- Annual General Meeting of The Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies (AAAPS), 10 May 2013
- Dr. Hsiao-chun Hung returns to the Mariana Islands
- Vote buying prevalent in Indonesia and the Pacific
- The end of the Pacific? Sea-level change and Pacific Island livelihoods
- Politics, development and security in Oceania
- Kago, Kastom and Kalja: The Study of Indigenous Movements in Melanesia Today (Cahiers du Credo) (Volume 2)
- In conversation with Sir Mekere Morauta
- Engendering objects: Dynamics of Barkcloth and Gender among the Maisin of Papua New Guinea by
- Another Port Moresby community bulldozed
- Reflections on the PNG Budget Forum: Can devolved funding be effectively utilised
- European Investment Bank backs remote aviation investment in the South Pacific
- Lifting skills in the Pacific: using infrastructure procurement for skills transfer
- Fiji constitutional referendum? Unlikely
- CDI Policy Paper: Comparing Across Regions: Parties and Political Systems in Indonesia and the Pacific Islands
- SSGM’s ‘State of the Pacific’ Conference (25-26 June 2013)
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Tag Archives: PNG
Read a summary piece on Ed Aspinall and Jon Fraenkel’s latest CDI report Comparing Across Regions: Parties and Political Systems in Indonesia and the Pacific Islands, which was launched by the ANU’s Centre for Democratic Institutions earlier this month.
Edited by Marc Tabani and Marcellin Abong,
Pacific-Credo Publications (April 2013).
[purchase through Amazon.com]
“This volume, bringing together six ethnographic papers and an epilogue first presented at ASAO sessions in 2009 (Santa Cruz) and 2010 Alexandria), includes a wealth of ethnographic and historical information on a topic of enduring interest in Pacific studies and anthropology: cargo cults. These fascinating social phenomena undoubtedly have ongoing relevance for ethnographies of Melanesia. In this collection of papers, we learn about the history of the concept itself as well as how contemporary movements articulate world views, political awareness, material desires and even criticism of the now globalized concept of cargo cult itself. The chapters offer remarkable stories of cult activities and interesting arguments about the entanglement of Western desire for both cargo and cults with these Melanesian visions of how to create a prosperous future for themselves.”
Tess Newton Cain meet up with Sir Mekere Morauta whilst he was in Port Vila recently. You can listen to the podcast of their conversation here and read the full transcript here. "The main topic of conversation was the ongoing review of the Pacific Plan – Sir Mekere is the eminent person leading the review team. The team was in Vanuatu to undertake consultations with government, civil society and academics as to how the Pacific Plan should be reformed..." [read more].
“Engendering objects explores social and cultural dynamics among Maisin people in Collingwood Bay (Papua New Guinea) through the lens of material culture. Focusing upon the visually stimulating decorated barkcloths that are used as male and female garments, gifts, and commodities, it explores the relationships between these cloths and Maisin people. The main question is how barkcloth, as an object made by women, engenders people’s identities, such as gender, personhood, clan and tribe, through its manufacturing and use.” (more…)
"On Tuesday March 12, 2013 a Papua New Guinea (PNG) daily newspaper, The National, carried an article titled ‘NCD settlement bulldozed’. According to the article, over 4000 people’s homes were affected. On that same day, I made one of my regular visits to the Oro/ATS (Air Transport Squadron) settlement in Port Moresby where I have been undertaking field work for the past three months...."
"One of the major talking points of the recent PNG Budget Forum was the huge increase in devolved funding to provinces, districts and local level governments. Both Finance and Treasury Ministers speaking at the forum seemed cautiously optimistic and nervous in justifying these funding allocations. On paper, it seems like a large increase to subnational levels of government, up from 5% of the budget in 2012 to 15% in 2013. However, ... They are effectively allocating much more funding to their own committees in a large expansion of the District Services Improvement Program (DSIP)..." [read more].
"In the latest issue of the Pacific Economic Monitor, released yesterday (March 26), the ADB forecasts that the average rate of growth in its 14 developing member countries in the Pacific region will fall to 5.2%, as earlier gains from major foreign investments and public infrastructure projects fade. The performance of the region’s larger natural resource exporting economies (Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Timor-Leste) continues to drive the economic outlook, with these two economies comprising about two-thirds of the weight in the regional growth average..." [read more].
