Bougainville News updates: Elections, health and new public service 4 articles

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After the completion of data entry by the team above, preliminary Election rolls will be distributed to all Bougainville constituencies, Council of Elders and District Offices for public scrutiny. In this issue we have four stories with delays caused by constant power blackouts in Buka
  • WORKERS TO ENTER DATA IN THREE SHIFTS
  • BOUGAINVILLE PUBLIC SERVICE DEDICATED
  • CALL TO RELOCATE LEMANMANU HEALTH CENTRE
  • PUBLIC SERVANTS ARE PRIVILIGED

Preparation for the ABG 2015 General Election is in progress and the office does not leave any stone unturned.

By Aloysius Laukai

This morning the Electoral Rolls Data Entry exercise commenced and staff selected will start entering data into the system as of today and until the exercise is completed.

A total of officers were announced over the weekend to go into three shifts to complete the project.

Before the commencement of this exercise, the data processing officers (DPOs) were challenged by the Regional Returning Officer John Itanu, to do a thorough work on the updating of the preliminary rolls.

The DPOs were also reminded that the number of the eligible voters that will be casting their votes in this election will depend on how accurately they have entered the names of those that had filled in their claim for enrolment forms.

After the completion of data entry, preliminary rolls will be distributed to all constituencies, Council of Elders and District Offices for public scrutiny.

Those eligible voters who do not have their names on the common roll will now enroll for inclusion in the final Common roll.

It is anticipated that the writs will be issued at the end of March, 2015.

BOUGAINVILLE PUBLIC SERVICE DEDICATED

BY JENNIFER NKUI

The Autonomous Bougainville Government dedicated for the first time the Bougainville Public Service and its public servants in a dedication service today.

The dedication service under the theme “A Call to Serve under God’s Leadership” was the initiative of the chief secretary Monovi Amani and was held at the Hutjena Secondary School hall and was attended by all public servants.

Pastor Kepsi Elodo who is also the president of the Seventh Day Adventist church in the region flew in last week Friday for the dedication service.

When presenting his sermon for the occasion, Pr. Elodo stressed to the public servants that as public servants, they were called to serve God’s people of Bougainville.

He challenged them saying the interest of the people of Bougainville must be served because God gave them the strength, wisdom and knowledge so they must do their best.

Under the topic “A Call to Serve under God’s Leadership” Pr. Elodo revealed that because God knows our past, present and future, it is appropriate for public servants to work under God’s leadership because God knows the way.

He said challenges for this year may be greater than the challenges faced last year but he reminded the public servants that God is interested in them and that he will take care of them.

He again challenged the Bougainville public servants saying everything that they do, whether in secret or in public is never hidden from God and if they are not judged by the law of this land, they will be judged by the law of heaven.

In conclusion, Pr. Elodo urged and encouraged the public servants to stop the practice of corruption, to remain faithful to their spouses, to attend church services regularly, to read the bible and to pray often because by doing so God will bless them, their families, their work, the Bougainville Public Service and the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

After the sermon, the public servants were asked to hold hands and form a big circle as Pr. Elodo offered a prayer of dedication for the public servants, the Bougainville Public Service and the ABG.

CALL TO RELOCATE LEMANMANU HEALTH CENTRE

BY JENNIFER NKUI

The Lemanmanu Health Centre in Haku constituency should be relocated according to Chief Hendry Onsa.

He told New Dawn Fm in an interview today that there is a land issue going on at the moment and the people of Haku constituency are concerned because the landowners sometimes force the closure of the health centre.

He said recently the ambulance belonging to the health centre was taken by a local who claimed that he was not paid by the officers of Lemanmanu health centre for hiring his car.

He added that this issue of land ownership has been going on for 20 years now and he is therefore calling on the government and the health department to fast track the relocation of the health centre to Hagogohe.

Chief Onsa revealed that an agreement has been signed already by the chiefs of Hagogohe and he is also calling on Dr. Anthony Pumpara to fast track the relocation of the health centre because the people are tired of waiting.

He said the proposal for the health centre to be relocated was done fifteen years ago and it has never been implemented.

He added that the landowner issue is still there and the only way to solve the problem is to relocate the Lemanmanu health centre to Hagogohe.

PUBLIC SERVANTS ARE PRIVILIGED

BY JENNIFER NKUI

Bougainville public servants are privileged to be in the position that they are in, says the ABG chief secretary Monovi Amani.

Speaking during the Bougainville Public Service dedication service this morning, the head of the Bougainville Public Service stressed that public servants are privileged to be employed by the ABG because if they can look around them, they can see that there are a lot of young, educated and matured Bougainvilleans who are still out on the streets.

He added that as public servants, they are so privileged because at the end of two weeks, they get to take home their finances to share with their families.

He said they have heard a very important message on servant hood from Pastor Kepsi Elodo and because of the occasion’s importance, the dedication service will be held every year from today.

He stressed that it is important that the dedication service be held every year to re-educate the public service which is the machinery for the government of the day.

Mr. Amani revealed that the gathering of public servants today is all about putting God first every day under God’s leadership.

He said under God’s leadership, there are certain conditions and rules that they as public servants must abide by.

He then asked the public servants to honour the government of the day saying if they do so, they will also honour the people of Bougainville.

Bougainville Health News: PNG researchers discover a treatment that completely cures one of the most common strains of malaria

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Australian and Papua New Guinean researchers say they have discovered a treatment that completely cures one of the most common strains of malaria worldwide. This could be good news for Bougainville.

