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GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE INT ERNAT IONAL COOPER ATION IN RESE ARCH AND HIGHER EDUC ATION

no. P5 2004

Democracy

/02-16/

A Vote for Maize and Money /04/

Feeding the Future /18/

Killing for Love /27/

Brothers in Arts /34/

Looking Good 75,000 Years Ago /37/


Towards a New World Democratic Order? TERESA GRØTAN EDITOR, GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE

Never before have so many people had the opportunity to vote in democratic elections. 2.6 billion people may exercise their democratic right in 110 nations this year. According to the UN, 140 out of the world’s 210 nations and territories have democratic systems based on multi-party elections. But free elections do not necessarily mean democracy in the true sense of the term, exemplified by reports on electoral research in Malawi and Indonesia in Global Knowledge. Still, we cannot but cherish the fact that almost half the earth’s population may vote in 2004, and that more countries move towards democracy. A phenomena that comes to the fore in discussions on democracy and democratic development, is globalisation. «Globalisation excludes most people on the planet, although it affects everyone,» General Secretary of the AAU (African Association of Universities), Akilagpa Sawyerr said at the annual NFU-conference (Norwegian Association for Development Research) in October this year. «Higher education plus globalisation equals inequality», said Professor Philip Altbach from Boston College at the same conference, referring to the fact that the USA makes 12 billion dollars every year from its foreign students.

Researchers and scholars have an important role to play in the democratisation of globalisation. Several effects of what we call globalisation are problematic, particularly concerning world finance. Still: Can scholars, researchers, academics and students involved in North-South/East cooperation also take advantage of this phenomena we call globalisation? The answer is yes. In globalisation lies an inherent possibility of democratisation. Knowledge and opinion-sharing are a lot easier today than only a few years ago. Information technology makes it possible to reach each other fast, it makes travel easy, academic journals, writings and opinions may be spread around the globe fast and simultaneously. In the era of the New World Economic Order (NWEO) and the New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO) in the 1970s

and 1980s, the so-called developing world criticised the world hegemony of the developed world, both in the economic sense and in relation to media and communication. One of the critiques arising in the NWEO and NWICO-debates was the claim that the flow of information only went from the North to the South, that «truths» established in the North were being imposed on the South. The attempts at changing the world economic and information order failed, and one could argue that the situation is still the same today. But something is different: There is polyphony of voices today showing that through research cooperation new knowledge may emerge that is more in touch with the whole world. One example is the research cooperation on HIV transmission from mother to child in Uganda, reported on in Global Knowledge. This serves as an example of the fact that research and theories, developed in the North, may not necessarily function if they are directly transferred to the South, as also Per Selle and Sanjeev Prakash write in their academic essay in this magazine. Established truths are challenged by North-South/East-West research cooperation. This forms part of a democratisation process in the world. Accepting one truth as the only one is accepting the status quo. Research is by nature open-ended. Truths have be challenged, particularly truths about «the other».

Welcome to Global Knowledge GUNN MANGERUD DIRECTOR, SIU

CONTENTS A Vote for Maize and Money Malawian democracy/04/

Searching for a Real Democracy Indonesian democracy/09/

(Re)building a Sámi Nation

Researchers and scholars have an important role to play in the democratisation of globalisation:

Indigenous people and democracy/11/

1. Make the Internet democratic! Make quoted journals online free of charge, make publishing in academic journals free of charge.

Balkan NGOs and democracy/14/

2. Disseminate the results! Make the results available to scholars and researchers, but also to the general public. Present it in a language people understand. 3. Speak up! There is no point in sitting in ivory towers. As Džemal Sokolović says in the article in Global Knowledge: «If I don’t use my role as a researcher for something positive, then what is the point of my work?» Scholars and researchers today may play an active role in supporting democracy in the globalisation era: Directly; by observing and analysing the situation in new democracies (and old, for that matter), indirectly; by developing existing and initiating new research projects based on equal terms, projects that cross the borders between North and South, East and West. Through this, a new world democratic order may be established.

Democratic Mediators Flooded Lives Migration due to natural hazards in Bangladesh/17/

Feeding the Future Breastfeeding and HIV in Uganda/18/

Theorising the Myths Historians analyse Balkan myths/24/

Killing for Love Testimonies of good deeds in Bosnia/27/

Fruits in the Hunger Season Collecting nutrients in Malawi /33/

Brothers in Arts Arts education in Zambia, Afghanistan and Palestine/34/

Established truths are challenged by North-South/EastWest research cooperation.

Looking Good 75,000 Years Ago South African archaeology/37/

We are proud to present Global Knowledge, a magazine that focuses on cooperation between Norway and countries in the South/East on higher education and research. An important part of SIU’s portfolio are programmes that contribute to equal collaboration between researchers and students from the North and the South. Through Global Knowledge, we have put emphasis on letting the researchers, academics and students from the South and East have their views heard as much as their Northern colleagues. An additional goal has been to employ journalists and photographers from both South and North in order to present a multidimensional picture of the world. We want to create an arena for debate. What are the results of the cooperation? Do these results have a meaning to others than the researchers and students themselves? Are the results disseminated, put into practice? Do the education programmes manage to create positive growth, both economically and mentally, and is this to the advantage of the society? Can such cooperation contribute to changing attitudes and stereotypes prevalent in the North concerning the South and vice versa? Our goal has been to create a journalistically sound magazine with thought-provoking articles. We have been looking for good stories – research and education that have made an impact. We wanted to present unique projects and show the new knowledge creation resulting from cooperation in research and education. We hope to create synergy – so that new ideas will arise, new forms of cooperation will be created, more people will get to know about the myriad of fascinating research projects and educational programmes that exist and the number of people involved. We are most happy to receive any kind of feedback. We hope you will enjoy reading Global Knowledge!

Let there be Africa Africanisation of biblical studies in Uganda/38/

Glocal Knowledge By naming this magazine Global Knowledge, we want to signalise the importance of including the whole world in knowledge-creation and knowledge dissemination. We want to signalise the importance of crossing the borders between the North and South, the East and West to establish good, valid research, to share technology and communication, to develop theories that are valid throughout the world. But this cooperation will only work as long as the individuals involved carry with them their own heritage, origin and local knowledge.

Cooperation Through Hardships The importance of cherishing one’s own background cannot be underestimated. Appreciating different types of knowledge and accepting that knowledge may vary in importance according to different contexts, are important to recognise for researchers, scholars and students all over the world. Local knowledge is the most important factor in the creation of global knowledge.

Palestinian Professor Kamal Abdulfattah/42/

Fearing Fortress Bologna General Secretary of the AAU, Akilagpa Sawyerr/44/

Theories of Social Capital, Civil Society and the State Academic essay/46/

News /50/

PUBLISHED BY/the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU) November 2004 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF/Tom Skauge EDITOR/Teresa Grøtan DESIGN AND LAY-OUT/www.orangeriet.no COVER PHOTO/Teresa Grøtan PRINTED BY/Bryne Offset CIRCULATION/3000 ISSN 1503-2876 SIU, P.O Box 7800, NO-5020 Bergen, NORWAY www.siu.no siu@siu.no


«WE HAVE ALREADY WON»/Young supporters of Malawian president, Bakili Muluzi are stamping their feet and clapping their hands while singing songs of victory.

A Vote for Maize and Money TERESA GRØTAN/TEXT AND PHOTOS MALAWI

The wind whirls red dust from the ground around the feet of stamping, clapping and singing young people. They salute president Bakili Muluzi who is coming to visit in his private helicopter. It’s election time in Malawi. «Yellow! Yellow! Yellow!» is all I understand from the singing people moving closer and closer to my camera. They are all dressed in the yellow UDF colours (United Democratic Front), the colours of the ruling party since democracy was introduced ten years ago. We are a couple of hours’ drive outside the capital Lilongwe in a place called Phiri Lanjuzi, which means the mountain full of wild dogs. «‘We have nothing to worry about, we have already won the election!’ This is what they are singing», Nixon Khembo explains. Khembo is a research fellow at the Centre for Social Research (CSR) and a lecturer at Chancellor College, the University of Malawi. He is an elections expert, writing opinion pieces in the newspapers and is quite respected, even though he has barely passed thirty. Now he is involved in research collaboration with the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) and the University of Bergen to study the electoral process. Senior researcher Arne Tostensen is the Norwegian coordinator of the research collaboration.

We want to find out whether or not people’s attitudes have changed with the multiparty system. Do people understand their political freedom? The crowd on the road is waiting for the president and salutes everyone coming in the same errand. Inside the school ground, hundreds and hundreds of people have gathered. The most prominent guests have found white plastic chairs under a roof providing a lovely shade, while the common man is standing in the scolding sun – for hours. And the big group of yellow women never stops singing. Children are running around looking curiously at the strangers.

Inside the trucks This is home to the UDF and not really a place for strangers. This is where the president will be visiting today, and he will give everyone a bag of maize from the trucks standing in the outskirts of the football field. One of the three trucks has materials and equipment for the school. Or so the rumours say. There is definitely something inside the vehicles, but plastic is covering the tops, so nobody knows for sure. Somebody has climbed on top of them, in an attempt to be the first to receive the very needed maize. Yellow, yellow, yellow. «There is probably no maize on those trucks,» Wilson opines. «This is what he often does when he visits. He makes people come and promises them maize and gifts, but the trucks leave, and nobody knows if anybody got anything. The politics of patronage are complex: The people depend on the goodwill of the party patrons

– it’s all about identity, loyalty, fate and chance.» I try to observe the trucks, but I can’t see anything happening.

Dust and dirt There is the president! Children scream and we run towards the helicopter landing pad. Dust and dirt hit our faces and everybody takes a few steps back. But no. It is only the helicopter landing, and making ready for the president to leave again. Yellow. The election will be won. People are patiently waiting for the leader of the country. And maize. Finally he arrives. He comes in a car, a convertible, and he stands and greets the people as the car drives into the field. With him are the new presidential candidate Dr. Bingu Wa Mutarika and his running mate Dr. Cassim Chilumpha. Muluzi wanted to go for a second re-election, but the constitution prevents him from it. He tried to have the section in question amended, but Parliament rejected the bill. Now his mission is to keep his party in power. The president speaks to his people. He wants them to remember the colour yellow, and the symbol of the party, the handshake. That is all that is needed to make the right choice on election day. «Yellow, yellow, yellow!» answer hundreds of people. As the group of important men leaves, they hand out 50 kwacha notes to hungry people. From their standing position in the open car, the president and the president-to-be bend down slightly, and the people stretch their arms up into the sky, to the man in heaven, the one who will bring them maize and money, to the man who will save them from poverty.

Test in democracy «This election is the real test of our democracy. 1994 was obviously significant, since it was the first time we had elections, 1999 was more of a continuation, but now, in 2004, it is the test. Have we transformed successfully? The president can no longer stand, and we got an interesting mix of parties on the scene now. We are moving towards a more sophisticated and more ideological way of parties. 2004 opens a possibility into a new phase based on ideas and not just friendships and regions in the country,» says Professor Edge Kanyongolo, head of the law faculty at the University of Malawi and one of the researchers in the cooperation with Bergen. The project with the long name, «The institutional context of the 2004 general elections in Malawi – a framework for research col-

MALAWIAN DEMOCRACY/5


veys are translated into three different languages from English. It is challenging, because the vocabulary is so different. For example, the word «opposition» doesn’t exist in Chichewa, the main language in Malawi.

Dictator-for-life Research has also been carried out at government institutions. The electoral administration, parliamentary-executive relations, political party development and the role of the judiciary have all been scrutinised.

The voters are asked what they think the role of a parliamentarian is. Should they pay people at an electoral meeting? Have they met obstructions or difficulties in performing the voting? Do they have faith that elections are fair?

«The courts are used for settling disputes within the different political parties, disputes that could have been solved within the parties themselves,» Khembo says.

«We want to find out whether or not people’s attitudes have changed with the multiparty system. Do people understand their political freedom? That they can challenge government?» Khembo says.

Partly it is due to a young democracy in Malawi. The dictator-for-life Banda stepped down in 1994, so the country is not used to having political parties.

The key barrier for people to participate is money and all the formalities they have to go through to register.

Many donors have put money into the electoral process in Malawi, and support the emerging parties.

«We recognised that the poor people are excluded. Many people feel let down. They had high hopes, but it’s not change for the better, for their benefit. We embraced the new system, but it has let us down. People say they are only required when they need to vote for someone. Certain individuals accumulate wealth. It is not for the people,» says Khembo.

«You have to keep an eye on the donors… If I say I would like to do a study based on Marxist theory I would never get donors. For the same reasons you won’t find any radical party ideology. Politicians are calculating fellows,» Edge Kanyongolo says.

You have to keep an eye on the donors…

THE PRESIDENT AND HIS HELICOPTER/Is it finally the president coming? Bakili Mulizi’s helicopter lands on the local football field, but the president has still not arrived.

Free, but not Fair

laboration between the Centre for Social Research (CSR) at Chancellor College Zomba and Chr. Michelsen Institute, Bergen» started in 2003. It is the first major study done on the elections and democratisation process in Malawi. As the research adopts a long time horizon and analyses the institutional dynamics before, during and after the May 20, 2004 elections, the results will hopefully have an impact on future organisation of electoral processes.

TERESA GRØTAN/TEXT AND PHOTO NORWAY

The researchers monitoring the parliamentarian and presidential elections in Malawi in May this year, judge the elections to have been «free, but not fair».

«For once our democratisation is based on scientific research. We have received extremely positive reactions to our study in Malawi and amongst the judiciary involved. We are happy they are taking an interest in our work,» Kanyongolo says.

Textbook and Master’s degree

«Malawi has arranged elections three times. The organisation of the elections was worse this year than in 1999. The natural question is: To whose advantage is this mess? The government has shown very little interest in improving the electoral process,» Lise Rakner says. Rakner is a research director at the CMI in Bergen. She has spent a lot of time in Malawi during the last years, and was there to observe the elections in May.

The group of researchers plans to produce a textbook in political science, as well as several articles and a national symposium and workshops. In July, the Norwegian and Malawian researchers held a conference for the stakeholders in Lilongwe. Politicians, the media, the donors and civil society were all represented. The group of researchers put forward the preliminary findings to check whether the results were adequate according to the impressions of participants at the conference. This in turn forms the basis for a report to Norad. In September, the same researchers met in Rosendal in Norway to make their findings into academically valid articles. Another aim of the collaboration is to establish a Master’s degree programme in Political Science at Chancellor College, the University of Malawi. It is not the first time CMI and CSR cooperate. Wycliffe Chilowa did his PhD at CMI some years back. This time it is Nixon Khembo who will finalise his PhD through this NUFU-research. The fieldwork for his degree has been executed before, during and after elections. Teams of research assistants are moving all across the country to observe party gatherings and make a voter-attitude study. The sur-

6/MALAWIAN DEMOCRACY

«There was a lot of confusion and irregularity during the electoral process, but it is difficult to say what was intentional and what wasn’t», Siri Gloppen adds. She is a researcher at the Department of Comparative Politics at the University of Bergen, and is also involved in the collaboration. Gloppen researches the judicial system in Malawi, and the role of the courts during the election period. Rakner focuses on the development of political parties in the country.

BROUGHT UP WITH UDF/No matter the age; the colour is yellow, the symbol is the handshake and the party is UDF.

To understand the development of democracy over time, we wanted to observe how the politicians behave during tests like elections.

«To understand the development of democracy over time, we wanted to observe how the politicians behave during tests like elections,» Rakner says.

State resources for campaigning The conclusion of both the Norwegian researchers and Malawian researcher Nixon Khembo is that the elections were free – everybody could vote for whomever they wanted – but it was not fair. «The ruling party used state resources to campaign. They used the TV and radio while denying the opposition from doing the same. The police were not acting in a professional manner either, and the socalled young democrats who were inciting political violence have never been brought to justice. The electoral commission wasn’t accountable and transparent. They published different results from those they announced when the votes were counted,» Khembo explains. The media monitoring unit found that 99 per cent of all the coverage of the elections was about the ruling party. «Still – those who voted did show what they meant. If the opposition had managed to decide on the same candidate, there is no doubt they would have made it. Less than a fourth of the parliamentarians were re-elected. That says a lot about people’s relationship to the governing system», says Rakner.

