaska native villages: Limited progress has been made on relocating villages threatened by flooding and erosion, GAO, Washington DC. Heine, B and Petersen, L (2008), ‘Adaptation and cooperation’, Forced Migration Review, vol. 31, pp. 48–50. Henly-Shepard, S (2013), Cultivating a human rights conscience: Moving beyond reducing risk to build community resilience to disasters and climate change (Working Paper), UNU-EHS, Bonn.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

207

Sarah Henly-Shepard et al.

Hugo, G (1996), ‘Environmental concerns and international migration’, International Migration Review, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 105–131. Hunter, S and Storey, D (2010), ‘Kiribati: An environmental “perfect storm”’, Australian Geographer, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 167–181. IPCC (2014), Climate change 2014: Synthesis report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Core Writing Team, Pachauri, RK and Meyer, LA (eds), Geneva, IPCC. Karitiki, K (2011), ‘Climate change and migration: A case study from rural Bangladesh’, Gender and Development, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 23–38. Kelman, I (2010), ‘Hearing local voices from small island developing states for climate change’, Local Environment, vol. 15, no, 7, pp. 605–619. Klepp, S and Herbeck, J (2016), ‘Politicizing climate change adaptation: Negotiating environmental migration and climate justice in the Pacific region’, Journal of Human Rights and the Environment, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 54–73. Locke, JT (2009), ‘Climate change-induced migration in the Pacific region: Sudden crisis and long-term developments’, The Geographical Journal, vol. 175, no, 3, pp. 171–180. Masquelier, A (2006), ‘Why Katrina’s victims aren’t refugees: Musings on a “dirty” word’, American Anthropologist, vol. 108, no. 4, pp. 735–743. McNamara, KE (2015), ‘Cross-border “migration with dignity” in Kiribati’, Forced Migration Review, vol. 49, pp. 62. Methmann, C and Oels, A (2015), ‘From “saving” to “empowering” climate refugees: Rendering climateinduced migration governable through resilience’, Security Dialogue, vol. 46, no. 1, pp. 51–68. Myers, N (1993), ‘Environmental refugees in a globally warmed world’, Bioscience, vol. 43 no. 11, pp. 752–761. Nurse, LA, McLean, RF, Agard, J, Briguglio, LP, Duvat-Magnan, V, Pelesikoti, N, Tompkins, E and Webb, A (2014), ‘Small islands’, in Barros, VR, Field, CB, Dokken, DJ, Mastrandrea, MD, Mach, KJ, Bilir, TE, Chatterjee, M, Ebi, KL et al. (eds), Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 1613–1654. Office of Te Beretitenti (2015), Relocation, Government of Kiribati. Retrieved from: www.climate.gov.ki/ category/action/relocation/. Piguet, E, Pecoud, A and De Guchteneire, P (2011), ‘Introduction: Migration and climate change’, in Piguet, E, Pecoud, A and De Guchteneire, P (eds), Migration and climate change, Cambridge University Press, New York, pp. 1–34. Raleigh, C and Jordan, L (2010), ‘Climate change and migration: Emerging patterns in the developing world’, in Mearns, R and Norton, A (eds), Social dimensions of climate change, World Bank, Washington, DC. Raleigh, C, Jordan, L and Salehyan, I (2008), Assessing the impact of climate change on migration and conflict, The Social Development Department, The World Bank Group, Washington, DC. Ransan-Cooper, H, Farbotko, C, McNamara, KE, Thornton, F and Chevalier, E (2015), ‘Being(s) framed: The means and ends of framings of environmental migrants’, Global Environmental Change, vol. 35, pp. 106–115. Ribot, J (2009), ‘Vulnerability does not fall from the Sky: Towards multiscale, pro-poor climate policy’, in Mearns, R and Norton, A, (eds), Social dimensions of climate change: Equity and vulnerability in a warming world, World Bank, Washington, DC, pp. 47–74. Ribot, J (2014), ‘Cause and response: Vulnerability and climate in the Anthropocene’, Journal of Peasant Studies, vol. 41, no. 5, pp. 667–705. Rogers, S and Wang, M (2006), ‘Environmental resettlement and social dis/re-articulation in Inner Mongolia, China’, Population and Environment, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 41–68. Scudder, T (2011), ‘Resettlement outcomes of large dams’, in Tortajada, C, Altinbilek, D and Biswas, AK (eds), Impacts of large dams: A global assessment, Springer, Berlin, pp. 37–67. Tacoli, C (2009), ‘Crisis or adaptation? Migration and climate change in a context of high mobility’, Environment and Urbanization, vol. 21, pp. 513–525. Tanner, T, Lewis, D, Wrathall, D, Cradock-Henry, N, Huq, S, Lawless, C, Nawrotzki, R, Prasad, V, Rahman, M, Alaniz, R, King, K, McNamara, K, Nadiruzzaman, M, Henly-Shepard, S, and Thomalla, F (2015), ‘Livelihood resilience: Preparing for sustainable transformations in the face of climate change’, Nature Climate Change, vol. 1, January 2015, Published online, 18 December 2014. doi: 10.1038/ NCLIMATE2431.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

208

Stories of climate-induced mobility

UN (2015), Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. A/RES/70/1. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015. UNFCCC (2010), Report of the Conference of the Parties on its sixteenth session, held in Cancun from 29 November to 10 December 2010. UNFCCC (2015), Adoption of the Paris Agreement, FCCC/CP/2015/L.9/Rev.1, Conference of the Parties, Twenty-first session, Paris, 30 November to 11 December 2015. UNISDR (2015), 2015–2030 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Retrieved from: www.unisdr. org/we/coordinate/sendai-framework. Warner, K and Afifi, T (2014), ‘Where the rain falls: Evidence from 8 countries on how vulnerable households use migration to manage the risk of rainfall variability and food insecurity’, Climate and Development, vol. 6, pp. 1–17. Warner, K, Ehrhart, C, de Sherbinin, A, Adamo, S and Chai-Onn, T (2009), In search of shelter: Mapping the effects of climate change on human migration and displacement, Care International, CIESIN Columbia University, UNHCR, UNUEHS, World Bank. Williams, A (2008), ‘Turning the tide: Recognizing climate change refugees in international law’, Law and Policy, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 502–529. Wyett, K (2014), ‘Escaping a rising tide: Sea level rise and migration in Kiribati’, Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 171–185.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

209

14 Food sovereignty and community economies Researching a Spanish case study Rhyall Gordon

Introduction The food sovereignty movement is at the forefront of both the practice of sustainable agriculture and the debates around the politics of food. The movement’s concept of sustainable agriculture encompasses issues such as women’s rights, access to land, control over seeds and the fundamental interdependence of environmental, social and economic practices. It advocates an approach to economics that supports small-scale and family farmers. More specifically, the food sovereignty movement argues for economic justice through non-capitalist forms of sustainable agriculture. But what tools might researchers use to analyse and understand these non-capitalist food sovereignty economies? In this chapter I explore the economic practices of food sovereignty collectives in the province of Asturias in the north of Spain. I draw on Gibson-Graham’s concept of community economy, and in particular her ethical coordinates, to unpack the collectives’ diverse economic practices (Gibson-Graham, 2006, pp. 87–97). My analysis draws on two components of Gibson-Graham’s Community Economies project to establish a clear research position. First, Gibson-Graham’s community economy project is discussed, showing how it enables researchers to understand economy in a particular way. Gibson-Graham develops an ontology that assists researchers to adopt a methodology that views research as a process of co-creation and possibility. From this position, I argue that a non-capitalist economy is best approached and researched not as an end-point but as a set of ongoing, unfinished processes where ethical decisions are foregrounded. Rather than a quest for the discovery of an exact example of a non-capitalist food sovereignty economy, the research task is concerned with understanding the processes that foreground interdependence and communality. Such concerns align well with wider understandings of community development research and practice and their focus on participation and solidarity (Bhattacharyya, 2004; Hustedde, 2009) Second, as a component of a Community Economies research methodology, the ethical coordinates establish a framework to navigate the terrain of non-capitalist practices. All economic practices carry within them a correlative set of ethics. By drawing on the ethical coordinates, the ethical dimension of economic decisions and practices is brought into view. Through food sovereignty case studies, I demonstrate how such a framework allows

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

210

Food sovereignty and community economies

the researcher to uncover the multiple and diverse moments that foreground interdependence and communality. The Asturian food sovereignty collectives that are the focus of this chapter are guided by ethics such as mutual aid, horizontal decision-making processes and agroecology farming practices. I argue that by identifying the key moments of ethical decision making we are able to understand how the Asturian food sovereignty collectives are resocialising and repoliticising their economic practices. To illustrate these two components of the Community Economies project (namely the methodology and ethical coordinates) and to apply them to the food sovereignty case study, the chapter is organised in the following way. First, a broad overview of the food sovereignty movement is provided alongside the more particular Asturian experience of food sovereignty, the site of my research. I characterise the food sovereignty movement as having two types of food politics: a politics of opposition and a politics of possibility. In particular, I discuss the politics of possibility in its commitment to non-capitalist economies. Second, I explore GibsonGraham’s Community Economies project, its ontology and what this means for a research methodology. I argue that positioning ourselves with such a methodology, we are more likely both to “see” and foster a politics of possibility. In addition, the project’s key analytical tools – the ethical coordinates – and their application as research tools are explained. Third, I apply the ethical coordinates as analytical research tools to unpack and understand the economic practices of Asturian food sovereignty collectives.

Food sovereignty and the politics of food

Taylor and Francis

The food sovereignty movement has its roots in the concept of food security. However, it was out of anger and frustration with how the concept of food security became embroiled with industrial agriculture that provided the impetus to begin the food sovereignty movement (Desmarais, 2007; Holt-Giménez and Altieri, 2013; Wittman et al., 2010). This beginning characterises one of the key types of food politics the food sovereignty movement pursues: a politics of opposition. In addition to this, the movement also pursues another type of food politics: a politics of possibility. Here I discuss these two types of food politics, both at a broad global level and at the research site level of Asturias, Spain. Then, for the purposes of this chapter, I focus my attention on food sovereignty’s politics of possibility and the non-capitalist economies that are flourishing in various parts of the world. Economic restructuring of global and national economies has meant that industrial agriculture has come to be dominated by a few very large corporations (Burch and Lawrence, 2009; Magdoff et al., 2000). The corporations’ strong position pervades the full spectrum of food production processes. Seed control, fertiliser and pesticide production, farm machinery, storage and transportation and supermarket distribution have, to varying degrees, significant corporate dominance (McMichael, 2009; Pistorius and Wijk, 1999; Shiva, 2000; Van Der Ploeg, 2010). Corporations control 100% of the transgenic seed market and more than one-third of the global seed market (Glover, 2010; Holt-Gimenez and Shattuck, 2011; McMichael, 2009; Peine and McMichael, 2005; Shiva, 2000). Spain experienced a fast-tracked form of industrial agriculture on joining the European Community in 1986 and signing up to its Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). Farmers in the Spanish province of Asturias were a significant casualty of this new form of agricultural policy (Gordon, 2016). The industrial agriculture model was characterised by a requirement to mechanise agricultural processes, concentrate land holdings for economies of scale and employ intensive farming practices that rely on high uses of pesticides and fertilizers

Not for distribution

211

Rhyall Gordon

(McMichael, 2001; Patel, 2009; Van der Ploeg, 2006). The shift to this type of agriculture was only possible with large amounts of capital investment. The design of the CAP meant that the farmers who were able to make the shift were rewarded and those who were not were abandoned (McMichael, 2001; Rosset, 2008). The CAP created fissures in the diverse range of Asturian farmers and polarised the rural world into those who survived and flourished and those who did not, a pattern that occurred across Europe (Galindo, 2002, 2003; Gorelick et al., 2000). Small farmers were unable to shoulder the costs of making the transition into intensive farming. The consequence of such economic policies was that, in the 25-year period from 1980 to 2005, the number of farms in Asturias dropped from 42,735 to 3,800 (Garcia Morilla and Romero, 2005, p. 117; Izquierdo, 2008). The food sovereignty movement was born out of opposition to the way that food security had become analogous to an industrial agriculture model. This politics of opposition has been developed into a variety of strategies since the mid-1990s when La Via Campesina, one of the key organisations of the movement, introduced the term “food sovereignty” to the 1995 World Food Summit (Martinez-Torres and Rosset, 2010). The strategies range from grassroots protest, to lobbying various United Nations bodies and national governments to advocate for policy change. There is considerable scholarly research into the food sovereignty movement’s politics of opposition (Bello, 2009; Borras, 2008; Ghosh, 2010). In particular, much has been written by organisations within the food sovereignty movement questioning the effectiveness of the industrial agriculture model to deliver on the food security goal of adequate food supplies. Research has pointed to some notable examples where food security has steadily worsened over the past 30 years and left certain sections of populations in very precarious situations (Bello, 2009; Jarosz, 2011; Schanbacher, 2010). Research has made significant and important contributions to the food sovereignty movement’s politics of opposition. However, there is another mode of research that is interested in the politics of possibility and the economic building aspect of their politics. Not only does the food sovereignty movement see its role as opposing industrial agriculture, it also champions the diverse forms of farming that make up the food sovereignty movement, practised on a daily basis by small farmers across the globe. The food sovereignty movement argues that not only is this possible but is amply demonstrated. This is what I characterise as their politics of possibility. From cooperatively grown corn in Mexico, Basque farmers protecting local dairy farms, land seizures by landless peasants in Brazil for agricultural purposes, government policy endorsing food sovereignty frameworks in Bolivia and Mali, to the peasant farmer resistance of genetically modified seeds in India, food sovereignty brings together a vast array of participants that are creating other worlds beyond capitalism. What unite these very different people are agricultural practices that are motivated by social and environmental goals and a desire for an economy that supports such goals. The food sovereignty movement in the Spanish province of Asturias began as a politics of opposition and protest similar to that in other parts of the world. By the mid-1990s, Asturian farmers had undertaken significant and diverse forms of protest to challenge the CAP. Over a period of months in 1997, which coincided with the World Trade Organization and European Union meetings, the farmers held street demonstrations, community meetings, educational workshops and protests at sites of government (Romero, 2005, p. 150). One consequence of these activities was to generate dialogue with the residents of the cities. The rural world of Asturias was creating opportunities to discuss its adversity with its urban counterpart. The activities developed into having a two-pronged focus. The small farmers and their urban supporters resisted the EU economic policies through protests and demands for small, extensive, nonindustrial farming to be included in what the EU defined as agriculture. This was the inchoate

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

212

Food sovereignty and community economies

Asturian food sovereignty movement’s politics of opposition. Alongside this, there was a push to find other ways that the farmers might be able to survive and continue farming. Both farmers and urban residents decided that other economies could be created that would benefit the small farmers of the region and allow their survival. This was the movement’s politics of possibility. The intention of this chapter is to contribute to this politics of possibility of the food sovereignty movement and, in particular, to develop an understanding of non-capitalist economies in an Asturian food sovereignty context. This notion of a non-capitalist food economy is critical to the food sovereignty movement because of what it sees as the unethical practices of the industrial agriculture model.1 It is with this backdrop of opposition to capitalism and a desire for non-capitalist economies that the food sovereignty movement identifies the harmful practices of industrial agriculture and elaborates ethical economic practices. The food sovereignty movement promotes key practices that foreground the ethics of their economies. These practices include that: economies should produce for and be managed at the local level; resources should be owned and managed communally; producers and consumers should live in solidarity with each other, one supporting the other; and the sustainable agriculture approach of agroecology eliminates dependence on costly fertilizers and pesticides, and bank debts that accompany them. The ethical implications of these practices are that the people who participate in and are directly affected by the production and consumption of food can determine how their economy is managed. The assumption is that these types of cooperative, locally focused, methods of resource use will promote opportunities for sustainable environmental management and just distribution of produce. For the food sovereignty movement, these ethical economic practices are the basis of a non-capitalist economy. But the challenge for the researcher is how to unpack and understand these food sovereignty ambitions when they occur in a real-world enacted form. Gibson-Graham (2006) cautions against assuming particular economic practices will determine the desired ethical outcome. For example, the notion of the local, in certain understandings of food initiatives, is conflated with somehow being more democratic, accountable and inclusive. Gibson-Graham queries the assumption that an arbitrarily defined small-scale geographical area will somehow instil an ethic of care for others and the environment. In the next section, drawing on Gibson-Graham’s notion of the community economy, I propose a particular methodology that positions the researcher to explore the multi-faceted nature of economies. Furthermore, the use of Gibson-Graham’s ethical coordinates as analytical research tools is considered as to how they might help the researcher understand the processes and practices that create economies.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Research and the politics of possibility How might we, as academic subjects, become open to possibility rather than limits on the possible? What would it mean to view thinking and writing as productive ontological interventions? . . . How do we actually go about performing new economies? (Gibson-Graham, 2008, p. 2) Gibson-Graham’s Community Economies project shares a similar political space to the food sovereignty movement in that the project is also committed to fostering other worlds and non-capitalist economies.2 In this section, I lay out two key theoretical components of the Community Economies project to argue for a particular approach to research. The first provides researchers with the ontological foundation for a methodology that sees research as a process 213

Rhyall Gordon

of co-creation and possibility. The second presents an analytical tool kit that equips researchers with the means to unpack and understand the economic practices of non-capitalist economies. Drawing on both, I suggest that the researcher is in a strong position to investigate non-capitalist economies and foster a politics of possibility. Gibson-Graham’s Community Economy project queries the rigid ontologies that view the economy as a singular, fixed, static entity that is waiting to be “found” by researchers. Influenced by an Althusserian understanding of overdetermination, Gibson-Graham cautions against using a notion of pre-existing structural determinants to guide us as researchers in a search for the core essence of an economy.3 Instead, Gibson-Graham argues that there is no “Economy” but multiple, diverse, overlapping and coexisting economies (Gibson-Graham, 2008). An ontology of overdetermination requires researchers to abandon (as best we can) the economic determinism and “search-for-universals” that can often influence research projects. By adopting such a research position, Gibson-Graham argues, “the economy loses its character as an asocial body in lawful motion and instead becomes a space of recognition and negotiation” (2006, p. xxx). She goes on to say, “the practice of thinking overdetermination as a mode of ontological reframing simply encourages us to deny these forces a fundamental, structural, or universal reality and to instead identify them as contingent outcomes of ethical decisions,” (2006, p. xxxi). The implications of this for a research methodology are that researchers are not in a pursuit to discover some universal truth with predictive qualities that will allow, for example in this case study, for the design of an improved economic practice in all food sovereignty projects. Instead, the research aims, objectives, questions and methodology are designed to better understand the world, to tease out the moments and nuances of the ethics and the practices that are influenced by and in turn influence these ethics. The intention is to understand, foster and help flourish these economies. As researchers, we look for the processes and moments of these ethical decisions and in particular where our interdependence and communality are foregrounded. With this “ontological reframing”, and a search for moments of interdependence and communality, we embrace, as researchers, a politics of possibility. In this sense such research is strongly aligned with community development praxis – a search for action, solidarity and reflection by groups of people based on forms of participatory research (Bhattacharyya, 2004; Hustedde, 2009). This ontology positions us to adopt a methodology that sees research as a process of cocreation and possibility. The co-creation refers to the idea that the researcher is as implicated in the research and participates in making meaning as much as the research provides the “raw data” to drive interpretation. The possibility refers to the idea that our research contributes to fostering other worlds and non-capitalist economies. For Gibson-Graham, a politics of possibility opens up our thinking and approaches to research to recognise the ethical openings and not be restricted to the structural closures of economic practices. Drawing on Doreen Massey, she argues that “a representation of structural impossibility can always give way to an ethical project of possibility, if we can recognise the political and ethical choices . . . made” (2008, p. 10). Through our research, we further the already existing non-capitalist economies by scrutinising, discussing and writing about the diverse ethical practices and in so doing foster a politics of possibility. In addition to this methodological research position, Gibson-Graham has developed a set of analytical research tools in the form of ethical coordinates that help map the terrain of economic practices (2006). Informed by a Marxian understanding of economy, she identifies four coordinates to facilitate the process of unpacking and examining economic practice: necessity, surplus, consumption and commons. Each coordinate performs a role to unveil different moments of interdependency, co-existence and communality. Necessity refers to what it is that we need to survive well. This could be a wage or possibly food set aside for a household in subsistence

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

214

Food sovereignty and community economies

farming production. Surplus refers to what is left over once necessity has been decided on and dealt with. Typically, in a work place, this is what we produce that goes beyond what constitutes our wages or, in the case of subsistence farming, the food that gets traded for goods not needed for survival. Consumption is the behaviour that will determine the quantities of both necessity and surplus. It concerns how much we consume but also what we consume; both will have direct effects on necessity and surplus. And commons is the myriad resources that we have to produce the necessity and surplus and everything that it takes to reproduce a society, such as forests, water, soil, knowledge and technology.4 The four coordinates are all entangled, interdependent, both cause and effect to each other and perform multiple roles: they guide a process to rethinking economic practices; they reveal existing and potential ethical economic worlds; and they foster collective approaches to sustaining and building ethical economies. The coordinates allow for economic practices to be disentangled, for the decisions behind the practices unpacked and for the ethics that accompany both to be exposed. The following is a hypothetical vignette to illustrate the workings of the four coordinates. A workers’ cooperative furniture factory collectively negotiates and makes decisions around what is an appropriate wage for all the workers (necessity). Their decision is influenced by many things such as how well the factory is performing, the state of the wider economy – especially in regard to food and house prices – and the level of unemployment in the community. Their decision on wages determines the amount of surplus produced. Often the desire to produce more surplus motivates a decision to reduce wages. The desire for more surplus is often to allow for reinvestment in the factory. This can be for better machinery, better working conditions and/or an expansion in production in order to create more jobs in the community. Occasionally, they use the surplus to invest in local community infrastructure such as building health clinics, community centres, play parks, etc. Following a reduction in wages to generate more surplus, the factory organises workshops on how consumption could be rethought to offset the lower wages. Initiatives such as carpooling, community kitchens, communal tool sheds and laundry rooms are started to reduce levels of individual or household consumption. The factory sources its wood locally from a sustainable timber business. Previously, the timber was sourced more cheaply from overseas, but the workers’ concern for the environment (commons) and the clear-cut practices of the cheaper timber determined the decision to change. Surplus has also been invested in the local forestry management programs.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

In the hypothetical furniture factory, the four coordinates provide a means to map the economic practices, trace the decisions that determined them and in so doing reveal the ethical dimension of those decisions. For example, we can see an ethic of care and concern for community wellbeing in the use of surplus; an ethic of voluntary simplicity when considering necessity and consumption; and a commitment to the forestry commons in factory production practices. Gibson-Graham’s Community Economies project and the food sovereignty movement share a common ground. The food sovereignty movement promotes economic practices that foreground and embrace ethics of social justice and ecological sustainability. The Community Economies project seeks to foreground the ethical dimension of non-capitalist economies to foster a politics of possibility. But what might an application of the Community Economies methodology and ethical coordinates look like in a research context of food politics? I turn to this question in the next section where I consider the economic practices of an Asturian food sovereignty collective. 215

Rhyall Gordon

Applying the ethical coordinates In this section, I explore the application of the ethical coordinates in a research context. Two excerpts from my research in Asturias are provided in the form of vignettes to discuss the use of the ethical coordinates.5 The purpose is to demonstrate that the research is both better understood by drawing on the Community Economies tools and, in addition, helps us reflect further on the dynamic nature of the tools themselves. The first vignette describes a meeting between a farmer and an employee of the food sovereignty collective. It illustrates the use of necessity and surplus as coordinates. In particular, I focus on the tension between deciding on necessity and what, as a consequence, constitutes surplus. Furthermore, I consider the question of who is included when we negotiate necessity and surplus. In the second vignette, a discussion led by a sheep farmer at an assembly meeting illustrates the use of consumption and commons as coordinates and to explore how in sustaining a commons, opportunities are offered to foreground ethics around consumption.