Pacific Buzz (March 27): MSG’s growing strength | Polynesian pain | PNG moves on Ok Tedi | Fiji army consolidates power
A fortnightly roundup of policy news in the Pacific by the Pacific Institute of Public Policy and the Development Policy Centre.
by Kathy Creely, Melanesian Studies Resource Centre (and Archive), UCSD Library.
The University of California San Diego (UCSD) Library has recently completed a project to digitize and provide online access to fifty-two dissertations and theses which document anthropological (and related) research in Papua New Guinea. With one exception* the research was situated in the Highlands. This work was done with permission granted by the authors or their heirs. Funding was provided by the UCSD Library.
Access is through the Digital Library Collections at https:libraries.ucsd.edu/digital and the dissertations are easily found by browsing “By Collection/Library” and selecting “Papua New Guinea Highlands dissertations” under the “Tuzin Archive for Melanesian Anthropology”. (more…)
In this post, Prof. Alan Rumsey and Prof. Francesca Merlan summarise their latest research project, one of several ANU-based ARC-funded projects for 2013 with a focus on the Pacific.
[Left: Children at play near Kailge, Western Highlands Province, where the project will be based.]
One of the biggest mysteries about the human species is that of child language acquisition – how children manage to learn, in a few years, systems so complex that no computer can yet model their use, but using a set of skills that is flexible enough to let them learn languages of widely differing structures. Another big mystery is the development of intersubjectivity – the uniquely human capacity for sharing and exchanging intentions and perspectives with each other. In this project we will help to improve the understanding of both language acquisition and intersubjectivity by studying them in relation to each other, in a region where neither has been systematically studied before – the Highlands of Papua New Guinea.
Studies of the relation between language acquisition and intersubjectivity have been very limited in the range of evidence they drawn on. They have been done almost entirely with children in North America, Europe and Australasia, speaking a narrow range of the world’s languages. This has led to overgeneralization based on false assumptions about the universality of particular linguistic structures and understandings about how the mind works. We will help to make up for those shortcomings by close study of the relation between language learning and intersubjectivity in a setting where the language and the people’s ideas about human psychology and personhood differ greatly from those where most of the research on this topic has been done.
The project will be conducted by Prof. Alan Rumsey of the Department of Anthropology, College of Asia and the Pacific, ANU, in collaboration with Prof. Francesca Merlan, of the School of Archaeology and Anthropology, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU. The field research will be based in the Ku Waru region of the Western Highlands Province, where Rumsey and Merlan have been studying other aspects of the language and culture since 1981. They will work in collaboration with field assistants John Onga and Andrew Noma, who will be making audio and video recordings of Ku Waru children’s interactions on a regular basis, and helping us to analyse them. Assistance with computerization and further analysis of the material at ANU will be provided by Research Assistants Dan Devitt and Tom Honeyman. The project is funded by a grant from the Australian Research Council and will run from 2013 to 2016.
by Assoc. Prof. Colin Filer, RMAP.
Sad to report that Peter Worsley died last week. I cannot imagine that he ever attended an Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania (ASAO) meeting, but that is not surprising because he was forced to abandon his career in anthropology after the British and Australian intelligence services conspired to prevent him from doing fieldwork in Africa or the former Territory of Papua New Guinea during the early 1950s because of his left-wing sympathies. Although he would be best known to ASAO members for The Trumpet Shall Sound (1957), he had already become a sociologist at the time it was published, and ‘cargo cults’ (or proto-nationalism) had not been the subject of his proposed fieldwork when he was a PhD student at the ANU.* Siegfried Nadel had instead proposed to send him up to Goroka as one of the pioneers of New Guinea highlands ethnography, and one cannot help but wonder how his career might have turned out if the colonial authorities had allowed him to go there. The thought of Peter instigating an anti-colonial uprising amongst the Asaro mudmen or their neighbours now seems rather quaint, but perhaps he would have turned out to be a British equivalent of Maurice Godelier instead of becoming something more like a British equivalent of Eric Wolf.
