Timor-Leste: Change, Stagnation, and Questions of Political Economy

Rodney Nixon

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Timor-Leste is a half-island, post-conflict nation characterized by challenging geographic and climatic conditions. As at colonial contact over 400 years ago, the rural economy is dominated by subsistence agriculture. With high population growth, rural development is critical to avoiding growing poverty and increasing rural–urban movement. Meeting the challenge of rural development will require well-formulated policies targeted for maximum effect. These should ideally be implemented efficiently and without interruption from further crises such as that which occurred in 2006. However, the Government of Timor-Leste has not yet committed to sufficient security sectorreform, there is no evidence of effective action against corruption, and there are concerns that the agricultural development focus is too narrow and signs that the extension service is too inefficient. Meanwhile, private sector investment faces multiple bottlenecks. The analysis suggests some “levers of change” that should be used to support improvements in security sector reform, accountability and quality control monitoring, agricultural policy, agricultural extension delivery, and private sectorpromotion. However, it must be recognized that the potential for exercising leverage is diminishing as oil revenues increase.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Political Economy of Economic Reform in the Pacific
    EditorsRon Duncan
    Place of PublicationPhillipines
    PublisherAsian Development Bank
    Number of pages38
    ISBN (Print)978-92-9092-313-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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