Surviving well in a non-capitalist economy Pravia, Spain, 2012 Violeta has worked at La Semilla Collective for many years and in many roles, everything from accountant to farmer liaison to event chef. I am accompanying her to a remote farm in the low valleys of the Cantabrian mountains. Snow can be seen further up the mountains, but the farm itself is still untouched even though it is midwinter. Violeta is journeying here to understand the current troubles of Iñigo, a farmer of the Collective. Iñigo’s farm has produced a variety of vegetables, eggs and pork for the Collective for many years. I listen to him explain his new challenges on the farm to us, the main one being that the local school bus service has been stopped and he now has to drive his children to school. This has meant that Iñigo has two hours less of working time on the farm each day. He has had to forego certain aspects of production and consequently has been earning less in recent times. Violeta asks him questions about how he has changed his work routine, what way it impacts the overall functioning of the farm and how it will affect the Collective. As the discussion develops, there is a sense that this is neither a simple buyer/seller nor employer/employee relationship. Iñigo, the farmer, and Violeta, the Collective employee, are deep in the process of negotiating what is necessary for Iñigo to survive well. The calculation of necessity is something that changes from situation to situation. Many professions will have recognised pay scales and there are long established processes for wage negotiation where unions, business and government all participate together. In the case of farmers, typically, the calculation of necessity is not such a clear process. Often, they get paid a price for what they produce, but how that price is determined, and who participates in the process, can be a very one-sided negotiation. For an Asturian farmer, the experience is very similar. I was told on many occasions in interviews with farmers that they could not sell their produce to the big supermarkets and sustain a decent livelihood at the same time. Over a period of years, the supermarkets had steadily dropped the price for produce along with squeezing other production requirements out of the farmers and putting the increase in production costs solely on the farmer. The monopoly that the three main supermarkets have enjoyed meant they all behaved in the same fashion and, for the farmers, there were really no other outlets to which to supply produce. This type of “negotiation” contrasts significantly with the processes La Semilla Collective have developed to negotiate necessity (wages, conditions, support) for all work that happens by Collective members.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

216

Food sovereignty and community economies

Iñigo sits somewhere between the role of self-employed farmer selling to the Collective and an employee of the Collective. The land he works has been ceded to him by a family with loose links to the Collective that has seen its younger generations move to the cities in search of work. In return, he raises a small herd of beef cattle that the family owns. He produces almost exclusively for the Collective and has done for over ten years. Regularly, Semilla members will come to help out on the farm or even just come with their kids to hang out and use the farm as a rural social space for the Collective. Violeta, in the return journey from the farm, explained to me how with Iñigo, as well as some of the other farmers who are also very closely integrated with the Collective, they have experimented with a number of ways to calculate necessity.6 For a number of years, these farmers were provided with a wage for the hours they worked. This then shifted into an approach where the farmers were paid for what they produced. And in this moment, it was a mix of the two. Violeta stressed that what was common to all of the calculations of necessity was that they happen in the assembly where the Collective members (farmers included) get to discuss, negotiate, disagree and ultimately come to a decision collectively. Violeta reflected on the process in the following way: “the farmers and other members of the Collective want to talk to each other, know about each other’s worlds, it is a kind of urban-rural solidarity that we want to create”. Subsequent to this visit to the farm, Violeta brought the matter on behalf of Iñigo to a Collective assembly meeting where I was present as a participant-observer. I observed the types of negotiation and deliberation that went on in regard to necessity and surplus. Around a table at this particular meeting, there were 3 farmers, 3 employees (one of which was Violeta) and 15 members. The discussions that took place demonstrated how the Collective, as a group, consider a variety of things when deciding on wages – in this case Iñigo’s changed family circumstances. The members considered the childcare concern (transport to school) an important aspect of what constitutes work on the farm and a factor to consider when determining what is necessary to surviving well.7 Iñigo works almost exclusively for the Collective and consequently he and his family are seen as part of the Collective. Their survival (necessity) is seen as the Collective surviving well. The Collective resolved to change from a pay for his produce approach to a wage for hours worked. However, there was much debate around the implications for other workers within the Collective and the Collective itself. Would the decision create an inequitable situation between farmers? What would it mean for the Collective’s reduced ability to invest their surplus in other areas?8 Viewing this discussion through the lens of the necessity and surplus coordinates enables us as researchers to reveal the ethical dimension of the negotiations and the final decisions made. Through the discussion, the members demonstrated a commitment to an equitable calculation of necessity across all work that happens within the Collective. Alongside this, the discussion settled on viewing the shift of only one of the farmers being paid for hours worked as an important use of the Collective’s surplus and as a form of investment or mutual aid to support a farming family within the Collective. Any concern for inequity was offset by the importance of investing in the farmers. Furthermore, with Violeta’s comment above about the importance of a rural-urban solidarity, we can see that it is not just the negotiations around necessity and surplus that reveal an economic ethics but the processes that underpin the negotiations as well. In the case of La Semilla, the assembly style approach fosters a horizontal, inclusive and reflexive process to making decisions. In these discussions we can see certain ethics revealed in how the Collective views necessity and surplus and the relationship between the two. This relationship is explored by GibsonGraham et al. (2013). They observe, “How the boundaries of the surplus/survival nexus are drawn is vitally important. Whose survival sets the line over which something can be seen as

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

217

Rhyall Gordon

‘extra’ or surplus?” (2013, 54). The “whose survival” aspect was particularly pertinent to this discussion at La Semilla. In the same meeting, Iñigo was supported in negotiations around what is necessary for his survival whereas another set of farmers (orange growers) from around 200 kilometres away were rejected. The reasons identified were due to a preference on the part of the orange growers to supply supermarkets rather than the Collective. Often orange orders would never arrive. The coordinate of necessity therefore also generates the question of “whose survival” and foregrounds ethical questions around “who”. Miller, in his work on surplus, argues that it functions to delineate a community. He says, “This is, in a crucial sense, the question of ‘community’ . . . Who is included as part of the collectivity that we are committed to, bound to reproduce and that, in turn, renders our own being-in-the-world possible?” (Miller, 2013, p. 5). Following Miller’s thinking, we can see how the Collective in its negotiation of what is necessity and surplus also decide upon who is in their “community”.

Consuming a commons Oviedo, Spain, 2012 Assembly meetings at La Semilla Collective happen weekly and are an interesting mix of “business” and social activity. Today is my fourth meeting and I am observing the conversations, stories and laughter that seem to prelude and warm up the members before they sit down to “business”. This is a particularly well attended meeting with over 40 members in the room. As well as the usual snacks and drinks available, a farmer is walking around with a tray of small cuts of lamb for people to try. I notice a number of members refuse with the comment that they are vegetarian. As the meeting unfolds and agenda items are attended to, I realise there was more to the tray of lamb than just a pre-meeting snack. The sheep farmer, Maria, asks the meeting why she sells so little meat to the Collective in spite of the very high membership. Without any hesitation, two members replied that they were vegetarian, with a number of others nodding in agreement. It seems that Maria was expecting this as the response and very quickly questioned in return “Well, how do you justify that?” She has come to the assembly meeting primed to challenge many of Semilla’s members on the ethics of their consumption practices. Her arguments cut to the core of what the food sovereignty collective is about – Maria’s livelihood and the sustainability of her farm. Maria is a member of a sheep farmers’ cooperative that are a key producer for the Collective. The commitment between the cooperative and La Semilla is strong and has lasted over many years. Maria invoked this commitment to encourage the collective to raise its demand because their cooperative had abundant meat supply. The sheep farmers’ cooperative was in a difficult position because it could not compete with the meat prices of industrially farmed sheep and they were not organically certified, and consequently had very limited market outlets. La Semilla was really their main supply outlet. However, the ethics of vegetarianism are important to many of the members. As a community must make decisions around necessity and surplus, in a similar manner, communities must make decisions around levels and types of consumption and how the resources of the commons will be drawn on and replenished. The ethical dimension of these decisions can be left implicit or intentionally obscured as in the case of industrial agriculture where price is really the only consideration when choosing what food to buy. The discussion that Maria began brings to the fore certain ethics of the Collective in the hope that they might be reconsidered along with the practices that accompany them. The ethical coordinate of consumption offers an opportunity to delineate and make explicit the points made in the discussion and in so doing allow for a consideration of the ethics that guide the decisions.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

218

Food sovereignty and community economies

I discovered, through interviews with members, that most often the ethical motivations of vegetarianism were to do with animal welfare and a commitment to a consumption lifestyle that is less energy intense. We can see how, through the coordinate of consumption, a concern for interdependency is being foregrounded in these processes that prioritise animal welfare. These members demonstrate an ethical practice that holds important human and non-human interdependency. We can consider this a moment where the ethics are foregrounded in order for the Collective’s human and non-human interdependency and communality to be negotiated. As the discussion and negotiation ensued, the focus shifted from a consumption perspective to a sustainability question. Maria asked, “And why should we not use this communal land that otherwise goes wasted?” and moved the discussion away from animal welfare to one of sustainable food production. The ethical coordinate of commons is a useful lens for understanding Maria’s position. She provided a number of points to the members in regard to the land where the sheep are farmed. It is very high in the Asturian mountains and vast areas are unused due to the decline in extensive sheep farming; horticulture farming is not possible; the abundant gorse and other shrubs make for productive conditions for sheep farming; and it is publicly owned with farmers entitled to access it for free for pasture. Maria argued that all these factors combined to make for affordable and sustainable meat production. It is cheaper than organically certified lamb due to the use of high altitude communal lands and the shepherding process; and it is sustainable in that it does not require any of the intensive industrially farmed sheep factors such as heavy doses of antibiotics, industrially produced feed and none of the pollution caused by the intensive feed lots. Maria asked the question “why do we bring food from far away when we have plenty here on our doorstep?” With the commons coordinate, we can see in Maria’s argument a request to support her sustainable farming methods. These ethics that accompany the request and the consumption ethics of the vegetarian members of the Collective butt heads and appear to have irreconcilable differences. As one member exclaimed in a heated moment, “I’m not going to stop being vegetarian just because we have lots of lamb!” By the end of the meeting, it appeared that few of the vegetarians had been persuaded to change their consumption ethics. However, the members resolved to take a number of measures to increase demand for Maria’s lamb such as buying the meat for all Semilla community events and promoting and educating the sustainability aspect of the meat production to the wider membership of Collective. Finally, this discussion also demonstrates that the coordinates not only reveal the ethical dimension of the economic practices and decisions but also foreground the ethics of the processes that “facilitate” the ethical decisions. Maria was unhappy about not being able to persuade the vegetarian members to make the “ethical” shift to eating locally produced lamb, but communicated her appreciation of the way the discussion was handled and hoped that the plans to encourage members to buy the meat and to revisit the sheep cooperatives predicament regularly in the assembly meetings would help.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Conclusion These [research] endeavours might seem small; however, we see them as being like pebbles thrown into a pond producing ripples and reverberations that will contribute not to a massive overhaul or revision of a seemingly dominant food system but to the multiplication and proliferation of small-scale endeavours. (Cameron et al., 2014) In this chapter, I have illustrated a methodology that sees research as a process of co-creation and possibility. The co-creation and possibility are inter-allied and symbiotic. As researchers we 219

Rhyall Gordon

co-create from being immersed and implicated in what we research, we contribute to what we “discover” and it is this relationship between the researcher and the research that opens up the “possibility”. In the epigraph above, Cameron et al. encourage us to think of research as ripples and reverberations. The researcher, in the research process of co-creation, also contributes to the ripples and reverberations and in turn to creating possibility. This research “possibility” can proliferate in any direction. The Community Economies project’s purpose is to create other worlds where we foreground our interdependency and communality. With this ontological reframing, we embrace, as researchers, a politics of possibility. In the context of Asturian food sovereignty economies, I have illustrated such a research position. When we research economies, we are not on a mission to identify the type of economy it is. My research task in Asturias was not to conclude as to whether the food sovereignty economies were non-capitalist. Instead, my task was to focus on the economic practices and their correlative ethics. I drew on the ethical coordinates to map the terrain of these economic practices and the complex layers of producer and consumer relationships. In so doing, I have demonstrated how the ethical coordinates assist the researcher to reveal the ethical dimension behind the economic practices. Miller, in his work on using the ethical coordinates, argues “the coordinates are, then, points of negotiation and struggle that might help to articulate, animate and clarify particular forms of collective world-making” (2013, p. 5). He continues “the ethical coordinates do not seek so much to discursively establish a phenomenon like exploitation (and thus its overcoming), but rather constitute a myriad of crucial openings in which exploitation and other relational dynamics are raised as questions”. Through our research we further these “forms of collective world-making” by scrutinising, discussing, writing and raising questions about the diverse ethical practices and in so doing foster a politics of possibility.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Jenny Cameron for her generous and constructive readings of the drafts of this chapter.

Notes 1 For specific examples of the use of “non-capitalist” in food sovereignty literature, see LaVia Campesina (2008) and People’s Food Sovereignty Forum (2009). 2 Gibson-Graham uses the term “postcapitalism” in her Community Economies work. The food sovereignty movement, however, mostly uses the term “non-capitalism”. For the purposes of this chapter I will only use the term “non-capitalist” when discussing the Community Economies literature. 3 For more information on overdetermination and anti-essentialism, see Resnick and Wolff (1987). 4 For more depth and background to the ethical coordinates, see Gibson-Graham et al. (2000), GibsonGraham (2006) and Roelvink and Gibson-Graham (2009). The most recent iteration of the coordinates can be found in Gibson-Graham et al.’s book Take Back the Economy (2013). 5 I spent three months in 2011 and 2012 working with five food sovereignty collectives in Asturias, Spain. The methods I used were participant observation, interviews and focus groups. 6 In interviews and during participant observation conversations, I specifically used the language of the four ethical coordinates (the four terms of the ethical coordinates have similar cognates in Spanish). This language occasionally required explanation, but the conceptual sense of each coordinate was already being employed by the collectives. 7 See Gibson-Graham et al.’s chapter 2 of Take Back the Economy (2013) for a more in-depth consideration of what constitutes necessity. They identify five elements that contribute to necessity. 8 Gibson-Graham et al. (2013), in the most recent iteration of the ethical coordinates, have developed two more: investment and encounter. 220

Food sovereignty and community economies

References Bello, W (2009), The food wars, New York, Verso. Bhattacharyya, J (2004), ‘Theorizing community development’, Community Development, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 5–34. Borras, Saturnino, Jr, (2008), ‘La Vía Campesina and its global campaign for agrarian reform’, Journal of Agrarian Change, vol. 8, no. 2/3, pp. 258–289. Burch, D and Lawrence, G (2009), ‘Towards a third food regime: Behind the transformation’, Agriculture and Human Values, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 267–279. Cameron, J, Gibson, K and Hill, A (2014), ‘Cultivating hybrid collectives: Research methods for enacting community food economies in Australia and the Philippines’, Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 118–132 Desmarais, AA (2007), La Vıa Campesina: Globalization and the power of peasants, Fernwood Publishers, Halifax, NS. Galindo, P (2002), ‘Soberanía alimentaria: el consumo agroecológico y responsable, un modo de ejercer la salud y la seguridad alimentaria’, Rescoldos, Revista de Diálogo Social no. 6, pp. 37–54. Galindo, P (2003), ‘OMC, Unión Europea y Movimiento Antiglobalización’, El Viejo Topo, mes Octubre. Garcia Morilla, M and Romero, E (2005), ‘Las consecuencias de la globalización capitalista en el sector lechero asturiano’, in Grupo de Agroecología y Consumo Responsable (eds), Nos Comen, Cambalache, Asturias, Spain, pp. 117–131. Ghosh, J (2010), ‘The unnatural coupling: Food and global finance’, Journal of Agrarian Change, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 72–86. Gibson-Graham, JK (2006), A postcapitalist politics, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN. Gibson-Graham, JK (2008), ‘Diverse economies: Performative practices for other worlds’, Progress in Human Geography, vol. 32, no. 5, pp. 613–632. Gibson-Graham, JK, Cameron, J and Healy, S (2013), Take back the economy: An ethical guide for transforming our communities, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN. Gibson-Graham, JK, Resnick, S and Wolff, R (eds) (2000), Class and its others, University of Minnesota Press, Minnesota, MN. Glover, D (2010), ‘The corporate shaping of GM crops as a technology for the poor’, The Journal of Peasant Studies, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 67–90 Gordon, R (2016), ‘Radical openings: Hegemony and the everyday politics of community economies’, Rethinking Marxism, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 73–90. Gorelick, S, Hart, M, Rosset, P, Shiva, V, Kingsnorth, P, Fallon, S and Hume Hall, R (2000), ‘Facing the farm crisis’, Ecologist, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 27–42. Holt-Giménez, E and Altieri, M (2013), ‘Agroecology, food sovereignty, and the new green revolution’, Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 90–102. Holt-Gimenez, E and Shattuck, A (2011), ‘Food crises, food regimes and food movements: Rumblings of reform or tides of transformation?’ Journal of Peasant Studies, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 109–144. Hustedde, R (2009), ‘Seven theories for seven community developers’, in Phillips R and Pittman R (eds), An introduction to community development, Routledge, New York. Izquierdo, J (2008), Asturias, region agropolitana: las relaciones campo-ciudad en la sociedad posindustrial, KRK, Oviedo. Jarosz, L (2011), ‘Defining world hunger’, Food, Culture & Society, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 117–139. La Via Campesina (2008), La Via Campesina policy documents, La Via Campesina, Jakarta. Magdoff, F, Foster, J and Buttel, FH (2000), Hungry for profit: The agribusiness threat to farmers, food, and the environment, Monthly Review Press, New York. Martinez-Torres, ME and Rosset, PM (2010), ‘La Vía Campesina: The birth and evolution of a transnational social movement’, The Journal of Peasant Studies, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 149–175. McMichael, P (2001), ‘The impact of globalisation, free trade and technology on food and nutrition in the new millennium’, Proceedings of the Nutrition Society,vol.60,no.2, pp. 215–220. McMichael, P (2009), ‘A food regime analysis of the “world food crisis”’, Agriculture and Human Values, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 281–295. Miller, E (2013), ‘Surplus of surplus: From accounting convention to ethical coordinates’. Paper presented at the Rethinking Marxism International Conference, Amherst, MA, 21 September 2013. Patel, R (2009), Stuffed and starved: Markets, power and the hidden battle for the world food system, Portobello Books, London.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