For those of us left-wing Brits who started their academic careers in the 1970s, it still looked as if social anthropology – at least in Britain – was still mired in its colonial legacy, and the sociology of development appeared to be a rather more attractive disciplinary practice. This was in no small measure due to the example which Peter had established, not only in The Trumpet, but also in The Third World (1964). Oddly enough, having followed his example myself, albeit without being banned from PNG, I only got to know Peter towards the end of his life. That was after Christin Kocher Schmid persuaded him to write a concluding chapter to her edited collection, Expecting the Day of Wrath (1999), in which he commented on the latest evidence of Melanesian millenarianism confronting a real millennium. There he reiterated his argument that ‘cargo cults’ have only ever been one local variant of Melanesian millenarianism, which has itself been only one regional variant of a global phenomenon which is no more irrational than a bunch of other ideologies. And in his autobiography (2008), he pointed out that The Trumpet was originally intended to be a survey of the global phenomenon, but the book got out of hand and the publishers persuaded him that Melanesia was more than enough.
[* Worsley completed his PhD at the Australian National University in 1954 with a thesis on 'The changing social structure of the Wanindiljaugwa' (an indigenous group from Groote Eylandt, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, North Australia). He is one of the academics featured in Alan MacFarlane's outstanding series of interviews with anthropologists (and sociologists) as part of the World Oral Literature Project hosted by the University of Cambridge and Yale University. The image above, a reproduction of "The Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch" (by Henry Raeburn, c.1790), is taken from the cover of his autobiography 'Skating on Thin Ice' .]
"...To answer the question, “how would developing countries know what the private sector is contributing to their development?”, I identified those indicators already used in international corporate sustainability and responsibility frameworks that are most relevant to development and proposed using them for a case study of Papua New Guinea. I expected to source most data from company reports, direct contact with businesses, membership surveys by business organisations ... and company websites. In the event, this proved unrealistic – most PNG businesses are not registered public companies so they have no obligation to publish details of their development contributions ..." [read more]
"Lae, on PNG’s northern coast, is the country’s second city and industrial hub. It is also the capital of PNG’s largest province, Morobe. Its main government hospital, the Angau Hospital, is home to PNG’s most successful Family Support Centre (FSC), which provides medical support and psychosocial care to survivors of family and sexual violence. Supported by Medecins san Frontieres (MSF) since 2008, in the last five years the FSC has provided care to over 11,500 patients..." [read more]
Selling the Sea, Fishing for Power A study of conflict over marine tenure in Kei Islands, Eastern Indonesia
Dedi Supriadi Adhuri’s new book, Selling the Sea, Fishing for Power A study of conflict over marine tenure in Kei Islands, Eastern Indonesia (Asia Pacific Environment Monograph number 8), is now available through ANU Epress in PDF View Online ePub mobile and print copy formats.
“… this book discusses the social, political, economic and legal attributes that are attached to the practice of traditional (communal) marine tenure… [It] pushes the discourse beyond the conventional approach which looks at marine tenure only as a means of resource management” to offer a more comprehensive definition of marine tenure. For those working in the areas of marine resource management and fisheries, this book is a critical and complementary reading to the conventional discourse on the issue.”
On 14 March 1988 representatives of The Republic of the Fiji Islands, The Independent State of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, The Republic of Vanuatu and Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) of New Caledonia met in Port Vila to sign the six point Agreed Principles of Cooperation Among the Independent States in Melanesia. Representatives of these parties also signed the subsequent Agreement Establishing the Melanesian Spearhead Group on 23 March 2007 in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
For more information about the MSG and its 25th Anniversary celebrations, visit http://www.msgsec.info.
State, Society and Governance in Melanesia (SSGM) Program seeks to appoint up to eight early to mid-career scholars, with ongoing research interests in Melanesia or Timor-Leste. SSGM seeks scholars with backgrounds in political science, anthropology, human geography, law, gender studies and development studies, whose research interests complement the existing expertise within the Program, which is organised around four thematic clusters.
