In February 2008 Peace Dividend Trust commenced piloting a new approach towards economic development in the rural areas of Timor-Leste. This is being conducted through the Micro Matchnmaking (M3) component of the PDT Marketplace Project (http://www.peacedividendmarketplace.tl/) funded by AusAID.
Micromatchmaking activities are based upon connecting international individual and institutional buyers with domestic suppliers at the district level in Lautem, Baucau, Ainaro, Cova Lima, Bobonaro and Oecusse. Micromatchmaking staff in these districts introduce the service to buyers and suppliers via introductions presentations and consultations.
Their role is to act as information brokers. A contexutally relevant term in Tetun would be estefeta - messagers of information from one group to another, or matadalan - a guide. If you want to buy a good or service in the above mentioned districts - or even neighbouring districts call your PDT Micromtchmaker. They will show the way to buying locally.
Since February 2008 PDT micromatchmakers have processed over 375 requests from potential buyers. This means that on 375 occasions international staff or organisations have asked PDT to assist them in sourcing something in the district in which they operate. Of these requests PDT has been able to source 361 of the requested items or services, or 96% of the total.
Of these 361 completed requests PDT has obtained final transaction information on 209 requests. The total cash transactions are $150K . PDT makes a prorated estimate that the total amount directed towards local economies in the poorest parts of Timor-Leste exceed $300k in less that 4 months of activity. These are measurable activities with measurable results in parts of Timor-Leste where getting results are most important.
Case Study Bobonaro
In April 2008 a Malaysian UNPOL officer serving in Maliana asked PDT M3 staff Adriana Ximenes and Domingas dos Santos if it was possible to obtain halal chicken in Maliana as he was not been able to find any. Up until this stage he had been restricted in what he could purchase locally. PDT staff surveyed the domestic market and upon explaining the situation to the director of the Restaurant Maliana they were able to make a match. Seeking to take advantage of a unforeseen demand Restaurant Maliana was able to obtain halal (ayam potong) chicken in bulk for the UNPOL officer in question. He will now purchase halal chicken in bulk to the tune of $975 for the year that he serves in Bobonaro.
While appearing a small transaction $975 in Bobonaro is actually a significant amount of money. Multiplied thousands of times over it can play a critical role in creating jobs, driving the economy and building private sector capacity in places where it matters most in Timor Leste.
For more information on how to buy in the Districts contact Ilidio Ximenes da Costa PDT Micro-matchmaking Associate in Dili on iximenes@peace dividendtrust.org on by phone on +670 723 3335.