221

Rhyall Gordon

Peine, E and McMichael, P (2005), ‘Globalization and global governance’, in Higgins, V and Lawrence, G (eds), Agricultural governance: Globalization and the new politics of regulation, Routledge, London, pp. 20–34. People’s Food Sovereignty Forum (2009), Final report: People’s food sovereignty forum, Rome, November. FoodSovereignty.org. Pistorius, R and Wijk, J (1999), The exploitation of plant genetic information: Political strategies in crop development, CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK. Resnick, SA and Wolff, RD (1987), Knowledge and class, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. Schanbacher, WD (2010), The politics of food: The global conflict between food security and foodsovereignty, Praeger, Santa Barbara, CA. Roelvink, G and Gibson-Graham, JK (2009), ‘A postcapitalist politics of dwelling: Ecological humanities and community economies in conversation’, Australian Humanities Review, vol. 46, pp. 145–158. Romero, E (2005), ‘El Grupo de Consumo de Cambalache: una experiencia de apoyo mutuo entre la producción agroecológica y el consumo responsible’, in Grupo de Agroecología y Consumo Responsable (eds), Nos Comen, Cambalache, Asturias, Spain, pp. 149–158. Rosset, P (2008), ‘Food sovereignty and the contemporary food crisis’, Development, vol. 51, pp. 460–463. Shiva, V (2000), Stolen harvest: The hijacking of the global food supply, India Research Press, New Delhi. Van der Ploeg, JD (2006), ‘Agricultural production in crisis’, in Cloke, P, Marsden, T and Mooney, PH (eds), The handbook of rural studies, Sage, London, pp. 258–277. Van der Ploeg, JD (2010), ‘The food crisis, industrialized farming and the imperial regime’, Journal of Agrarian Change, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 98–106. Wittman, H, Desmarais, AA and Wiebe, N (2010), ‘The origins and potential of food sovereignty’, in Wittman, H, Desmarais, AA and Wiebe, N (eds), Food sovereignty: Reconnecting food, nature & community, Fernwood Publishing, Halifax, NS, pp. 1–14.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

222

15 Carving out space for community gardens in Australia Exploring the potential of community gardens as social movements for urban change in Sydney and Canberra Alec Thornton, Kristen Lyons and Scott Sharpe

Introduction: urban food issues in Australia

Taylor and Francis

Australia is one of the world’s most urbanised countries, with 90% of its population residing in cities and towns. Sydney and Melbourne alone have populations with over 4 million; and by 2030 this figure is expected to reach 6 million. Australia is vulnerable to food supply shortages and inequalities, especially in cities. Its ability to feed itself, alongside its share of the global population, is already challenged, and this is expected to become even more so given population growth trends. A 2010 Senate inquiry into food security and the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC) have both drawn attention to these issues. These reports identified that Australia already imports much of its food supply, and a “just in time” supply chain from global producers to local supermarkets is vulnerable to global shocks in production and distribution. The combined impacts of global warming, soil erosion, desertification, drought and population increase are also significant challenges for securing Australia’s food system, leading to continued loss of arable land (Lawrence et al., 2012). Significant, too, is the fact that Australia’s agricultural space in the built-up and peripheral “fringes” is being lost to housing developments, in particular when planning fails to consider maintenance of open green space. In this context, it is perhaps not surprising that urban agriculture – and including community gardens in particular – is getting a closer look by city planners as a form of local food production. In Melbourne’s suburbs, for example, city officials have approved street side planter boxes, and several city councils are employing officers to facilitate the application of urban agriculture (Lyons et al., 2013). In Sydney, the Environment and Heritage Committee is funding an investigation into potential sites and models for a “Sydney City Farm” to be sited on council land as well as a “Green Living Centre”. Meanwhile, the Canberra City Farm, part of the Urban Agriculture Australia Network, is attempting to negotiate with the ACT Government on potential land grants for a city farm and sustainability education centre in Canberra.

Not for distribution

223

Alec Thornton, Kristen Lyons, Scott Sharpe

In terms of the spatial and physical capacity of Australian cities and peripheries to produce enough vegetables in relation to real consumption patterns, on the basis of its low population density, Australia is one of 22 countries (from a sample size of 165 cities) that would require less than 10% of their cultivable urban area to satisfy urban vegetable demand (Martellozzo et al., 2014). This stands counter to cities with high urban densities, such as New York City and Boston (cities we return to later), where extensive zoning for urban agriculture has been prioritised by city officials, and backed by residents, to expand local food production. Despite Australian cities’ relatively low population density, particularly compared to other cities in developed countries (Bamford, 2009; Gurran, 2011), Roberts (2007, p. 16) argues there must be improvements in urban land use management “to ensure cities consume fewer resources; add value to natural, as well as social, physical and economic capital stocks, and are made more liveable places”. In this context, Australian cities have untapped potential to develop local food networks, including by encouraging urban agriculture in inner city and peripheral spaces. However, partly due to “fast-tracking” of development proposals, city planners in Australia appear slow to advance notions of urban environmental performance with “liveability”, or to recognise the social benefits derived from open spaces (Freestone, 2014; Gurran, 2011). A recent transgression of this pro-development approach occurred in Brisbane, with the Brisbane City Council – one of Australia’s largest council areas – encouraging verge gardens; a marked contrast to their earlier position of threatening fines for such activities, and coinciding with the election of the first Greens counsellor (Brisbane City Council, 2016). Despite the broad pro-development approach that favours industrial development over green spaces in cities, at the grassroots level several groups are proactively advocating the social use of urban space for local food production and marketing. Groups such as the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, Australian City Farms and Community Gardens Network and Urban Agriculture Australia, each advocate the benefits of reclaimed green space for food production, urban environmentalism and the building of community pride. These groups, and alongside others, also argue that supporting local food production and marketing networks can have multiplier effects in stimulating local sustainable economic development, including job creation. With this as context, in this chapter we examine the ways in which urban spaces are being reproduced and reimagined via social movements and community interventions for the expansion of urban agriculture and, in particular, community gardens. The focus for our analysis is on community gardeners, as part of active social movements in urban Australia. Our focus on the urban context is driven by our commitment to a better understanding of the acute challenges facing cities alongside urbanisation as global populations become more urbanised, including in Australia, and the role that community development practice might have in meliorating such challenges. Forms of urban agriculture, such as community gardens, are emerging as one innovative response that offers social, economic and environmental benefits, as well as, in some cases, signifying community-driven resistance to the neoliberalisation of urban space. Such community-driven resistance represents a radical community development response to neoliberalism. Our chapter is situated in critical urban theory, urban sustainability and social movements/community development literature. For this chapter, Lefebvre’s (1991, 2003 [1970]) work on the social production of space provides an especially adept analytical framework for theorising the potential of social movements and associated community interventions in appropriating hitherto city-dominated or controlled spaces for social cohesion and food production (Lefebvre, 1991, 2003 [1970]). In exploring these ideas, we draw from recent fieldwork on community gardens in two Australian cities – Sydney and Canberra. The findings we present highlight the structural and

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

224

Carving out space for community gardens

actual experiences of community garden groups, independent of – or despite – city involvement, including that of planners and councils. The findings presented in this chapter make an important contribution, by highlighting the ways social movements and community interventions “work”, regardless of the regulatory and policy contexts in which they are situated, as well as the ways these interventions are pushing the boundaries of city planning and practice. Our chapter concludes by critically reflecting on the potential for communities and local city councils to collaborate in creating urban spaces that may assist in ensuring food justice in urban spaces, and the important role of community development practitioners in supporting such efforts as part of the transition to a sustainable food future (Brenner, 2012; Brenner and Elden, 2001).

Urbanisation and food challenges The projected increases in the global urban population, alongside market volatility and a changing climate, all present acute challenges for cities in terms of ensuring equitable access, availability and distribution of safe, fresh and nutritious food (See et al., 2015). At the local level, one response to these challenges is demonstrated in the rise of urban agriculture. Although it is often described as an “age-old practice”, urban agriculture can be viewed as a response to socioeconomic problems associated with the failed post-war ideas of modernisation through urban industrialism, in addition to the neoliberal globalised food system. These failings are evident in cities experiencing industrial decline in developing and developed countries, from Lusaka to Detroit (Ferguson, 2010; Millington, 2013). The existence of agriculture in cities is not unusual though, and its manifestation can, and does, differ spatially and temporally. For cities in the global South, population expansion invites a host of challenges, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, a region that struggled to meet Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets (now replaced by Sustainable Development Goals) for eradicating poverty and hunger (UNECA, 2014). In this region, urban poor households spend at least 50 to 60% of their income on food (Frayne et al., 2010). This is projected to worsen in the future as the ratio of domestic to imported prices for agricultural products rises substantially in developing countries over the coming decades. The steepest price rises will occur in Southern Africa, followed by North Africa and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa (AfDB, 2011). In this context, many city planners in both the global North and South, especially some BRICS states (notably Brazil), have acknowledged the important role of social movements and diverse forms of community interventions in driving urban food production. Demonstrating this, some planners and councils are exploring ways to integrate urban agriculture, and community gardens in particular, as part of urban sustainability planning.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Growing recognition of the importance of socially just cities The post-2015 Sustainable Development (SDG) Agenda (UNDP, 2015) has a stated commitment to end hunger, achieve food security for all and promote sustainable agriculture (SDG2), alongside calling for inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities (SDG11). Reflecting these priorities, cities are increasingly integrating – to varying extents – urban agriculture and related activities as part of broader policy approaches to sustainable urban development at the local level. More broadly, grassroots and community-driven development and action related to transforming the city, including in ways that deliver more equal use and access to social spaces, appears to be converging in Western cities. These ideas and action are influencing local government thinking and policy making for improving human-environment relationships in some post-industrial cities. 225

Alec Thornton, Kristen Lyons, Scott Sharpe

Community-driven urban agriculture is increasingly discussed by academics, food activists, planners and others as an important component of local food production and for delivering social equity (Eizenberg, 2012; McClintock, 2014). As an emerging field of study, urban agriculture requires ongoing analysis to increase understandings of its transformative potential, including in advancing social equity, as well as to enable its critique. There are many examples around the world where urban agriculture and related activities are being initiated by marginalised communities with shared goals and purposes, and with outcomes that are succeeding in reclaiming urban spaces previously dominated by neoliberal interests. For example, urban agriculture has emerged as a “lived” social space produced by residents who share a common desire to overcome the limitations in accessing fresh food (“food deserts”), poverty and urban blight (White, 2011). Such activities provide examples of the ways in which cities – and the power relations that construct and define them – are being reimagined (see Lefebvre, 1991). While spatial inequality can be seen, on the one hand, as being driven by scarcity and contradictions in the modes of production, such research demonstrates it must also be understood as a result of planned neoliberal spaces (of commodities, commerce and consumerism) that tend to exclude the poor (Elden, 2004; Lefebvre, 1991). The work of community economies has been particularly important here, demonstrating the diverse market and non-market food initiatives that are re-imagining urban spaces and ethical economies (see, for example, Cameron and Gordon, 2010; Larder et al., 2014). Drawing on the work of Lefebvre, in particular his contributions to thinking on social production and collective rights to the city, we conceptualise community gardens as the social and physical embodiment of this “right” to create “fully lived” and more “just” urban landscapes. In the wider literature, and reflecting – at least in part – a commitment to “right to the city”, it appears that local councils in some Western cities are willing to respond to demands for locally based urban and peri-urban food production and marketing, albeit often only at a point when community and market garden activities reach a critical mass, and backed by consumer support and broader advocacy for these activities. Once integrated into formal urban planning spaces, such local and alternative food system activities have the potential to expand the urban “food shed” (a region of food flows, from production, distribution, retail and consumption – and waste), thereby reaching a wider range of urban consumers (Ackerman-Leist, 2013). In the literature, some city councils (for example, Boston and Detroit) have been identified as proactively engaging with community groups in low income neighbourhoods to facilitate local food and marketing systems for local economic and community development. As McClintock (2014) has observed, contradictions between neoliberalism and alternative food systems, such as urban agriculture, need to be understood as both existing within the capitalist market logic and as a public good, particularly in striving for social equity. In the community food economies literature, a similar distinction is made between food movements that exist within, as well as those that take place beyond, the market-based economy (Larder et al., 2014).

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Methodology: community garden case studies in Australia In order to examine the place of urban agriculture, and community gardens in particular, in Australian cities, our chapter discusses findings from primary qualitative interview data collected from two city case studies of community and market gardeners, city councillors and urban designers (undertaken by Thornton). While individual members of community and market gardens were interviewed, our study identifies these gardens as “organisations” – loosely defined – and these were our units of analysis. 226

Carving out space for community gardens

Our focus is on Australian cities with active city farming groups – Canberra (pop. 360,000) and Sydney (pop. 4.5 million) – thereby providing insights into a diverse and rich movement, including community interventions, related to community gardening. Canberra is located in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Sydney in New South Wales (NSW). The interviews generated insights to provide detailed understandings of particular activities, decisions and variation across community gardeners. And the selection of these two case studies – Canberra and Sydney – provided insights into the significance of scale, local cultural and other specifics in shaping the terrain of community gardens and urban food movements.

Qualitative interviews This study included 20 semi-structured interviews with individuals engaged in urban community and market garden activities, with mixed socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. Interview methods used voice recordings (with respondents’ permission) and hand-written notations. Data analysis involved a detailed process of thematic content analysis and coding of interview transcripts using MS Excel and MS Word to identify patterns and key themes in the responses. The following community farms and gardens were selected for inclusion as part of the two case studies included in this chapter. These farms and gardens were included based on their location in the inner-city or “built-up environment”. Of particular interest to our research was that each of these farms also required some form of negotiation with local city councils to secure access to public lands for garden activities. The farms and gardens included: •



In Sydney: Three inner-city urban agriculture sites – Erskineville Community Garden, Randwick Community Garden and La Perouse Market Garden. Interviews were also conducted with urban designers from the City of Sydney at the planned “Sydney City Farm” site within Sydney City Park (44 hectares/110 acres), which is bordered by the inner-city areas of Alexandria, Newtown and Marrickville. In Canberra: The Canberra Organic Growers Society (COGS) and Canberra City Farm (CCF) are the main proponents of urban agriculture and organisers of food activism activities in the ACT region, and each of these was included in this research. COGS claims 12 community garden sites in its membership and they work closely with CCF. Interviews were conducted with the COGS president, members of Cotter Community Garden and Canberra City Farm.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Australia case study findings The findings across both case studies included in this chapter demonstrate that Australian urban agriculture, and community gardens in particular, has yet to emerge as a central component of councils’ social and community development policy planning. It appears that councils have little interest in integrating forms of urban agriculture as complementary to broader policy planning agendas. Overall, local councils appear to have failed to recognise the social use value of urban food space and render it less significant compared to economic use values when making land use decisions. With this as context, the findings we present in this chapter seek to highlight some of the tensions, as well as the opportunities, that arise between social movements and local councils in the use of urban space for community gardens, representing one form of urban agriculture. The findings we present point to the current limits of planning and council support for urban agriculture, thereby pointing to the ongoing importance of communities and community 227

Alec Thornton, Kristen Lyons, Scott Sharpe

interventions in shaping urban spaces and building urban food justice. In this context, there is a vital role for community development practitioners to assist in further expanding the opportunities for the benefits of urban agriculture to be realised; a theme we return to in the conclusion to this chapter.

Government fails to support urban agriculture To begin, interview respondents included in this research argued that Australian city officials are largely disengaged in promoting and supporting local food producers, community or market gardens and larger peri-urban farms. The outcome is a failure in collaboration and dialogue between planning and urban agriculture interests, including a failure in the development of frameworks and approaches that might assist to preserve productive urban and peri-urban agricultural lands and to ensure sustainable urban development. Although some city officials appear sympathetic, and in some cases supportive of neighbourhood efforts to start up community gardens on public lands, the general approach demonstrates one of ad hoc, and case by case, consideration of urban agriculture proposals to assess their merits, rather than broad-scale support and valuing of such initiatives. Importantly too, assessment criteria to identify the use value of urban agriculture has been developed, largely, by planning departments at inner city suburban local councils, as well as towns within the Sydney metropolitan area, and thereby overlooks many of the important values and contributions that advocates of social movements champion. In Canberra, its suburbs fall under the jurisdiction of the ACT, which is entirely comprised of Crown land with leasehold rights (up to 99 years). This stands in contrast to the state and private land rights in NSW and other states and territories. In this context, the ACT government, in lieu of local councils, has an active role to play in regulating community and market garden initiatives on Crown lands, which is the most dominant form of open space in the ACT. Despite various levels of government regulation of land use for urban agriculture initiatives, respondents across both the Australian case study locations emphasised that working with local councils was the main barrier to starting up community gardens and maintaining established garden sites. Indeed, council staff were often described as having economic interests and development priorities that were incongruent with the interests of garden advocates. In Sydney, for example, the historic La Perouse Market Garden (initiated a century ago by Chinese immigrants) was under threat as a direct consequence of a proposed cemetery expansion, driven by the Greek Orthodox community. One advocate of the Chinese Market Garden explained that local councils often undervalue the contributions of urban agriculture, including as a local-level response to global problems related to the globalised food system and fossil fuel dependency:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

There was a councilor [who argued that] food gardens are insignificant, [as] they don’t contribute to food security; it doesn’t mean anything. [They miss the point that] one 7 hectare garden can lead to another 7 hectare, and then another 7 hectare and so on. The number of people is what matters, to contribute to reducing emissions of food transport internationally and domestically. This advocate further explained the short-sightedness of councils when it comes to valuing the broader social benefits of community and market gardens over the singular issue of cemetery space: People visiting the cemetery also like the view of the market garden, they find it pleasant, relaxing to look at. [The underlying issue is] that councils want the rates that come their way from development. I am very cynical when it comes to councils. 228

Carving out space for community gardens

Similarly, in the Sydney suburb of Erskineville, a vocal gardener at the Erskineville Community Garden on Erskineville Road expressed her frustration with local council. She argued that the problem lies with the council’s preference to “develop” the vacant building lot, including building over the site where the garden is located, rather than recognising the diverse economic and non-economic use values directly tied to this site. While this garden began as a guerrilla garden – referring to an occupy-style gardening practice where gardeners do not actually have legal title or official approval to the land they grow on – and in between two housing units, it expanded as interest in food production grew among the area residents. Her frustration in council’s failure to recognise the importance of the garden was clearly expressed: [This community garden has] been here for 5 years, just after [the construction of ] one of these buildings. They used this garden site for the building projects. Before, this vacant area was used as a car park. We asked for a grant for community garden, to enliven the neighbourhood. But council said no. They really wanted to sell it for development. They said our garden did not meet [council’s] criteria for a garden, [as it is sited on] a main road, so access is a problem. Here, the Erskineville gardener is expressing her disappointment in working through the council’s criteria for community gardens, which she describes as undermining the efforts of community gardeners in gaining council approval. In addition to the issues raised by this gardener, an interview with an Erskineville council representative highlighted that the garden did not comply with additional council criteria for a dedicated water source and that the garden was “too shady” (there is a eucalyptus on site). This gardener’s disappointment and frustration with the council criteria for approval to establish a garden is captured here:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

We had a soil test done. There is no contamination, but pollution is possible due to continuous traffic. But we grow on top anyways [using raised garden beds]. The City [of Sydney] does acknowledge that it is difficult to meet all criteria in the inner city. With all time we spent with Council to satisfy health and safety requirements we had to make spaces for access, put tennis balls on garden stakes . . . they still rejected it. Council says we love community gardens, but we want to show you a different site, [suggesting] five alternatives. [There are] lots of little parks around here but are not very big. With this site being vacant, it is not taking anything away from anybody. This site was never given a role, it was vacant [so we used it for a garden), we enlivened it. We have had a good five years, we would like another five or ten. At least they [Council] have not done anything with it. It has been zoned “road”, or there is another word for it. If it were to be sold or built on, it would have to be re-zoned to residential. [In any case], for a community garden, it would have to be re-zoned anyway. The experience of the Erskineville Community Garden demonstrates the challenges and frustrations urban gardeners face when levels of support from local councils are apparently low. Similarly, in the case of the Cotter Community Garden in the ACT, the gardeners’ earlier frustration with having to move to a new location to make way for a road extension over their original garden, had partly contributed to the longevity of this garden and being “out of sight, out of mind” of city planners, as one gardener explained: 229

Alec Thornton, Kristen Lyons, Scott Sharpe

25 years ago, we were closer to the road, but the ACT government had planned to duplicate the road. They first thought to get these “free loaders” out of the way, so they moved us down here [removed from road frontage]. And they just forgot about us for the next 22 years. I suppose we became a low-priority. In contrast, our research also revealed other examples of more positive community-council relations, as evidenced by the Chippendale neighbourhood in inner Sydney. Here, Michael Mobbs, a local sustainable community activist and author of Sustainable House and Sustainable Food (2010, 2012), rallied community support for growing food on road/streetside verges and in setting up community compost bins. With a background in environmental law and experience in working with local government, he understood that asking the local council for approvals to embark on these activities would be “a waste of time”. He described a gap in policies related to urban agriculture, which he understood as driving the council’s default negative response. He described this hostile environment for community gardeners: [For interested community gardeners] it takes over three years and typically four to five to get a council approved community garden. There is no time limit on council decisions, no statutory goal of supporting or buying from local food producers. No councils [in the City of Sydney] buy their food from local farmers or community gardens. The Sydney City Council is closing one [of the existing community gardens] down against united community wishes at Erskineville. [In another community] in Coogee, a garden took four years and most original members had left.

