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Introducing Peace Dividend Trust’s Nine District Aggregated Impact Assessment Study

Peace Dividend Trust (PDT) is excited to present its latest micro matchmaking impact assessment study. Unlike the last two reports published (on Baucau and Lautem), this is an analysis of what exactly is achieved through the matchmaking program country wide.

Not familiar with matchmaking? It’s simple. Peace Dividend Trust employs a number of district matchmakers who make linkages between buyers and sellers across the country. To give you a practical example, an NGO in Suai needed furniture for a new district office. Cova Lima matchmakers connected the NGO’s team with a man by the name of Primus Nahak, who runs a small carpentry outfit that makes your assortment of carpentry products: tables, chairs, doors and window frames, to name a few.

As a result of the match, local goods were used to fill local demand. And in a scenario like this, that translates directly into the creation of local jobs. Mr. Nahak began his carpentry workshop alone. At the time of his most recent transaction facilitated by PDT, he was managing a team of nine.

The aggregated impact assessment study has shown that jobs are popping up across the country as a result of these linkages. A total of 652 jobs were shown to have been created in the districts of Ainaro, Baucau, Bobonaro, Cova Lima, Lautem, Manatuto, Manufahi, Oecusse and Viqueque. Approximately 20% of these jobs lasted for longer than 6 months, while others were either temporary or on a reoccurring basis (i.e. if a supplier won multiple matches, the same group of laborers would be hired multiple times).The majority of these jobs revolved around Timor-Leste’s budding agriculture industry, which has been targeted by organizations like the World Bank to be a key growth sector for development and future prosperity.

Aside from jobs, the study sought to understand what happened to revenue and profits generated. In most instances, business owners and entrepreneurs responded that the money went to taking care of personal needs (like buying food and water, or paying for cultural ceremonies). A fair share of respondents also indicated that the money was used to pay for their children’s education, purchase new equipment (like lumber to build a corral for cattle sellers, or new improvements for refurbished guesthouses), and even occasionally, start a new business.

Mr. Nahak invested his funds generated from multiple transactions to begin building a guesthouse, which will give travelers to Suai another accommodation option in addition to the few that exist now. Last year myself and district matchmaker Domingos Amaral caught up with Mr. Nahak – you can check out the interview below.

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Mr. Nahak is but one of 352 suppliers interviewed for the survey. Unfortunately, I was unable to sit down with all of them, but his story is telling for the entire group. Jobs can be efficiently made if a concentrated effort is put into disseminating market information. It’s simple, but it works.

To get a copy of the report (in either English or Tetum), check out BuildingMarkets.org (under Timor-Leste’s reports and metrics page), or see PDT’s homepage. We appreciate any comments or questions you may have. You can address them to timor-leste@pdtglobal.org.

The crew at PDM-TL in Dili would like to pay special thanks to the district matchmaking teams across the country, who have made all this possible. Also, a tremendous thanks to the micro matchmaking program’s donors over the years: the Arsenault Family Foundation, AusAid, the Canadian Fund for Local Innitiatives, and eni.

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