- Politics, Elections, Leadership & Governance;
- Conflict, Justice & Peace Building ;
- Livelihoods, Rural Development & Extractive Industries ;
- Gender and Social Development.
Up to two appointments are envisaged in each cluster. For further information please see: http://jobs.anu.edu.au/PositionDetail.aspx?p=3296 or contact Dr Nicole Haley, Convenor of The State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program at the ANU.
"In past Development Policy Centre blog posts about the Promoting Effective Public Expenditure (PEPE) survey, Colin Wiltshire (here) and Andrew Anton Mako (here) have described the enormous challenges facing rural, particularly remote, schools in Papua New Guinea. This post focuses on the metropolis: it explores positive and negative changes that have occurred in three urban schools in PNG over the past decade..." [read more].
A fortnightly roundup of policy news in the Pacific by the Pacific Institute of Public Policy and the Development Policy Centre.
Listen to this interview by Jemima Garrett (ABC Radio National) with Dr Nancy Sullivan about a new mining exploration license which threatens a major complex of cave art in the Karawari region of PNG.
Reminder: 3rd Annual Papua New Guinea Symposium – Leadership for the Next Generation (3-4 April 2013)
The 3rd Annual Papua New Guinea Symposium (3-4 April 2013) is being hosted Deakin University at its Geelong Waterfront Campus. All symposia sessions and events during the day will be held at this campus. For more information, visit the Symposium website. For an update on how things are shaping up, visit ADRI’s PNG Symposium blog.
“Drawing as (the practice of) ethnography” is a new exhibition at the Musée de l’Hospice Saint-Roch which showcases the work of Nicolas Garnier, anthropologist and artist based at the University of Papua New Guinea. The exhibition, curated by Garnier, is organised thematically around “Masculinities in Melanesia” and features around 100 of his original illustrations and 70 of his field notebooks, displayed alongside re-working of the Museum’s permanent collection of ethnographic objects from Papua New Guinea. Some of the illustrations on display are reproduced in Garnier’s stunning book Motifs d’Océanie, which won the International Tribal Art Book Prize in 2012. This exhibition will run from late February to end of December 2013.
For the last two years a quiet educational revolution with profound implications for education outreach and collaborative teaching and research has been taking place across the entire breadth of the Pacific Islands. The project driving this new approach is called Connecting Moana: the common heritage of Pacific Islanders. It brings together major tertiary institutions across the Pacific Islands in a collaborative course writing and professional development exercise to design and deliver courses for Pacific Islanders on their history, culture, environmental management and external relations. The courses will be presented in a variety of media. The project has received overwhelming support from all tertiary institutions, with numerous academics volunteering to participate. Designed in the Pacific Islands for Pacific Islanders, this collaborative endeavour provides tangible benefits of enhanced course delivery and university outreach, reduced workloads through sharing resources, and enhanced research capacity through linking teaching and research collaboration. The author has been part of the organizing committee since the project’s inception.
Coordinated by Dr Morgan Tuimaleali’ifano and Dr Max Quanchi of the Suva campus of the University of the South Pacific, the project has won support from the University of Guam, the College of Micronesia’s Pohnpei campus, Divine Word University in Madang, Papua New Guinea, the University of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby, the University of New Caledonia, the National University of Samoa, and the University of French Polynesia. Recently, Taiwanese universities with large indigenous student bodies were also recruited to embrace the homeland of the Austronesian diaspora. In so doing, the project bridges the gap between the Anglophone and Francophone Pacific and reintegrates Taiwan as the ancient homeland of Pacific Islanders. This reconfiguration has done much to break down externally imposed language barriers and reshape conceptions of the region according to indigenous priorities and shared experiences.
Preparations are well advanced to trial the first course on the history of the Pacific before European arrival. This will be a Pacific wide, multi-campus undergraduate history course about Pacific societies, emphasizing and empowering Pacific perspectives and grounding students in their shared heritage – a heritage which transcends contemporary language and cultural barriers arising from colonial rule. Due to limited staff numbers and access to resources, few university undergraduate courses currently teach the early history of the Pacific Islands, or the histories of the whole region. This project will provide a collective and truly Pan-Pacific introduction to the history of the inhabitants of Moana (the increasingly recognized indigenous term for the Pacific Islands – formerly labeled as Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia).