Taylor and Francis

These experiences contrast with Thornton’s research (unpublished) in Boston (USA), where community groups and city planners emphasised urban agriculture as part of a participatory, proactive response from the city to address issues of social, economic, environmental and food justice (personal communication, Boston City Planner, 24 May 2013). Food production and marketing have long existed in Boston, despite limited policy frameworks to support it. As Popovitch (2014, p. 1) explains, “with over 40 food truck companies, a pilot residential composting program, 200 community gardens, 100 school gardens and 28 farmer’s markets, Boston was in need of a framework for its growing sustainability efforts”. In one example, the nonprofit Victory Programs operate an urban farm (ReVision Urban Farm) which has as its aim to address issues of food and social justice in low income neighbourhoods in Dorchester (South Boston), a region where convenient access to fresh food outlets is extremely limited. The lack of availability of fresh produce creates a habituated reliance on foods with low nutritional value, such as highly processed and fast foods. Upon determining that local residents do not “understand vegetables”, with leafy greens absent at the dinner table, Victory Programs started teaching cooking skills to local residents (personal communication, ReVision Urban Farm, 17 April 2013). Many of these residents eventually participated in urban farming activities, such as developing seedlings and selling produce at local farmer’s markets and various community supported agriculture initiatives. In Boston, such achievements were all realised without a policy framework to facilitate urban agriculture, but also without a policy environment that actively inhibited or constrained community gardens. Overall, our findings from the two Australian case studies demonstrate respondents’ strong wishes that a similar political climate could be realised to that found in Boston and elsewhere. In particular, community garden advocates describe their desires that the social, environmental and cultural relevance of local food systems shape future economic and social development planning of urban spaces. This would, in our minds, reflect Lefebvre’s

Not for distribution

230

Carving out space for community gardens

(1991) “everyday lived experience” of transforming neoliberal conceptions of urban economic space to socially lived space. Our respondents strongly believed that city planners could learn from other Western cities to better understand and overcome tensions that exist when urban food activism and other community interventions conflict with neoliberal planning for residential and commercial development. It is this latter point that speaks to Lefebvre’s (1991) concerns of neoliberal “dominance” as a threat to socially “appropriated” or reproduced space. Unlike other Western cities, such as the Boston example, Australian city councils have yet to recognise the benefits of urban agriculture to social equity. Yet, and as Brenner (2012) and McClintock (2014) argue, it is possible to reconcile the contradictions between socially just spaces and neoliberal policy spaces. Essentially, the experience of community gardeners is the garden as a place for social gathering, where city life – even in densely built areas – can offer communal or shared experiences for urban dwellers, regardless of socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. Thus, the purpose of urban agriculture activities goes far beyond food production. It is the act of producing the food (and the range of activities that this entails) that brings people out of the confines of their homes and apartments, to participate in activity as a community. These virtues resonate in the quote from a gardener from the Cotter Community Garden, Canberra: For me, social well-being is based on [the] idea that communities exist, and you can strengthen a community by promoting certain activities [such as community gardening].

Comparison with planning for urban agriculture in North American cities

Taylor and Francis

The finding presented in this chapter indicate that the use of urban space for community gardens in Australian cities has not been fully appreciated by city councils. Urban gardeners and others championing urban agriculture must often find cracks within the constrained spaces of city councils, to create openings to the urban agriculture projects they are seeking to establish. These results from two Australian case studies tell a different story to the narrative from the United States, where important lessons can be drawn for Australia, including for social movements and community development practitioners seeking to support the expansion of community gardens and other urban agriculture initiatives. In the United States, several cities have tangible urban agriculture systems in place, with the cities of Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Seattle, Portland and, more recently, Detroit, all now zoning for urban agricultural space (Hodgson et al., 2011). These cities each have differing geographical, economic and climatic conditions and population densities, which have likely each influenced city policy planning approaches for urban agriculture in different ways. In Detroit, for example, a city experiencing rapid urban and industrial decline in the wake of the global financial crisis, it was estimated that 5,000 acres under tillage, if established, could provide up to 28,000 jobs and 70% of the city’s food needs (McCarthy, 1997). For the City of Boston, the Conservation Law Foundation (2012) claims that urban agriculture could reduce the city’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; with 50 acres (over 20 hectares) of properly managed soils sequestering about 114 tons of carbon dioxide per year and potentially enabling an additional carbon dioxide reduction of up to 4,700 tons per year, as well as generating approximately 1.5 million pounds of fresh produce for sale into local markets. Importantly, and in contrast to the Australian cases presented in our chapter, many North American cities have passed legislation for urban agriculture that ensures its legal status, despite significant urban population densities and (often competing) economic priorities

Not for distribution

231

Alec Thornton, Kristen Lyons, Scott Sharpe

(American Planning Association (APA), 2010). For example, in December 2013, the City of Boston established Article 89, which essentially legalised, through a two-year zoning and community consolidation process, various forms of urban agriculture, including rooftop gardens, in the inner city and wider metropolitan areas. This process included consultation with local communities and an urban farm pilot project. In Boston, community groups and city planners emphasised that urban agriculture is a participatory, proactive response to address issues of social, economic, environmental and food justice. Although many of the zoning processes related to urban agriculture in the United States, including those described here, generally appear “top down” – that is, deriving from councils and other government departments, rather than communities themselves – they raise important questions regarding the long-term opportunities for community-city council partnerships, especially when socially “appropriated” or produced spaces become “dominated” under the purview of city bylaws and neoliberal policy (Lefebvre, 1991). In the Boston example, a member of the ReVision Urban Farm expressed concern over the involvement of the City. These concerns largely centred on issues related to the “motives” behind official interest in grassroots community projects, such as community gardens. In other words, would community groups, such as ReVision, see the trust invested in them by their communities compromised – or “selling out” – through closer city-level engagement, or would city-community partnerships deliver on the promise of stronger networks, communication and input on social and community policy? Such promise appears to have been realised in the Roxbury neighbourhood of Boston, where the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, and its neighbourhood partner – The Food Project – has benefited from close relationships with the City (personal communication, The Food Project, 2015). In 2011, the Boston Public Health Commission provided USD600,000, to support infrastructure upgrades of an abandoned garage site, which was replaced with a 10,000 square foot greenhouse and 400 backyard raised gardens for low income households (City of Boston, 2011). In reflecting on Lefebvre’s (and others’) core ideas of radical urban theory, the notion of reconciling neoliberal spatial “dominance” and social “appropriation” of space through community-city council partnerships may appear contradictory. However, the above examples from Boston provide an argument for the necessity of such partnerships for imagining more sustainable and socially equitable urban change. Furthermore, these examples reflect Gaventa’s (2006) ideas on “invited” and “claimed” spaces, where the City’s “invitation” for expanded public participation in urban agriculture was inspired by ongoing community “claims” of space for urban food production and market activities. Overall, urban agriculture is one form of social transformation taking place in cities, globally. City or official support for grassroots movements for socioeconomic change can be beneficial through removing legislative barriers and providing infrastructure improvements and upgrades.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Discussion and conclusions: a place for community development? With various social and food justice themes increasingly playing out in cities globally, including in Australia, these issues are ideally suited for analysis. In contributing to this inquiry, in our chapter we have reflected on Lefebvre’s social production and collective right to the city. Our chapter proposes that urban agriculture can be conceptualised as the social and physical embodiment of the “right” to creating “fully lived” and more “just” urban landscapes. In the wider literature, it appears that local councils in Western cities are willing to respond (albeit sometimes in highly constrained ways) to demands for locally based urban and peri-urban food production and marketing. 232

Carving out space for community gardens

Our findings, drawing from two Australian city case studies, and also resonating with some other Western countries, demonstrate that council support for community gardens is often contingent, and triggered only at the point when community and market garden activities reach a critical mass, and alongside consumer support and broader advocacy for these initiatives. With this insight, advocacy efforts are important during both the start up of urban agriculture projects, and in ensuring at least some level of government support to ensure long-term viability of projects. It is in this regard that the role of community development practitioners, alongside other advocates, could play an important role. In the absence of government frameworks to support urban agriculture – and in some contexts the active marginalisation of these community-based initiatives – community development practitioners are strategically placed to support community gardeners in building urban agriculture movements, by acting both as champions for projects themselves, and in assisting to build alliances that may ensure the viability of projects over the long term. Community development praxis may, for example, support broad food movement efforts to organise and mobilise local communities around community gardens, including building public understandings and valuing of urban agriculture projects, as well as increasing local level participation in these projects. Previous research points to the important role of alliance building between various food advocates, practitioners and policy makers (Cameron and Gordon, 2010; Lyons et al., 2013). Community development practitioners could play a vital role in this regard. Working with communities, community development practitioners could ally with urban agriculture movements to identify assets and skills within communities to assist in building urban agriculture initiatives as well as needs that, if filled, may further enable community gardens to flourish. Community development practitioners might also assist in building linkages that may increase the visibility and viability of urban agriculture in Australia, including making connections between diverse advocates to assist in building local urban food hubs, as well as to assist in skills sharing (including skills related to food growing, financial management, marketing, as well as alternative trading systems). There is an important place for collective sharing of resources in urban agriculture movements, including sharing of land, seeds and knowledge. Again, it is the field of community development that is well placed to assist, bringing an array of resource mapping and assets-based approaches to support the movement. Overall, these and other initiatives may assist to build alliances both within the urban agriculture movement and across state agencies, with outcomes that may improve the visibility, viability and vitality of urban agriculture movements. Through our comparison with the case of the United States, we have demonstrated the attempts by some city councils (for example Boston, Detroit) to work alongside community groups in low income neighbourhoods to facilitate local food and marketing systems for local economic and community development. As McClintock (2014) observed, contradictions between neoliberalism and alternative food systems, such as urban agriculture, need to be understood as both existing within the capitalist market logic and as a public good, or as community food economies’ scholars describe, as existing both within and outside the market economy. To a certain extent, Boston city-community partnerships are attempting to integrate economic and social use values through commercial zoning and establishing the legality of urban agriculture and local food networks, including on the basis of them being particularly beneficial for low income neighbourhoods. The extent and complexity of these initiatives have the appearance of moving beyond urban “green-washing” – that is, of city councils using urban agriculture as a way of greening their public image – though this is an area ripe for further study. In this context too, there is an important role for community development practice in ensuring that non-market values of urban agriculture are maintained alongside any “mainstreaming” of city-based food initiatives.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

233

Alec Thornton, Kristen Lyons, Scott Sharpe

In an era of urbanisation and backlash against the corporate global food system, urban social movements and community interventions are demonstrating the potential for communitydriven innovation for urban socio-spatial equality and environmental sustainability. In regard to our earlier question about possible implications of community-city council relationships – where alternative/social use meets mainstream/economic use values – the Canberra and Sydney findings presented in this chapter indicate a more passive approach (more so in Canberra) at the community level to urban social change, in comparison to the developments in other Western cities. Although the US and Australian examples both have the appearance of “top-down” control, as opposed to a “right to the city” type of movement, the former reveals the possibilities of urban social transformation when driven, initially, by grassroots movements and progressed by deeper council-community partnerships.

References Ackerman-Leist, P (2013), Rebuilding the food shed: How to create local, sustainable and secure food systems, Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, VT. Af DB (African Development Bank) (2011), Africa in 50 Years’ Time: The Road Towards Inclusive Growth, African Development Bank, Tunis, Tunisia September 2011. African Development Bank Group. American Planning Association (2010), ‘Practice urban agriculture’, Zoning Practice, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 1–8. Bamford, G (2009), ‘Urban form and housing density, Australian cities and European models: Copenhagen and Stockholm reconsidered’, Urban Policy and Research, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 337–356. Brenner, N (2012), ‘What is critical urban theory?’, in Brenner, N, Marcuse, P and Mayer, M (eds), Cities for people, not for profit: Critical urban theory and the right to the city, Routledge, New York. Brenner, N and Elden, S (2001), ‘Henri Lefebvre in contexts: An introduction’, Antipode, vol. 33, no. 5, pp. 763–768. Brisbane City Council (2016), Verge gardens, Brisbane City Council. Retrieved from: www.brisbane.qld. gov.au/environment-waste/natural-environment/plants-trees-gardens/verge-gardens. Cameron, J and Gordon, R (2010), ‘Building sustainable and ethical food futures through economic diversity: Options for a mid-sized city’. Paper presented at the policy workshop on ‘The Future of Australia’s Mid-Sized Cities’, Latrobe University, Bendigo, Vic, 28 and 29 Sept. City of Boston (2011), ‘Mayor Menino celebrates greenhouse opening’. Retrieved from: www.cityofboston. gov/news/default.aspx?id=5099. Conservation Law Foundation (2012), ‘Growing green: Measuring benefits, overcoming barriers, and nurturing opportunities for urban agriculture in Boston’. Retrieved from: www.clf.org/publication/ growing-green-measuring-benefits-overcoming-barriers-nurturing-opportunities-urban-agricultureboston/. Eizenberg, E (2012), ‘Actually existing commons: Three moments of space in community gardens in New York City’, Antipode, vol. 44, no. 3, pp. 764–782. Elden, S (2004), ‘Between Marx and Heidegger: Politics, philosophy and Lefebvre’s The Production of Space’, Antipode, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 86–105. Ferguson, J (2010), ‘Expectations of modernity: Myths and meanings of urban life on the Zambian Copperbelt’, in Grinker, RR, Lubkemann, SC and Steiner, C (eds), Perspectives on Africa: A reader in culture, history and representation, Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, UK. Frayne, B, Pendleton, W, Crush, J, Acquah, B, Battersby-Lennard, J, Bras, E, et al. (2010), The state of urban food insecurity in southern Africa, Urban Food Security Series, 2, Queen’s University and AFSUN: Kingston and Cape Town, South Africa. Freestone, R (2014), ‘Australian environmental planning, origin and theories’, in Byrne, J, Sipe, N and Dodson, J (eds), Australian Environmental Planning: Challenges and Future Prospects, Routledge, New York. Gaventa, J (2006), ‘Finding the spaces for change: A power analysis’, IDS bulletin, vol. 37, no. 6, pp. 23–33. Gurran, N (2011), Australian urban land use planning: Principles, systems and practice, Sydney University Press, Sydney. Hodgson, K, Campbell, MC and Bailkey, M (2011), Urban agriculture: Growing healthy, sustainable places, APA Planning Advisory Service, Washington, DC.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

234

Carving out space for community gardens

Larder, N, Lyons, K and Woolcock, G (2014), ‘Enacting food sovereignty: Values and meanings in the act of domestic food production in urban Australia’, Local Environment, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 56–76. Lawrence, G, Richards, C and Burch, D (2012), ‘The impacts of climate change on Australia’s food production and export’, in Farmar-Bowers, Q, Higgins, V and Millar, J (eds), Food security in Australia: Challenges and prospects for the future, Springer, New York. Lefebvre, H (1991), The production of space, Blackwell Publishers, Malden, MA. Lefebvre, H (2003 [1970]), The urban revolution, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN. Lyons, K, Richards, C, DesFours, L and Amati, M (2013), ‘Food in the city: Urban food movements and the (re)imagining of urban spaces’, Australian Planner, vol. 50, no. 2, pp. 157–163. Martellozzo, F, Landry, JS, Plouffe, D, Seufert, V, Rowhani, P and Ramankutty, N (2014), ‘Urban agriculture: A global analysis of the space constraint to meet urban vegetable demand’, Environmental Research Letters, vol. 9, no. 6, pp. 1–9. McCarthy, J (1997), ‘Revitalization of the core city: The case of Detroit’, Cities, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 1–11. McClintock, N (2014), ‘Radical, reformist, and garden-variety neoliberal: Coming to terms with urban agriculture’s contradictions’, Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 147–171. Millington, N (2013), ‘Post-industrial imaginaries: Nature, representation and ruin in Detroit, Michigan’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 279–296. Mobbs, M (2010), Sustaianable House, 2nd edn, New South Publishing, Sydney. Mobbs, M (2012), Sustainable Food, New South Publishing, Sydney. Popovitch, T (2014), 10 American cities lead the way with urban agriculture ordinances. Retrieved from: http:// seedstock.com/2014/05/27/10-american-cities-lead-the-way-with-urban-agriculture-ordinances/. Roberts, B (2007), ‘Changes in urban density: Its implications on the sustainable development of Australian cities’, Proceedings of the State of Australian Cities National Conference (SOAC), 28–30 November 2007, Adelaide, Australia, pp. 720–739. See, L, Fritz, S, You, L, Ramankutty, N, Herrero, M, Justice, C and Obersteiner, M (2015), ‘Improved global cropland data as an essential ingredient for food security’, Global Food Security, vol. 4, pp. 37–45. UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) (2015), The post-2015 development agenda. Retrieved from: www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/mdgoverview/post-2015-development-agenda.html. UNECA (2014), Common African position on the post-2015 development agenda, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa. Retrieved from: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/ documents/1329africaposition.pdf. White, MM (2011), ‘Environmental reviews and case studies: D-Town Farm: African American resistance to food insecurity and the transformation of Detroit’, Environmental Practice, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 406–417.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

235

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Part V

Survival development

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

16 The place of schools in building community cohesion and resilience Lessons from a disaster context Carol Mutch

Introduction The concept of community is complex, contested and fluid. It is variously described as a geographical, political, social, cultural and psychological notion. Some definitions focus on the commonalities that bind the members of the community together, be they location, history, values, identity, experiences, needs, benefits or responsibilities. Whatever the aspects that make a community identifiable to insiders and outsiders, the sum is greater than the parts. The bonds, relations and connections provide a sense of cohesion that can sustain members through everyday events and build resilience to withstand adversity (Chaskin, 2008; Gordon, 2004; Magis, 2010; Norris, et al., 2008; Pfefferbaum et al., 2013; Wilson, 2013; Zautra et al., 2008). The notion of community is not always viewed in such a positive light. Mullen and Thomas (2016, p. 118) note that:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

[b]elonging to a community can involve the pressure to conform to dominant social norms and values, the suppression of individual will and differences, and constricted freedom of expression . . . and in some instances, more severe consequences, experienced by those deemed not to belong. In recent times, writers in the field of disaster studies have turned their attention to the roles and functions of communities (Gordon, 2004; Thornley et al., 2013). Viewed this way communities are networks of formal and informal groups, organisations and institutions. When some of the organisational structures are seen to hold a significant position in the community’s social fabric, they can be termed community anchors (Community Alliance, 2009). The anchor metaphor indicates that they provide a sense of stability, be it locational or social, to the community’s sense of itself especially in times of trauma. Community anchors are easily recognisable and have an identity and reach beyond their immediate members. They might be a church, a cultural centre, a sports club or a workplace. They have formal or informal leaders, a stable infrastructure and provide opportunities for people to connect with others and mark significant 239

Carol Mutch

events in the community’s life (Community Alliance, 2009). This is not to forget that they can also be sites of conformity, restriction or exclusion. The concept of community anchors, along with other factors included in a community’s natural, human, social and built assets, contribute to community capital (Callaghan and Colton, 2008). Communities that have strong community capital, leadership, infrastructure and connectedness are better able to respond to and recover from adverse events such as disasters (Bonanno et al., 2010; Chaskin, 2008; Norris et al., 2008; Thornley et al., 2013). Because of their location, history and links to the community, schools can be viewed not merely as educational institutions that students attend but also places that can act as community anchors. They can provide community facilities, services and a sense of collective identity hence contributing to community connectedness. They can, and as the research discussed in this chapter shows, have contributed to building community cohesion pre-disaster and sustaining community resilience post-disaster. While the role of schools in communities is important in and of itself, this chapter focuses more on what can be learned from conducting research with communities in adverse situations such as the aftermath of a disaster. A conceptual model, developed by the author as part of her research into the role of school communities in disaster response and recovery (see Mutch, 2013), is adapted to provide a framework for examining the ways communities can be engaged in research that is about them. Because the research took place in what can be described as a traumatic setting, discussion is also provided about how to conduct research that protects both the researcher and the researched in ways that are sensitive, ethical and reciprocal. Disaster research tells us that disaster preparedness is more cost-effective, both socially and economically, than dealing with the aftermath (Back et al., 2009). With scientists predicting more extreme weather events as a consequence of global warming, it would seem sensible to consider the contribution that schools make to community cohesion and resilience as a policy priority (Wisner, 2006).

