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Bolstering Governance in Papua New Guinea


  • Inefficient governance is an obstacle to Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) growth.
  • The Governance Partnership helps improve governance and service delivery.
  • More than 2 million Papua New Guineans have benefited.
The Challenge

Economic growth is vital for PNG’s development, but other conditions are also necessary. The gains from resource-driven growth are not widely shared. Corruption is endemic, law and order are in decline, and gender inequality is the worst in the region. The COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated PNG’s already parlous fiscal position.

The Approach

Abt is helping implement the PNG–Australia Governance Partnership with investments through the following five initiatives:

  • The Decentralization and Citizen Participation Partnership supports PNG priorities on improving service delivery, economic opportunities, and development outcomes by strengthening the decentralized system of government and enhancing engagement with citizens.
  • The Bougainville Partnership supports a stable Autonomous Region of Bougainville. Citizens increasingly participate in and benefit from political, social, and economic development.
  • The Kokoda Initiative fosters sustainable, inclusive development in the Kokoda Track region, protects its unique environmental, cultural, and military heritage, and delivers education and health services.
  • The Economic Governance and Inclusive Growth Partnership enables the governments of PNG and Australia to operationalize strategic and economic priorities, including fiscal stability and inclusive growth.
  • The Institutional Partnership Program and Deployee Support Services support deployments of Australian officials to support capacity development at PNG Government partner agencies.

The Governance Partnership also pursues GESI investments and integration of gender equality principles in programming.

The Results

The PNG–Australia Governance Partnership has enhanced program delivery through a focus on outcomes; strengthened gender, equality, and social inclusion commitments; enhanced accountability with good monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning practices; and assisted millions of Papua New Guineans. Notable achievements include:

  • Improving the quality of life for more than 2.2 million people, including over 1.1 million women
  • Enhancing PNG’s macro-economic stability during the most challenging times since independence in 1975
  • Improving the skills of almost 100,000 people whose roles are key to effective governance and public service delivery, including public servants and community leaders
  • Significantly contributing to maintaining peace and security and continued socio-economic development in Bougainville
  • Supporting the most important aspect of PNG’s tourism industry – the Kokoda Track – by enhancing the health, education, and livelihoods of the 6,000 people who live along the Kokoda Track.