A multilingual group of Pacific teachers, researchers and course designers with diverse and complementary expertise has been assembled. In addition to Dr Tuimaleali’ifano and Dr Quanchi of the USP Suva campus, the full project team consists of (from east to west across the Pacific) Professor Eric Conte of the University of French Polynesia in Tahiti, Dr Tamatoa Bambridge of the CRIOBE Research Centre on Moorea, Professor Lau Asofou So’o and Dr Louise Mata’ia of the National University of Samoa, Dr David Gegeo of the University of Canterbury, Dr Stuart Bedford of USP Port Vila and ANU, Dr Bernard Rigo of the University of New Caledonia, Dr Christophe Sand of the Institute of Archaeology in New Caledonia, Professor August Kituai of the University of Papua New Guinea, Dr Linda Crowl and Patrick Matbob of Divine Word University in Madang, Papua New Guinea, Professor Serge Tcherkezoff of the EHESS and ANU, Dr Paul D’Arcy of ANU, Dr Mariana Ben and Dr Delihna Ehmes of the College of Micronesia’s Pohnpei campus, Dr Anne Hattori and Dr Sharleen Santos-Bamba of the University of Guam, Professor Tong Yuan-Chao of the Taiwan Center for Pacific Studies, Nakao Eki Pacidal of Leiden University, and Professor Benoit Vermander of the Ricci Institute of Taiwan and Fudan University in Shanghai.
The course materials will be made available in electronic and printed formats across Moana to allow local campuses to supplement areas where local teaching expertise is lacking, to modify into locally appropriate programs, and to free already over-stretched staff from developing new courses. These benefits will allow smaller Pacific Island universities to concentrate on completing post-graduate studies and research, and to forge regional research networks of staff and students. In a parallel development, a research network linked to the project has already started which focuses on Pan-Pacific indigenous marine ecosystem management practices across history.
While the Moana project has benefitted from generous start-up funding from the French Pacific Fund, the project organizing committee is now seeking additional funding to push the project through to the delivery stage in late 2013 or early 2014. Building on the past 2 years of experience and preparation, the Moana Pan-Pacific course can be online and in print within a year for $AUD50,000. A number of potential financial partners and aid donors are currently being investigated, but suggestions for funding would be warmly received by the Moana organizing committee and their collaborators! Please contact Morgan Tuimalealiifano email@example.com or Alan Max Quanchi firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or if you can assist with this initiative.
[* "View of the Island of Tinian: Dugout Canoes from the Caroline Islands", from 'Voyage Autour du Monde sur les Corvettes de L'Uranie' engraved by Coutant, published 1825, Berard, A. and Taunay, Adrien Andre.]
“According to research conducted in PNG’s Trobriand Islands, ‘sex-positive’ cultures like the Trobriands could help rethink HIV prevention strategies. And it all comes down to sex; or at least the way it is perceived and practiced on the remote islands.” Read more in this post about Dr Kathy Lepani’s new book Islands of Love, Islands of Risk.
The South Pacific: from ‘arc of instability’ to ‘arc of opportunity’ (summary and video presentations)
A major workshop was held in the ANU’s College of Asia & the Pacific on 8 February 2013 to challenge the highly influential (although controversial) characterisation of the region as an ‘arc of instability’.
There was broad agreement amoung presenters at the workshop that although challenges remain, it is time to focus on the region’s resilience and potential – to see it not as an ‘arc of instability’ but rather, as an ‘arc of opportunity’. You may download a copy of the conference program online. You may also also read full-text versions of those papers presented at the workshop that were published in a recent special issue of Security Challenges: Security in the Pacific Arc (Summer 2013). Dr Joanne Wallis, one of the conference convenors, has also written a summary of the workshop for The Strategist, the blog of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).
Several videos related to this event are now available on ANU’s Youtube Channel.*
Conference Convenors Dr Joanne Wallis and Dr Sinclair Dinnen, together with Dr Gordon Peake, discuss the workshop in a video produced a few days after the event. The videos listed below feature presentations during workshop panels on 8 February 2013.