Taylor and Francis

Context

Not for distribution

Disasters can strike anywhere at any time, but some areas of the world are more prone to natural hazards that cause major damage (Ferris and Petz, 2012). New Zealand, sitting on the Pacific “ring of fire”, is one such place. On 4 September 2010, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the city of Christchurch (pop. 450,000) and the surrounding region of Canterbury on New Zealand’s South Island. The earthquake caused major damage to buildings, transport links and infrastructure such as electricity, water supply and waste removal. A state of emergency was declared. Fortunately, as the earthquake struck in the early hours of the morning no deaths occurred (Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission, 2012). Over the next five years a further 14,000 aftershocks including 4 major quakes (over 6 on the Richter scale) each causing more damage and disruption prevented the mammoth task of removing, repairing and rebuilding from getting underway. The most destructive of the aftershocks occurred on 22 February 2011 – a 6.3 magnitude jolt with an up-thrust of twice the force of gravity. Thousands of people were injured, 185 people were to die, over 100,000 homes and businesses were damaged and the city’s central business district was levelled (Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission, 2012). Following the September 2010 earthquake, many schools became evacuation or drop-in centres for local communities. When schools reopened several weeks later they continued to provide support to their students, staff, families and wider communities. When the February 2011 earthquake occurred in the middle of a school day, school personnel played a more 240

Building community cohesion and resilience

immediate role in disaster response as they evacuated, calmed and cared for students until they were collected by family or cared for by the community (Education Review Office, 2013). As the city began to recover, the researcher, a Christchurch resident and former teacher and teacher educator in the city wondered how she could help. She decided to use her research skills to help schools to record their experiences. This activity would support the emotional processing of the events and also provide a permanent record of this time in New Zealand’s history.

Methodology Not all the impacts on communities post-disaster are negative, especially in the times when communities pull together in acts of heroism and altruism (Drabek, 1986; Gordon, 2004) but Van Zijll de Jong et al. (2011) note how little discussion on the realities of working in disaster zones appears in the research literature. They suggest support is necessary for researchers to negotiate topics such as grief, loss, destruction and potential loss of community. While there are clearly established ethical protocols for protecting participants from any harm that might ensue due to their engagement in research (Dickson-Swift et al., 2007; McCosker et al., 2001) the physical, social and emotional vulnerability of disaster victims means that researchers must take even more care to act in a safe and ethical manner (Van Zijll de Jong et al., 2011). Table 16.1 Principles underpinning engagement of school communities in this research Principle

Application

Taylor and Francis

A participatory, facilitative approach Trust and respect

The school and researcher would negotiate the project process, product, roles and responsibilities. The researcher and her team would aim to assist the school and its community achieve their chosen goal in a manner that worked best for them. A carefully-staged process ensured that the partners came to know, trust and respect each other. The emphasis was on mutual benefit, goodwill on both sides, regular communication and sensitively negotiating solutions to any issues. All participants were assured that involvement was voluntary, that they could stop or withdraw at any time without fear of censure. Support systems were in place (counselling services for adults, school counsellors or teachers for children) in case the re-living of the trauma became too disturbing. In each setting, researchers and/or staff worked in pairs to look out for signs of distress in their participants and to support each other. Schools could choose how they wanted their project to proceed, who was to be involved, when different parts of the process would take place and how and when the project would be concluded. In return for the school receiving a completed product of their choosing (e.g. book, video, or art work) which they could disseminate as they wished, the researcher retained the raw data for further analysis and publication. As the final products were narratives of real people in an historical situation that would become part of New Zealand’s archival records, participants needed to understand that it would be difficult to guarantee the anonymity of their school communities and themselves. The agreement reached was that the products that the school owned and disseminated would include real names, but when the researcher wrote up material for academic dissemination, these would use school pseudonyms and individual codes so the emphasis would be on themes rather than individual attribution.

Not for distribution

Ethical and sensitive conduct

Reciprocity and negotiated ownership

Confidentiality (but not anonymity)

241

Carol Mutch

In early 2012 the researcher began by approaching a school principal known to her to see if the idea of schools recording their stories might have merit. The principal in turn consulted her staff and school community. At the same time the researcher sought ethical approval from her institution and funding to undertake the project. UNESCO provided seed funding to trial the process and her faculty provided further funding and technical support. Once the first school agreed to participate, other schools gradually came on board. The researcher’s aim was to have schools drive their own projects. Each project evolved in a very different way. One school chose to record their stories in book form; another school wanted to create a community memorial; another school wanted its students to make a video and so on. In each case, there were key principles that underpinned the projects – a participatory and facilitative approach; trust and respect between the partners; ethical and sensitive conduct; reciprocity and negotiated ownership; and confidentiality (but not necessarily anonymity). These principles are outlined in Table 16.1. The three case studies that follow later in the chapter provide more detail about how these principles played out in practice. The three case studies also align with aspects of the conceptual framework described next.

Conceptual framework When theorising about engaging children and young people in disaster research, the author developed a continuum of engagement from researching for, about and on, to with and by participants (see Mutch, 2013), extending the ideas of other researchers such as Gibbs et al. (2013) and Schäfer (2012). The framework has wider applicability and sits comfortably across a range of types of participants and Figure 16.1 below is adapted for considering how to engage communities or for reflecting on how communities are engaged in research that is about them.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution Research for communi!es

Research on or about communi!es

Community -related research

Community -focused research

Research with communi!es

Community -centred or -guided research

Research by communi!es

Community -driven research

Figure 16.1 Continuum of engagement of communities in research

Research that is for communities (described here as community-related research) is research that has as an aim – positive outcomes for communities – but does not necessarily engage communities or community members in the development, implementation or interpretation of the research. An example might be the analysis of existing statistics such as census data to make generalisations about types of communities; or the synthesis of existing research to develop conceptual models to inform understanding of notions of community. The findings about communities might even be incidental to the research topic, but nevertheless add to our developing knowledge of community-related matters. 242

Building community cohesion and resilience

Research on or about communities (community-focused research) has at its heart investigating communities, aspects of communities or even specific communities. The design, implementation or interpretation will engage communities in some way. Examples of this type of research are when the researchers use an advisory committee of community members to guide the design, gatekeepers to assist with access to the community or methods that gather data from community participants. Researchers might also return to the community to check that their findings resonate with the community. Research with communities (community-centred or -guided research) is more reciprocal and participatory. Whether the need for the research arises in the community or researchers come with a topic to investigate, this type of research is characterised by the two parties having a more equal partnership. The researchers provide methodological expertise, knowledge of the literature and often funding to enable the research to take place. The community (or communities) bring their historical, cultural and contextual understanding to the research – articulating the community’s expectations, providing access to participants, helping shape the research design, participating in data gathering, interpretation and dissemination. Finally, research by communities (community-driven research) is at the far end of the continuum where the research need arises from within the community itself. They are the major drivers of the research from design to dissemination. They might choose to use researchers from within the community, expert mentors to guide the research or commission external researchers. Even if the research is conducted by external researchers, the community retains oversight. The approach might include a developmental aspect or capacity-building component so that the community becomes less dependent on external expertise in the future.

Taylor and Francis

Findings: three case studies of school community research in a disaster context

Not for distribution

The conceptual framework outlined above sets the scene for discussing the three case studies. They are all drawn from the author’s Canterbury earthquake research and illustrate research undertaken with school communities that fits along the continuum at different points (see Figure 16.2). Each case study took a different approach. School community A engaged willingly but were led by the researcher who had more control over data gathering, processing and production of the findings. School community B had strong ideas about what they wanted to achieve but needed the researcher’s expertise and resources to make it happen. School community C wanted the researcher to provide advice on how to get underway and make sense of what they

Research for communi!es

Research on or about communi!es Community A

Community -related research

Community -focused research

Research with communi!es Community B

Community -centred or -guided research

Research by communi!es

Community C

Community -driven research

Figure 16.2 Three case studies located along the continuum of engagement 243

Carol Mutch

were finding. The latter school community also found that some aspects (such as interviewing traumatised participants) were outside their expertise so requested the researcher undertake these aspects for them.

Case study 1: school community A School community A is an affluent community sitting on the hills above Christchurch’s city centre. In the September 2010 earthquake they suffered structural damage to buildings and land, including road damage and loss of power. Families reported getting on with repairs and rebuilding their lives. When the February earthquake hit, much closer and with more force, their homes were more severely damaged. An abiding memory of many people in this community was of looking down on their city and watching it collapse in a cloud of dust in front of them. School community A was the first one approached. The principal understood the importance of recording the school community’s stories both as a way of working through their experiences and as preserving these stories for history. Because of the death of a school parent in the February earthquake, the principal needed to approach her staff, school board and parents sensitively. It took five months of meetings between the researcher and the principal, staff and community before the research was undertaken. The school asked that the children participate in small groups – with friends, classmates or siblings. Adults could choose to be interviewed alone or with others. Participants could choose whether they were audio or video-recorded. With children we approached their experiences obliquely – asking questions about how they would describe earthquakes to children who had never experienced them or what stories they would tell their grandchildren about the earthquakes. With adults we needed to do little beyond asking an initial open-ended question. Their stories poured out without much prompting. The interviews were transcribed and edited into coherent narratives. They were then returned to the individual participants (and children’s parents) for their amendments before being compiled into a book. The school was given both hardcopies and an electronic version to distribute as they wished.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Case study 2: school community B School community B is a town north of Christchurch, composed of families across the socioeconomic spectrum. It was hardest hit by the September earthquake. Over 800 (one third) of the town’s homes were so badly damaged by cracking, slumping and liquefaction that they would need to be demolished and families relocated. The September earthquake hit early on a Saturday morning. The damage across the region was much worse than anticipated and schools were officially closed for several weeks until they were deemed safe, repaired or relocated. In this town with so much damage and so much fear, people needed somewhere to go and School B was found to be safe enough to act as a community relief centre. When the February earthquake hit, the community was shaken again but not as badly as their neighbouring city of Christchurch. Instead it became a safe haven for people evacuated from the city who came to live with family and friends. The researcher was keen to gather stories that reflected a range of communities, and the principal of School B wanted his school to do something to give back to its community which had been so supportive of the school during its darkest days. He thought a memorial seat where people could sit and reflect might be a good idea, but he wanted the school’s students to decide. The researcher and a colleague met with a representative group of students and work-shopped their ideas using arts-based activities. Two of the students’ ideas cemented the 244

Building community cohesion and resilience

project’s direction. One was the idea to make a mosaic out of ‘broken bits’ of their homes and the other was to tell the community’s story of “sailing through a river of emotions”. Thus began an 18-month journey that involved every child in the school, their teachers, families, over 70 community volunteers, the researcher and an artist who managed the project. The completed product was a circular set of four mosaic panels depicting the town’s early history, life before the earthquakes, life during the earthquakes, and their hopes for the future. The mosaic was set amid a garden of plants rescued from red-zoned homes (those zoned for demolition) made from bricks, broken crockery and tiles from their homes or donated by the community. Community volunteers brought a bulldozer to prepare the site, built a circular seat to go in the centre of the mosaic design, laid the bricks or came and worked alongside the children as they cut and placed the tiles. A local member of Parliament laid the final tile in a ceremony that recognised how far the community had come and how the earthquakes had not dampened its spirit, but made it stronger.

Case study 3: school community C School community C is located in the poorer eastern suburbs of Christchurch which were hit hard by each of the large quakes. School C had been around for over 140 years and many generations of the same family had gone to school there. The school was an integral part of the community. A parent described it as “a little bit of country in the middle of the city”. This school had coped quietly with all that the ongoing disaster had thrown at them and had become a hub for post-earthquake services and support. Despite having to teach some classes in the church next door and many families having to relocate, parents remained loyal to the school and found ways to get their children across town to attend a school where they felt they would be cared for. In September 2012 the school faced what they termed as “another aftershock”. They were one of 36 schools that would be closed or amalgamated as part of the Ministry of Education’s post-earthquake Education Renewal plan (Ministry of Education, 2012). Given what they had already been through, the decision seemed poorly timed and heartless. The researcher became involved because the school wanted to find some way to help their students process the events. They had heard about a student-led video project we had conducted in another school and wondered if we could help them support their students to create a documentary that celebrated what the school had meant to the community and to capture memories, stories and hopes for the future. The school released a teacher to work with the researcher to get the project underway. The teacher was very comfortable with the technicalities of the video-production and with overseeing the children’s work, so the researcher played more of an advisory role. As the news of the project and the fact that a researcher was interested in people’s stories got around the community, people asked to be involved. Where the school knew that the story someone had to tell was particularly traumatic, they asked that the researcher undertake those interviews. This was a sensible move. People came to tell their earthquake stories and to share their anguish over the closure of their school. These interviews were highly charged emotional events with many tears and had to be carefully handled. They would not have been appropriate for novice researchers or children to undertake. Despite their best efforts at preventing the closure, at the end of 2013 the school closed and the students were absorbed into a nearby school. On the final day, students, staff and community members rang the school’s bell (literally and figuratively) on the school’s place in that community’s history.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

245

Carol Mutch

Methodological discussion: lessons learned when researching communities in disaster contexts As noted earlier, researching in disaster communities needs the same ethical and methodological care that a researcher commits to any research, but adds an extra layer of sensitivity because of the uncertain and emotional environment. What can be learned from this research? It can best be described by explaining that as the community took greater control or ownership of their project, the researcher took less of a leadership and coordination role. This is not to say that at the community-focused end the researcher made all the decisions or at the community-driven end that the researcher’s expertise was not needed. In reality, a negotiated approach is more complex and fluid. There is no correct way to do community research, but there are important matters to resolve early in the process which are sustained by building trust and maintaining integrity as the research proceeds. In summary, there are some general points to make about researching communities in disaster contexts including context, approach, roles and responsibilities, ethics and outcomes. First, it is important to understand the context and the composition of the community. There will be a history to this community and it will have evolved into its present form through a convoluted series of events. It will have particular facets that make it unique and identifiable. In disaster research, the community will also have recently experienced a catastrophic event. Doing homework on the community and putting aside preconceptions are very important. A gatekeeper can assist with access, and if the community has groups unfamiliar with the researcher’s background or experience, the use of a cultural mentor can smooth relationship building. That the author had experienced the earthquakes herself and already had community networks certainly helped, but it also meant the careful consideration of when she was an insider (earthquake victim) and when she was an outsider (researcher). Second, disaster research literature (see, for example, Spence and Lachlan, 2010) cautions that predetermining research designs, selecting participants and setting timelines might not work in fluid and volatile contexts. In this project, the researcher took her toolbox of research experiences, expertise and methods in order to present options for the school communities to consider. Yet even that was not enough preparation – when School community B, for example, wanted to make a large mosaic in the school grounds, she found herself well outside her comfort zone. Each school-based project took on a life of its own. Each project took much longer than anticipated and required constant renegotiation and always more funding. A sense of commitment to traumatised communities meant that the researcher felt obliged to see each project through to completion regardless of time, effort or cost. Post-earthquake, the researcher was no longer living in the region and had to travel back and forth. This meant that careful clarification of roles and responsibilities was necessary. With constant aftershocks, relocations and other unexpected events, these required ongoing renegotiation. It helped being able to locate the artist managing the School community B mosaic in the community for extended periods of time. Regular communication about tasks, timelines and expectations required goodwill, patience and humour on both sides. Because participants were giving freely of their participation, despite the trauma they had faced and the ongoing chaos of their lives, the researcher needed to be even more respectful of their rights. It was important to be prepared to let a participant stop or withdraw participation up to a very late stage. With School community A, it was some time between data gathering and providing proofs of its book. Community members were often in different emotional states or places in their recovery and if they wanted to delete or amend material with their names on, this was respected.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

246

Building community cohesion and resilience

Finally, the notion of outcome took on a different meaning. While the communities had a product that told their earthquake stories and while the researcher had enough raw data to keep her analysing and writing for years, in the end the product was less important than the process. Each community used the opportunity to reflect on their experiences, to reaffirm who they were as a community, to express what they valued and to look forward to a hopeful future.

Theoretical discussion: the place of schools in building community cohesion and resilience This section draws on the findings from the earthquake study to critically examine the place of schools in building community cohesion and resilience and discusses how this links to social capital.

Community cohesion In New Zealand most children of primary school age attend their local schools. In established communities, links with local schools go back many generations and parental involvement in school activities is encouraged. Communities also make use of school facilities such as the school hall, library, gym, playing fields and swimming pools outside of school hours. Many schools are also designated Civil Defence sector posts. School-community relations are usually very strong. Thus, when the earthquakes hit, schools took on many support roles. They were where people went for overnight accommodation, relief supplies, welfare services or just a friendly face. As the city moved into recovery mode, a priority was reopening schools. Creative solutions were found to keep schools running – teaching in tents, church halls, people’s living rooms, relocated venues or bussing in one group of students for a morning shift and then a different cohort for an afternoon shift. School personnel managed distraught children and families despite the difficulties in their own lives. Schools provided practical, social, emotional and psychological support. They were both close-knit communities who looked after their members and hubs for wider community members. When Kearns and Forrest (2000) describe a cohesive society, they include these characteristics: common values, social order, social solidarity, social networks and place attachment. Cantle (2005, p. 11) explains that community cohesion initiatives try “to create shared experiences and values, rather than continuing to entrench separation [or] to recognise and reinforce differences”. By being viewed as community anchors, schools can play their part in contributing to community cohesion in their neighbourhoods. The findings from the author’s Canterbury earthquakes research (Mutch, 2016) show that prior to the disaster schools were significant places in a community’s history and identity. They were social network hubs and provided a range of community facilities and services. As Thornley et al.’s (2013) research on the Canterbury earthquakes found, pre-existing community connectedness was a predictor of a community’s ability to cope with and recover from the trauma. How well local schools were integrated into the community’s social fabric was an important contributor to this connectedness. Not everyone sees policy initiatives to enhance community cohesion as unproblematic. Flint and Robinson (2008, p. 6) claim this agenda represents, “a neo-liberal governance programme of integrationism through which particular norms and values are prioritised”. Neoliberal ideology promotes individuals taking responsibility for their own wellbeing, or in this case communities being responsible for their own social cohesion – a view which presupposes that all communities have access to the same community capital (material and non-material assets and advantages). This deflects responsibility from local or national governments taking action to

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

247

Carol Mutch

address historical and systemic injustices and means that some communities will always struggle to achieve sustainable social cohesion.

Community resilience Thornley et al. (2013) studied the resilience of six Canterbury communities post-earthquake and found four key factors influencing a community’s ability to respond and recover: (a) pre-existing community connectedness; (b) community participation in disaster response and recovery activities; (c) taking a role in local decision making; and (d) accepting support from outside their communities, especially from local and national agencies. Schools met each of these criteria. They played a major role in enabling their communities to respond with resilience and hope. They already had historical, social and educational connections with their communities and were seen as safe and accessible. They enabled their communities to engage in response and recovery activities such as the three projects described in this chapter. They held community information and consultation meetings on a range of post-earthquake issues and they were local distribution centres for donated goods and voluntary services as well local drop-in locations for recovery-related agencies. Developing community resilience is another policy initiative that has been widely promoted, but is also being viewed as more problematic than it first appears. Shah (2015) claims that programs developed to enhance children’s resilience in war zones puts the onus on the individual or community to repeatedly cope with the trauma rather than on warring factions to find political solutions to curtail the conflict. Participants in the Canterbury earthquake study expressed similar frustration with being described as resilient because they felt that it meant that they were expected to cope without complaint with broken promises and frequent delays. It also appeared that those with the least, such as those in lower socioeconomic communities or in red-zoned areas, were expected to be the most stoic.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Social capital

Social capital provides a useful lens to explore the nature of underlying injustice and disadvantage. Originating with Bourdieu (see, for example, Bourdieu, 1986), capital (cultural, economic, social and symbolic) explains that individuals have resources or assets that enable them to gain access to certain fields and position themselves advantageously. Social capital referred to the social status gained through important social networks, knowledge of the customs and norms, and acceptance by the social elite. At the turn of this century, both Fukuyama (1999) and Putnam (2000) drew on the notion of social capital to address social dysfunction and disengagement. Since then, social capital has been used in a more generic way to indicate patterns and strengths of social networks, and collaborative and reciprocal interactions for the collective good based on shared values and mutual trust (Kearns, 2004) or more simply, as the “social glue” that holds communities together (Morrow, 2005). Social capital, in its bonding, bridging and linking forms, has been used by writers in the disaster field (Hawkins and Maurer, 2010; Lin et al., 2001). Bonding social capital refers to relationships in a network where individuals have a lot in common (for example, location, socioeconomic status or family ties). Bridging social capital is where people build relationships despite differences (for example, differences in age, socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity or education). Linking social capital is where individuals build relationships with institutions and people who have relative power over them (for example, with those who provide employment, services or resources). Social capital can advantage some individuals or communities and disadvantage others. Hawkins and Maurer (2010) found that all levels of social capital collapsed in the immediate 248

Building community cohesion and resilience

aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Bonding social capital was most important for immediate survival, but bridging and linking capital were significant for longer-term recovery. In hindsight, it can be seen how this also played out in the schooling sector in New Orleans Parish. Poorer communities with low levels of linking capital were powerless in the face of the disestablishment of their schools and the firing of their teachers to make way for charter schools (Buras, 2011). The three communities in the Canterbury earthquake study can also be examined through a social capital lens.

