An interview with Serena Sumanop, the Executive Director of The Voice Inc, a home-grown Papua New Guinean NGO working to empower young people to contribute to their communities and to development.
Human rights are enough reason alone to push for an end to early and forced marriage. Groups such as Human Rights Watch have been working on this issue for many years. Still, campaigners now cite a whole host of other reasons to end the practice, such as the improved health, education [pdf] and poverty alleviation outcomes when girls marry later. Child marriage is now squarely framed as a development issue.
(Image from Too Young To Wed)
Welcome to my online portfolio.
I am an experienced writer and communicator with a strong interest in international aid and development policy and the Asia-Pacific region.
I currently work as a Research Officer with the Development Policy Centre at the Australian National University in Canberra. I also provide secretariat and communications support to the PNG NGO Femili PNG, which works with survivors of family and sexual violence.
Previously, I have worked with Plan International in Timor-Leste, the Center for International Forestry Research in Indonesia and Media Monitors, as well as in a variety of other freelance writing and editing roles.
As a journalist and editor, I worked at the Jakarta Globe from 2008-2010 and for News Ltd community newspapers and the Courier News group in Sydney from 2005-2008. My writing, analysis and reportage has also been published in many other places.
I finished a Master of Public Policy (Development Policy) at ANU in 2011, which included a semester at the American University School of International Service in Washington DC. I also have a Bachelor of Arts in Communications (Journalism) from the University of Technology, Sydney.
You can read more about my work and professional background, or you can just browse through my portfolio–expand the menu by clicking in the top left corner.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has released a damning Compliance Panel Review (CPR) report of a controversial railway redevelopment project in Cambodia, which was supported by Australian aid.
Activists have long challenged the project’s forced resettlement of thousands of poor families who had made makeshift homes along disused railway tracks, alleging inadequate compensation, threats, harassment, inadequate facilities at resettlement sites and adverse impacts on livelihoods.
The CPR report [pdf], released on Friday, agreed with many of these concerns and found that the project was non-compliant with a number of ADB safeguards.
Why don’t Bananas in Pyjamas sleep under mosquito nets or speak Tok Pisin? They are a tropical fruit.
If we are looking to shake up the Australia Network, could television be an area where development and diplomacy harmonise?
Parliamentary committee inquiries into the Australian aid program over the last decade have been few and far between, even as the aid program has grown massively. A parliamentary committee or subcommittee could improve parliamentary oversight of the Australian aid program and deliver a number of benefits.
I co-authored a policy brief with Stephen Howes on this topic for the Development Policy Centre in November 2013.
Download policy brief [pdf].
Women and girls have obviously been coping with menstruation for a long time without the aid of fantastic plastic convenience. They make do, using cloth rags or other methods like straw, leaves, newspapers, mud or ash, slipping out of the home at night time to bury used rags in the dirt or finding private places to wash and hang them out to dry.
This post was also republished by Magdalene Indonesia.
(Photo credit: Echawalu Photography)
Blog post on the findings of a new UN report on gender based violence in Asia and the Pacific.
Read the post here.
From September 2012-March 2013 I compiled, set the direction for and wrote the majority of the text for the 2012 CIFOR Annual Report, titled ‘The Changing Face of Forestry”.
Download PDF here.
View HTML version here.
Examples of my stories in the Annual Report: