by Delly Bagu – EM TV, Port Moresby
A report based on years of research was released today by a team of researchers from the National Research Institute and the Australian National University.
The statistics answer the question of whether PNG has been able to translate its booming mineral wealth into services for ordinary people over the last ten years.
In summary, the results show that development progress in PNG is not impossible.
The report is titled “A Lost Decade? Service Delivery and Reforms in Papua New Guinea 2002-2012”.
The report presents the results of a 2012 survey of 360 primary schools and primary health care clinics across 8 provinces, from the nation’s capital to some of the most inaccessible regions.
Many of the same facilities were also surveyed 10 years earlier, in 2002.
Director of NRI, Dr Thomas Webster, said this has produced a unique set of data as very few countries have repeated surveys such as this to enable comparisons to be made over time.
While the difficulties of service delivery in PNG are well-known, the report also shows interesting and important areas of progress.
The study found that PNG’s primary schools have expanded rapidly over the last decade, but fewer services are now provided by its health clinics. There are also more children at school today than a decade ago, with more girls attending and more teachers employed.
Four factors explain the difference in performance between sectors, provinces and facilities; they are financing, local oversight and supervision, agency, and the workforce.
The positive results revealed by the survey not only show that progress in service delivery is possible, but also shows how.
The report was launched by the Secretary for Education Dr Michael Tapo.