Community cohesion, resilience and capital Prior to the earthquakes, School community A, in a higher socioeconomic suburb, was not a particularly cohesive community. It appeared to have strong linking capital but not as much bonding capital. Families lived behind their high gates and parents commuted to work in other parts of the city. While it was a recognisable locality, it was without a local business hub, sports complex or other community facility that could act as an anchor point. When the earthquakes hit, families relocated to their holiday homes or sent their children out of town to stay with relatives. When children returned to school, they were often less resilient than those who stayed behind. Some children reported that they did not fit in any more. Strong linking capital meant that the community had prompt access to accommodation, goods, services and personnel to speed up their physical recovery, but for emotional recovery they needed to strengthen their bonding and bridging capital. They began getting to know their neighbours as they helped each other through the aftershocks and subsequent clean ups. Ironically, it was the death of one of the parents in the school community that bonded them. Community members provided meals and other support for the bereaved family for over six months. The literature suggests contributing altruistically to others is a helpful healing process (Prinstein et al., 1996). These activities aided their own and others’ emotional recovery and helped them develop a stronger sense of community. At the other end of the socioeconomic spectrum, School community C displayed strong bonding and bridging capital. The school had been part of the community for over 140 years and the community was immensely loyal to the school. That connectedness enabled them to support each other through the constant aftershocks and the difficult recovery. In the aftermath of the major earthquakes the school was a relief hub. Families could come and shower, do their laundry and access counselling or other post-earthquake support. When the school reopened, parents felt that their children were in safe and steady hands, which provided an antidote to the stress and uncertainty in their home lives. Parents also talked about how the school had been such an emotional support for them. The school library was turned into a drop-in centre where parents and community members could have a coffee and talk things over. The school acted as a community anchor for them throughout the recovery process. While the bonding and bridging capital in this community was evident, without strong linking capital reconstruction and repairs in their community were slow. They were also powerless in the face of the government’s decision to close their school under the post-earthquake Education Renewal scheme. No amount of community connectedness could save them. They were left with only hard-earned resilience to recover from what the acting principal called being used as “collateral damage”. A further disappointment was that after much protest, some schools in other communities did receive reprieves from closure, and unsurprisingly, they were often in higher socioeconomic communities with strong linking capital. Of the three communities in this chapter, School community B appeared to have strength in each type of social capital. Being part of a small town, they had a history of connectedness.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

249

Carol Mutch

Their bonding capital based around anchors such as the school helped community members to support each other. After the September 2010 earthquake, the school was set up as a Civil Defence relief centre. The school principal took on a community pastoral care role as he coordinated support for local families. In February 2011 the school community repaid the care shown to them and reached out to support other communities that needed help. They also had good bridging and linking capital that could mobilise personnel and services to make things happen. The school took on an extra 50 children who had left their damaged homes in Christchurch and provided basic needs for these families. The completion of the community mosaic was a good example of all three capitals working in harmony. Bonding capital brought everyone together with a common purpose, and the community’s participation in the mosaic project reinforced those bonds. Bridging capital meant that they had networks beyond their community to find the resources and services they needed. Linking capital meant that they could link with the local news media, businesses or the member of Parliament to gain support for their venture. School community B’s prior connectedness, ongoing cohesion in the face of disaster, along with their use of social and community capital, meant that they appeared to the researcher as the least fragile and most resilient of the three communities in this study.

Conclusion This chapter set out to explore the role of schools in building community cohesion and resilience using findings from three school communities affected by the 2010/2011 Canterbury earthquakes. To some extent, the study confirms much of what we already know – that policies designed to enhance community connectedness have a part to play in improving community cohesion and resilience. The three case studies, however, add to our understanding by providing concrete examples of the significant role that schools can play as community anchors both pre- and post-disaster. The methodological discussion outlines important lessons from the study when researching in disaster settings that will have application far beyond this particular context. The theoretical discussion highlights that while policies aiming to promote community cohesion can strengthen a community’s resilience and social capital, they can also be highly problematic. A social capital lens reveals the underlying inequalities and injustices that need to be addressed before such policies do little more than exacerbate the status quo. It is important that we collate and synthesise our growing understanding of the nuances of community connectedness and cohesion to support stable functioning in good times and supportive recovery when disaster strikes.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Acknowledgements The author would like to thank the communities that willingly allowed the research team to travel part of their disaster recovery journey with them. She also acknowledges the funding, resources and personnel provided by UNESCO, The University of Auckland, the schools and their communities, and anonymous donors.

References Back, E, Cameron, C and Tanner, T (2009), Children and disaster risk reduction: Taking stock and moving forward, Children in a Changing Climate, Brighton, UK. Bonanno, G, Brewin, C, Kaniasty, K and Greca, A (2010), ‘Weighing the costs of disaster: Consequences, risks, and resilience in individuals, families, and communities’, Psychological Science in the Public Interest, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 1–49. 250

Building community cohesion and resilience

Bourdieu, P (1986), ‘The forms of capital’, in Richardson, J (ed.), Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education, Greenwood, New York, pp. 241–258. Buras, K (2011), ‘Race, charter schools, and conscious capitalism: On the spatial politics of whiteness as property (and the unconscionable assault on Black New Orleans’, Harvard Educational Review, vol. 81, no. 2, pp. 296–331. Callaghan, E and Colton, J (2008), ‘Building sustainable and resilient communities: A balancing of community capital’, Environment, Development and Sustainability, vol. 10, no. 6, pp. 931–942. Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission (2012), Final Report Volumes 1–7, Christchurch, NewZealand. Cantle, T (2005), Community cohesion: A new framework for race and diversity, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK. Chaskin, R (2008), ‘Resilience, community, and community resilience: Conditioning contexts and collective action’, Child Care in Practice, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 65–74. Community Alliance (2009), Anchors of tomorrow. A vision for community organisations of the future, Author. Dickson-Swift, D, James, E, Kippen, S and Liamputtong, P (2007), ‘Doing sensitive research: What challenges do qualitative researchers face?’ Qualitative Research, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 327–353. Drabek, T (1986), Human system responses to disaster: An inventory of sociological findings, Springer-Verlag, New York, Education Review Office (2013), Stories of resilience and innovation in schools and early childhood services. Canterbury earthquakes: 2010–2012, Author. Ferris, E and Petz, D (2012), The year that shook the rich. A review of natural disasters in 2011, The Brookings Institution, London School of Economics, London. Flint, J and Robinson, D (2008), Community cohesion in crisis: New dimensions of diversity and difference, Policy Press, Bristol, UK. Fukuyama, F (1999), The great disruption: Human nature and the reconstitution of social order, Profile Books, London. Gibbs, L, Mutch, C, MacDougall, C and O’Connor, P (2013), ‘Research with, by, for, and about children: Lessons from disaster contexts’, Global Studies of Childhood, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 129–141. Gordon, R (2004), ‘The social system as site of disaster impact and resource for recovery’, Australian Journal of Emergency Management, vol. 19, pp. 16–22. Hawkins, R and Maurer, K (2010), ‘Bonding, bridging and linking capital: How social capital operated in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina’, British Journal of Social Work, vol. 40, pp. 1777–1793. Kearns, A (2004), Social capital, regeneration and urban policy, CNR Paper # 15, ESCR Centre for Neighbourhood Research. Retrieved from: www.researchcatalogue.esrc.ac.uk/grants/H141251026/ read. Kearns, A and Forrest, R (2000), ‘Social cohesion and multi-level urban governance’, Urban Studies, vol. 37, pp. 995–1017. Lin, N, Cook, K and Burt, R (2001), Social capital: Theory and research, Transaction Publishers, Piscataway, NJ. Magis, K (2010), ‘Community resilience: An indicator of social sustainability’, Society and Natural Resource, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 401–416. McCosker, H, Barnard, A and Gerber, R (2001), ‘Undertaking sensitive research: Issues and strategies for meeting the safety needs of all participants’, Forum: Qualitative Social Research/SozialForschung, vol. 2, no. 1. Retrieved from www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/index. Ministry of Education (2012), Directions for education renewal in Greater Christchurch, Author. Morrow, V (2005), ‘Social capital, community cohesion and participation in England: A space for children and young people?’ Journal of Social Science, Special Issue #9, pp. 57–69. Mullen, M and Thomas, K (2016), ‘Collaborative community in creative settings’, in O’Connor, P (ed.), The possibilities of creativity, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, pp. 117–134. Mutch, C (2013), ‘“Sailing through a river of emotions”: Capturing children’s earthquake stories’, Disaster Prevention and Management, vol. 22, pp. 445–455. Mutch, C (2016), ‘The role of schools in supporting communities through the 2010–2011 New Zealand earthquakes’, School Community Journal, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 99–122. Norris, F, Stevens, S, Pfefferbaum, B, Wyche, K and Pfefferbaum, R (2008), ‘Community resilience as a metaphor, theory, and set of capacities and strategy for disaster readiness’, American Journal of Community Psychology, vol. 41, pp. 127–150. Pfefferbaum, RL, Pfefferbaum, B, Van Horn, RL, Klomp, RW, Norris, FH and Reissman, DB (2013), ‘The communities advancing resilience toolkit (CART): An intervention to build community resilience to disasters’, Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 250–258.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

251

Carol Mutch

Prinstein, M, La Greca, A, Vernberg, E and Silverman, W (1996), ‘Children’s coping assistance: How parents, teachers, and friends help children cope after a natural disaster’, Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 463–475. Putnam, R (2000), Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community, Simon Schuster, New York. Schäfer, N (2012), ‘Finding ways to do research on, with and for children and young people’, Geography, vol. 97, pp. 147–154. Shah, R (2015), ‘Protecting children in a situation of ongoing conflict: Is resilience sufficient as the end product?’ International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j. ijdrr.2015.06.003. Spence, PR and Lachlan, KA (2010), ‘Disasters, crises, and unique populations: Suggestions for survey research’, in Ritchie, LA and MacDonald, W (eds), ‘Enhancing disaster and emergency preparedness, response, and recovery through evaluation’, New Directions for Evaluation, (special issue) vol. 126, pp. 95–106. Thornley, L, Ball, J, Signal, L, Lawson-Te Aho, K and Rawson, E (2013), Building community resilience: Learning from the Canterbury earthquakes. Final report to the Health Research Council and Canterbury Medical Foundation, Health Research Council, Wellington, New Zealand. Van Zijll de Jong, S, Dominey-Howes, D, Roman, CE, Calgaro, E, Gero, A, Velan, S, Bird, DK, Muliaina, T, Tuiloma-Sua, D and Afioga, TL (2011), ‘Process, practice and priorities: Key lessons learnt undertaking sensitive social reconnaissance research as part of an (UNESCO-IOC) International Tsunami Survey Team’, Earth-Science Reviews, vol. 107, pp. 174–192. Wilson, G (2013), ‘Community resilience, social memory and the post-2010 Christchurch (New Zealand) earthquakes’, AREA, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 207–215. Wisner, B (2006), Let our children teach us! A review of the role of education and knowledge in disaster risk reduction, Books for Change, Bangalore. Zautra, A, Hall, J and Murray, K (2008), ‘Community development and community resilience: An integrative approach’, Community Development, vol. 39, no. 3, pp. 130–147.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

252

17 From “dilemmatic space” towards ecological practice Community development in disaster recovery in Queensland, Australia Peter Westoby and Lynda Shevellar

Introduction During the past few years the world has witnessed a proliferation of government- and non-government-led community development initiatives responding to disasters. So great has been this increase that community development scholar Jim Ife champions a whole new dimension of community development that he calls “survival development” namely, community development that takes place around major issues of human survival (2013). Building on this relatively new field, this chapter draws on empirical research and examines the work of state-employed community development officers (CDOs) engaged in a response to natural disasters within the state of Queensland, Australia. As a result of a series of natural disasters, government bodies made the largest new financial investment in community development that has occurred in Queensland in years. This provided a timely opportunity to examine elements of community development practice as deployed by the state. The purpose of this chapter is therefore two-fold. On the one hand, it examines state-led community development practice through the lens of “practice dilemmas” (Hoggett et al., 2009), a concept that is particularly helpful in illuminating the practice-policy interface challenges. These practice dilemmas for community development workers are examined within the relatively new field of disaster preparation and response contexts. On the other hand, the chapter considers, as a result of those dilemmas the possibility of reimagining community development practice within the frame of organic or ecological practice. The chapter proceeds by first explaining the context of the research, and locating it within a body of literature. Following discussions about the research methodology and CDO roles, three main findings are considered through the lens of the dilemmatic space. We conclude by examining the implications of these findings and the need for what we call ecological or organic practice.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Background The impetus for this work is a series of natural disasters in Australia, beginning in December 2010 in the state of Queensland. The widespread devastation caused by flood and cyclone-related 253

Peter Westoby and Lynda Shevellar

disasters was the most severe in living memory (Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry (QFCI), 2011, Interim Report, p. 27). Over 78% of the state of Queensland (an area bigger than France and Germany combined) was declared a disaster zone and more than 2.5 million people were affected. The floods were immediately followed by Tropical Cyclone Yasi in North Queensland. By March 2011, 99% of Queensland was disaster-declared (Queensland Reconstruction Authority, 2011). In response to the 2010–2011 weather events, the Community Recovery and Wellbeing Package (AUD35.82m) was announced in April 2011. Part of this package included AUD20m over two years until June 2013, to enable the “implementation of a community development approach to the reconstruction and recovery of Queensland” (Department of Communities, 2011a, p. 1). A key component of this package was the Community Development and Engagement Initiative (CDEI) that funded CDOs to work in disaster recovery across Queensland (Department of Communities, 2011b; LGAQ, 2011a, 2011b). The CDO positions were officially: [c]reated to help the community work out its own recovery needs and implement projects, activities, and events that contribute to the community’s recovery, resilience, and future disaster preparedness . . . The overarching aim of all the CDO roles is to enable a strong and self-reliant community by building community ownership and supporting the achievement of community driven initiatives. (LGAQ, 2011a, p. 10) The CDOs were employed by local governments (regional councils) but also reported to the CDEI administrator, the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ, 2011b). At the time of data collection, Queensland had 73 local government areas. Of these, 17 local government areas across Queensland were considered hardest hit by the flood and cyclone disasters. These became the locations in which the 24 CDOs were deployed. The disasters created a sense of urgency, exacerbated by the political climate of the time. At the inception of the CDEI in April 2011, Queensland was led by an increasingly unpopular Labor government, which ultimately went on to suffer a landslide defeat to the conservative Liberal National Party (LNP) in the March 2012 election. This highly demanding political environment and the urgency surrounding Queensland’s disaster recovery efforts meant that the CDEI was under pressure to deliver tangible results from the outset. Boin and t’Hart (2003, p. 546) observe that in a modern “risk society” (Beck, 1992) there is a substantial gap between citizen expectations and leadership efforts in preventing and containing crises. They argue that, “the increased scope, complexity, and political salience of crises raises the stakes for policy makers” (p. 546). In the Queensland context, the time constraints and political nature of the program – involving federal, state, and local levels of government, highly sensitive issues of death, grief, loss and distress, economic fallout, and media attention – all placed enormous pressure on CDOs to have highly visible aspects to their work.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Community as a site of policy intervention Previous literature has identified three main purposes of state-led community development: first, as a way of managing intra-community tensions; second, as a way of enhancing local public participation and democracy; and third, as a method of local policy implementation, usually to mobilise local resources (Hoggett et al., 2009, p. 35). For the purposes of this chapter the focus is on the latter, as generally community development within disaster contexts has been focused on this third purpose, which is used as a way to mobilise local resources in the phases 254

“Dilemmatic space” to ecological practice

of community prevention, preparation, response and recovery (Mileti et al., 1975; Neal, 1997; Quarantelli and Dynes, 1977). Central to the literature on community as a site of local policy and program intervention is the idea of “shared responsibility”, most recently articulated in Australia within the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience (NSDR). This strategy, adopted by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in 2011, advocates that disaster resilience is, “not solely the domain of emergency management agencies; rather, it is a shared responsibility between governments, communities, businesses and individuals” (COAG, 2011, p. iii). McLennan and Handmer (2014) regard the shared responsibility discourse as the articulation of a new social contract, depicting the balance of rights and responsibilities between the government and communities. They note that since the 2000s, the connected concepts of risk, agency and responsibility have become “core mobilising concepts” in modern policy discourses (p. 29). The emergence of the new CDO positions funded and employed by government to increase community capacity in the face of disaster, can therefore be understood as the manifestation of this global discursive and policy shift. Critics see the discursive shift as the means to off-load responsibility by public institutions to private citizens under the influence of neoliberal ideologies and new public management (Hamilton, 2012). Despite this critique, there appears to be some agreement, at least at the level of principle, to the importance of shared responsibility and a greater role for community (Pathranarakul and Moe, 2006). However, putting principle into practice is fraught with complication. Responsibilities in disaster management can be overlapping, interdependent, ambiguous and often conflicting. At the level of praxis, the processes are less clear and the results far more mixed (Kenny, 2007; Pandey and Okazaki, 2005; Webber and Jones, 2012).

Taylor and Francis

Community practice as dilemmatic space

Not for distribution

As per our introduction, acknowledging that community can become a central site for local policy and program action, our focus is on state-led community development practice through the conceptual lens of “practice dilemmas” (Hoggett et al., 2009), a concept that is particularly helpful in illuminating practice-policy interface challenges. Initially articulated in the groundbreaking study In and Against the State (Weekend Return Group, 1980), Hoggett et al. demonstrate boundless contradictions for any state-employed community workers. Their discussion of practice dilemmas arises from the idea of “dilemmatic space”, which in turn emerges from an analysis of the complexity of community development work within the public sphere. The challenge of contemporary work in the public sphere is linked to ambivalence that citizens feel towards state action. On the one hand, people want the state to intervene; and yet on the other, people resent it when the state does act. Citizens want the state to keep its distance and then blame the state for not “taking responsibility”. This ambivalence leads to complex ethical, moral and practice dilemmas for local development workers – hence the “dilemmatic space” of their work. Drawing on Honig (1996), dilemmatic space can be understood as a space in which there is no clear and obvious right thing to do. Practitioners will inevitably feel pulls in various directions: external to self (different demands of groups in communities) and internal to self (different ethical pulls). Examples of just some of the kinds of dilemmatic space occupied by community development practitioners include: supporting some groups in communities to work cooperatively with the state while supporting other groups to contest against the state; working with as many different groups as possible within a locality versus working with particularly marginalised population groups within a locality or across several localities; or working within the tensions of 255

Peter Westoby and Lynda Shevellar

an instrumental ethic of government programming versus honouring the motivations of many practitioners, which often involves a solidarity ethic of struggle (Hoggett et al., 2009). At the core of this argument is that within the public sphere community development work is then filled with “risk, uncertainty and ambiguity” (Hoggett et al., 2009, p. 27). Therefore, despite any clear job or role descriptions, any official codes of ethics or principle guidelines, community development practitioners will be left to draw on other resources or ethical frameworks to guide them in daily “street-level” practice (Lipsky, 1980). Of significance to this chapter is the idea that despite these ambiguous and uncertain dynamics, state agents – for example, those engaged in design, monitoring and evaluation of programs – tend to, and in many ways have no choice but to, proceed with attempts to coordinate and administer programs as if there are few ambiguities and uncertainties. Hence increasing attempts by the state to demarcate roles, clarify job descriptions, monitor progress and articulate successful initiatives (Webber and Jones, 2012). With this conceptual lens in mind and the accompanying challenges to community development practice foregrounded, the research methodology and methods are now discussed.