MALAWIAN DEMOCRACY/7


«Party loyalty is also weak. We see a pattern where candidates who fail to be nominated by their own party, switch to the ‘enemy’, or stand as independents. It’s everyone’s fight against everyone. Politics seems to be increasingly about positions rather than politics and principles,» Gloppen adds.

Commercialisation of politics «An important finding from the research is that there has been a total commercialisation of politics in Malawi,» says Rakner. «What do you mean by that?» «The candidates who lost the election went to the courts claiming there had been irregularities. One after one, they withdrew their claims after being offered a seat in the government. They accepted

on the condition that the UDF paid all their expenses during the campaign. What is and what is not corruption? It was open to everyone. What obviously is corruption, is that the president and the candidate handed out piles of kwacha notes at the rallies. But this was also open. It was even pictures of it in the paper. I have never seen anything like it in other countries I’ve been to,» Rakner says.

«Institutions of governance are very weak – the electoral commission, the political parties, the police, the media and the civil society remain too underdeveloped to effectively play their role in democracy. A multiparty system requires strong institutions in order to function,» Khembo explains.

«There is fundamental poverty in Malawi. As Rafiq Hajat, a previous prominent member of the UDF said: ‘It is a poverty of the mind’. The poverty in Malawi is extreme. The breadwinner in a family has a huge number of people depending on him or her. To become a parliamentarian is also a way to wealth and business relations,» Gloppen says.

Institutions of governance are very weak – the electoral commission, the political parties, the police, the media and the civil society remain too underdeveloped to effectively play their role in democracy.

RESEARCHING DEMOCRACY/Nixon Khembo, research fellow at the Centre for Social Research in Malawi, Lise Rakner, research director at Chr. Michelsen Institute and Siri Gloppen, researcher at the University of Bergen, are all involved in the collaboration between Norway and Malawi.

Democratic Dissemination

«The research should have a component of mobilisation. If what we are doing are for the Malawian people we must reach a wider community. We need to involve the grassroots, engage them in the debate on democracy, constitutionalism and governance,» he says and continues:

8/MALAWIAN DEMOCRACY

On the surface, democracy seems to be functioning in Indonesia. A fair and well-organized election has just taken place and a new president is elected. But something is missing from the picture: The civic society and real democracy, according to Professor Olle Törnquist. A failing economy, corruption, terrorism treats, but also a marginalized civil society, are some of the challenges Indonesia’s next president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is facing. General Yudhoyono will become Indonesia’s sixth president since the independence in 1945, and the fourth since the fall of the authoritarian leader General Suharto in 1998. «He is not a gorilla. Yudhoyono is not the worst one they could get in Indonesia», says Olle Törnquist, Professor of political science at the University of Oslo. Originally from Sweden, Törnquist has been academically fascinated by Indonesia for the past 30 years. The last few years, he and a group of eight colleagues have analysed the challenges the Indonesian population and the new president have to deal with in a project called «The Problems and Options of Indonesian Democratisation». The research team consists of eight researchers from Demos, a research-based NGO situated in Indonesia. The purpose of the project is to characterize the democratic potential in Indonesia, not only by analysing the function or rather dysfunction of political institutions and parties through interviews with the elite, but also by getting the viewpoints of actors on the ground. 800 local activists are interviewed about their experience within issue-areas such as labour problems, education, religion, gender equality, etc.

organisations, is that you will not find genuine promotion of democracy at the political levels, only in the civic society. «The problem is that civic actors stay away from the political system because they find it rotten. But when the civic organisations or actors have exited the system, how can they make a difference? How can they win an election? As a result of this exit strategy, political tools such as elections, parties, and the juridical system are colonised by the elite», says Törnquist.

Marginalized civic society Indonesia is the third largest democracy in the world, and if the country were able to stabilise and develop, it would become a historic victory for democracy and of vital importance far beyond the country’s borders. Should it fail, it would be for the fourth time since 1959, according to the project’s executive report. The situation for democracy in Indonesia is bleak, but Törnquist stresses that it is not hopeless. In this election, the forces that put Suharto out of power in 1998 were not even represented. That does not mean that the fight for human rights and real democracy has ended, but it has been marginalized and moved to the civil society. If the pro-democracy groups want to be a realistic alternative, this situation has to change, Törnquist argues.

The problem is that civic actors stay away from the political system because they find it rotten.

Dysfunctional representative channels

The findings of this research should not only be for the elite, Nixon Khembo claims.

The majority of the people of Malawi are not the rich urban dwellers, but the poor people living in the countryside. According to Khembo, it is when you reach these people with the results of the project, the research will have a greater value.

BENTE KALSNES/TEXT AND PHOTO NORWAY

«Why is this so?»

Gloppen and Rakner believe that poverty also plays a role.

«We need to summarise and translate our findings into local languages to disseminate it to the grassroots. As of now the results are only accessible to the elites and people in urban areas. We need the resources to go beyond the national conferences,» Khembo says.

Searching for a Real Democracy

«The collaboration between the North and the South should have continuity, because the North has international standards on democracy, while the South provides excellent data for research. Rather than a project driven collaboration we should see it as a social process that is constructed to last.» For Khembo, the democratisation process in Malawi is the most important aspect of the research. «If governance is top down and centralised it is contradicting the basic tenancy of liberal democracy to which Malawi subscribes. Until the majority of the people are empowered this democracy has no meaning.» www.cmi.no www.csr.org.mw

When the victory has been celebrated and the guests have left the party, general Yudhoyono has some hard work ahead of him. During his campaign, Yudhoyono listed the weak economy, corruption and terrorism threats as his major challenges. Törnquist has some additional problems to add to the president’s list. «Individual rights and civic freedoms have improved extensively since Suharto lost power in 1998 after more than 30 years of dictatorship. However, the newly achieved freedom is hard to take advantage of when the judicial, political and administrative tools function so badly. The worst is that the linkage between the people and their representatives is very weak. How can you deal with corruption in a democratic way when the representative channels are not working?» asks Törnquist. Another finding from the Indonesian Democratisation project, which is sponsored by, among others, the University of Oslo, the Norwegian and Swedish agencies for Development Cooperation (Norad and Sida), the Ford Foundation, and leading Indonesian civil society

DEMOCRATIC POTENTIAL/Professor Olle Törnquist and his research team have analysed the democratic potential in Indonesia. Their findings show that in order to build a functioning democracy, civic organisations and activists have to be pulled out of the margins and into the system. INDONESIAN DEMOCRACY/9


«The civic society has expanded heavily in Indonesia, which in next turn has opened up for many extremist groups. The major problem, however, is not the extremists, but that major institutions are not functioning and that people’s capacity to use them is very weak. In other countries, we have seen powerful groups in society using raw powers to influence politics directly. Not to the same extent in Indonesia. The central and local parliaments and the administration are the arenas where a good deal of the powers struggle is taking place, and surprisingly often, the elite play by the rules. The problem is that they abuse them», Törnquist says.

Capacity for democracy The study started in 2003, and since then, 800 local democracy activists with experience from 14 different issue areas in all provinces of the country have answered the project’s extensive questionnaire. All the answers are anonymous, but the methods are transparent

and those who are interested in the project, will find the report online. Half of the 800 interviews are analysed and presented, the rest will follow by the end of 2004. Indonesian media have showed great interest in the results of the project. The research team has also been to numerous conferences and seminars in and outside of Indonesia. In addition, they have been contacted by local organisations that ask them for more specific studies on such topics as how to build up interest organisations.

(Re)building a Sámi Nation

«They also address us to ask for help on how to meet a third party to discuss the problems we have presented in our report, and how they can go further on these issues. Functioning institutions and human rights are not enough. People need to have a capacity for democracy to make democracy happen», Törnquist concludes.

Indigenous people all over the world have a history of forced displacement, danger of extinction and egregious violations of human rights. The indigenous Sámi people of Norway have come a long way and formed their own democratic system within the state.

Bente Kalsnes is a journalist based in Oslo, Norway.

Deficit of Liberal Democracy in Indonesia

«Indigenous peoples all over the world have in common that they have once been broken apart, or they have through a long time had a strong pressure on them from the outside, causing the people to more or less break apart. To create cooperation from within, is therefore a first step and a prerequisite to forming a policy for indigenous peoples. The task for those who try to do something, can be compared to the task of putting together a vase that has fallen to the floor and smashed, partly or completely.»

A.E. PRIYONO, DEMOS RESEARCHER INDONESIA

What sort of political changes are occurring in the nation of more than 210 million inhabitants? Has the political liberalisation, offered by the post-reform liberal democracy, allowed the birth of a political system in which the people are really in charge? Who are the players who gain the most benefit from Indonesia’s liberal democracy? What about the pro-democracy activists, who actively participated in toppling the New Order regime? Why did their roles in the democratisation of politics in the reform era subside? The research project called «The Problems and Options of Indonesian Democratisation» is intended to assist in identifying problems and choices of substantial democracy – through gathering of data and comprehensive empirical information – based on the experience and knowledge of actors in seven issues. This research is also intended to assist further analysis, for use as basis for common activities, to create agendas of democratisation in a practical level in order to strengthen the substantial democracy movement. Three main groups of questions are asked to the actors. The first group of questions is about the instruments of democratic rights and institutions. The second is about the situation and their actual capacity in their position as actors presumed to develop the instruments. The third part of the survey is about experience and evaluation of the various «dominant actors» acting as sparring partners in the democratisation process. The first set of questions consists of 35 variables, commonly asked in studies or audits of institutional democracy. The 35 variables include civics, rule of law, civil, political, social and economic rights, elections, various aspects of governance, freedom of the press, political participation and cooperation of civil society and the state. However, unlike the democracy audit studies which only question conditions, performance, quality and extent of the variables, we also asked about position and roles of actors in relation to the variables, and their evaluation of the developments since 1999. Most of the informants believe that the working instruments of dem10/INDONESIAN DEMOCRACY

LARS O. HAUGEN NORWAY

ocratic politics still need to be developed, but in general they admit that they are in a weak position to do so. The democratic rights and institutions considered to have improved are those on the essential aspects of democracy, such as civil and political rights, and they are relatively strong in these aspects. However, on the instrumental aspects of democracy, such as representation, rule of law, social and economic rights of citizens, control of civilian government to the military, protection of children’s rights, good and clean government and eradication of corruption, or better political parties, the outlook is as bad as 1999 or worse.

These are the words that Ole Henrik Magga, chairman of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the United Nations, uses to describe the situation for indigenous people worldwide. His own people, the Sámi, seem to be among the lucky ones. At a glance, it would seem that the Sámi people of Norway, as a minority and indigenous people, are privileged compared to other peoples, and have benefited greatly from living in a democratic state. Historically, the picture is more complex.

I wouldn’t advise other indigenous people to follow our example and choose the western form of parliamentarism.

Besides, pro-democracy activists also face a challenge to restore the «failed society.» The study shows that besides such important issues as the lack of rule of law, the military machine’s continuing violence, the abysmal transparency and accountability of the government, and widespread corruption, the pro-democracy movement still faces other, no less important, issues such as the fulfilment of basic needs, the decreasing standard of living, and the extent of the undemocratic public sphere – besides an increasing anti-politics milieu – among the floating mass. Unfortunately, in a time full of problems, the pro-democracy activists are «floating democrats» themselves.

«The Norwegian democratic system also brought us a «Norwegianisation» policy where the voice of the Sámi did not come through at all», Sámi parliamentarian Sven-Roald Nystø reminds us. He succeeded Magga, who was the first president of the parliament after its creation 15 years ago.

The conclusion is that the liberal democracy developed in Indonesia since 1999 has suffered from various deficits. Democracy and democratisation are not mere matters of political liberalisation. The authoritarian regime which had for long shackled freedoms had indeed been toppled, but there are still many agendas to be done to rebuild or repair instruments of democratic government. The massive project to reconstruct the «failed state» seems to be much more complex than merely toppling the authoritarian regime.

«A large part of the state of Norway, and especially Finnmark, was established on Sámi territory. Finnmark is a huge land area, one and a half times the size of Belgium. The current situation is that the state is the lawful owner of this land, and has been since «time immemorial». This is different from any other part of the country. How did that happen?» Pedersen asks rhetorically.

Thus, the study should be understood as a basis for reorientation, especially for those who still want that the democratisation movement results in more substantial democracy, not merely a formal and procedural form of «democracy.»

Nationalism Historian and member of the Sámi parliament (Sámediggi), Steinar Pedersen has spent some time finding out what happened.

«The government wanted to assimilate the Sámi and turn them into «good Norwegians». Their land was colonised by Norwegian farmers, just as other parts of the world were colonised. The last colonial settlements were established here in Tana in the 1930s», Pedersen says, indicating properties within view of his office in Tana.

MINORITIES WITHIN THE MINORITY/Protesters outside the Sámediggi demand compensation for lack of education. (Photo/Lotte H. Ruge) INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND DEMOCRACY/11


INDIGENOUS RIGHTS/Ole Henrik Magga, chairman of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the United Nations. (Photo/Bjørn Hildonen)

I hope that the attention grows within the United Nations and that we have more of these binding conventions, and we have more of a system so every government must follow it. The last 20 years, the state’s policies have been turned completely around. The rights of the Sámi people have been brought into the constitution, the Sámi parliament has been formed, and the land rights of the Sámi people are being considered.

«There has been progress in political rights, and also in language and cultural rights. Our right to education in the Sámi language has been brought into law, and more money is being allocated to cultural measures. The current struggle concerns the rights to natural resources», Nystø says. «It has been a strategic choice for us to put a great emphasis on international work. We bring the international developments in policy to the attention of the government, and we work internationally, often together with the Norwegian government». More frequently, however, he finds conflict between his people’s interests and those of central government.

Sámi parliament

«We are looking at the election rules now, especially the great varia-

Lars Ove Haugen is a journalist based in Finnmark, Norway.

The University of Tromsø recently launched their «multi-disciplinary Master Programme in Indigenous Studies». Aiming to recruit Sámi, Norwegian and international students, the Master programme presents comparative perspectives on indigenous issues. Both Quota students and Norad Fellowships students are eligible.

a whole. Our goals could have been realised much better if we were organised so that we drew on the whole of our political competence and not just the majority. As it stands, half of the Sámediggi is without any influence at all on the Norwegian parliament’s policy. Remember, the Samediggi is not a body that is set to rule the Sámi people. It is supposed to speak the Sámi interests against the central government of Norway». «I wouldn’t advise other indigenous people to follow our example and choose the western form of parliamentarism». «Are there other systems of government known in Sámi tradition?» «Yes, there are, and they should have been used to build upon. The siida systems governed an area of land the size of France and seemed to work remarkably well. The siida councils were based on debating one’s way to a solution. Not a hundred per cent consensus model, but everybody had a chance to affect the decisions that were made. The creation of the Sámi parliament broke fundamentally with the old Sámi system of government», Pedersen says.

«We have started a process of Sámi nation-building», says Steinar Pedersen, well aware of what the Norwegian nation-building did to the Sámi people of Norway. The Sámi parliament (Sámediggi) has chosen a parliamentary system, where the acting «government» comes solely from the majority, and decisions are taken by majority vote rather than consensus.

«Could this model create new, repressed minorities within the Sámi people?»

«This has absolutely not been an advantage for the Sámi people as

«There are dialect and language groups who feel that they are not

12/INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND DEMOCRACY

tion in the number of votes behind each elected member. And being registered to vote for the Sámediggi elections is voluntary. A few choose to deregister, feeling that the Sámi parliament is not their voice. But remember that all groups of Sámi are minorities, because the other groups will be a majority,» Nystø reminds us.

