When one thinks of businesses operating in countries that are still struggling to protect and provide for human rights, a narrative can easily spring to mind involving unscrupulous businesses happily taking advantage of weak labor laws, a lack of minimum wage and poor environmental controls. But, in many places, the reality is very different. Not only is the private sector itself adversely impacted by weak human rights protections but, more than this, businesses are themselves having to take up a leadership role to compensate for weaknesses that exist at a national level.
It is easy to see that data is crucial to the agency’s operations. Sitting down with EDL’s employees and managers—all wearing the agency’s signature blue-shirt uniform with pride—it also becomes apparent that the science of numbers and the art of managing people have gone hand in hand at this agency. This combination has enabled EDL to make organizational learning a central pillar of the agency’s success.
Institutions Taking Root, a recent report of which I’m a co-author, looked at nine successful institutions in fragile and conflict-affected states that share a core set of internal operational strategies.
Last month I was interviewing participants in the World Bank’s Urban Youth Employment Project in Port Moresby, talking about the challenges that PNG’s young people face in finding work.
One issue that came up repeatedly was mobility – or the lack of it: the basic ability to travel to and from the workplace. It is no secret that parts of Port Moresby are dangerous and crime is high. There are regular stories of carjacking but public transport is also a huge risk – an issue which disproportionately affects workers coming from poorer parts of the city.
The HR Manager told me casually how she was stabbed at a bus-stop and her billum (bag) stolen; one of the reception staff was stabbed twice on a bus getting home from work. The young woman we were profiling was held up on a bus at gunpoint in the area of Two Mile.
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Noranna busy at work: A true-blooded Moro, she is among the many witnesses to the struggle around her. As a child, she saw how conflict affected the lives of the people in their community in Maguindanao – lack of social services, slow development progress and displaced families.
In Mindanao, southern Philippines, the decades-long search for long lasting peace has been hindered by many challenges and natural calamities. This has led to a situation where young professionals are learning a type of development work that deals with the effects of various conflicts.
The Bangsamoro Development Agency or BDA, provides more than work opportunities for residents of Mindanao. Bangsamoro basically means “Moro nation,” a term currently used to describe the Muslim-majority areas in Mindanao – its peoples, culture and ethnic groups.
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การล่าช้างเพื่อเอางามาขายยังคงดำเนินต่อไป ช้างจำนวนมากถูกทิ้งให้เลือดนองและตายไปในท้องทุ่ง เช่นเดียวกับบรรดาเจ้าหน้าที่ที่ปกป้องรักษาทรัพยากรธรรมชาติของประเทศต่างๆ ในช่วงสิบปีที่ผ่านมา มีเจ้าหน้าที่ลาดตระเวนเพื่อการอนุรักษ์สัตว์ป่าถูกสังหารไปกว่า 1,000 คนใน 35 ประเทศ สหพันธ์ผู้พิทักษ์ป่าระหว่างประเทศ (International Ranger Federation) ให้ข้อมูลว่าจำนวนเจ้าหน้าที่ที่ถูกสังหารทั้งโลกในช่วงระยะเวลาเดียวกันนี้อาจมีมากถึง 5,000 คน
|Bananas for export go through rigorous quality inspection. The plantation employs some 2,000 workers in Maguindanao, Mindanao.|
“It was a war zone, one of the most dangerous places on earth.”
That’s how Mr. Resty Kamag, human resource manager of La Frutera plantation based in Datu Paglas (Population: 20,290) in Maguindanao (the Philippines) described the national road traversing the town from the adjacent province.
Residents and travelers, he said, wouldn’t dare pass through the highway after three in the afternoon for fear of getting robbed, ambushed or caught in the crossfire between rebels and government soldiers.
“That was before the company started operations here in 1997,” said Mr. Kamag. La Frutera operates a 1,200-hectare plantation for export bananas in Datu Paglas and neighboring towns, providing jobs to more than 2,000 people.
"After four decades, peace is within reach. Let's grasp it with both hands and never let go," said Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, during the signing of the Framework Agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front on October 15, 2012.
Weeks after that historic event, these words from the Malaysian Prime Minister continue to reverberate in my mind. For I grew up in Mindanao, right at Ground Zero of this decades-old tragic drama that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.
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My first trip to Aceh was in August 1998, four months after the resignation of former President Soeharto. It was the height of Indonesia's pro-democracy Reformasi movement, and many journalists thought that travel permits were still required, as it had been for decades. My friend and I were venturing as 'tourists'. In many villages, the legacy of repression remained: razed houses, shuttered schools, and households run by widows. Poverty was unavoidable; violence and economic growth are often incompatible.
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Saya pertama kali berkunjung ke Aceh pada Agustus 1998, empat bulan setelah mantan Presiden Soeharto meletakkan jabatannya. Saat itu adalah puncak gerakan Reformasi di Indonesia, dan banyak wartawan yang mengira bahwa masih dibutuhkan izin kunjungan untuk pergi ke Aceh, seperti yang memang dibutuhkan selama beberapa dekade. Saya dan rekan saya berkunjung sebagai “wisatawan”. Warisan penindasan memang masih banyak tersisa di banyak desa: runtuhan rumah-rumah, sekolah-sekolah yang tutup dan rumah tangga yang dikepalai oleh janda-janda. Kemiskinan tidak dapat dihindari: kekerasan dan pertumbuhan ekonomi hampir tidak pernah berjalan bersama.