Methodology and methods Methodologically the research project drew on both critical and constructivist perspectives. Critically, the project examined how community development is being deployed by various agencies. The focus was more on the discursive elements rather than material; that is, we analysed what people said, and relations of power in what they said, rather than observed their practice and projects directly. Conceptually, the critical work was also oriented towards dilemmas as per the literature earlier. Constructively, we were intrigued by what could be learned, such that practice could be improved in the future. Essentially, we were asking the question: what could be done differently? To examine the dilemmas facing newly funded state CDOs in building capacity for disaster resilience, this research employed a mixture of participant observation and semi-structured interviews. Participant observation occurred during four regional forums across Queensland. In addition to introducing CDOs to our research project and recruiting participants, observation at these forums helped the researchers deepen their understandings of the CDEI and its interpretation of community development processes and thinking. The three initial researchers, of which two are authors of this chapter, were based in Brisbane and travelled across Queensland to enable interviews to occur at a time and place of convenience to the participants. This resulted in a mixture of face to face and telephone interviews. Of the 24 CDOs, 19 agreed to be interviewed. Thirteen of the interview participants were female, and six were male. Table 17.1 provides a list of local government areas in which CDOs were employed and the corresponding number of interviews conducted with CDOs from those regions. As Table 17.1 shows, the interviewers were able to access CDOs from all funded LGAQ regions except one. Nine stakeholders were also interviewed to provide a broader policy and practice context for the work, and to provide clarification where facts were contested. Stakeholders included line managers, state government representatives, and professionals in the disaster management field. Documents from the Queensland State Government and from LGAQ provided additional history and context. Four stakeholders were located in Brisbane, and five were from regional offices (including one from the Central Queensland area not represented by a CDO interview). In terms of qualifications, ten CDOs came to the role with academic qualifications. These were from highly diverse fields such as business administration, fine arts and social science. Only one CDO held any formal qualifications in community development (a diploma of community development, although one CDO gained a diploma in community development after

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

256

“Dilemmatic space” to ecological practice Table 17.1 Number of CDOs interviewed, by region and government area Queensland geographic region

Local government area

Number of CDOs employed

Research interviews

Far North Queensland

Tablelands Cassowary Coast Hinchinbrook Banana Barcaldine Bundaberg Central Highlands North Burnett Rockhampton Gympie Moreton Bay Brisbane City Toowoomba Ipswich City Lockyer Valley Somerset Western Downs

1 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 (position shared across two people) 2 1 2 2 1 2

1 2 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 2

North Queensland Central Queensland

North Coast Brisbane South West

commencing the role). Over half (n=12) of the CDOs identified that they had no previous community development experience, although some felt that their experience in the community sector gave them an understanding of a community development approach. Previous roles held by the CDOs were also diverse and included employment as a journalist, a prison officer and a game ranger, as well as work experience in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. At least two people had held positions in the disaster management industry.1 Both authors were engaged as researchers in data collection. To ensure rigour, two analytical cycles were employed. First, the interviewing of CDOs and stakeholders was split between three different researchers. Interviews were conducted, transcribed, coded and themed separately by each researcher. Interview transcripts were sent to several interviewees to ensure accuracy of the transcription process. Second, the information was analysed collectively to test emerging themes and provide a check on bias and interpretation. This two-stage process was also a useful means of guarding against groupthink whereby researchers might reach for consensus and achieve conformity at the expense of their own individual ideas. Thematic analysis was employed, meaning that the themes emerged from the data, with the researchers looking for patterns of both convergent and divergent ideas. These themes are explored in the findings section that follows. Ethical approval for this component of the research was provided by The University of Queensland Ethical Review Committee.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Findings Turning now to the substantive focus of our chapter, our exploration of both the practice dilemmas for state-employed CDOs and particular dilemmas for disaster-oriented community development work, revealed three main findings. They are: the dilemmas of language; the dilemmas of being immediately responsive to the accountability/audit culture of government and the longer-term relational and partnership needs of community work; and the dilemmas of “hard” versus “soft” interventions. 257

Peter Westoby and Lynda Shevellar

Dilemma 1: the dilemmas of language The official language of the disaster-oriented community development program included crucial terms such as “recovery”, “resilience” and “preparedness”. Our research indicated that for CDOs attempting to operationalise these terms, such words were often points of tension within everyday practice. CDOs revealed that words such as “recovery” and “resilience” were generally not used in everyday grassroots practice, or were re-interpreted when working within communities. In contrast, the technical language and work of “disaster preparedness” was accepted by community members and did not appear to require modification. Our analysis of language use is that most of the CDOs changed their language according to what was reflected back by community and/or according to the needs of reporting and working within the organisational context. This translation between programmatic and non-programmatic agendas is not unusual for people working at the interface of government and community. However, what is interesting in this situation is that language was not simply translated but fiercely debated. According to CDOs, community members were reluctant to use the language of “recovery”. As one CDO stated, “People want to know very little about recovery now . . . I don’t use the word recovery because people roll their eyes when they hear recovery and say ‘I’m over it’” (CDO 11). This was a regularly occurring theme, with half of the CDOs arguing that the language of “recovery” was experienced as “backwards looking” within communities and that they therefore adapted their language accordingly. CDOs reported that tensions emerged between themselves and local residents as people asked questions such as, “recovery from what?” The language of recovery implied a deficit among local residents – an implication many were averse to. Other CDOs struggled with what official program terms meant and how they would be translated into community development practice in a post-disaster context. The dilemma was further compounded by CDOs needing to identify when communities they worked with “were over it” or had “moved on” from particular stages of the recovery process. Analysis also indicates that many CDOs wanted to be future oriented, and hence chose language more reflective of this aspiration. The language of resilience was understood, for some CDOs, as forward looking, and it was this time dimension that made it generally much more palatable than that of recovery. For example, “The work is very forward looking – not backwards – the focus is on resilience building, which means to me bounce-back-ability” [CDO1]. At the same time, practitioners also spent time wrestling with what they understood the terms to mean. The language of resilience also incurred scepticism, seen as empty rhetoric by community members and CDOs:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Resilience is a buzzword amongst the agencies and the government and the workers and everyone else. It’s one of those words that people in the community either just blink at you or say “What are those words?” We don’t use it. (CDO 3) The third finding in relation to language and discourse was that “preparedness” was the most palatable word for most community members, and therefore easier to use for CDOs. As one CDO reflected: Our focus has been much more on preparedness because being prepared gives you a way to help you recover. It gives you back some degree of power. We won’t be using resilience as a main focus because it doesn’t resonate with people but the “be prepared” focus was okay. (CDO 3) 258

“Dilemmatic space” to ecological practice

While there are fewer problems with the concept of disaster preparedness, the points of tension around language use can reveal deeper understandings of roles and practice. In particular, it reveals whose voice is privileged in CDOs’ practice and how CDOs position themselves in relation to policy. As the quotes and analysis above demonstrate, for some CDOs, the dilemma was how best to understand the intent of the policy language – their goal was to work out what was meant by recovery, resilience and preparedness – and how good practices could support that intent. For other CDOs, rather than simply assimilating program language and/or trying to interpret it, they worked hard to find an everyday language thereby avoiding technical language or government jargon. For this latter group, the struggle about language indicates a dilemmatic space of legitimacy and mandate with a policy language and program that clearly did not speak to the needs of the community being served. This tension of legitimacy is considered in the next set of findings.

Dilemma 2: being responsive to the accountability/audit culture of government and the longer-term relational and partnership needs of community work A second key finding was the tension for CDOs who were caught between being responsive to the accountability/audit culture of government and the longer-term relational and partnership needs of community work. The program had extremely tight accountability mechanisms that most CDOs described as “onerous”. Tools placed emphasis upon quantity. This experience accords with a global shift in development practice, where practice is being strongly driven by what is being called “the results agenda” (Eyben, 2013). LGAQ points to the success of the initiative with the recording of almost 300,000 points of engagement through the delivery of over 320 projects, activities and events (LGAQ, 2013).2 Points of engagement included active forms of engagement in projects – such as the 60 people directly involved in the creation of a mosaic wall – through to the passive engagement of hundreds of people via attendance at a community music concert. There was little recognition or celebration of the less tangible and slower processes of community work. This was articulated by one CDO as the difference between the longer-term processes of community work as opposed to quick service-delivery mode:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

You know what, you just can’t go out there and provide a service, you have to build a relationship. And that relationship means having some CD skills about how to build a relationship with communities and that’s when your work will start flowing for you once you start using that framework. (CDO 11) The issue of time was crucial, with the relational practices of community work seen as requiring more time than the program allowed. While some CDOs saw the time pressures imposed upon the role as a welcome guarantee against building dependency, other CDOs expressed explicit frustration about the two-year time limit of their role. This limit was perceived as a constraint in terms of their community development practice and for the communities they were placed in. As one CDO explained: CD is years, it’s lifetimes, it’s not, “Here’s a bucket of money for two years”, it doesn’t make an ongoing, sustainable community; it makes a short-term fix. It’s been great, it’s been a benefit and we’ve been able to do a lot but in some ways it’s gone against those communities too because they haven’t had to sit back and think about it . . . two years isn’t long enough, two years isn’t anywhere near the time. (CDO 5) 259

Peter Westoby and Lynda Shevellar

The timeframe was also further complicated by the complexity of the roles’ administrative demands. As one CDO reflected: Two years really isn’t long . . . I know it would take people a good three to six months to work out what really happens in local government. If you were someone with no local government experience working in a local government environment it would be quite challenging. (CDO 12) Our observations of four regional CDO forums reinforce these findings. CDOs, often cognisant of the longer processes required of relational practices underpinned by a partnership approach (Burkett and Ruhunda, 2010), were frustrated by the auditing requirements of multiple layers of accountability.

Dilemma 3: “hard” versus “soft” interventions The third dilemma reported in our findings is that of “hard” versus “soft” interventions. In many ways this dilemma is illustrative of community perceptions of needs and assets, and the clear demarcation within government of “siloed” approaches to intervention (for example, one department responsible for roads and another for people’s mental health). In contrast, CDOs employing a more holistic understanding of communities and their needs, engaged “on community’s terms”. However, they were then left with dilemmas when communities identified their needs in ways that were beyond the purview of the community development program. There were tensions between community perceptions of what a CDO should be doing and what a CDO was mandated to do within their role description. The issue of chainsaw use provides an illustration of this dilemma. One CDO explained:

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Every community consultation led to chainsaw needs being the number one issue. Without a chainsaw ticket you cannot use a chainsaw. After a disaster everyone buys chainsaws and/ or an axe. We need to encourage this – our role is to make it safe. (CDO 1) Community members saw that what they needed was help to get “tickets” (that is, a formal qualification), to enable them to use their chainsaws in the aftermath of a disaster. For them, the crucial issue after a cyclone or flood is clearing fallen trees so that they can go and check on neighbours and then start clearing debris to quickly “normalise” the surroundings. The CDO dilemma is created when the CDO hears such a request but is not mandated within their job description or the program policy guidelines to support the residents’ initiative. As the CDO explained: [The program management] had an issue with it because they don’t see it as disaster preparedness and argued that it fell outside the CDEI guidelines. They didn’t ever ring me; they didn’t ever confer with me to say, “What the hell has chainsaw tickets got to do with storm preparation?” They just said it fell outside the CDEI guidelines. (CDO 1) The official program focus is on “soft” or psycho-social recovery work. Our findings indicate that the CDOs are mandated to facilitate psycho-social recovery, but local people’s understanding 260

“Dilemmatic space” to ecological practice

of recovery is often more focused on the “hard stuff” of clearing and fixing roads and bridges or acquiring necessary infrastructure. As the same CDO summarised, “Disaster Management is hard and blokey – CD is soft and gay!” (CDO 1). The “soft”, “fluffy” and “woolly” skills of community development were contrasted with the hard visible skills of physical infrastructure, hazard management and reconstruction. The dilemma became acute as community members lost patience, and a number of CDOs gave accounts of residents getting angry. One CDO observed, “I really needed my Kevlar vest and bash hat when I first went out there” (CDO 15). Another CDO explained, “the majority of community [sic] don’t understand the community development approach . . . they just want people to come in and fix the problem and then leave again” (CDO 4). The soft nature of community development is further illustrated by investigation into the recruitment processes for the role of CDO. While the state government constructed the job descriptions, employment of each CDO was undertaken by local councils. That so few workers had previous community development experience speaks to an ongoing myth that community development is something that anyone can do, and that having community connections or being a good networker is seen as all the knowledge or experience required. Unlike the obvious and highly visible skills of those people in formal disaster management roles (for example, fire officers or medical emergency staff), the technical knowledge of community development, being largely invisible, is undervalued.

Discussion: dealing with dilemmas – moving towards organic practice The dilemmas of language, accountability and program limitations are not new and designers of the program, if familiar with community development literature, could easily predict these tensions. However, what is new is the particular complex context of disaster management for CDOs in Queensland, and flowing from this particularity, several new dilemmas. Thus we see an ambiguous role for CDOs, with heavy accountabilities in a complex, sensitive and evolving context. In trying to understand what could assist the navigation of this practice space, we therefore return to the community development literature and give consideration to two crucial themes: (1) a community development workers’ need for responsive, flexible or what we have called an organic or ecological practice – in relation to language, politics and engagement; and (2) the need for a different approach to in situ education and training of CDOs within government-led programs such as this. In relation to the first discussion point, the disaster management literature, which has deeply influenced policy and program alike, has clearly constructed models. The most commonly cited approach is a four-phase model known as the PPRR (Drabek, 1986; Mileti et al., 1975; National Governor’s Association, 1979; Neal, 1997; Quarantelli and Dynes, 1977). This model depicts a Disaster Prevention phase, which includes appropriate town and infrastructure planning; a Disaster Preparedness phase, occurring prior to the event which covers advance warnings, release of dam waters, securing property and so forth; a Disaster Response phase during and immediately following the event, including managing hazards, evacuation, emergency provision of food and shelter, rehousing and clean up; and a Disaster Recovery phase, with longer-term post-disaster work to help rebuild infrastructure and revitalise townships. Within this model, the four phases are represented as a cycle of intervention, because while the events themselves may not be entirely predictable, the patterns of the event quickly become evident once in motion. However, what is interesting from the findings reported above is that CDOs differed enormously in terms of where they thought the emphasis should be, the language they used, and their analysis of where they directed their efforts and resources. This speaks to many of the dilemmas reported earlier.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

261

Peter Westoby and Lynda Shevellar

What is also interesting is to compare the Queensland community development experience with the Victorian experience. In the latter, “details of how community development was to be conceptualised were only written down two years later” (Webber and Jones, 2012, p. 4), and were therefore very unclear for the workers. By contrast, the Queensland program had access to an abundance of literature surrounding community development, including detailed position descriptions and papers from LGAQ describing the role of the CDO in a local government context (LGAQ, 2011b). Thus some CDOs found themselves using the program to externally motivate community to achieve “compliance and participation” as opposed to practitioners who focused on the “existing intrinsic motivation” for development (Toomey, 2009, p. 193). This lends support for the idea that while previous research might have pointed to the need for policy (on community development definition, job description and so forth), and subsequently policy documents may now be clearer, the in situ experience of CDOs still moderates policy at a community level. As per the thesis of Hoggett et al. (2009, p. 29), despite efforts around “coordination and clarity”, ambiguity, uncertainty and complexity remain. For us, the crucial issue at hand is not so much policy clarity nor program design, but community-level practice issues and how practitioners navigate the policy/program terrain. Reflecting on practice issues, we wish to foreground the idea of practice as conscious and contextualised responsivity and flexibility. As one CDO, defending variations from the program workplan, explained, “stuff popped up in communities organically and I thought I would have been rewarded for doing organic responsive work” (CDO 1). As the CDO went on to explain, this was not the case. Responsivity and flexibility were not rewarded within the program monitoring processes. These ideas signpost what we have come to understand as a conscious organic or ecological understanding of community practice. Within this frame the community worker is [or needs to be] in a “responsive dance” with the shifting policy, political and program context (including the official roles and program goals/objectives, indicators) – while also being responsive to the community’s use of language and their understanding of the need at hand, in turn supporting resourcefulness. Our sense is that previous understandings of community practice have not explored this enough. Responsivity within a holistic frame is underpinned by an organic practice whereby a community development worker employed in a program, such as that being discussed here, is conscious that they are working within a complex living ecology of shifting politics, programmatic goals and objectives, and community feelings and aspirations (Kaplan, 2002). The fact that a community worker is inserted into the living and shifting dynamic of disaster response in and of itself also shifts the ecology, leading to nuanced changes to a community’s sense of their own obligations, needs and language. An alternative organic or ecological approach to CD would need to separate conceptual processes of: (1) observing – seeing what is going on within the living and shifting social and political sphere (without overlays of program or professional language) of both the community and program/policy context; and (2) then interpreting – that is, in dialogue and collaboration with local people searching for accurate analysis about what can be done; and finally (3) designing or co-designing an intervention, or “community response” within a partnership approach, while also working together to challenge policy/programmatic barriers to resourcing such a community response. Such an approach is underpinned by an anthropological and phenomenological understanding. What this means is seeing local people’s perspectives on preparedness, recovery, resilience such as “I don’t want connections”, or “Help means rebuilding the fence, not giving me counselling”. Such an approach is less interested in whether a community should be preparing, recovering or becoming more resilient – a concern of policy makers and program designers – but is instead more focused on local explanatory models (Kleinman, 1980) of a

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

262

“Dilemmatic space” to ecological practice

community’s social experience, and also understanding the contextual representations of their social experience through political, media and service-oriented discourses. This approach restores the social and moral dimensions to disaster recovery, shifting the gaze away from instrumental technical interventions. Furthermore, what emerged in discussions was that for those workers “with relatively strong community development experience and a clear practice framework” (Westoby and Ingamells, 2011), this kind of organic or ecological practice was complex but manageable. Their primary goal was to work flexibly and responsively to the communities themselves, albeit remaining conscious of their own organisational and political context and being responsive to that, and at times challenging of it. Their language remained adaptable; however, they were still clear that they were working towards a process of supporting community in a partnership approach that gave firm foundations for the policy of shared responsibility accounted for within the literature review. This is an important point, because while arguing for an ecological approach, we recognise that bureaucracies will not adopt such thinking. A practitioners’ framework enables them to navigate their practice within bureaucracy and hold this tension. At the same time, our analysis indicated that those CDOs who were not formally trained as community development practitioners, often themselves taking a more ad hoc approach, were easily assimilated into government technical language and tended to “impose” that logic on communities, often with adverse effects on the practice. This is not to argue for credentialism, but rather we observed that for those without a clear framework through which to organise and make sense of the work, the language and understanding of their role was much more difficult to navigate, which in turn led to enormous frustration with the official program. Turning to our second discussion point, an interesting aspect of the Queensland program is that while workers did attend regional forums and training days, these appeared not to meet the needs of workers to explore the complexities of the work, and were largely about understanding the accountability demands of the program. The instrumental and audit culture of government overwhelmed any imperative for a more organic and responsive “training” program for the workers, and our analysis indicates that this was a serious mistake. At the inception of the program, an external CD consultancy firm was employed by LGAQ to formally evaluate the program. As part of their work, they delivered training and offered resources to help build capacity and provide support. However, this was about developing capacity of people to evaluate the program. Not all CDOs understood this distinction. Many of those who did believed it was a program shortcoming. This echoes a shift occurring globally, whereby the “results agenda” is sacrificing learning to accountability (Whitty, 2013). Reporting on their research into the Victorian bushfire program, Webber and Jones argue that, “it was assumed that the workers would have a common understanding of what it [community development] involved” (2012, p. 4) and that this clearly was not the case. By contrast, in our Queensland research, there was understanding – at least at an espoused level – that workers were resourced to understand the intention of the role. But what appeared to be missing was a broader training role, focused more on the building of CDOs’ capacity to do the work itself alongside the creation of the reflective space in which to safely negotiate and speak about the application of those intentions in praxis. Good practice experiences of in situ or horizontal learning processes (Chambers, 2005; Ubels et al., 2010) were not drawn upon to inform the learning processes that would have enhanced the program substantially. Our analysis is that the dilemmatic space reported in the findings – related to accountability/audit culture versus partnership building – created too many pressures for the CDEI program managers. These pressures undermined the reflexive space for supporting learning that was more oriented towards CDO needs.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

263

Peter Westoby and Lynda Shevellar

Conclusion This chapter has sought to understand the implications for community development workers located in the emerging field of post-disaster development, through the experience of the 2010– 2011 Queensland flood recovery work. Utilising the lens of the dilemmatic space of practice, this research has shown the complex and often compromised space in which community development is being undertaken, and the way in which a results-oriented agenda and the political imperative of a program can often override community agendas and bottom-up practices. Our discussion argues that this dilemmatic space requires community development practitioners to re-conceptualise their practice accordingly; and in doing this we argue for a conscious organic or ecological approach to community practice. This conscious organic or ecological approach enables a practitioner to hold “their own centre” so to speak, as changes occur around them. Furthermore, we argue for a reconsideration of the kinds of learning spaces, training and support required of community development workers to be effective in such large-scale community development programs. Underpinning this chapter is awareness that community development is not simply a set of skills and techniques, but an ongoing process of learning and engaging with context. This requires reflexive processes to engage consciously with the emerging environment. For the state, this means that there needs to be a whole new way of imagining learning, education and training of community workers in contexts such as disaster response. For CDOs, reflexive practice requires activating personal agency and engaging in supervision, peer learning, mentoring and ongoing learning and reflection. Reflexivity may also require the creation by CDOs themselves of these supports where they do not currently exist. In this regard, community development has a lot to learn from the disaster management field and its commitment to continuous improvement and systems thinking. Finally, this chapter demonstrates how critical and constructivist perspectives to community development research can enhance our understanding of both how community development is deployed into the world through various actors – in this case a state agency – and also what could be done differently (the constructivist perspective).

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Acknowledgements We would like to thank the Queensland Centre for Social Science and Innovation (QCSSI) for funding to undertake this research. An earlier version of this chapter appeared in Community Development, Vol 46, no. 1, pp. 67–74.

Notes 1 Only two self-identified as working in the disaster industry, but other CDOs were referred to in this way during the interview process. 2 See also https://lgaq.asn.au/cdei for a summary of the program, details of the program’s history, funding allocations and outcomes.

