Papua Partners faciliates Advocacy Workshop in Wamena
From 1-5 November 2010 Papua Partners faciliated a workshop on Adovcacy with 15 Yasumat staff. This was a great opportunity to look at root causes of poverty and injustice in Papua. There was lots of discussion on issues of how local leaders use and misuse power and information and how this affects the people of Yahukimo. Yasumat staff learned about the importance of advocacy to really change situations rather than just always be treating the effects of problems.
“It really impacted me how when we trace back to the roots of a problem such as high death rates in childbirth one of the main causes was poor governance at the local government level” said Yasumat health worker Nessie Pagabol.
“If we only look at issues of nutrition or training midwives but there are still no health workers or funds for mother and child clinics getting through to village level the changes we make will not last. Therefore we need to lobby the government to improve the systems and processes of the health system to ensure that it serves the people of Yahukimo and especially women and children.”
Many people in the workshop discovered that they had already being doing advocacy but didn’t realise it and that it is a natural extension of their work to empower the population of Yahukimo. ‘We also learnt the importance of being prepared when we go into a meeting to lobby or when we are interviewed for the newspaper of radio’ said Deny Siep who is the head of Yasumat’s health program.
“I am now going to start to use the laws and policies that lay out peoples rights in social areas. We can use these to back up what we are saying and push the government to ensure that they are doing their job properly’.”
By the end of the workshop each program team in Yasumat had developed their own advocacy strategy which they will continue to improve with coaching from Naomi Sosa, Papua Partners advisor working with Yasumat.