Integrated Service Delivery for Highland Communities in Yahukimo
The project ‘Integrated Service Delivery for Highland Communities in Yahukimo’ was initiated by Yasumat (Social Foundation for Isolated Peoples) and facilitated by Papua Partners in May 2011. The project built on previous work in health, education and community governance carried out by Yasumat since its founding in 1995. The projects main aim was to start to address the complex problem of the lack of effective implementation of basic services in rural areas in Papua especially relation to health care, basic education as well as effective governance for development. The project tackled this problem through working embedded in local communities with local staff.
The project covered 21 Sub-Districts with their health and education programs and worked more intensively in nine to create models of integrated programming and improve the basic health and education services for remote communities.
Yasumat delivered the project by adopting key strategic approaches.
• Firstly, in Education they equipped and strengthened 33 remote parallel schools with equipment and also set up a teacher accompaniment program which provided mentoring and training to volunteer teachers and rolled out the YKW established contextualized Papuan curriculum.
• For Health the main approaches were strengthening the capacities of over 200 rural health workers through training, accompaniment and development of materials. Health information was also disseminated widely in Wamena with youth and in rural communities.
• To strengthen village governance Yasumat set up a model planning process for the use of small governance funds that were made available.
• Activities were also carried out to empower women socially and economically.
• To support all of these activities and improve communication and access to information VSAT communication centers were established.
Through this complex, logistically challenging and very participatory project, Yasumat was able to achieve significant impact and change in rural communities. Over 20,000 people benefited directly from this program and significant changes in perceptions and understandings of good governance have been achieved. There have been notable changes in the behavior of communities in dealing with their health challenges and the parallel schools are improving their quality and service thus enabling thousands of children to get a basic education. Over 95% of planned activities were achieved.
The overall impact of the project has been to shift the understanding of what can be achieved in health, education and economic development in remote areas of Papua and also to provide examples which can be adapted and used in other areas.