References Beck, U (1992), Risk society: Towards a new modernity, Sage, London. Boin, A and t’Hart, P (2003), ‘Public leadership in times of crisis: Mission impossible?’ Public Administration Review, vol. 63, no. 5, pp. 544–553. Burkett, I and Ruhunda, A (2010), ‘Building partnerships for social development’, In Pawar MS and Cox, DR (eds), Social development: Critical themes and perspectives, Routledge, New York, pp. 118–144. Chambers, R (2005), Ideas for development, Earthscan, London. 264

“Dilemmatic space” to ecological practice

Council of Australian Governments (COAG) (2011), National strategy for disaster resilience, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra. Department of Communities (2011a), Fact sheet 4: The community development approach to recovery, The Queensland Government, Brisbane. Retrieved from: www.communities.qld.gov.au/resources/ communityservices/community/community-recovery/support-assistance/documents/fact-sheet4-the-community-development-approach-to-recovery.pdf. Department of Communities (2011b), The community development and recovery package, Brisbane: The Queensland Government. Retrieved from: www.communities.qld.gov.au/communityservices/community-support/ community-recovery/community-recovery-and-wellbeing-package/the-community-development-andrecovery-package. Drabek, T (1986), Human system responses to disaster: An inventory of sociological findings, Springer-Verlag, New York. Eyben, R (2013), Uncovering the politics of ‘evidence’ and ‘results’. Paper presented at the Politics of Evidence Conference, April, Brighton, UK. Hamilton, M (2012), ‘The “new social contract” and the individualisation of risk in policy’, Journal of Risk Research, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 453–467. Hoggett, P, Mayo, M and Miller, C (2009), The dilemmas of development work: Ethical challenges in regeneration, Policy Press Bristol. Honig, B (1996), ‘Difference, dilemmas and the politics of home’, in Benhabib, S (ed.), Democracy and difference: Contesting the boundaries of the political, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, pp. 257–277. Ife, J (2013), Community development in an uncertain world, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. Kaplan, A (2002), Development practitioners and social process: Artists of the invisible, Pluto Press, Chicago, IL. Kenny, S (2007), ‘Reconstruction in Aceh: Building whose capacity?’ Community Development Journal, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 206–221. Kleinman, A (1980), Patients and healers in the context of culture: An exploration of the borderland between anthropology, medicine, and psychiatry, University of California Press, Los Angeles, CA. LGAQ (2011a), Early essentials information pack: Practical information for community development officers, Local Government Association of Queensland, Brisbane. LGAQ (2011b), Community development recovery and resource kit. A guide for Queensland local government community development officers, Local Government Association of Queensland, Brisbane. Retrieved from: https://lgaq.asn.au/cdei. LGAQ (2013), Community development and engagement initiative case studies, Local Government Association of Queensland, Brisbane, Local Government Area of Queensland. Retrieved from: https://lgaq.asn.au/cdei. Lipsky, M (1980), Street-level bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the individual in public services, Russell Sage Foundation, New York. London Edinburgh Weekend Return Group (1980), In and against the state, Pluto Press, London. McLennan, B and Handmer, J (2014), Sharing responsibility in Australian disaster management: Final report for the sharing responsibility project, Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre, East Melbourne, Victoria. Mileti, DS, Drabek, TE and Haas, JE (1975), Human systems in extreme environments, Institute of Behavioral Science, The University of Colorado, Boulder, CO. National Governor’s Association (1979), Emergency preparedness project final report, Government Printing Office, Washington DC. Neal, D.M (1997), ‘Reconsidering the phases of disaster’, International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 239–264. Pandey, B and Okazaki, K (2005), Community based disaster management: Empowering communities to cope with disaster risks, United Nations Centre for Regional Development, Japan. Retrieved from: http:// unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/un/unpan020698.pdf. Pathranarakul, P and Moe, TL (2006), ‘An integrated approach to natural disaster management: Public project management and its critical success factors’, Disaster Prevention and Management, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 396–413. Quarantelli, EL and Dynes, RR (1977), ‘Response to social crisis and disaster’, Annual Review of Sociology, vol. 3, pp. 23–49. Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry (2011), Queensland floods commission of inquiry interim report. Retrieved from: www.floodcommission.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/8781/QFCIInterim-Report-August-2011.pdf. Queensland Reconstruction Authority (2011), Queensland reconstruction authority monthly report March 2011. Retrieved from: www.qldreconstruction.org.au/u/lib/cms2/ceo-report-mar-11-full.pdf.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

265

Peter Westoby and Lynda Shevellar

Toomey, A (2009), ‘Empowerment and disempowerment in community development practice: Eight roles practitioners play’, Community Development Journal, vol. 46 no. 2, pp. 181–195. Ubels, J, Acquaye-Baddoo, N and Fowler, A (eds) (2010), Capacity development in practice, Earthscan, London. Webber, R and Jones, K (2012), ‘Implementing “community development” in a post-disaster situation’, Community Development Journal, vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 248–263. Westoby, P and Ingamells, A (2011), ‘Teaching community development personal practice frameworks’, Social Work Education, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 383–396. Whitty, B (2013), Experiences of the results agenda: Draft findings for discussion from the crowd-sourcing survey. Paper presented at the Politics of Evidence Conference, April, Brighton, UK.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

266

18 Hurricanes, oil and rising water The role and work of community development in coastal Louisiana in the intersection of disasters, recovery and planning for the future Holly Ann Scheib

Introduction

Taylor and Francis

Nearly half of the wetlands of the United States are located in coastal Louisiana, where 2 million people and 40% of the state population reside. This population is tied to the economies and lifestyle of wetland culture: a geographically distinct and culturally unique collection of peoples who were pushed (for example, the Acadians) or driven (for example, Native American groups) into the swamp generations ago. This chapter explores the recent history of people concentrated within wetlands of the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuarine System in coastal Louisiana, through the work and experiences of a locally based community organising non-profit. Within these systems, hurricanes (Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike), Mississippi River flooding, oil spills (for example, the BP disaster), and the rising waters of climate change exacerbate erosion, salt water intrusion, subsidence and eutrophication1 to contribute to unprecedented wetland loss, affecting every aspect of life for those who live in the area. The case study presented and discussed in this chapter provides a framework to explore the role of community organising practices in a diversely populated, widely spread and geographically threatened region. Its purpose is to highlight thoughtful, skillful advocacy within local populations, and the marginalisation of their activities by formal and informal structures. In this study, local needs contrast with a range of priorities and disruptions, which shape the functions of the organisation while creating tensions and opportunities. The work of the organisation is presented and analysed as a way to understand how people, disaster preparation and response, environment and community organising intersect in ways that are valuable and important, even as they are challenging. Specifically, this chapter presents a study of the activities and functions of a local, community-based non-profit, illustrating how external forces simultaneously depend on the expertise of the organisation and its members while devaluing their contributions and underlying mission to the community it serves. To make this argument, the complex context of southeast

Not for distribution

267

Holly Ann Scheib

Louisiana and its environmental, political and cultural crises are presented, followed by an analysis of organisational case study data. The analysis and discussion illustrate both the utility of organising groups in a community situated in the midst of climate change, while showing the ways that partnership entities minimise their value and potential contributions to science, advocacy and intervention. Various community organising frameworks, field tensions between services and advocacy roles, and disconnections between community organisations, external funders and local populations are discussed.

Methods This work2 was approached as a holistic, single-case study, as described by Yin (2014). To this end, the author attended outreach events, spoke to community members, conducted interviews with staff and reviewed primary source documentation. These activities reflected a variety of fieldwork techniques common to qualitative and case study research (see, for example, Bernard, 1994; DeWalt and DeWalt, 2002; Yin, 2011). Following Yin’s (2014) approach, the “case” in this study is one specific organisation: the Interfaith Sponsoring Committee, Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organising (BISCO), a non-profit based on Thibodaux, a city in Lafourche Parish, in the bayou3 region of southeast Louisiana. Data collection included direct and participant observation, interviews, physical review of internal documentation (budgets, staffing documents) and external documentation review (newspapers, flyers). A variety of techniques was used within data collection, including action mapping, timeline history and free listing. Textual and primary source data was analysed through qualitative documentation and organisational practices, including field notes, memos, pile sorts and concept analysis. Data validation exercises were ongoing and included sharing notes, clarifying findings and asking follow-up questions. Through a year of data collection, the case study research approach changed from a holistic study (exploring the role the organisation plays in the community) to an embedded study (Yin, 2014), where changing events and external relationships became centres for individual investigation. In this way, the structure of the study shifted to fit the emerging patterns, to understand external influences (including disasters and external partnerships). In other words, the theory suggested that each disaster and partnership caused an evolution in the nature of the organisation. Therefore, the nature of the case study shifted to fit this emerging finding.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

History of BISCO BISCO was born through the efforts of organisers to better prepare and respond to disasters in their community. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew caused extensive damage in South Florida before regaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico and moving inland through Southeast Louisiana. In the aftermath of this disaster, local religious leaders found that their parishioners turned to religious centres as safe havens and resource hubs in the lead up to the event and in the response that followed. When the response ended, religious leaders agreed that they wanted to be better equipped, coordinated and organised to both prepare and respond to the environmental changes and threats to their community. They recognised the need for local, regional and state connections, and the need to advocate for social and societal issues of racism and poverty. These issues – racism and poverty – were viewed as the predictors of who among communities is most affected by disaster and most vulnerable to the environmental changes of their communities. To maintain what they viewed as a “spiritual voice”, they joined the Pacific Institute for Community Organisations (PICO) network, believing that this approach would be good for the area and 268

Hurricanes, oil and rising water

maintain their values. PICO, formerly Pacific Institute for Community Organisations and now People Improving Communities Through Organising, was founded in 1972 by a Jesuit priest who sought to use organising principles to advance issues of community relevance through the combined work of various religious centres (Speer and Hughey, 1995). BISCO’s arrangement with PICO provided external leadership for a local board of religious leaders, and allowed a few staff support and access to training opportunities to complement skills in organising. In 2000, with funding from religious leaders in Southeast Louisiana, the BISCO board recruited a local policy professional with a social work degree and a long history of work in state and national government to advance their advocacy efforts. This director fostered an all-local staff, finding paid and volunteer personnel representing the diverse communities in the region (African American, Creole, Acadian/White and members of several of the Native American tribes). Dedication to involving and investing in diverse members of the communities of the region remains a hallmark of BISCO’s efforts. Following the hurricanes of 2005, BISCO became independent from the PICO network. Currently, BISCO operates as an independent non-profit4 organisation with the goal of addressing “longstanding issues of inequality and poverty in southeastern coastal Louisiana”, self-identifying as “a multi-faith, multi-ethnic, multi-issue organisation that serves as a voice for the people” (BISCO promotional materials, 2014). Their stated organising priorities are: (1) coastal land loss, environment and environmental justice; (2) community resiliency (housing, insurance, literacy, poverty); (3) emergency preparedness, response and recovery; and (4) public health and safety, and recreation.

Taylor and Francis

Context of southeast Louisiana

The goals of BISCO are intertwined with the cultural, political and environmental context of southeast Louisiana. As a result, organisers are forced to contend with local factors that complicate and sometimes conflict with their mission. They must respond to a widely dispersed population, whose geographic distance is complicated by linguistic differences, cultural histories and the need for both water and land-based transport. Further, the hold of the oil and gas industries limit the manner and extent to which organisers may advocate: they must approach issues as partners without antagonism and pressure more commonly associated with organising and advocacy. In short, BISCO must adopt culturally specific methods for organising and operate them in ways that fit the geography, environment and situational context of the population. BISCO organisers approach industries with care because southeastern coastal Louisiana is a major producer of crude oil and natural gas in the United States, and core to the economy of the region. Home to a fifth of the oil refining capacity of the United States, and second only to Texas in the amount of oil that flows through its ports, this extensive industrial infrastructure sits within nearly half (40–45%) of the nation’s total coastal wetlands. This is an uneasy and unsustainable marriage of resources; the oil and gas infrastructures rely on the wetlands they impact. Most critically to the low-lying region, the wetlands are a critical storm buffer for all the infrastructure and residents of southeast Louisiana (Chan and Zoback, 2007; Zou et al., 2016). Since 1930, this area has lost more than 4,921 km2 (~1,900 mi2) of land, which accounts for 80% of the total coastal wetland loss in the United States (Zou et al., 2016). This ongoing land loss causes severe damage to local fishery industries, deteriorates the wetland-ecosystem environmental balance, and increases the risk of coastal hazards to both residents and infrastructures. When families shift from fishing traditions to seek alternative employment, oil and gas are the most common, with families often employed and active in both industries. The widespread land loss of coastal Louisiana is not necessarily specifically caused by oil and gas, but is instead due to a combination

Not for distribution

269

Holly Ann Scheib

of issues, specifically, land subsidence,5 eustatic sea-level change6 and shoreline erosion. The salt water incursion from miles of oil and gas lines dug through the wetlands exacerbates the factors of wetland loss, bringing salt water further and deeper into the land and marsh. High rates of subsidence, defined as the downward shifting of land surface, occurs through a series of complex interactions between natural, social and economic conditions and have been considered a principal cause contributing to ongoing extensive wetland loss (Chan and Zoback, 2007; Zou et al., 2016). With the knowledge that the industries, which are recognised by local populations as a main source of economic support, are inherently at odds with coastal protection and advocacy, BISCO must walk a delicate line. It must balance its organising priority of advocating on issues of coastal land loss, environment and environmental justice without damaging its relationship with the oil and gas industries that support the Louisiana economy and body politic. The critical nature of BISCO as a force of resilience building in southeast Louisiana is important to illustrate. The rapid coastal land loss is dramatic for this region; the nation’s first “climate change refugees” are from BISCO’s service area (Davenport and Robertson, 2016). BISCO advocates within communities across several southeast Louisiana Parishes (same as a “county”), including Terrebonne, Lafourche, Assumption and Jefferson, with a concentration of partners and staff focusing on Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes. These parishes are culturally diverse (including five different Native American tribes) and spread through hard-to-reach bayous and wetlands. The geographic spread of Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes, as well as the concentration of residents in end-points along the waterways leading to the Gulf of Mexico, requires an outreach focused, decentralised approach to services and organising. Transportation in the region is a challenge, with no public transport options in many communities. Further, travel distances preclude participation in activities that are not close to residents’ homes; boat travel within some communities is more typical than car. Therefore, organising in this region requires timely and costly movement through the area, as well as a detailed level of cultural and geographic knowledge. BISCO has an advantage in these challenges due to its work through congregations, which gives a centralised location and information source from which to reach residents. The city of Houma has a population of approximately 33,000 and is the only city in Terrebonne Parish (Thibodaux, just north of Houma and the location of BISCO’s main offices, is in LaFourche Parish and has a population of approximately 14,000). From Houma, there are five state roads that go directly into the bayous where BISCO’s service population resides. The majority of roads do not connect; one must travel to Houma (or take a boat) to travel between these road systems. Each road represents one-or-two lane driving of 60–90 minutes each way extending from Houma into the bayou systems that lead to the Gulf of Mexico. As you travel down the bayous, homes on pillars stretch from the road to the water, with fishing boats parked underneath; in some places, the road is the width of the land itself. Extending from Houma, approximately 120,000 people live in the waterways defined by those five highways. Along the corridor to Grand Isle, there are another 100,000 people. With the inclusion of Houma, Thibodaux and its surrounding areas, this represents roughly 250,000 people of the following ethnicities: 65% white (with many of these identifying as “Acadian”), 20% African American (including those who identify as “Creole”), 10% Native American, and 5% Hispanic (Louisiana Census, 2014). These small, spread-out communities have little connection to formal structures of government and rely heavily on each other for social, cultural, economic and spiritual needs. A variety of churches and denominations act as community centres and gathering areas; the Louisiana name for “county” is “parish”, a word referencing the religious representation of churches in the state. BISCO’s connection to these diverse congregations also allows partnership with each as cultural ambassadors, who can address each population

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

270

Hurricanes, oil and rising water

subset in a manner that is trusted and reliable. With this network, BISCO is able to operate as community organiser and advocate with multiple groups and in myriad local services, adapting themselves to changing needs and pressures.

The work of BISCO Since its founding in 1994, BISCO has administratively operated with an executive director, a team of organisers, and an advisory board of representatives from more than 20 local faith organisations, encompassing involvement from several denominations and a number of wide-reaching communities. Paid staff are trained to be “organisers”, and participate on specific projects with anywhere from 1 to 15 trained organisers working at a time. While there is little turnover, the organisers are not salaried, and are offered paid hours of work contingent on funding opportunities and outside work negotiations. In addition to organisers, BISCO trains local volunteers in organising practice principles and involves them as “leaders” in advocacy events and outreach efforts. This network of organisers and leaders allows BISCO to maintain connections throughout this geographically spread region. As shown in the maps earlier, as many as four hours of driving time separate the communities included in their partnership area. BISCO focuses on relationships, capacity-building and training to identify needs and common solutions. Though it may fit common definitions (Cnaan and Milofsky, 1997) of a faith based organisation (FBO), BISCO identifies as a community organising group, and staff self-identify as organisers. While Rubin and Rubin’s (2008) division of “issue-based” and “area-based” organisations is helpful to define the work of BISCO (they would fall into the category of “area-based”, focusing on the coastal parishes of southeast Louisiana), it is more helpful to consider BISCO within a framework of community practice. BISCO was founded with interest in developing community capacity to advocate for services, influence policy and interact with administration. The organisation fits what Rothman and Tropman refer to as a macro practice organisation, where there is focus on “broader social approaches to human betterment, emphasising the effective delivery of services, strengthening community life, and preventing social ills” (1987, p. 26). They further describe a continuum of macro practice “modes” that range from building community-level capacities to aggressive organising of single-issue campaigns. These frameworks define some of the processes and tension in BISCO’s mission, affiliation and style of community organising practice. BISCO staff operate in all areas of community, within tight-knit, socially cohesive groups that work together even when opposed on sensitive issues. As a result, the group expresses discomfort with organising strategies that advocate actions that isolate or personalise issues. Traditionally, these kinds of practices are associated with social action modes of practice, where isolating individuals and applying “pressure” are techniques to force through specific change on issues (Alinsky, 1969; Rothman and Tropman, 1987). For BISCO, application of these techniques would serve to break social ties and further marginalise communities. Instead, they advocate for self-awareness in political involvement, education on political issues, discussion and prioritisation of issues, and engagement in what they view as a “Christian” way of respect and consideration for every member of their communities. Their approach echoes the asset-based community development (ABCD) approach, developed by Kretzmann and McKnight (1993) in the early 1990s, which argued, “residents made communities better by taking matters into their own hands” (Aigner et al., 2002, p. 87). This approach specifies that every resident be included in community change to “generate authentic relationships, build community-wide awareness and a shared understanding of a common future” (Aigner et al., 2002, p. 96). The community organiser’s role is to build collaboration

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

271

Holly Ann Scheib

and commonalities within communities in order to reduce inequalities and build an alternative, more sustainable future (Aigner et al., 2002; Mathie and Cunningham, 2003). BISCO’s move to be independent from the PICO system was related, in part, to discomfort with the Alinsky-style methods emphasised in the PICO approach (Pruger and Specht 1969). Further, and more critically, the BISCO organisers felt that they were not adequately supported in their local work regarding coastal land loss and environmental justice. The communities of southeast Louisiana felt the need for organisers who were free to advocate on these issues more directly. Therefore, BISCO took on a complicated role that required it to remain in good standing with community members – and not threaten the source of local livelihoods – while also advocating for coastal environmental issues. A series of environmental and natural disasters shaped the way these relationships formed the activities and partnerships for the organisation.

Disaster-related organising Drastic changes in activity and priorities follow local disasters and their response. Due to the drastic impacts of several hurricanes (in particular, Katrina and Rita in 2005, and Gustav and Ike in 2008) and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, BISCO’s activities have shifted to meet the needs of its community members and adapt to the changing landscape of its service area. Figure 18.1 provides an overview of these changes. The impacts and responses to disasters shifted BISCO into social planning activities, where the planned, technical process of problem solving is connected to the distribution of services, with emphasis on outside resources (Rothman and Tropman 1987). Consistent with this framework, BISCO leadership remained consistent through community changes, while resources moved from internal to more external sources of support, organically shaping the ways the organisation functions within the community.

Taylor and Francis

Not for distribution

Works under na!onally-determined organizing Principles: - Children’s services - Family Stabiliza!on - Public safety - Capacity Building with Parishioners

BISCO leaves PICO network Establishes new pla"orm of engagement and organizing principles:

272

BISCO increases subcontracted work

- Coastal land loss,

environmental jus!ce

- Community Resiliency (Housing, Insurance, Literacy, Poverty) - Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Public Health, Safety, Recrea!on

Figure 18.1 Major shifts in BISCO

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

2010

BISCO formed as part of PICO network

Hurricane Katrina

2005

1994

Hurricane Andrew

BISCO contacts and reputa!on cri!cal for informa!on sharing and advocacy

Hurricanes, oil and rising water

Roles of BISCO BISCO staff participate in a wide range of activities to fulfil their goals in advocacy and education. Documentation and study of these found two spheres of skill-based actions, with each building from a central sphere of local connections, networks and resources. The skills-based activities are described broadly as advocacy-based and strategy-based, with the local connections and resources described as liaison. These three spheres, individually and at their intersections, define how the organisation applies skills to fulfil its mission. Advocacy skills are related to two functions. First, supporting people through coordination of services, referral and other social work-oriented activities. The second is related to advocacy in environmental justice education, awareness and communication. In the perspective of BISCO, they may categorise these efforts as “for the people”, expressing environmental needs as a living resource alongside basic household needs (rent, electricity, water) and other social service issues. The skills required include the coordination, connection and counselling abilities of social work, as well as knowledge of and critical thinking around the geological sciences and environmental law. Figure 18.2 illustrates these advocacy approaches. These two areas of advocacy share a foundational and complex relationship with the diverse staff of BISCO, where staff members both utilise and build their personal relationships, family histories