The Tromsø Master Programme in Indigenous Studies

One important event in this dramatic change of policies was the Norwegian parliament’s ratification in 1990 of ILO Convention no. 169 on the rights of indigenous peoples. «I hope that the attention grows within the United Nations and that we have more of these binding conventions, and we have more of a system so every government must follow it», Ole Henrik Magga says. «That is why it is so important with things that happen in Norway. Other countries can look to Norway and say, ‘They did that’»

being heard, like the Sea-Sámis. We see that in some areas where we thought there were no Sámi background, people are coming forward and saying that ‘we may have lost our language and culture, but we are Sámi’. And these ‘late comers’ will probably feel that their interests are not being taken proper care of,» Pedersen says.

Creating new minorities

«The 17 students who joined this fall, are from literally all over the world, from South America to Northern Siberia, from Mongolia to Karelia (northwest Russia), Tibet and several African countries. Most students have an indigenous background», informs Ingeborg Solvang, who is the coordinator for the Master Programme. «Many of the students also have been very active in organisations, and they are one of the most active and visible student groups on campus», she says. Even though the student group is very international, much of the teaching is based on the Sámi or circumpolar regions, simply because that is where the University has its expertise. To bring in a comparative perspective, the University of Tromsø cooperates with universities in Australia and South America as well.

isations (NGO) nationally or internationally, and for further research within indigenous issues. «Because the programme is so new, we don’t yet have any doctoral scholarships to offer our students, but some existing scholarships are tied to this programme, so there is an opportunity for a further academic career based on this program», says Solvang. «However, a lot of the students will be returning to their home countries to continue work in their own environments, and others are aiming for international work, either within the UN system or in various NGOs». www.uit.no/information/english

The Sámi people(s) The Sámi people are indigenous to the northern parts of Norway, Finland and Sweden, and northwestern Russia. Many are integrated and nearly assimilated in the national cultures. Of those living in Norway, about 23,000 speak one of the dialects of the Sámi language. Just over 10,000 are registered to vote in the Sámi parliamentary elections (2004). www.samediggi.no

Many of the students also have been very active in organisations, and they are one of the most active and visible student groups on campus.

ILO Convention no. 169

The programme is based on collaboration between the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Humanities and the Centre for Sámi Studies. The Faculty of Medicine will also contribute to the programme.

This convention, agreed upon by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and first ratified by Norway in 1990, affirm, among other, cultural and educational rights, the rights of indigenous peoples to «own and possess» the lands which they have traditionally occupied.

Depending on previous qualifications, the Master programme in Indigenous Studies may qualify students for work within public administration, educational institutions, Non-Governmental Organ-

http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND DEMOCRACY/13


Democratic Mediators TERESA GRØTAN/TEXT AND PHOTO CROATIA

NGOs in the Balkans have a potential as democratic mediators between local government and civil society, but are plagued with a bad public image. After the wars in the Balkans, the international community pumped huge sums of money into the countries, particularly Bosnia-Herzegovina. This created a mushrooming of domestic Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), for the most part funded by international NGOs, or bi- and multilateral organisations. What role do these NGOs play in Balkan societies? Researchers from Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia and Norway are making a comparative study of the Balkan NGOs. The three-year project, which is funded by the Research Council of Norway, is titled «NGO bargaining power at the municipal level in South East Europe». Klime Babunski from Macedonia is a researcher at the Institute for Sociological, Political and Juridical Research and President of Pro

Media in Skopje, Zdenka Milivojević is the director of Argument in Belgrade, Serbia, while Mirsada Muzur is the administrative director and Dino Djipa the research director of Prism Research in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Project leader Åse Grødeland is a researcher at NIBR, located in Oslo, Norway. The research project is based on in-depth interviews and focus group discussions and examines the relationship between local government officials, domestic and international NGOs, bilateral and multilateral organisations, and the general public. According to the researchers, people don’t really know what the NGOs do, except for the humanitarian ones. On the other hand, some NGOs do play a role as facilitators and mediators in unstable democracies.

A new culture Teresa Grøtan (TG): You say that the NGOs have a role to play in democracy building and development, but at the same time the people who are supposed to be part of this democracy building don’t even know who they are or what they are doing? Dino Djipa (DD): It’s a new culture. People are slowly learning that NGOs might be mediators between the citizens and the state. Through the NGOs, people are learning that they can affect what the government is doing. The concept of being a part of the state’s business is really something new – most people feel alienated from the state. In the former socialist system we had different organisations, but the role of these organisations was to implement what had already been decided by the state. It was unimaginable that these organisations would oppose anything… Mirsada Muzur (MM): Without the person going to prison. DD: Now we can say: ‘This is our state, this affects our lives and if we are not happy we can do something about it.’ That is the key for success of civil society. Frankly, I think the biggest failure of the NGOs is that they are so occupied only with their own projects; there is no development strategy for the sector as a whole. And the big disaster is the public relations. MM: The people working in international and local NGOs receive a salary that is three or four times the average salary. So the public says: ‘Look, these people are living high on these issues’. This is about making a living, it is not because they are activists, not because they are idealists, or do something they care about.

The failure of the NGOs is that they are so occupied only with their own projects; there is no development strategy for the sector as a whole. TG: Does this image emerge because the NGOs don’t have to report back to the grassroots, they are only concerned about telling the donor what they’re doing? DD: Yes. The NGO sector has a problem with its image.

An unfinished job NGO RESEARCHERS/Mirsada Muzur is the administrative director and Dino Djipo the research director of Prism Research in Sarajevo, Bosnia; Zdenka Milivojević is the director of Argument in Belgrade, Serbia; project leader Åse Grødeland is a researcher at NIBR, located in Oslo, Norway and Klime Babunski from Macedonia is a researcher at the Institute for Sociological, Political and Juridical Research and President of Pro Media in Skopje. Here at Lopud island outside Dubrovnik, Croatia. 14/BALKAN NGOS AND DEMOCRACY

TG: What’s the difference between Serbia, Bosnia and Macedonia in terms of the role of the NGOs?

Åse Grødeland (ÅG): They have very different starting points and experiences with regard to the NGOs. Some of the NGOs in Serbia have a history of being the opposition to Milošević. The NGO sector in Bosnia acts primarily as service-providers. Macedonia is somewhere in between, and suffers from the after-effects of Kosovo and conflicts between Albanians and Macedonians in Macedonia itself. If you compare in terms of international funding, Bosnian NGOs have definitely received the most, Serbian NGOs started receiving funds after Milošević, and Macedonian NGOs started to receive funds from abroad after Kosovo. TG: How are the international organisations perceived? Klime Babunski (KB): The NGO sector should be perceived as a force for development of civic society and as a possible way of influencing the government, but the bulk of the help usually only comes if there is an humanitarian disaster. Many criticise the international community because it is not continuing to support the NGO sector now, when the sector is very much needed in civil society. If you drastically lower the help, you leave an unfinished job. ÅG: I think the international community has created a problem. When they put money into Bosnia they didn’t have the facilities themselves to distribute it all. It was very convenient for them to either create or support existing NGOs with funds. But when you do that, and when you continuously change the topics eligible for support, you create organisations that try to fit your requirements rather than providing assistance to the local community. MM: The international community is now trying to create sustainable organisations in a political structure that is simply not sustainable.

Donor whores TG: What is the relationship between the domestic and the international NGOs? Who sets the agenda? MM: It’s been the international NGOs setting the agenda, but over time, as capacity has been build in the local NGOs, some of them have been capable of taking part in defining the agenda. KB: Usually the international ones are mainly donors. Sometimes the domestic NGOs are critical of the donors, because they believe the internationals don’t care about the local situation, and sometimes the donors say the domestic NGOs are not active enough or capable of doing the work properly.

BALKAN NGOS AND DEMOCRACY/15


Flooded Lives TASLIMA MIJI/TEXT, BULBUL AHMED KHAN/PHOTO BANGLADESH

Laila Begum, a widow and mother of five, is packing her bare necessities before leaving her house. Laila does not know where to go. All she knows is that she cannot stay in the bamboo hut. The angry river is eating land away nearby. TG: Who decides which topics are eligible for funding? MM: It might not even be the international NGOs. Quite often it will be the bilateral or multilateral donor organisations. TG: In what way does this affect the work of the domestic NGOs? MM: We use the term donor whore. Basically you bend the way the donor begs and you get money for it. ÅG: The local NGOs don’t have the possibility to build capacity in specific areas, they have to switch from one topic to the other. KB: This is not so much the case in Macedonia. NGOs are interested in presenting themselves to the target groups or the local authorities. The local community does have an awareness of which NGOs are the real ones and which are the «fashion NGOs» that is only run for a limited period.

The international community is now trying to create sustainable organisations in a political structure that is simply not sustainable. TG: You talked about donor whores? How do the local NGOs perceive the international donors? Do they believe in the values that are more or less being imposed? MM: I think they do. It takes time for what the donors come up with to sink in and be recognised as important. It’s almost like a theory you have to learn – you have to internalise to be able to externalise.

NGOs as private enterprise TG: What is the situation for domestic NGOs in Serbia? Zdenka Milivojević (ZM): During the Milošević era we didn’t have any kind of relationship with the government, we were all against the regime and against the war. Now, we are trying to survive, but it’s difficult. There are no formal grounds for the NGO sector because internationals are spinning off, and because we as a country have a very bad image. We are establishing a relationship with the government, but it is not the right kind because there no law regarding the NGOs in Serbia exists. The NGOs do not have a clear role in civil society and are treated as private enterprises. This means we have to pay as high taxes as any other private enterprise. The political

16/BALKAN NGOS AND DEMOCRACY

culture of our people is at a very low level. People are not aware of their responsibilities as citizens. TG: How do the NGOs operate in Serbia today? ZM: After the sanctions we have started cooperating with partners – not with donors – like the World Bank, the UNDP or the Research Council of Norway. When this project came about I was very happy because nobody before had asked about how NGOs are bargaining power. It was one of the main questions in Serbia because huge political reforms were on their way. One of them was on decentralisation, so the project with Åse Grødeland came at just the right moment! TG: How do you see the development of the relationship between domestic NGOs and local governments in Balkan? DD: The government in Bosnia-Herzegovina has always been suspicious about the NGOs. It was suspicious of their role, their purpose and objective, and the effectiveness of their work. But right now I think the government, especially local government, recognises that the NGOs are important. At least they are recognised as a player, as a provider, but still I wouldn’t say it’s a partnership between the government and the NGOs. Of course sometimes partnership between the NGOs and the government is forced upon by the donors. ZM: Right now the internationals are putting pressures on the government in Serbia. The government receives funding for reforms, but is forced to cooperate with the NGO sector, which is very good. We are right now cooperating with government on surveys etc. ÅG: When the economy has been stabilised, people may become more conscious and take a clearer political stand – then the NGOs may play a larger role than they do today. Reports from the research in each country are available in the respective languages, and a comparative report in English will be available in 2005. The research group hopes to arrange national conferences to present the findings to the NGOs, the local government, international organisations and the media in the respective countries. www.nibr.no

This family, as well as many others, is leaving forever. Some people will go to a town or city, some may move farther away from the river inside their village, some will take shelter in a char (newly formed land in the river due to accretion) and others will become nomadic, travelling from one place to another with nowhere permanent to settle.

able river plan. Bangladesh’ biggest neighbour, India, diverts its excess water into Bangladesh during the rainy season, causing frequent floods in Bangladesh. «A sustainable river water plan, with regional cooperation in South Asia, should be undertaken and until the implementation of the plan, the government should provide proper relief to the affected people,» said an official of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief. Taslima Miji is a journalist based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Bulbul Ahmed Kahn is a photographer based in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

For about 80 years, the river Meghna has been eroding land in Haimchar, Chandpur displacing thousands of families. The river is taking away their schools, madrassahs, mosques, markets and playgrounds and thereby destroying the entire economy. These areas are not only susceptible to river erosion, but are regularly hit by natural calamities such as storms and flood. According to the Disaster Management Bureau, in 1991, when a tidal wave swept over the low-lying coastal regions in the Bay of Bengal, 139,000 people were killed. This year, flood has affected more than 43,000,000 families and half of them are displaced. A survey on the relationship between natural disasters, economic marginalisation and internal migration in Bangladesh by the Rural Management Consultants supported by NTNU in Norway, found that a significant number of people affected by river erosion migrate to cities, triggering urban population growth and slum development in the cities. Haakon Lein, Associate Professor at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and involved in the research, found that although a number of people had come to Dhaka due to such issues, the major reason behind it is more economical, because there are more job opportunities in Dhaka than in many rural areas. Research also found that the poor, for economic reasons, are forced to settle in high-risk areas or in urban areas and consequently contribute greatly to urban growth and slum development. Barkatullah Maruf, project director of Coast, an NGO, said that development activities get disrupted because of this migration. A large number of these affected people remain, because of education programmes, health services and immunisation programmes. Akhtaruzzaman, project manager of Rural Management Consultants said it is very difficult to say how the situation can be improved. The government spends millions of dollars from loans from the World Bank on building embankments. When these embankments break, they cause further damage. He said building embankments or any temporary methods cannot be the solution. To settle the problems permanently, the whole of South Asia should undertake a sustain-

LIFE BY THE RIVER BANK/Due to river erosion, displaced people live by the river bank. Women and children are collecting water from the Padma river in Chadpur. FORCED MIGRATION/17


REDUCING RISKS/By breastfeeding her healthy daughter Dorothy, Jenipher Nakayinza (27) is taking a calculated risk. Approximately two out of ten babies contract HIV from mother’s milk. But the risks involved in preparing formulated milk under poor and unhygienic conditions are probably higher. In any case, she can’t afford to buy formula. «My husband used to support the family but now that he is dead, things are going to be very difficult», she says.

Feeding the Future NJORD V. SVENDSEN/TEXT, EIVIND SENNESET/PHOTOS UGANDA/NORWAY

The United Nations told HIV positive mothers to feed their babies with milk formula to save their lives. Instead, more children may have died, according to researchers from seven countries cooperating to document the benefits of breastfeeding. «I cried and cried for three weeks», recalls Jenipher Nakayinza (27), her baby girl Dorothy sucking peacefully from her breast. A few months ago Jenipher’s life was turned upside down. Her husband died of AIDS, her own test showed that she was HIV positive and at the same time she was pregnant with her fifth child. Luckily her baby did not catch the disease during pregnancy or birth. Now, sitting in one of the few quiet rooms of the overcrowded Mbale Regional Hospital in Eastern Uganda, Jenipher knows what she is risking. The HIV virus could be transmitted at this very moment. Yet she keeps on breastfeeding, hoping her child will be among the approximately eight out of ten who remain healthy and survive after breastfeeding.

From breast to bottle To breastfeed, or not to breastfeed? With the exception of some big producers of baby milk formula, experts used to have a clear answer to this question. Breastfeeding was considered the only healthy option for infants in poor countries. When medical scientists in the early 1990s concluded that HIV positive mothers can infect their babies through breastfeeding, the answer was no longer so clear. As the AIDS pandemic took hold, to some there appeared to be only one ethical choice: Stop breastfeeding, bring milk substitutes! So, in 1998 UN organisations (WHO, UNICEF and UNAIDS) decided, though not without controversy, to encourage millions of HIV positive mothers in sub-Saharan Africa to turn to powder milk – in order to save their children’s lives. A few years later, indications were that the UN decision had the opposite effect. More children were dying. «They saved people from HIV, but then they died from malnutrition,» says Professor James K. Tumwine at the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Uganda was one of nine countries in Africa, along with India and Honduras, where the UN organisations started to hand out free baby milk formula through pilot projects in 1999. In Uganda, statistics show that infant mortality increased during this period.

Western solutions To Tumwine, the campaign to reduce breastfeeding in Africa is a sad example of how European and North American experts implement solutions, which might be appropriate for Western surroundings, but that have disastrous consequences in countries where conditions are completely different.

