Development funding and policy : the importance of information and capability building with particular reference to Tonga.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This thesis is concerned with international development theory and practice, and the processes of financing aid and development programs. The need for communities to have access to information in order to develop sustainable capabilities is stressed and the kingdom of Tonga is used as a case study to illustrate the process of development and the building of capabilities in individuals, communities and nations. Enpovigo, the approach used for development projects in Tonga is placed in perspective by providing a review of factors and events that influenced the evolution of contemporary development theory and practice following World War II and that are particularly relevant to the themes of the thesis. A review of financing for international development is also included with emphasis on organisations, institutions and individuals that are major sources of development funding. It is noted that many funders are driven by a ‘Western’ aid model, such that their main focus is on economic solutions for developing nations, often at a cost to the environment and human rights and a loss of culture and tradition. Enpovigo suggests that the outcome of development activities should be that people living in communities which are recipients of development programs should be happier than they were prior to project implementation. The activities of EcoCARE Pacific Trust which acts as a catalyst for development projects in Tonga, and operates according to the philosophy of Enpovigo, is described. Sustainability is a significant consideration in all EcoCARE Pacific projects and programmes such that the driving philosophy of Enpovigo is founded upon ecological theories and numerous development theories. Enpovigo also emphasises that knowledge is essential for the building of local capabilities and that capabilities are necessary for successful development to be sustainable. To illustrate this, projects whose objectives are to provide access to information to schools and remote communities through the establishment of renewable energy powered Information and Communication Technologies are discussed and evaluated.