The Paradigms and Politics of Reproductive Health: UNFPA in West Java, Indonesia
The central aim of this research has been to examine a particular development intervention by exposing its underlying paradigms and the discourses this generated. It was hypothesized that there is often a disjuncture between the changes explicitly pursued by such an intervention and those that result, which can then be linked to the paradoxical relationship between these paradigms and discourses. In other words, the incongruence of development aims and project actualities arises from the tensions between competing agendas and understandings. Therefore by exposing the contradictions in these underlying paradigms we gain insight into the politics of change. The programme studied was the UN Population Fund project in West Java, Indonesia, examining its layers through multi-sited research based in the centre (Jakarta), provincial government (Bandung) and two villages in the province. A Foucauldian framework, emphasizing local politics as a site of both physical and semiotic struggle and integrated within the analytical framework of a hermeneutical circle, was employed. In studying these gender-targeted programmes, conclusions were drawn on the nature of institutional discourse creation, bureaucratic ignorance, power in its many facets, and the construction and contestation of gender roles.
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