In the first panel, a range of experts outline and examine various Australian perspectives on the South Pacific. Dr Stewart Firth (ANU) looks at some of the questionable assumptions tempering Australian perspectives on the Pacific. Emeritus Professor Paul Dibb re-examines his famous ‘arc of instability’ concept, as well as the importance of an inner arc to Australian defence policy. Mr Graeme Dobell (ASPI and Radio Australia) then looks at how Australia can move from viewing the Pacific as an arc of instability to an arc of responsibility, while Dr Quentin Hanich (Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security) outlines maritime issues facing the region.
In the second panel, a range of experts give an update on the South Pacific region and outline the challenges and opportunities for future Australian policy and engagement.
Starting proceedings, Dr Ron May (ANU) discusses Papua New Guinea’ internal and external security issues. Dr Sinclair Dinnen (ANU) looks at the Solomon Islands with a focus on RAMIS, transition in the country and the nation’s future. Dr Gordon Peake (ANU) turns his gaze to Timor-Leste, which he claims is increasingly in the Australian spotlight, while PhD candidate Siobhan McDonnell (ANU) rounds out the panel by examining land development politics in Vanuatu. Professor Brij Lal (ANU) closes the session with an examination post-coup Fiji.
In the third panel, a range of experts bring their regional perspective to bare on the topic of young people in the Pacific. Dr Jack Maebuta (University of the South Pacific) discusses peace education and peace building in the Solomon Islands, while Serena Sasingian (Executive Director of The Voice Inc.) looks at how Papua New Guinea is developing opportunities for young people. PhD candidate Sarah Logan (ANU) outlines the relationship between information technology communications and political stability in the Pacific, while Dr Patrick Vakaoti (University of Otago) turns his attention to youth participation in the Pacific and opportunities for Australian engagement.
* The descriptions of these videos are based on text from ANU’s Youtube channel.
A report and commentary by Dr Tess Newton Cain* on a panel discussion convened on 4 February 2013 by the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program. [See an account of the presentation by panelist Dr Matthew Allen on the CAP website.]
The members of the panel** represented a number of disciplinary approaches including economics, anthropology and law. With the focus on mining much attention was paid to PNG and, more particularly, Bougainville although other countries (Solomon Islands, Fiji and New Caledonia) were also discussed. (more…)
In his latest post, Andrew Anton Mako reports on his experiences of conducting a major survey into public service delivery in PNG's Enga province as part of the Promoting Effective Public Expenditure (PEPE) project between the National Research Institute (NRI) of PNG and the ANU’s Development Policy Centre [read more].
‘Extractive Industries‘ – an episode of the Praxis Discussion Series 2013 focusing on governance, conflict and the ‘resource curse.’ Panelists in this discussion: Vivek Suri (Lead Economist at the World Bank), Assoc. Prof. Colin Filer (Australian National University) and Michael West, mineral resources governance expert and author of “Coltan”.
On 7 February 2013, the National Research Institute (NRI) of Papua New Guinea and the Development Policy Centre (ANU) co-hosted a National Budget Forum in Port Moresby. This forum is “intended to support the implementation of the 2013 National Budget so that better outcomes are achieved for the people of PNG” as part of the PNG Promoting Effective Public Expenditure (PEPE) Project. Of general interest is a presentation that illustrate some of the findings of those involved in the PEPE surveys in PNG and the challenges the team faced during fieldwork.
Stephen Howes (Director, Development Policy Centre) recently interviewed Michael Clemens, who leads the Migration and Development Initiative at the Center for Global Development (CGD). You may review a podcast or video of this presentation (with accompanying slides), or read an edited transcript of this interview in two parts, the first on the US Seasonal Worker Program, the second on Skilled Migration and the Australian Pacific Technical College (APTC).
"Papua New Guinea's Defence Minister Dr Fabian Pok has announced that PNG plans to build up its military capacity from around 2000 personnel to 10,000." Read more in this short post by Donald Gumbis, Lecturer in political science at the University of Goroka and intern at the Lowy Institute.