«If you don’t have running water, if you don’t have a fridge, if you don’t boil the water», Tumwine explains, «using milk formula is a disaster. When the water is infected with bacteria, you get diarrhoea and you get malnutrition.» Almost 40 percent of Ugandan children have retarded growth due to malnutrition. Just under ten per cent of pregnant women are HIV positive, and Uganda is far from being the worst-hit country in Africa. The pediatrician and professor at Makerere University has carried out extensive research on child health and nutrition. This is a complicated field from a medical point of view, let alone all the social and cultural aspects involved, which in Tumwine’s view too often tend to be ignored. UN efforts to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the HIV virus are one example. «It was a simplistic solution to a complex problem», Tumwine says. Together with Professor Thorkild Tylleskär at the Centre for International Health (CIH) at the University of Bergen in Norway, he is dedicated to finding scientifically sound solutions, taking the complexities into account. What started as a NUFU-funded cooperation project between Makerere University in Kampala and the University of Bergen has now developed into a larger network, thanks to a grant from the EU. Institutions from Burkina Faso, France, Sweden, South Africa and Zambia have teamed up with the Norwegians and Ugandans.

Equal partnership «What I like about this collaboration is that it is an equal partnership. It is not the typical top-down structure,» says Tumwine. «Sometimes decisions are just made in Geneva or New York. But unless you live here, it is very difficult to understand what’s going on». In addition to strengthening the capacities of medical institutions in sub-Saharan Africa, the projects are intended to find ways of preventing mother-to-child transmission, both before, during and after birth. Most studies focus on feeding options for infants of HIV infected mothers, since very little research has been done in this field. In Uganda, a pioneer project is actively promoting breastfeeding among mothers, regardless of HIV status, through «peer counselling». Mothers who breastfeed work to motivate other mothers in

Doctors are sometimes easily corrupted by the industry. HIV AND BREASTFEEDING/19


their village or neighbourhood, who again encourage others to breastfeed their babies. «If every child in Uganda was exclusively breastfed, we could reduce infant mortality by 13 percent», says the Tumwine. Worldwide, an estimated 2.5 million children under 15 lived with HIV/AIDS in 2003, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa. There were 700,000 new infections, and 500,000 died last year. In wealthy countries very few children get infected. Mothers are treated with antiretroviral medicines and babies get antiretrovirals for six weeks after birth. And mothers do not breastfeed their chil-

dren. In Africa, medicines are often not available, even for those who have gone for testing and are aware of their status.

Risky formula Today, the same UN organisations that recommended bottle feeding in 1998 have changed their policies: Breastfeeding should only be abandoned if it is acceptable, feasible, affordable, sustainable and safe (sterilised bottles), rules known under the abbreviation AFASS. But the big question remains; when do you have an AFASS situation? Where do you draw the line? Tylleskär’s answer is that it is almost impossible to draw the line and find useful criteria. Should electricity in the house be a qualification? Or level of income? «One simply has to understand that the world is unfair. An impoverished mother in rural Uganda faces a lot of risks which a wealthy HIV positive woman in Norway does not», says Tylleskär. So, when mothers in poor countries such as Uganda are encouraged not to breastfeed, their babies are exposed to all these risks – stemming from factors such as water full of bacteria and low hygienic standards.

They saved people from HIV, but then they died from malnutrition. A study on mother-to-child transmission from Durban, South Africa, published in 1999, showed that babies who were exclusively breastfed had less risk of contracting HIV than those who were given a mix of mother’s milk and formula. But the apparently dangerous combination of breast and bottle feeding is still common, especially in South Africa were free formula is still available. Why?

A cultural thing «Breastfeeding is a cultural thing», Tumwine explains. «When a child is born, the husband and grandmothers expect the mother to breastfeed. The mother will have a problem explaining why she is not breastfeeding». Add to this the stigma tied to being HIV-positive, and it is not so difficult to understand how a mother will follow her doctor’s advice and bottle feed her baby in private but breastfeed in public. In Uganda, like most other sub-Saharan African countries, there is another obstacle, which may not be very visible from a laboratory in Los Angeles or an office in Geneva: With an average income of less than one US dollar a day most mothers would have to spend their entire income on milk formula.

COW’S MILK/At Mulago Hospital in Kampala HIV positive mothers can get cow’s milk or soya milk for free. But this is not a healthy option. 20/HIV AND BREASTFEEDING

In a room at the PMCTC clinic (Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission Clinic) at Mulago Hospital, HIV positive women are queuing up to get a free ration of soy porridge or cow’s milk. Many doctors in Uganda recommend cow’s milk when formula is not available or

NOT AFFORDABLE/ Sarah Neumbe is HIV-positive. Her little girl, Nandira Miracle (3 months), is not. Her only nutrition so far has been mother’s milk. «I would have stopped breastfeeding if I could afford to, but I can’t,» she says. «I have heard that there is a medicine and that people can live for 20 years with the virus. But I can’t get that medicine because of my low income.»


too expensive. But cow’s milk is not a healthy option, according to Tumwine and Tylleskär. In their view, the use of cow’s milk shows the need for research and a scientific basis for making guidelines in the health sector. HIV positive mothers in Uganda are generally advised to breastfeed for three months and then switch to formula or cow’s milk. «These are Health Ministry policies, but they have no scientific basis», says Tumwine. He would like to see children fed on mother’s milk for up to six months.

Dying for profit Though the UN decision to discourage breastfeeding has been reversed, Tumwine and Tylleskär fear that it has done great damage. «It might have caused confusion, leading mothers who are not HIV positive to stop breastfeeding as well», says Tylleskär. He fears that commercial interests are adding to this situation. «Doctors are some-

times easily corrupted by the industry», laments Tylleskär. In 2003, the British Medical Journal revealed that manufacturers of powdered baby milk, such as Nestlé and Danone, regularly broke international codes of conduct in the way their products were marketed in African countries.

«HIV is a disease of the poor. Few rich Americans have it, so there is little interest in the industry. There is a tendency to spend resources on those already infected – primarily those who can pay for it – forgetting about health-promoting measures. To stop the pandemic, health-promoting measures are what we need», Tylleskär concludes.

As for the medical industry, the problem is rather lack of interest. Their primary goal is profit, not saving people’s lives, Tumwine and Tylleskär argue. While HIV positive in Western countries routinely receive drugs, poor people with no money can’t pay the price. The Ugandan national health service is supposed to provide free medicine, but hasn’t got the money to buy it.

At the hospital in Mbale, people are standing and sitting in long queues for hours to get help for their own or their children’s illnesses. Malaria is still the biggest killer in Uganda and the rest of Africa, but HIV/AIDS patients are increasingly taking up hospital beds.

Sometimes decisions are just made in Geneva or New York. But unless you live here, it is very difficult to understand what’s going on.

Best there is

In the quiet room, Jenipher Nakayinza smiles mildly to her daughter. The baby is healthy and happily oblivious to fact that her mother might not live to see her grow up – and that she might not grow up at all. Under the circumstances her best option is to continue sucking her mother’s breast. «We have to use the best we have», Tumwine says. «And the best we have is breast milk.»

BASED IN AFRICA/Social and cultural aspects are often ignored in medical research, according to Professor and paediatrician James Tumwine at Makerere University in Kampala.

World Leading Research Centre

Editor for Africa

The Centre for International Health (CIH) at the University of Bergen is a world leader in its field, according to a recent evaluation.

James Tumwine was tired of Western medical journals ignoring Africa. Three years ago he founded African Health Sciences.

The Norwegian Research Council rated CIH as an «excellent» research institution in its largest evaluation report of Norwegian health research ever presented, published in January 2004. 1,000 researchers, from about 80 research groups, were scrutinized by an external panel and rated from «weak» via «very good» to «excellent».

The journal is committed to publishing works on health and development written by African researchers. In 2003, it was internationally recognised by the US National Library of Medicine and listed on the Medline index.

CIH was praised for its global health research, focusing on poverty related health problems in low and middle-income countries. «It is an excellent multidisciplinary group, who are among the world leaders in the integration of health promotion and social science methodology, especially in the areas of child health and nutrition, and HIV/AIDS», the evaluation report states.

HIV A DISEASE OF THE POOR/«Few rich Americans have it, so there is little interest in the medical industry,» says Professor Thorkild Tylleskär at the Centre for International Health at the University of Bergen.

CIH was established in 1988 as an interfaculty centre with the aim to initiate, co-ordinate and conduct research and capacity building of importance for the collaboration between the University of Bergen and low-income countries in the field of health. Today, the centre is coordinating projects around the world, most of them funded by NUFU (Norwegian Council for Higher Education’s Programme for Development Research and Education) and NRC (Norwegian Research Council). In 2004, CIH received NOK 19 million from the EU, enabling expansion of a number of projects.

According to Tumwine, famous publications, such as Lancet and British Medical Journal, fail to publish a lot of relevant research coming from African scientists. When he wrote an article about health and education in Zimbabwe, and submitted it to a respected European journal from a Harare address, it was rejected. A couple of months later, he tried again and sent the article to the same journal but from an Oxford address. This time the journal published his article. Articles by African authors are rarely seen in print. «It might stem from the fact that Africans are not represented on the editorial boards of these publications», says Tumwine. www.inasp.info/ajol/journals/ahs/ Njord V. Svendsen is a journalist and editor based in Bergen, Norway Eivind Senneset is a photographer based in Bergen, Norway

www.cih.uib.no 22/HIV AND BREASTFEEDING

HIV AND BREASTFEEDING/23


Theorising Myths TERESA GRØTAN/TEXT AND PHOTO (in an e-mail interview)

The abuse of historical myths has been recognised as an important factor behind the wars in the Balkans. Historical researchers try to point out ways of making them known. Ana Antić takes part in the research project «The use of historical myths in the changing Balkan societies» headed by Professor Pål Kolstø at the University of Oslo. The research cooperation has resulted in one monograph in Bosnian, and the edited volume «Myths and Boundaries in South Eastern Europe» being prepared for publication in English. Antić is a senior year student of history and political science, originally from Serbia, studying at the American University in Bulgaria. She is spending her last undergraduate academic year, 2004-2005, writing a senior thesis project in Yugoslav history at the European College of Liberal Arts in Berlin.

Demagogical weapons Teresa Grøtan (TG): What is the difference between the truth and a myth? Are myths consciously created? In whose interest are the myths? Ana Antić (AA): Social and cultural circumstances in which mythical interpretations of history become politically powerful or dominant are consciously created. Societies, in which economic development and political awareness of the population are at a critically low level, tend to experience periods of severe distortions of history, habitually used for achieving short-term political aims of political elites. Inevitable prerequisites for situations in which myths become the main demagogical weapons are certainly a mishandled system of educational and academic institutions, a perverted socio-cultural value system, low levels of literacy and educational background of the population… One of the most interesting findings of my paper, was the fact that myths do not seem to be used only in historical perspective, i.e. to specifically interpret and re-discover certain events from the past as a way to enhance a political option’s relevance at a certain point, but they also offer a comprehensive, well-developed scheme for understanding and depicting the present as well as the past. Just as the Kosovo battle has been a paradigmatic example of the ante-mural myth, in which the Serbs are represented as the Absolute Good in the alleged clash of civilizations, the recent political leaders in Serbia used the same mythical model to explain and justify many of the conflicts in which Serbia participated throughout the 1990s.

PAIN/Serbian historiography suffers from a pool of myths similar to many societies that have developed in peculiar situations of existence on cultural and geographic borderlines.

It is important to point out that historians do not consider some form of absolute objectivism and naïveté is any serious and viable scholarly alternative. It is impossible (and rather useless, even if it were possible) to write history without investing the mere historiographic account of facts and events with any meaningful interpretation, which inevitably involves a level of subjectivism and specific

agenda. Even if the aim is spreading tolerance and not ethnic exclusivism, that is also an agenda. Therefore, the alternative of getting rid of models of mythologising in history writing is not pure, extreme objectivism, but trying to base historical approaches on a more objective, disinterested, realistic footing. It is important to differentiate informed, professional, scholarly justified attempts to interpret historical events and movements in order to draw significant conclusions regarding certain tendencies or present occurrences from populist political abuses of history writing and teaching.

Eternal victimisation TG: What types of myths are present in Serbia/the Balkans? Have the myths changed during the years of war and unrest? What do the myths do to people’s perception of history and how does this affect the society of today? AA: Serbian historiography suffers from a pool of myths similar to many societies that have developed in peculiar situations of existence on cultural and geographic borderlines. It has been a very important aim to «prove» the state’s and culture’s belonging to a supposedly superior Western or European civilization. In addition, the myths of eternal victimisation and Christ-like suffering/resurrection seem to be some of the most frequent and powerful. As I already said, the political, military and cultural turbulence of the previous ten to fifteen years did not only witness attempts by politicians to boost their patriotic credentials by adhering to a particularly «inspiring» interpretation of the past. Political parties competed in attempts to successfully apply the existing mythical models to interpretations of the present (or very recent past), and it was very difficult, for instance, for the opposition or active civic and pacifist movements to deny and contend stories about Serbia’s «historical» role in the 1990s as a glorious defender of the classical European civilization against the alleged US hegemonic assaults. It was difficult because the power and popular resonance of the Kosovo myth (sacrifice against the Ottomans in order to «save» Europe and prevent the Ottoman advance) was regularly invoked as a parallel and comparative to Serbia’s supposed role in the 1999 NATO bombing. Therefore, political destructivism was given a specific shield of historical legitimacy. This is only one example of how mythical interpretations were used not only passively but also had a very active, crucial role in creating

The alternative of getting rid of models of mythologising in history writing is not pure, extreme objectivism, but trying to base historical approaches on a more objective, disinterested, realistic footing. BALKAN MYTHS/25


contemporary political decisions and political reality by the political leaderships.

STUDIES THE BALKAN MYTHS/«One inevitable prerequisite for situations in which myths become the main demagogical weapons is certainly a mishandled system of educational and academic institutions,» says Ana Antić, a senior student in Yugoslav history. (Photo/private)

De-nazification

In order to change the perceptions about myths, as you say, to make people aware of manipulations through mythmaking, a much more comprehensive, all-encompassing and politically engaged sort of socio-cultural and educational reform is necessary. It is no news, no great wisdom, that academics, historians, scholars can rarely achieve any socially relevant and far-reaching results unless the general orientation of political leaderships changes in a very radical manner, however discouraging or pessimistic it sounds. Therefore, conferences like this can offer a diagnosis of the problem, create very significant modes of cooperation between academic communities of countries whose recent political and even military clashes previously prevented similar connections. However, the results, publicity, number of people involved remain very limited, at least in Serbia, as long as there is no clear political vision of how to conceptualise the educational system, and no firm decision to implement a politics of discontinuity with the preceding period. It is not just about how the Kosovo battle or the ethnic origins of, say, Bosnian Muslims are to be understood in history textbooks.

TERESA GRØTAN/TEXT AND PHOTOS BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

What do you do when your friends might be killed? Bright red signs on both sides of the narrow road warn us: This is a minefield. The road is clear, but the beautiful green hills and mountains surrounding us, are not. Between 10,000 and 20,000 mines are placed all over the country.

TG: Do you think it is important to make the myths known? If so, why? Is it possible to change people’s ideas/conceptions/perceptions about myths? Or, is it possible to make people realise what they believe in is actually a myth? Do you think academics have a role to play in building a fair and just society? AA: The aim of the project was not to «de-mythologize» the existing mythical perceptions of the past and present that have been present in the Balkans, but not only there. Such an aim would be virtually impossible to achieve. What I think the organizers and participants were trying to achieve was creating a meaningful starting point, the crucial first step in pointing out the most powerful and widespread models of historical mythmaking, as well as of specific, politically motivated ways of misusing such (mis)interpretations.

Killing for Love

Bosnia is still a minefield, both literally and metaphorically. The discontinuity and political orientation towards systematic demythologisation of the social and political reality demand a firm and brave decision to interpret the events and phenomena of the most recent past and present in an open and honest manner, and to stop reverting to historically unfounded statements and conceptions whenever a threat of losing political power and popularity is present. Compromises in favour of populism, political half-measures, etc. are of no help whatsoever. Certainly, the issue of economic stability and prosperity plays a huge role. The term de-nazification might sound too strong and unjustified, but I think that the example of Western Germany after WWII, especially from the 1960s on, should serve as an excellent paradigm. Therefore, the reform here should be much broader than simply a scholarly, academic or educational one.

