The Papua New Guinea National Research Institute has launched a new project looking at Autonomy and Decentralisation of Government with a special focus on improving basic service delivery.
The main objective of the Autonomy and Decentralisation Research Project is to facilitate informed discussions on autonomy and decentralisation among key stakeholders with a view to considering various options and issues, and making a report to the Government for attention.
These stakeholders include academia, political and bureaucratic leaders responsible for policy development and implementation, and the broader public.
The project will be headed by PNG NRI’s Professorial Research Fellow Dr. Thomas
Dr. Webster, in his presentation in introducing the ADRP, outlined that the two main problems with the present governance arrangements of the country were that basic service delivery systems and capacity have deteriorated and that national institutions responsible for overall governance and oversight had been weakened.
PNG NRI Acting Director Dr. Osborne Sanida said major institutional reforms by the government machinery and various programs since independence does not seem to have had much impact on people accessing basic services.
“Improving basic services such as health services, schools, road, and transport services to access these basic services and markets to enhance income for the majority of our people who live in rural areas has been an ongoing challenge since Independence,” he said.
“We hear reports of some positive achievements in some areas of electorates of PNG. There are however more stories about the weaknesses and especially the suffering endured by people who are unable to access basic services in most areas of PNG. For some, we do not even know what they are experiencing in silence.”
These occurrences and observations are supported by official Government Reports and NRI research reports, hence, Dr. Sanida said the PNG NRI is very pleased to establish this very important research project at this point in time.
Dr. Sanida thanked the Australian Government for supporting this project and acknowledged the PNG NRI Council for providing the strategic direction for NRI research activities, including the establishment of this very important research project.
“This is a fulfillment of the key mandate of the PNG NRI per the NRI Act, which is applied socio-economic research for informed decision-making.”
The PNG NRI looks forward to collaborating with all the key stakeholders on this research project, with the ultimate aim of improving basic service delivery for Papua New Guineans.