Timor-Leste Values

This report contains probably the most useful information you could have if your working or planning to work in TL.

The report is a detailed assessment of the values of the Timorese people. Through a series of interviews and questionnaires they assess 1,200 people to determine what it is that will motivate them and which values will be aligned to and assist ‘development’.

Unfortunately, I do not necessarily agree with the analysis, as ‘development’ is defined strictly in terms of western capitalistic and materialistic values. It seems ironic to me that they bothered to do the study only to identify what values would be problematic and may need to be circumvented, changed or kept under careful and watchful scrutiny in order to conduct successful ‘development’ of western values. Surely the analysis should have been centred on answering the question ‘How do we develop Timor so that what the Timorese value is maximised?’

Regardless, the results are very useful and provide significant insight into why Timorese act or behave the way they do in some situations. Bearing in mind that this is a generalisation or stereotyping exercise based on a a nationally representative sample and supported by additional interviews with teachers, academics and senior social figures.

I strongly encourage all foreigners working in Timor to read this report and keep these Timorese values in mind when you think of ‘development’.

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