Mental and physical dividers From the Bosnian federation, we cross into Republika Srpska, the Serbian entity in Bosnia. There are not many Bosniaks living here anymore. The infamous Srebrenica is located not far away, and Radovan Karadžić, the war criminal on the loose, owns a house in the area. We are on our way to visit Salko Muhić and his wife Fatima. They came to the village, Pale, only half an hour drive from Sarajevo, to work at the railway in 1975. Their house once used to be a railway station, but the railway closed many years ago. Where the rail tracks

used to go, there is a gravel road today, going through tunnels and over hills – crossing the physical and mental borders in Bosnia. Salko and Fatima have a house, a vegetable garden, fruit trees and some animals. They have lived like this for thirty years. They do not have a car, and the couple, in their late seventies, have to walk for hours to get to the closest shop. In this situation, friendly neighbours are very important for survival. During the war in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995, friendly neighbours belonging to a different ethnic group were not so common. When all your neighbours are Serb and you yourself are a Bosniak, on top of that old and no longer strong, you actually do not have much of a chance. You are dependent on people who might decide to kill you.

Cigarettes, coffee and tears As we sit in the peaceful garden drinking the sweet and strong Bosnian coffee served in small cups by Fatima, a slender figure appears on the road, slowly walking towards the house. Vlado Lučić greets the old couple, gives Salko a packet of cigarettes and sits down with us for a coffee. The wind is blowing and leaves are starting to fall off the trees. Autumn is coming and apples are ripening.

TG: What do you hope to achieve by working with this issue? AA: One of my most important academic ambitions when working with historical myths is to get involved in the alternative academic/ educational network connecting the Balkan, most notably former Yugoslav, territories, which would attempt to organise a constant and more comprehensive cooperation between historians and other scholars of similar theoretical convictions. This should be a sort of pressure group, analysing the current tendencies in this and similar fields, and offering alternative solutions. One of the most significant, ongoing projects is an attempt to create a set of unique history textbooks, incorporating a variety of views and approaches acceptable to all the Balkan countries involved.

It is no news that academics, historians, scholars can rarely achieve any socially relevant and far-reaching results unless the general orientation of political leaderships changes in a very radical manner.

A myth

«is a story told and retold by the members of a community about its inner and outer conflicts and conflict resolutions. It is a true story in so far as it recalls events which have in one way or another shaped the community and its social order through the emergence and con-

26/BALKAN MYTHS

solidation of beliefs and norms. At the same time, a myth transcends the truth of the events: a myth is not historiography» Riekman Puntscher, S. «The Myth of European Unity» in Hosting, G. and Schopflin, G., Myths and Nationhood, New York 1997 PAZI MINE/Driving along a narrow road with mines on both sides gives us a creepy feeling. ARCHIVE OF GOOD DEEDS/27


The dog trots up, wagging its tail, and is greeted by Vlado. The old and the younger man joke, one says something about the war and they both laugh. «You are able to laugh about the war?» I ask. «When I remember what we were going through during the war, I cry,» Vlado replies and in the same instance tears start running down his cheeks. Tears keep appearing in his eyes for the next hours, in between a little talk, cigarette smoking and a couple of smiles. Salko puts a comforting arm around his friend’s shoulder, cracking jokes to make him laugh between the tears. Salko and Fatima have known Vlado, his brother Goran and their parents as long as they have lived in Pale. The father of the two died not very long ago, but the brothers continue helping the old couple with their daily needs.

Taking refuge at the neighbours Every day from the start of the war in 92, Serbian soldiers passed by Salko’s house. He was very afraid, and so was his wife. Vlado and his family decided to protect the old couple. When I ask if he himself was in the army, Vlado doesn’t answer. He is ashamed.

VLADO LUČIĆ/Vlado protected his Bosniak neighbours during the war in Bosnia.

SALKO MUHIĆ/«If I were Vlado, I wouldn’t have managed to do the same as he did for me».

Rasim Halilagić, the teacher who heard about Salko’s story and decided to come and ask if he wanted to tell, says: «We were all forced.» At the same time as being in the Serbian army, Vlado protected his Bosniak neighbours by letting them stay in his family’s house. Salko and Fatima stayed for six months in Goran’s house, then a few months in Vlado’s house and some time at their parents’s place.

I’ll rather kill you myself with this bomb, than let you go away wi th the soldiers. After that first year, Salko was no longer as afraid. He felt safer. The old couple moved back to their own house, which is located some hundred metres away from the Lučić family. But then, in the afternoon of June 12 1993, it happened. Serbian soldiers came to take Salko and Fatima away. Vlado happened to be close by the house, looking after some goats. He knew what was going to happen. He came down to the old couple’s house, he leaned against the fence, he saw the terrified couple and he saw the soldiers. He stood in between them. And he cried.

FATIMA MUHIĆ/«Sometimes at night, I am very afraid. I have a headache and think I am being shot». ARCHIVE OF GOOD DEEDS/29


He held a bomb in his hands. «I’ll kill you» he said to the couple. «I’ll rather kill you myself with this bomb, than let you go away with the soldiers.»

«I would do this over again. It is important work. Sometimes I can’t even sleep at night because I am thinking about the strength of those who helped others».

«They think it is too difficult. People don’t want to tell their stories, because by making the story public, the people who helped might get in danger. They might be threatened by their own,» she says.

Nobody knows what would have happened if he threw the bomb. Most probably they would all have been killed. Vlado was just not prepared to let the soldiers take his neighbours and friends to a concentration camp, to torture them, to kill them.

Krivić has sent all the collected material to Sokolović in Bergen, who has collected testimonies from Bosnians in Norway and many other countries. Bosnian refugees are spread in 80 different countries around the world. Teachers, sociologists and anthropologists have been working on collecting these testimonies. About 13 research assistants have been involved.

It is only the ones being helped, who can tell the story. Full names are important, also the names of the children of the helper. Sokolović wants the children and grandchildren to know that their parents did good deeds during the war. Some of children might not have been told, their parents fearing nationalists will hear about it. There are stories about people being killed for helping.

«We can change humans. In the same way as evil deeds will lead to more evil, good deeds may change people in a positive direction. That is why we need good leaders, good laws and good researchers. If I don’t use my role as a researcher for something positive, then what is the point of my work?» Sokolović asks.

The situation nine years after the war ended is tense. Things have not changed much in Bosnia. It’s as if the Dayton accord put a lid on the boiling pot, but it didn’t kill the fire. The hatred is alive and people still think in terms of Serb, Bosniak or Croat.

The soldiers left. «If I were him, I wouldn’t have managed to do the same,» Salko says about Vlado.

A multiethnic society Džemal Sokolović got the idea for the project on the first day of the war in 1992. «Sarajevo is a multiethnic society. In the building I lived there were all nationalities living side by side. During the war we couldn’t leave the building. We had to cooperate to get food and water. On the outside, they were fighting, on the inside, we were helping each other.» To collect the testimonies is difficult and sometimes dangerous. Sokolović has been threatened from extremists on all sides. Krivić has found the work challenging, and tells of many research assistants who gave up.

BOSNIAN COFFEE/Freshly grinded, sweet and strong.

«Everything you do may be misinterpreted or abused. It is very important to be independent. I am not trying to take away the responsibility of the Serb war crimes. I am not trying to force the Serbs to live with the Bosniaks. It is important to punish the war criminals, but reconciliation becomes unnatural if we forget all the good deeds,» says Sokolović. Sokolović says that he too, sitting in front of the computer in Bergen, Norway, sometimes cries while reading the emails with testimonies from Konjic, Bosnia.

Institute for Strengthening Democracy Sevla Krivić shares an office with Vesna Saradžić. They have been working together for three years, collecting stories, typing them, organising the work – and they also have different backgrounds, Krivić being Bosniak, Saradžić Serb.

EVERYDAY USE/Gumboots and watering can.

Searching for the Good TERESA GRØTAN/TEXT AND PHOTOS BOSNIA/NORWAY

Researcher Džemal Sokolović at the University of Bergen in Norway is building up an archive of good deeds during the war in Bosnia. Sevla Krivić tries to hold back her tears by staring up in the ceiling of her office in Konjic in Bosnia. Krivić has been working on collecting testimonies, as well as being the coordinator in Bosnia for Professor Džemal Sokolović’ project «Good deeds during the war in Bosnia». For many years researcher Džemal Sokolović has been collecting testimonies from people who were helped by people of a different ethnic background during the war in Bosnia. So far he has collected more than 300 stories. Salko and Fatima Muhić’s story is one of them.

30/ARCHIVE OF GOOD DEEDS

The strength of the helpers «I often cry when I interview people, and I cry when I read the testimonies. I cry for good, and I cry for evil,» Sevla Krivić says. «I try to tell my older son that there are good people in the world». Her youngest son was born during the war. Krivić went to the hospital amidst the falling of grenades and bombs just in time for the baby to be born. She stayed only an hour before returning to a shelter without water and electricity.

WHO TO BLAME/Sevla Krivić works at the Institute for Strengthening Democracy, established in Konijic in Bosnia by Professor Džemal Sokolović in 1997. ARCHIVE OF GOOD DEEDS/31


Fruits in the Hunger Season TERESA GRØTAN/TEXT AND PHOTO MALAWI

Winter in Norway is the hunger season in Malawi. New research hopes to find ways to domesticate indigenous fruit trees to provide valuable nutrients during difficult times. The food situation in Malawi has worsened severely during the last years. Deforestation, droughts, crop failure on top of a limited commercialisation of agriculture makes the situation for Malawian farmers difficult.

knowledge about them than the men. The fruits are used as jam to sweeten the phala, the local porridge made of maize. They are also used against diarrhoea and by traditional birth attendants to relieve pain. The trees are used for construction, » says Ntupanyama.

«The food base for Malawi is very narrow. Only one type of maize is grown. If the harvest fails, farmers have nothing to eat or sell. We asked ourselves: What else could they do?» says Moses Kwapata, Professor at Bunda college, University of Malawi.

The students mark an area in the forest, count all trees, tag fifteen to collect vegetative parts, floral parts and seeds to be used in genetic diversity and propagation studies.

Soft and sweet Uapaca kirkiana, commonly known as masuku, and Annona senegalensis, called mpoza, ripen earlier than maize, the staple food in Malawi. «When staple food declines between October and March, people in the rural areas collect forest fruits,» says PhD-student Yanira Ntupanyama. The soft and sweet fruits are high in nutrition. Several different wild fruit species are eaten, used for medicine, or sold by the roadside at a very low price. THE GOOD/Bosnian Professor Džemal Sokolović has been collecting testimonies of good deeds during the war in Bosnia. «It is important to punish war criminals, but reconciliation is unnatural if we forget all the good deeds».

«Who shall we blame now?» is written on a poster on the wall in the little office. Yes, who to blame? Krivić prefers to go on, to focus on the positive sides, the positive things amidst all the evil that actually happened during the war.

If I don’t use my role as a researcher for something positive, then what is the point of my work? The three year research project is so far finished. Sokolović’ project is part of a larger collaboration on democracy and welfare between the Institute of Comparative Politics and the Rokkan Centre at the University of Bergen and several institutions of higher education and research on the Balkans. Professor Stein Kuhnle is the project leader. Sokolović has plans for the future, but nothing has been finalised so far. He has ideas about making a book and a documentary film.

He would also like to develop the archive further, this time focussing on soldiers who helped each other during the war. His dream is to make a world archive of good deeds. The archive should be located to the Institute of Strengthening Democracy in Konjic, Bosnia, which he established seven years ago. «I don’t know if it is possible, but I feel comfortable dreaming about it,» he says. Sokolović is also the organiser of a yearly seminar in Konjic focusing on multi-ethnicity and democracy. The seminar has grown extremely popular over the years. In July this year nearly 40 papers were presented by researchers from all over Europe and America.

www.rokkan.uib.no/bihdemocracy

The project has been extremely popular amongst the students at the college. «We received more than 200 applications for the two PhD and two Master’s degree scholarships!» says Kwapata.

But the indigenous fruits are disappearing. By domesticating them, the researchers hope to protect the important trees. The researchers will determine requirements and suitable techniques for the fruits’ rapid propagation and acclimatisation in different environments. Part of the project, which is a NUFU-cooperation between Bunda College and the Norwegian Agricultural University as well as the University of Oslo, is to promote the use of fruit trees in sustainable agricultural production and ensure their conservation.

Painkillers «We looked throughout the country to map out the areas where the fruit trees grow. We have also interacted with the communities to hear how they make use of the fruits and what they know about them,» Ntupanyama explains. «Usually, it is the women and children that collect the fruits, so they have more

32/ARCHIVE OF GOOD DEEDS

«We hope the long-term result of the study will contribute to poverty reduction as well as to build academic staff and technology capacity at Bunda college. Levels of technology knowledge here are very low. If we manage this, we will have skills for other areas. It will be news,» project coordinator Moses Kwapata says.

IN THE FOREST/Master’s degree student Grace Lameck (in front) and PhD candidate Yanira Ntupanyama are involved in the biotechnology project at Bunda college. Here they are in an Uapaca kirkiana forest close to Malawi’s capital Lilongwe. COLLECTING NUTRIENTS/33


Brothers in Arts EIVIND SENNESET/TEXT AND PHOTO NORWAY

Oslo, Lusaka, Ramallah and Kabul. The streets are different, but art means equality. The «Art Academy Without Walls» project, aimed at establishing a sustainable arts education in Zambia, may be succeeded by similar projects in Palestine and Afghanistan. «Art is one of the faces of developing countries which are usually hidden, but it is one of few aspects where you can talk of the equality, instead of the differences, between North and South,» says Michael O’Donnell, Professor and Dean at the Oslo National College of the Arts in Norway. He is the head of the «Art Academy Without Walls» project. The project, in existence since 1996, is aimed at establishing a sustainable higher degree arts education in Zambia through equal cooperation, exchange programmes and local workshops. As part of the project, three Zambian Master’s degree students now attend the Norwegian arts academy. And within a couple of years, they might be joined by fellow students from Palestine and Afghanistan.

Afghan art Two other projects sharing many similarities with «Art Academy Without Walls» are under the wings of the Oslo National College of the Arts. In the last two years, local art workshops have been held in both Kabul in Afghanistan and in Ramallah, Palestine. In late 2002, the former dean of the National Academy of Fine Art, Dagmar Demming, was sent by the Goethe Institute to make a survey about the art scene in Kabul and to give a workshop at the Fine Art Faculty at Kabul University. Demming assessed the students and professors as hungry for knowledge and committed to learning, but the physical conditions, the lack of electricity and lack of experts to run equipment in the war-torn country as devastating. The Fine Art Faculty at Kabul University was reduced to seven students and seven professors during the Taliban regime. The sculpture department was destroyed and the theatre is still in ruins.

ART AMBASSADOR/Michael O’Donnell, Professor and Dean at the Oslo National College of the Arts is the head of the «Art Academy Without Walls» project aimed at establishing a sustainable higher degree arts education in Zambia. 34/ARTS EDUCATION

Today, Michael O’Donnell is head of the project together with Professor Sayed Fareeq Faryad, dean at Kabul Fine Art Faculty. The overall objectives are to develop professional skills to build up the Kabul faculty, to raise the level of teaching and develop knowledge about contemporary teaching and art production methods, to introduce democratic structures and to support upcoming artists. However, the project has encountered some difficulties.

«We need financing,» O’Donnell says. «Initially it was planned that Afghan students and teachers should attend learning periods in Oslo to develop skills of the trade and be trained in building and maintaining local workshops. Now we might be looking at a worst case scenario where only one Afghan student will participate through the Quota Programme».

Believing in the power of art While it will probably take some time for the first Afghan arts student to arrive Oslo, the Palestinan project may be closer at hand, with students arriving within a year. In its third year, the project «The International Academy of Fine Art Ramallah (TIAFAR)» has recently been formally affiliated with the Oslo National College of the Arts. «This project is about building an institution in an occupied country,» project manager Henrik Placht says.

Art is one of the faces of developing countries that is usually hidden. A few years ago, the young Norwegian artist did a check-up on the possibilities for arts education in Palestine and found that there was none. Together with Norwegian sociologist Ove Skarpenes and Mosli Kanane, a Palestinian student at University of Bergen preparing to move home, Placht started the groundwork. As a result of this work, a Palestinian organization was established as a local cooperative. «The Palestinian Association For Contemporary Art» comprising students, teachers, politicians, writers, artists and art dealers. «The collective memory of a people in the form of arts and culture is important for the people’s pride and identity. Maybe an arts academy can give the Palestinian people back some of their dignity? Perhaps it can turn out to be a neutral forum for political discussion? Palestinian minister Yasser Abbed Rabbo expressed it this way: ‘We are a people who have lost faith in international politics. We believe in the power of art and culture’,» Henrik Placht says.

Winning hearts and minds The TIAFAR and «Art Academy Without Walls» projects both receive funding from Norad and are coordinated from the same Norwegian institution, but are not otherwise linked. Local workshops in the Zambian capital Lusaka have been the backbone in building the arts education in Zambia. «We have set up a series of workshops,» Michael O’Donnell explains. «Each of these component parts leaves behind it an established physical workshop with the tools needed to perform the crafts. For example, the photo workshops left behind both a black and white and a colour darkroom as well as a full digital workshop. Next year there will be full editing facilities for video.»

ARTS EDUCATION/35


Art becomes the carrier of a political game of diplomacy. In 2006, upon completion of the ten-year cooperation between the Oslo National College of the Arts and the Visual Arts Council in Lusaka, some 50 to 60 artists will have participated in these workshops. There are also two other major aspects. One of them is to train personnel to use and look after the technical facilities. The other aspect is to train the teachers. «The goal is that the three Zambian students here at the academy will go back to Lusaka armed with the tools of the trade of how to teach, with an intellectual component and a network in the international circuit – and start to establish perhaps an art academy with walls in Lusaka,» O’Donnell says.

Apart from giving experience relevant to similar projects, such as those in Ramallah and Kabul, O’Donnell believes that the results of the «Art Academy Without Walls» project will be relevant beyond the arts community. «Art becomes the carrier of a political game of diplomacy. In the very near future at least two of the Zambian students will be invited to a lot of international art events. This project is pushing the artists of Zambia out into the world. Thus the nation becomes a relevant player and other aspects of Zambian culture and politics come on board. Through cultural diplomacy you’re opening up the country as an entity.» «One can win hearts and minds on the cultural battlefield,» says Michael O’Donnell.

EIVIND SENNESET/TEXT AND PHOTO NORWAY

«I’m an artist, not a political scientist. Still, I can’t run away from the truth. That is why I use art to be political,» Annie Anawana Haloba says. She is one of three Zambian students taking Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the National Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo. Currently, she is preparing for a grand scale art installation called «Breaking the walls», that she hopes will be set up within the National Museum in Lusaka, Zambia. Using voice recordings of former Zambian president Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, and quotations from Nelson Mandela and South African human rights advocate Edwin Cameron, within the architectural installation, she wishes to make a statement that AIDS is not only a medical problem, but a social and economic crisis as well. «What kills AIDS victims is depression. We need to show our love to the victims and get rid of the social stigma» she says. Annie Anawana Haloba believes that experimental art is of great importance in order to address social problems within the society. «Traditional Zambian art does not make statements – it’s hard to make a statement with a torso. Zambians don’t have the confidence to make intellectual and political art. But we need it. We have poverty issues, HIV issues and economical issues, and we can make art that comments on that,» says Annie Anawana Haloba. To complete the project, Haloba is still in need of funding in order to set up and display her work in Lusaka. «The only way of teaching Zambians through art is to display the art in Zambia. I could make the installation here in Norway, but that would be for a Norwegian audience. And then what would Zambia be getting from me?» asks Annie Anawana Haloba.

ART AGAINST AIDS/Bachelor degree student Annie Anawana Haloba works on a small scale model of an installation she hopes will be set up within the National Museum in Lusaka, Zambia. 36/ARTS EDUCATION

SILJE GRIPSRUD/TEXT AND PHOTO SOUTH AFRICA

Jewellery proves that modern behaviour developed in Africa 75,000 years ago. Norwegian students take part in the treasure hunt in the South African caves. The Cape Field School is situated at the end of a bumpy and dusty gravel road in an area with turtles and ostriches, monkeys and zebras. Five minutes to the east lies the De Hoop nature reserve. Dramatic mountain formations, huge white sand dunes and a big «carpet» of 1,500 different plant species covers the area of 600 square kilometres. Outside, in the Indian Ocean, the whales are singing from July till September.

Breaking The Walls Bachelor degree student Annie Anawana Haloba makes art against the social crisis of AIDS in Zambia.

Looking Good 75,000 Years Ago

www.khio.no Eivind Senneset is a photojournalist based in Bergen, Norway

What makes archaeologists come here from all over the world are the huge caves along the coast. There is evidence that people have visited the area for more than 100,000 years. South African archaeologist Chris Henshilwood, head of the African Heritage Research Institute i Cape Town became famous after having directed several excavations at the Blombos cave, which led to proving that modern man first lived in Africa. It has been known for a long time that the anatomically modern man, Homo Sapiens, originated in Africa between 300,000 and 150,000 years ago, but it has been believed that modern behaviour first developed in Europe about 40,000 years ago. But 75,000-year old advanced tools, pieces of jewellery and intagliated objects of art shows that these theories were wrong.

This is the fourth group of archaeology students from Bergen travelling to South Africa. South African students have also stayed at the University of Bergen. Henshilwood wants the Cape Field School not only to be a meeting place for different nations, but also for different research areas. «There is no reason this should be only for archaeology students. The rich flora and fauna cater for great possibilities for students in biology and zoology as well as students interested in development studies, culture conservation and related fields,» Henshilwood says. www.svf.uib.no/sfu/cape/

The article first appeared in «Hubro» no. 02/04. Translated and revised by Teresa Grøtan. Silje Gripsrud is a journalist and editor based in Bergen, Norway.

«It is very seldom that archaeologists find so clear proofs. There has been evidence coming from Africa earlier, but never as complete and extensive as this,» Henshilwood says. «I became incredibly fascinated when I heard Chris’ lecture in Bergen. Coming here to South Africa is what I’ve dreamt about,» says Magnus Brimsholm (20), one of the students coming to Henshilswood’s school as part of his degree. Henshilwood cooperates with Professor Randi Håland from the Centre of Development Studies at the University of Bergen, where he has a position as Professor II in Archaeology. Every year students from Norway and several other countries doing their Master’s in Philosophy have the possibility of staying for a semester in South Africa. Brimsholm is tidying up after having played and taught local schoolchildren. Part of the studies at the field school is to present the findings to children from the area. Becoming aware of the rich cultural history is important for developing a positive attitude towards one’s country, a country that hasn’t been good to everyone.

FINDING MODERN MAN/In the big caves along the coast at De Hoop nature reserve archaeologist Chris Henshilwood has found proof that hunters have visited the area for more than 100,000 years. SOUTH AFRICAN ARCHAEOLOGY/37


Let there be Africa NJORD V. SVENDSEN/TEXT, EIVIND SENNESET/PHOTOS UGANDA

A new generation of scholars takes a fresh look at Africans in the Bible after more than a century of Western prejudice and misinterpretation. ...Go, you swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth, to a people feared near and far, a nation mighty and conquering, whose land the rivers divide (Isaiah 18:2)* «When God spoke, we were there», says Philip Lokel, a Ugandan academic and Catholic priest, now pursuing his PhD investigating the presence of Africa and Africans in the Old Testament. It may seem obvious to some readers of the Bible that both black people and the African continent have its place in the big book. To European and North American biblical scholars, however – with the exception of some African-American contributors – it has been far from obvious. One thing Lokel is sure of after a year into studying what has been written on the subject: The Africans in the Bible have largely been ignored, and when not, interpretations have often reflected a racist colonialist mentality. «It is only the last 10 to 15 years that the African presence in the Bible has begun to be recognised in religious studies», says Lokel. «There have been examples of good interpretations, but they have been very few. Some scholars have tried to remove or water down every African presence in the Bible».

Two other PhD students, from Madagascar and Tanzania, join Lokel in his efforts. The doctoral students do most of their research at their home institutions, but they also come together for periods at the Norwegian School of Mission and Theology in Stavanger and University of South Africa in Pretoria, were they will receive their degrees.

The Cush In Madagascar, a project aims to analyse the use of Old Testamentrelated rituals in contemporary religious movements. The Tanzanian project is concentrating on poverty proverbs as a possible key to interpretation, based on the observation that Old Testament and African proverbs appear to reflect parallel patterns of world-views and social structures. Lokel is giving most of his attention to the Cush of the Old Testament, approaching them with both exegetical (theological interpretation) and historical-critical methods. The Cush was located south of Egypt,

Considering the fact that Africa and the Southern Hemisphere today has replaced the North as the centre of Christianity in the world, it is perhaps due time to rethink theological truths.

Beyond the beating of the drum «Alleluia!» The early morning sun is lighting up the yellow walls inside the Catholic Holy Trinity Church in the Kamwokya quarter of Kampala. Accompanied by drums and organ, the church choir leads the community into lively singing. From the wall, a white Virgin Mary statue stares silently into the crowd of black faces which is filling the church to the last row. The first mass of the day is in the vernacular Luganda. Last year, the Bible was published in Luganda for the first time, 126 years after the first Christian missionaries arrived in the country. «It makes me feel a lot closer to the text when I read the Bible in my own language. I read it every day», says Kate Kataliwa, a regular churchgoer in Kamwokya who has come with her grandson. Popular African Christianity is certainly alive and growing and has come a long way indeveloping its own identity and expressions. «We need a theology to follow this, so that the expression of the African faith goes beyond the mere beating of the drum which is so characteristic of the African mode of worship», says Lokel. The unique research programme «Africanisation of Biblical studies in three Eastern African research institutions», funded by NUFU, is a start.

CHOOSING MY RELIGION/Outside the rain has stopped and the sun is lighting up the Catholic Holy Trinity Church in the Kamwokya quarter of Kampala. BIBLICAL STUDIES/39


SUNDAY PEOPLE/At nine o’ clock in the morning the first mass of the day has ended.

«I want to challenge the interpretations that have been offered on Africans in the Old Testament by Western biblical scholars», says Lokel and mentions the Cushite messenger of Joab as an example. «He is almost invariably interpreted as a black slave, while all indications are that he was most probably an African officer in King David’s army.» One of Lokel’s challenges is to relate the Old Testament texts to contemporary African experiences. In what way do the texts appraise problems of poverty, famine and wars?

Bringing confidence which in the eighth century before Christ conquered Egypt and created an empire covering large parts of North Eastern Africa. The Old Testament was written in the years following this empire, and its image of Africans south of Egypt has thus been influenced by the Cush. To African biblical studies, the Old Testament Cush is therefore an important source of «pre-western» notions of Africa. The Cush are there from the beginning, appearing in the Eden narrative of the Genesis.

This is just one side of the coin, though. Today, Africanisation of biblical studies is just as much about adjusting the traditional one-dimensional Western view of Africa as a hopeless continent of suffering and underdevelopment. «We were in the Bible when the missionaries came. Hopefully, a new theology can bring a kind of confidence to churches in Africa. Our work is a little contribution in this field», says Lokel. Given the importance of Christianity in Africa, bringing confidence to churches is also about bringing confidence to the people.

FOOD FOR FAITH/«Hopefully a new theology can bring a kind of confidence to churches in Africa», says Philip Lokel who is researching the presence of Africa and Africans in the Bible.

Inter-religious dialogue There is a long way to go in the africanisation of biblical studies. The impact of Western missionaries in Sub-Saharan Africa has been enormous. In Uganda, a British protectorate until 1962, all education was in their hands as late as the 1950s. Christians are traditionally divided between the rivalling Catholic (33 per cent) and Anglican (33 per cent) churches. Since the late 1980s, when peace was restored after the regimes of Milton Obote and Idi Amin, these have been challenged by increasingly influential Pentecostal churches and charismatic movements. 16 percent of the population is Muslim while 18 per cent hold indigenous beliefs. At the Department of Religious studies at Makerere University, students are offered courses in biblical studies as well as courses on the Koran. Professor Kabazzi-Kisirinya hopes to establish Master’s degree programmes in both Biblical studies and Islamic Studies in the future.

I want to challenge the interpretations that have been offered on Africans in the Old Testament by Western biblical scholars. «Students come from different religious traditions. The study of the Bible is a fundamental strategy for inter-religious dialogue», he says.

Fertile ground

LUGANDA LANGUAGE/In 2003 the Bible was translated into Luganda for the first time, 126 years after the first Christian missionaries arrived in Uganda. Professor Serapio Kabazzi-Kisirinya is one of the translators. 40/BIBLICAL STUDIES

There will be things to learn about Africa.

As morning proceeds in Kamwokya the mass continues in the Holy Trinity Church, with more singing, more clapping, more drumming

«In a sense, these biblical studies also have political significance, which may contribute to positive transformation of society, says Professor Serapio Kabazzi-Kisirinya, Head of Department of Religious Studies at Makerere University in Kampala, and one of the translators of the Bible into Luganda. Together with Professor Knut Holter from the Norwegian School of Mission and Theology he developed the research programme on africanisation of biblical studies, which grew out of a network of Theology and Religion in Norway and seven African countries.

Globalising Theology «We want biblical interpretation that reflects today’s global church context», says Professor Knut Holter at The Norwegian School of Mission and Theology.

From the start it was clear that the Old Testament needed special attention. The Old Testament has for a long time been regarded as particularly important among African theologists. This is partly due to the presence of African people, such as the Cush, but also because of its political potential. In particular, the story of the exodus from Egypt, with its elements of oppression and liberation, has been important – not least during apartheid in South Africa.

The school in Stavanger increasingly focuses on non-Western theology and biblical interpretation. Students come from several parts of the world. Now, in its involvement in the Africanisation of the Biblical studies project, the school has taken a further step in the direction of breaking up the traditionally Western monopoly on bible interpretation.

«It seems that the African mode of thinking is closer to the Old Testament. For example, in African culture we already have seers, which you may call prophets. So the concept of prophets is not unknown», explains Lokel.

«The guild of academic interpreters of the Bible has traditionally consisted of white, middle-aged and middle-class men. In recent years it has increasingly been realized that the interpreter’s perspective to some extent influences the interpretations. In consequence, we now see a broader spectrum of approaches, where for example female

and more praying. All generations are represented under the church ceiling, which is decorated with little red, white, green and yellow flags. After the first service, more people come walking up the road for another, this time in English. «Anthropologists have written that Africans are religious by nature. There is fertile ground here,» says Lokel, who rejects the widespread idea that Africans are religious because they are poor. His research and efforts to Africanise biblical studies grow from this fertile ground. And through the cooperation with the School of Mission and Theology in Norway he is happy to find recognition of the role of Africa and Africans. * The phrase is describing the Cush nation.

interpreters emphasize the role of women, and black and/or African interpreters emphasize the role of Africa/Africans», says Holter. He hopes that the Africanisation of the Bible project will help to build an African biblical scholarship that reflects African experiences and concerns, rather than being a copy of traditional Western scholarship. «The project may have a significance outside Africa, too, as its methodological approach can be followed by researchers from other contexts», concludes Holter.

Njord V. Svendsen is a journalist and editor based in Bergen, Norway. Eivind Senneset is a photojournalist based in Bergen, Norway.

BIBLICAL STUDIES/41


Cooperation Through Hardship

Not stopped by Israeli incursions HTD: How did you manage to continue work at these projects during the period of the Israeli incursions and acts of seizure? KA: The Palestinians had to go through very difficult times and hardship, like any community that suffers occupation. As a result, they managed to develop new ways of life to overcome the awful reality that they had to experience. They have adopted education as a means of civilized progression. Yet, when the Israeli occupation forces, as always, targeted the educational institutions; the Palestinian people challenged such attempts and succeeded in providing education for their children.

HIBA T. DARWISH/TEXT, YASSER DARWESH/PHOTO PALESTINE

Equality between the participating parties and continued communication will lead to better results in research cooperation, according to Dr. Kamal Abdulfattah at Birzeit University in Palestine. Kamal Abdulfattah works as Head of the Department of Geography at Birzeit University and Head of the Master’s Programme on Contemporary Arab Studies at the same university. The Department of Geography, where Abdulfattah works, has more than twenty years of experience with international research cooperation, and Abdulfattah has been a visiting professor and cooperated with a wide range of universities both in Europe and America. Hiba T. Darwish (HTD): What are the most important factors that contribute to the success of joint cooperation projects? Kamal Abdulfattah (KA): I believe that there are various factors that might differ in importance from one person to the other. The success of any project requires clear vision and a set of attainable objectives to be created as well as a plain work mechanism to be adopted. Equality between the participating parties and continuous communication will lead to better results. Finally, self-evaluation is a very important element in order to avoid much of the mistakes and achieve better results.

Fieldwork, seminars and teaching HTD: In what way does joint cooperation materialise through research? And what are the joint cooperation projects in which you participated? KA: Joint cooperation through research projects includes focus on fieldwork, attending scientific conferences, teaching in various fields, exchanging visits, publishing research and conducting studies. The Department of Geography at Birzeit University has completed many joint cooperation projects with other universities in Germany, Austria, Norway and USA from 1978 until now. In 1998, work started on a joint cooperation project between Birzeit University and the University of Bergen, Norway to study the natural and civilization formations within the lower Jordan River basin area, in particular the central Palestine mountains area, i.e. the region extending from Jinin to the north down to Hebron to the south. The project was designed to enable us build academic and research capabilities through investigation. The project involved researchers in social, geographical and physical anthropology, environmental studies, sociology and ruins, along with professors, assistants and post graduate students from both the Palestinian and Norwegian sides. During the project, twelve books including Master’s and PhD dissertations, as well as scientific papers were prepared. At the present time, we are working on a project with an American college, a German organization and we are going through prepara42/INTERVIEW WITH KAMAL ABDULFATTAH

tion for a research project with three universities in Austria, Switzerland and France. HTD: How did the idea of the cooperation with the University of Bergen start? KA: It all started when I met a professor from Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen during the social functions of a conference which took place in An-Najah National University, Palestine. We talked extensively and the idea of cooperation between Birzeit University and the University of Bergen emerged then.

Must be on equal footing HTD: Do joint cooperation projects require equal level of participation? KA: Participation must be on an equal footing as the concept behind these projects is to collaborate in a way that every party lends a hand. It is not a unilateral participation. Each party undertakes to contribute something that does not necessarily have to be financial. Each project has its own inputs that include funds, geographical terrain, laboratories, libraries and human resources. It is true that the University of Bergen has provided financial support that Birzeit University could not match. However, Birzeit University, for its part, contributed by providing human support, land, laboratories and library facilities, in addition to training for approximately twenty five Norwegian students.

Joint cooperation projects build bridges between nations and windows to other civilizations. HTD: Were you capable of making decisions on an equal footing to the project sponsor? KA: During the early meetings when we were still negotiating and planning for the project in 1997, it was clear that both parties were going to incorporate their inputs to the planning for the project irrespective of the source of funds. Birzeit University provided its level best. In fact, none of the parties attempted to force its requisites on the other. To the contrary, the project was characterised by the spirit of mutual respect and exchange of opinions that prevailed throughout the project. We did not at any time feel that our Norwegian colleagues have attempted to affect our decision or impose their conditions. We were fully capable of taking decisions with respect to the project.

Although Birzeit University has suffered sixteen closures since its establishment, it has managed to invent its own ways to continue the journey of education. It has defeated all odds and kept its doors open for students. Our project with the University of Bergen continued under very tough conditions. The project persisted because the operational area of the project extends over the surrounding areas of Birzeit. Accordingly, these areas were accessible. Another fact was that all of the researchers working in the project were young and could take alternative side pathways into the research areas. The project also provided a number of scholarships for some Palestinian students outside the country that enabled them to continue their education during the present Intifada. Communication and coordination continued with our Norwegian colleagues although we have faced some problems. Since the start of work on the project, we have had a yearly tradition of conducting workshops to evaluate the progress at the project and discussing the most important findings and recommendations. Professors, researchers, students and assistants participated in these workshops. Unfortunately, we were unable to carry out the 2002 workshop, because of the Israeli occupation and seizure. I believe that the most important factor is to have strong resolve and determination to continue work and refuse to give in no matter what the circumstances are. Moreover, alternative methods need to be found in case it is impractical to use ordinary means. The Palestinian experience as a nation which is subject to occupation is a living example of the same.

HTD: From your experience working in joint cooperation projects, what are the positive aspects involved in this type of projects? KA: Joint cooperation projects build bridges between nations and windows to other civilizations. They have a human dimension, since humans are the dynamic force running these projects. People communicate through joined efforts and develop relationships among themselves. These projects contribute towards scientific development, providing and attaining experiences through cooperation. Joint cooperation projects play a vital role in developing and building capabilities and focusing on the major issues that are part of the cause of society building and preparing individuals who are capable of achieving distinction in various fields.

Although Birzeit University suffered sixteen closures since its establishment, it managed to invent its own ways to continue the journey of education. I do not think there are any negative aspects involved in this type of projects. However, negative issues surface in the absence of equality at the human level where a single party forces its conditions and ideas on the other. If this is the case, such projects lose their human touch and fail to serve the purpose intended. HTD: Finally, what guarantees the project to continue? KA: Our experience is down-to-earth and considers work within the framework of clear and achievable objectives. The continuity of the project requires all types of communication in addition to conducting annual meetings for the research team, exchanging visits and follow up. Finally, social relationships are among the reasons for the success of these projects. www.birzeit.edu Translated from Arabic Hiba T. Darwish is Birzeit University’s media coordinator.

The human bond HTD: What distinguishes this project from other projects that you have worked on? KA: A distinctive feature of this project is the human bond that was created through direct cooperation. For example, each Norwegian student had to work with a Palestinian counterpart in conducting research. Hardships always create friendship among people. Some of the Norwegian students stayed with foster Palestinian families in the villages were they worked and were part of intimate human relationship that survived works ending on the project. HUMAN AND ACADEMIC BONDS/Dr. Kamal Abdulfattah has extensive experience with research cooperation with European and American universities. INTERVIEW WITH KAMAL ABDULFATTAH/43


Fearing Fortress Bologna NJORD V. SVENDSEN/TEXT AND PHOTOS NORWAY

«One can understand Europe’s need to assert itself in the global knowledge economy. However, I am worried about the differences this may bring along,» Professor Akilagpa Sawyerr, Secretary General of the African Association of Universities (AAU), says. Next year, European ministers of education will meet in Bergen in order to take the Bologna Process one step forward. The Bologna Process will secure a coordinated European Higher Education Area laid down in the Bologna Declaration of 1999. The goal is to turn Europe into the leading knowledge-based economy in the world and one way to achieve this is by reinforcing internationalisation and mobility between researchers and students.

«In a lot of countries, privatisation will be equivalent to giving up control in favour of foreign interests. It has serious consequences in the educational sector. Education should be a public benefit, therefore it is also important to have a national policy to control it,» Sawyerr says.

The growing gap Twice as weak Professor Akilagpa Sawyerr recently visited Norway in connection with the annual conference of the Norwegian Association of Development Research (NFU). Sawyerr fears that it will be a limited mobility with unfavourable side effects for countries outside Europe. More and more students and professionals are streaming from the South to the North and the Secretary General takes note of a larger engagement to recruit the best experts from Africa than before. «One can understand Europe’s need to assert itself in the global knowledge economy However, I am worried about the differences this may bring along,» Sawyerr says. He fears that in combination with a strict immigration policy the result will be an intellectual Fortress Europe. «They hinder the inflow of cheap labour – unless they need it – so the poor will remain in Africa. At the same time the most qualified people are attracted to Europe. To put it simply, the consequence is that Europe gets stronger, while Africa gets twice as weak.»

Poor countries will be the losers in the global educational and research revolution where knowledge is not an obvious public benefit. According to Professor Sawyerr this development is more than about a «brain drain» for the African countries. It does not only affect educational institutions, but also the whole society in the next round. «Several African countries take a blow in the midriff,» he says.

Fearing privatisation The Secretary General and Professor of Law, who has experience from the University of Ghana and Berkeley, California, has had several international assignments. Recently he was appointed by the United Nations University (UNU) to its governing Council.

GLOBALISATION AND MARGINALISATION/«The university is one of the best meeting places to start doing something with the imbalance in globalisation in general», says General Secretary of the AAU, Akilagpa Sawyerr. 44/INTERVIEW WITH AKILAGPA SAWYERR

He thinks that one of the most important tasks for researchers all over the world is to fight for knowledge and knowledge production to be a public benefit. Professor Sawyerr fears that poor countries will be the losers in the global educational and research revolution where knowledge is not an obvious public benefit – but in many contexts it is subject to the market. Educational and research institutions are increasingly in private hands, not the least in Africa. This way, the conditions are changed for those who should have access to, and for those who should develop, knowledge – and who determine what kind of knowledge one should have.

The gap between those who have it, and those who don’t, is large today, also when it comes to knowledge and access to knowledge. According to Sawyerr, this gap is growing not only globally, but also among countries and people in Africa. «Globalisation works in a way that it can reach out everywhere and select what it needs. That is why there are «pockets» in Africa that have total access. Those who do not have access cannot escape from the negative consequences of globalisation, anyway».

has not been too dominant. «I have heard that it might be changing now. But I hope that the policy pursued so far will continue and be protected against market forces. The university is one of the best meeting places to start doing something with the imbalance in globalisation in general,» Sawyerr says.

Access to knowledge is a fundamental right – and that knowledge must be developed in and adapted to a local context. Translation/Monika Voit The article first appeared in «På Høyden», October 2004. Njord V. Svendsen is the editor of «På Høyden».

Professor Sawyerr thinks that access to knowledge is a fundamental right – and that knowledge must be developed in and adapted to a local context. «But unless a society has access to knowledge and can shape it according to its own needs, it has no value. Therefore all societies everywhere should have access to a variety of knowledge which is the currency of the global system.»

May be positive Mathiev Quedraogo, Minister of Education of Burkina Faso, has a more positive attitude to sending the best university experts to Europe or the US. «We cannot stop them. This is about people’s freedom. At the same time it can be positive if people who leave keep the ties with their home country. We have to make efforts to build up their loyalty,» he says. Philip Altbach, Professor of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College, does not share this optimism. «Approximately 80 percent of students from India and China stay in the US after they completed their education.» According to Altbach, «multinationalisation» is a dominating trend in the globalisation of education. Western organisations establish new educational institutions in various countries; for example a university can set up new external campuses and carry out education on a «franchise» basis. For the time being, the United Kingdom and Australia have been the most active, but the US is catching up. «Profit is the dominating motive. The multinationalisation of education is a way to make money. The US makes now 12 billion dollars a year from foreign students,» Altbach says.

Expectations for Norway Akilagpa Sawyerr thinks that globalisation can be a positive source of development for countries in the South, but in a different form. «Student exchange is important both for us and for you.» He thinks that Norway is a country that stands out positively when it comes to educational and research cooperation with Southern countries – precisely because the capitalistic market perspective

POSITIVE/Minister of Education in Burkina Faso, Mathiev Quedraogo, views globalisation of higher education as positive: «It can be positive if people who leave keep the ties with their home country. We have to make efforts to build up their loyalty.» INTERVIEW WITH AKILAGPA SAWYERR/45


Theories of Social Capital, Civil Society, and the State Crossing the Bridge from North to South – and Back Again PER SELLE PROFESSOR AT THE DEPARTMENT OF COMPARATIVE POLITICS, UIB SANJEEV PRAKASH SENIOR RESEARCHER AT THE CENTRE FOR DEVELOPMENT STUDIES, UIB

ernance and state-society relations, where Norway and the other Scandinavian countries offer valuable examples and case studies. Interestingly, it is towards this general theme that recent research on social capital has begun to turn.

Can social science theories developed mainly by Northern researchers working in the North be «stretched» or adapted to suit the broad mass of societies and conditions we call «the South»? Based on our own collaboration – between an Indian political economist who works on development and poverty and a Norwegian political scientist whose field is comparative politics – we argue that ideas and hypotheses based exclusively on the experience of Northern societies cannot properly be called «theories». For this, they need to claim the broader descriptive power that is achieved through a wider empirical base. Our own experience suggests that comparative research involving both Northern and Southern researchers is crucial for this process, and that such research can also serve critically to refine social mechanisms and hypotheses as they apply in the North.

Ideas and hypotheses based exclusively on the experience of Northern societies cannot properly be called «theories». For examples we draw on our research on social capital, civil society and the state developed together with researchers and case studies from four continents. The cluster of concepts referred to as social capital has become one of the most popular and influential ideas in social science over the last decade. Broadly speaking, «social capital» concerns the interplay between social networks and trust that underlie collective action, such as through organisations of civil society. Employed within a number of disciplinary fields including sociology, organisational research, the political theory of institutions, and institutional economics, research approaches involving social capital have been applied to a diverse and growing list of sectors. These range widely, from education and human capital to community institutions and civil society; from common-pool resource management to public health and epidemiology; from work and organisation to general aspects of collective action, democratic governance and economic development. This widespread interest is understandable once social capital is seen as part of a renewed interest in the problem of collective action. Theories of collective action and the evolution of institutions are quite properly among the central themes of the social sciences. Elinor Ostrom, a key figure within political science research on social capital and collective action, writes:

46/ACADEMIC ESSAY

Civil society as a field of research ...The theory of collective action is the central subject of political science. It is the core of the justification for the state. Collectiveaction problems pervade international relations, face legislators when devising public budgets, permeate public bureaucracies, and are at the core of explanations of voting, interest group formation, and citizen control of governments in a democracy. If political scientists do not have an empirically grounded theory of collective action, then we are hand-waving at our central questions. (Ostrom 1998: 1, emphasis in original) In a recent book we edited with contributions from an international network of researchers, we develop a critical assessment of some of the key theoretical assumptions of the social capital idea1. Based on a comparative framework, empirical studies of civil society, participation and governance from five countries2, and analytical contributions by some leading researchers on these themes, the volume demonstrates, inter alia: • The relevance of different kinds of associational context for the development of civic trust and social ties between different groups in society, also called crosscutting or ‘bridging’ ties; • The necessity of constructing taxonomies of associations that go beyond simplistic dichotomies (e.g., ascriptive-voluntary, traditional-modern, egalitarian-hierarchic) to map the existing diversity of associational activity in the contemporary world, both North and South; • The importance of vertical networks (i.e., between groups that are not only unlike in norms and backgrounds but also unequal in power and assets) for building stable and integral structures of civil society; • The critical role of states, local governments and local politics in facilitating and enabling the activation of stocks of social capital. We believe these broad conclusions, along with parallel analyses of social capital in recent years (Edwards, Foley and Diani 2001; Dekker and Uslaner 2001; Szreter 2002; Woolcock 1998; Evans 1996), constitute significant progress in understanding the scope, theoretical articulation and empirical relevance of this conceptual field. This is particularly true of the last point mentioned above, relating to gov-

Research based on civil society is increasingly being used by national governments and multilateral organisations in order to design policy initiatives for countries in the North as well as the South. Such policies span a large number of arenas, including, for example: strengthening civil society through providing legal, financial and other support to voluntary associations; promoting access to basic and higher education; facilitating popular participation in development projects; ensuring that the benefits of public services and development projects are accessible to all citizens; integrating the interests of women, minorities and the poor in relation to the provision of social initiatives, public goods or cooperative institutions; facilitating local-level institutions for the management of common-pool resources such as forests, irrigation water, or rangelands; and so on. The World Bank is at the forefront of investing in policy research on civil society and social capital for developing countries3. Whatever one thinks of the work of international development agencies, the fact is that such research matters today more than ever before and requires the best frameworks of theory, evidence and policy that are available. Though civil society is defined differently by various theorists, a minimal definition would include the idea of a non-state autonomous sphere; empowerment of citizens; trust-building associational life; and interaction with rather than subordination to the state. While the term is often understood to possess universal meaning, ideas and models of ‘civil society’ prevalent in different parts of the world at different times have shared little in common. The «liberation theology» of 1970s Latin America was very different from the «resistance against the state» version of 1980s Eastern Europe or many developing countries in Asia, and both are different from the sphere of social autonomy and democratisation of the 1970s German Greens, or from Putnam’s benign model of co-operative, trusting citizens in the 1990s. However, scholars often seem unaware of models of civil society other than those of their own conception – as if theirs were the only plausible or practical kind. As Edwards and Foley argue in their book, Beyond Tocqueville: Competing concepts of civil society…almost invariably bear the marks of the political struggles within which they were born. Considerable overlap in the sorts of social actors identified as central

to «civil society» among these conceptions gives the notion an air of universality – suggesting that, if only we could come to agreement about just who and what is included under its umbrella, we could achieve a comprehensive theory of state-society relations. Yet, the real purchase of the notion of civil society today is polemical and normative and tied closely to the debates that currently shape it (Edwards and Foley 2001: 2-3). This situation raises key questions about the relevance of social capital for empirical research on civil society. Does social capital, along with associated research methods, stipulated mechanisms for the socialization of norms and other assumptions, apply universally to all plausible models of ‘civil society’? Or do these methods and assumptions privilege a single model, or some models, over others? If so, what implications should policy makers draw from social capital research when designing policies to suit the particular social and political contexts of countries with differing historical experiences – and models of civil society? Based on her long-term observations of Southern societies, Susanne Hoeber Rudolph reflects that for the most part the civil society discourse is based disproportionately on the historical experience of the West: A review of the literature and debates (on civil society) suggests… that Western history and institutions disproportionately define the terms of the debate. The imaginary landscape of many theorists in this debate is Rome and Greece on the one hand, 18th century Europe on the other… But when the debate about civil society in Europe or America reaches out to the East or South of Istanbul, Western mainstream liberal theorists tune out. Scholars from or of the South take over, scholars whose metier is the Middle East, East Asia, South East Asia, Africa, Latin America. The discussion about civil society in the «South» moves on a different track from debates in the «North» where most liberal theorists remain innocent about Southern societies and histories (Rudolph, in Prakash and Selle 2004).

