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Newly democratic, natural resource dependent, Timor-Leste's development is at risk of interruption by corruption and inefficiency in its young institutions. Strengthening the capabilities of these institutions, and citizens' understanding of them, is a key focus of our Dili staff. Read country overview.

A Survey of the Community-Police Perceptions in Timor-Leste is The Asia Foundation's second public opinion survey in Timor-Leste focused on security and safety issues. The survey used questions from a 2008 survey to track changes in indicators over the last several years and included new lines of questioning to gauge the current context. Using distinct survey templates that targeted the general public, community leaders, and members of the police service, the survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews and collected the views of 3,106 people from all 13 districts of Timor-Leste. Read more about the survey here.


As citizens of the newest independent nation in Asia, the people of Timor-Leste have high hopes for the Policia Nacional del Timor-Leste as a vanguard of peace, stability, and justice. Although this nascent institution lacks the resources, training, and skills to adequately address current security needs, we have learned that crime can be reduced, and often prevented. If police engage with the community and actively improve their accountability to citizens. The Asia Foundation is a leader in strengthening ties between police and communities to improve police performance and build public trust. In an ongoing effort to build support for police reform and further institutionalize community engagement, we have helped strengthen the technical capacity of police officers, civil society, and community leaders in community policing; supported grants to resolve urgent security priorities at the local level, like domestic violence and land disputes; and engaged more than 10,000 citizens and community leaders and 1,088 police officers. Strengthening the capabilities of institutions like the national police, and citizens' understanding of them, is a key focus of our staff in Dili, as well as on conflict management and women's empowerment.


Program and Partner Highlights

The Asia Foundation's Books for Asia program began operating in Timor-Leste in 2004, and has since donated more than 100,000 books to schools, libraries, nongovernmental organizations and public-sector agencies throughout the country. Learn more about our Books for Asia program in Timor-Leste and watch an interview with Program Officer Dores Vilanova.

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