Interpreting social capital across contexts The contemporary literature on social capital describes the existence of two basic forms or categories: bonding social capital, or associations of ‘thick’ trust and reciprocity that are formed between people with similar values, dispositions and interests; and bridging

When the debate about civil society in Europe or America reaches out to the East or South of Istanbul, Western mainstream liberal theorists tune out. ACADEMIC ESSAY/47


social capital, or crosscutting networks of ‘thin’ trust and reciprocity between people with unlike values and interests. These categories reproduce Mark Granovetter’s seminal distinction between ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ ties in the 1970s (Granovetter 1974). A sub-category of the ‘bridging’ form, constituting vertical networks or linking social capital that connect unlike parties who are also unequal or asymmetrically endowed with power, authority and status, has recently been specified (Woolcock 1998; Szreter 2002). Systematic research on this form of social capital is, however, of relatively recent origin4. Most Western theorists of social capital, influenced in part by Alexis de Tocqueville’s 19th century work Democracy in America, focus on dense networks constituting combinations of these categories – especially the bridging variety – to explain the evolution of ‘generalised’ trust and reciprocity which are ostensibly at the heart of the manifold interactions and relations that constitute civil society (De Tocqueville 1969; Putnam 1995, 2000). Critical commentators have accused supporters of this approach of leaping from the specification of a few causal relations and the collection of micro-level data to macro-level conclusions (Fine 1999; Harriss & De Renzio 1997). That critique might hold especially true when social capital research is applied to conditions prevailing in developing countries such as India or South Africa. The empirical diversity of associations and social interactions evident within the societies of the world is not mapped accurately or even adequately with such a bare framework. Susanne Rudolph’s is among the more persuasive voices on the implications of this for future work on social capital: If we are to use the concept of civil society at all, and populate it with social capital-generating associational life, we must be able to specify what type of associations are likely to generate habits of mutual trust and collaboration. Not all associations are likely to do so, and we need criteria of distinction… Not all associations are the same; not all have the capacity to generate mutuality and cooperation. Those that are able to generate internal solidarity may succeed in ways that make members feel sympathy only with each other and insulate them from civic others. Associations may nurture, as Tocqueville said, «the inner moral life of those who participate, enhancing their sympathies...for fellow humans,» without, however, «nurturing their engagement with a wider community». Associational life, in other words, can make members appreciate each other even while making them self-regarding and parochial. It can generate a form of group selfishness that results in ethnic conflict and civil war as in Bosnia and Bihar. What are the conditions and mechanisms that translate the social capital generated by associational life from inside to outside and that makes social capital available for strengthening the pursuit of the public good? (Rudolph, ibid). At the core of the problem is the relevance of institutional context for generating trust and participation in associational life. If social capital were broadly fungible or transferable across multiple contexts, then this would serve to validate the explicit analogy with forms of economic capital. However, evidence that social capital, as

48/ACADEMIC ESSAY

relations of trust, can be transferred freely or in substantial measure from one association to another is mixed. Indeed, this hypothesis is the source of considerable dispute. For instance, Mario Diani finds that social capital is essentially «context-dependent» among members of multiple associations in Lombardy (Diani, in Prakash and Selle 2004), one of the same provinces that Putnam in his study of Italian regions termed «high in social capital» (Putnam 1993). Similarly, based on his long term time-series data on western Norway, Douglas Caulkins believes that, without the action of government, social capital and trust relations can only be transferred across associations belonging to the same «network cluster» or set of associations in which members share values, ideology or political affiliation (Caulkins, in Prakash and Selle 2004). His research finds no evidence that such trust relations reach across network clusters in the value-crosscutting sense of the explanation proffered by some other researchers for ‘bridging’ social capital.

Clarifying social capital through civil society Research on civil society and social capital now requires a comparative agenda that can relate evidence from diverse contexts and societies to an emergent conceptual framework. At the centre of this research agenda is the analysis of the function of vertical networks in civil society and economic development. Recent research points to the possibility that vertical networks may play an important role in facilitating the crosscutting ties that lead to civil society.

If we researchers retreat into our own shells, merely asserting the «uniqueness» of cultures, societies, and political systems, the social sciences will be poorer – both in the South and in the North. For example, Caulkins’ (in Prakash and Selle 2004) from his study of western Norway found that rather than bridging social capital, it was the impartial action of local government (kommuner) that facilitated contact, trust and cooperation across local organisations with different political affiliations and values. Complementarily, Anirudh Krishna (in Prakash and Selle 2004) found that apart from strong intra-community ties and institutions, or bonding social capital, the one factor on which development performance in villages in Rajasthan, India was strongly dependent was the community’s level of access to local politicians and «political entrepreneurs» who facilitated contact and interaction with government agencies. Another key task for comparative research on social capital is to construct a more nuanced category of voluntary associations in relation to their effects on social capital, as discussed by Susanne Rudolph. What are the types of associational forms that best lead to the inculcation of habits of cooperation and trust with the «wider community» of purposes that constitute civil society? Are they primarily political or non-political in their purposes? Are the relations they engender hierarchic or egalitarian? Is membership constituted through means that are primarily voluntary/autonomous or ascriptive/collective?

In her seminal analysis of the role of caste associations in Indian politics, Rudolph finds that such simple dichotomies are misleading. For example, while all members of a caste association may belong to the same caste, there is a deliberate decision involved in joining such an association for the fulfilment of common purposes – in a way, she argues, that resembles ethnic group associations in the USA such as Polish inner-city soccer clubs or the Sons of Norway. Rudolph calls such groups «intentional» associations and suggests that, rather than accepting the binary distinction between voluntary or ascriptive associations, we need to conceive of taxonomies that trace a continuum of associational types characterised by such distinctions. The role of vertical networks in civil society, and reaching a more nuanced understanding of associational relations and forms, both constitute key questions for future research on social capital. Both have implications that reach far beyond academic research to discourses on policy and governance. Both will benefit from a comparative approach that matches cases and contexts to a critical debate on the relevance of concepts and methods. Since civil society and social capital constitute increasingly important arenas for policy in both South and North, these are not insignificant matters. Of course many problems remain for those who want to participate in collaborative research across North and South: the lack of standardised, quality data; problems in conducting field research in foreign countries; and the continuing inability of research administrators to appreciate the value and difficulties of working on such «risky» enterprises are some of them. Yet if we researchers retreat into our own shells, merely asserting the «uniqueness» of cultures, societies, and political systems, the social sciences will be poorer – both in the South and in the North. Notes Sanjeev Prakash and Per Selle (editors): Investigating Social Capital: Comparative perspectives on civil society, participation and governance. New Delhi, Thousand Oaks & London: Sage Publications, 2004. 2 The countries (chosen for their diversity and the quality of available data) were Italy, India, Norway, the Netherlands, and Sweden. 3 Sections on social capital figure prominently in recent World Development Reports, and the Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development (ESSD) Network of the World Bank has supported social capital research heaily in recent years. See the Bank’s website: http://www.worldbank.org/poverty/scapital/ 4 This refers to the literature in English. In French sociology, as is well known, Pierre Bourdieu (1986) developed an original explanation of the insular and closed nature of the social capital of elites over the 1980s in his analysis of «symbolic capital» and «distinction». Much of this work, though, employs a markedly different terminology, methodological approach and conceptual framework than the contemporary literature in English.

1

References Bourdieu, P. 1986: «The Forms of Capital» in J. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education. New York: Greenwood Press, pp. 241-58 De Tocqueville, A. 1969 (1835): Democracy in America. Garden City, NY: Anchor Books Dekker, P. and Uslaner, E. 2001: Social Capital and Participation in Everyday Life. London: Routledge Edwards, B., and Foley, M. 2001: «Civil Society and Social Capital: A Primer», in B. Edwards, M. Foley and M. Diani (eds.), Beyond Tocqueville: Civil Society and the Social Capital Debate in Comparative Perspective. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England Fine, B. 1999: «The Developmental State is Dead: Long Live Social Capital?» Development and Change 30(1): 1-19 Granovetter, M. 1973: «The Strength of Weak Ties». American Journal of Sociology 78: 1360-80 Harriss, J. and De Renzio, P.: «’Missing Link’ or Analytically Missing?» Journal of International Development, 9(7): 919–37 Ostrom, E, 1998: «A Behavioural Approach to the Rational Choice Theory of Collective Action» (APSA Presidential Address 1997). American Political Science Review 92(1): 1-22 Prakash, S. and Selle, P. 2004: Investigating Social Capital: Comparative Perspectives on Civil Society, Participation and Governance. New Delhi, London and Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications Putnam, R. 2000: Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon and Schuster Putnam, R. 1995: «Tuning in, Tuning out». PS: Political Science & Politics 28(4): 664-683 Putnam, R., et al 1993: Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy. Princeton: Princeton University Press Szreter, S. 2002: «The State of Social Capital: Bringing Back in Power, Politics and History». Theory and Society 31(4): 573-621 Woolcock, M. 1998: «Social Capital and Economic Development: Towards a Theoretical Synthesis and Policy Framework». Theory and Society 27(2): 151-208

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Knowledge, Access and Governance

COUNCELLOR/Kristin Sverdrup at the Norwegian Embassy in Malawi.

The Embassy Link

Clause 2.2 of the NUFU agreement invites Norwegian authorities to support NUFU projects, and the Norwegian embassy in Malawi has been the funding initiator of new and unique collaborations. This is the first time in NUFU’s history that a Norwegian embassy is initiating and funding NUFU projects. In total, the Norwegian embassy in Malawi has allocated close to NOK 15 million to three different projects. «There has been a lack of academic dimension in our work. We consider projects administered through the NUFU framework to be an efficient use of development funds,» says counsellor Kristin Sverdrup at the Norwegian embassy in Lilongwe, Malawi. Sverdrup hopes the new projects will strengthen the overall development cooperation with Malawi.

New Knowledge in Energy

The Colloquium on Research and Higher Education Policy is a biennial event organised by UNESCO. The first one, «Knowledge, Access and Governance: Strategies for Change», will take place in Paris from 1 to 3 December, 2004. This event will consist of plenary sessions and thematic workshops presenting studies on general and crosscutting themes for discussion and debate. One of the strengths of the Colloquium is that it will allow researchers and policymakers from all regions to bridge their respective fields and to inform one another of developments. It will bring out information and research results on systems and structures of higher education, research and knowledge, so as to reach widened understanding in these areas. www.unesco.org

ELDIS

Eldis is a gateway to information on development issues, providing free access to a wide range of online resources. Eldis, which is edited by a team based at the Institute for Development Studies in Sussex, England, offers a directory of websites, databases, library catalogues and e-mail discussion lists, as well as country profiles and job information. Eldis’s e-mail news services bring the latest research to its transcribers. The target audience in South and North include development researchers, practitioners, students, NGOs, policy makers and information managers. Eldis is core funded by Norad, Sida and DFID. www.eldis.org

In June 2005, twelve Croatian students passed their exam in the Master of expert programme in Energy Efficiency and Environment. This is the first generation of Croatian experts trained in energy efficiency, and a result of the cooperation between the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) with their subsidiary, New Energy Performance AS (NEPAS) at Kjeller, Norway and the Faculty of Electrical engineering and Computing at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. This degree is part of a larger collaboration between the Norwegian institute and universities in Serbia and Croatia that started in 2002. «Universities and other higher educational institutions are preferably focusing on heavy theoretical topics according to academic traditions. This approach to learning issues needs to be updated, especially when new initiatives are taken in countries in economical transition and countries that are in the process of joining international communities and agreements. The programmes on higher education in the region have been a successful venture,» says Norwegian coordinator, Thor Henning Gulbrandsen.

The Abel Prize (est. 2002) and the Holberg International Memorial Prize (est. 2004) were initiated by the Norwegian Parliament to award prizes for outstanding scientific work in the fields of mathematics (Abel) and the arts and humanities, social science, law and theology (Holberg). The respective committees call for letters of nominations for both international prizes for 2005. Deadlines are 15 February 2005 (www.holberg.uib.no) and 15 November 2004 (www.abelprisen.no). The prize amounts to NOK six million (approx. 750,000 Euro) for the Abel Prize and NOK 4.5 million (approx. 563,000 Euro) for the Holberg Prize. In 2004, the Holberg prize went to Julia Kristeva, while Isadore Singer and Sir Michael Atiyah received the Abel prize.

Embracing the Earth

Other links of interest:

The theme for the 9th international interdisciplinary congress on women is «Embracing the Earth: East-West/North-South». The congress will be arranged at the largest women’s university in the world, Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea, in June 2005. This year’s theme provides broad reflection on the changes in the traditional boundaries of North-South/East-West and how women’s lives are interwoven, as well as kept separate, by the increasing economic disparity between North and the South and the contesting values of the East and the West. Sub-themes of the conference include globalisation, NGOs and activism, science and technology, politics and good governance, women’s studies and peace, war and conflict. www.ww05.org 50/NEWS

Holberg and Abel Prizes

www.holberg.no www.abelprisen.no

Research Council of Norway: www.rcn.no NUFU: www.siu.no/nufu Norad educational programmes: www.siu.no/norad Norwegian programmes for cooperation with Eastern Europe: www.siu.no/east Country-specific information regarding higher education and research: www.siu.no/embassy


NORWEGIAN CENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION (SIU)

PHONE: +47 55 30 88 00 FAX: +47 55 30 88 01/02 E-MAIL: SIU@SIU.NO POSTAL ADDRESS: P.O. BOX 7800, NO-5020 BERGEN, NORWAY OFFICE ADDRESS: VASKERELVEN 39 WEB: WWW.SIU.NO

http://new.siu.no/nor/content/download/1003/10468/file/Global_Knowledge_no_1_2004  

http://new.siu.no/nor/content/download/1003/10468/file/Global_Knowledge_no_1_2004.pdf

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