Malaria is one of the world’s most prevalent diseases, affecting about 200 million people.

There have been successes and failures trying to combat the disease, but now a group of Australian and Papua New Guinean researchers believe they have developed a treatment that can completely cure one of the most common strains.

WATCH VIDEO HERE

By combining two drugs, and giving it to patients over three days, the researchers found the treatment completely eliminated the vivax strain of malaria.

The trial was led by Papua New Guinean medical doctor Moses Laman as part of a PHD he has been undertaking.

The 36-year-old, who was raised in rural Papua New Guinea, knows intimately what it’s like to have malaria

“I’ve even been admitted to hospital as a child for malaria at least twice in rural PNG, and that’s tough,” he said.

The Papua New Guinean researcher said he was excited about what he and his colleagues discovered after two years of field tests in Papua New Guinea.

“It’s satisfying to not only see our work, but all the other malaria research, and the time and effort and planning that malaria has recently attracted globally,” he said.

“The incidence[s] of malaria globally, not just in Papua New Guinea, have been declining so as someone who has come from an endemic setting it’s satisfying to see.”

Although the number of cases may be falling, a child still dies of malaria every minute in Africa according to the World Health Organisation.

Dr Laman and his team trialled their treatment on 250 children over two years in PNG and found they could kill the vivax malaria parasite in the children.

Normally the parasite hides in the liver, re-emerging to attack the host again and again.

But this treatment breaks that cycle.

Vivax malaria is not usually lethal, but it can make a child anaemic and vulnerable to other diseases.

Dr Laman’s study was supervised by veteran malaria researcher Professor Tim Davis from the University of Western Australia’s school of medicine and pharmacology.

Professor Davis said vivax malaria was a devastating disease that affected many of the world’s developing countries.

“Malaria is a disease of poverty and contributes to poverty and it makes it difficult for young children to develop normally if they’re recurrently unwell with infections like malaria,” he said.

 

 

Bougainville Women’s News: Strengthening the participation of women in Bougainville’s development

BW

The Challenge: Prior to the conflict, Bougainville women played vital roles in community-level decision-making and were key agents of development. Overall, women held important positions in the family and community. Since the conflict this role has been weakened, resulting in women being marginalised from community decision-making processes. Further, during the conflict, women suffered violence as victims of torture, rape, and forced labour. The weakened capacity of women as agents of development within their communities and the low capacity of government departments working at the local level are widely viewed as significant challenges to development efforts

View the World Bank Website for more

Overview

Located at the eastern-most point of the New Guinea islands, Bougainville comprises two large and many smaller islands. It has a population of approximately 200,000 and over a dozen different languages. A province of Papua New Guinea since 1975, Bougainville is now an autonomous region within the country — the result of a nine-year revolt that left tens of thousands killed, a divided and traumatised population, degraded infrastructure, and a shattered economy brought on by the collapse of its main industry, mining.

Solution               

The Inclusive Development in Post-Conflict Bougainville project will benefit women and women’s organisations across the autonomous region as well as communities where projects are implemented and the individuals and agencies who are trained under the project.

The project consists of three components:

  1. Building Capacity for Inclusive Community Development; training women’s organisations and civil society organisations to support the involvement of women in community development. Training is provided for staff in the government, district and sub-district levels.
  2. Small Grants for Inclusive Community Development; women’s groups are invited to apply the concepts and skills they have learned from training directly to the design and implementation of community-based projects through the availability of small grants.
  3. Project Management and Knowledge Sharing.

 

Results

Through component 1, training has been delivered to 450 participants, exceeding the goal of 400 in the implementation plan.  Over two thirds of the participants have been women, exceeding the target of about 40%.  There were 51 participants from the Public Service which exceeds the goal of 46 as well as 190 participants from CSOs which exceeded the goal of 152.

Through component 2, small grants have been awarded to 41 women’s groups, including at least one project in each of Bougainville’s 13 districts. People benefitting from completed grant projects are estimated at over 48,000, nearly 25% of the population.

An Independent Monitoring Group concluded that public goods from the project are reaching communities with overall sound management of funds and that women’s roles are being strengthened through their direct management, ownership and leadership in the whole process.

 

Bank contribution

The World Bank (State and Peace-building Fund) has contributed US$2.5 million for this project

 

Moving forward

With the project currently set to close in March 2015, plans are underway to secure additional financing to extend the project to March 2018. Additional financing would support the provision of two more rounds of small grants to women’s groups, one per round for each of the 41 Community Governments.  Training would continue to build the capacity of women’s groups while also engaging District officials and Community Government leaders more actively in development planning monitoring and implementation support.

Promotion/Advertising : Donate here to support www.bookgainville.com educating young girls throughout Bougainville

Bookgainville  Project on Bougainville PNG

 

Bougainville International News: USA Pacific fleet partnership to benefit Bougainville

USA
BY JENNIFER NKUI

A site survey team from the United States Pacific Fleet will be arriving in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville this week.
According to a statement from the US embassy in Port Moresby, the team hopes to survey potential areas for U.S assistance in Arawa, Central Bougainville under a programme called the Pacific Partnership.


Pacific Partnership was founded to deliver humanitarian assistance and disaster resilience to the pacific nations following the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.
Its potential activities range from medical, dental, veterinarian care to construction projects and crisis response training. Papua New Guinea benefited most recently in Wewak and Vanimo in 2013 and this year’s engagement is planned for Bougainville and Rabaul.


The programme as revealed by the statement is a great opportunity to expand people to people ties with the United States and deliver benefits for the people of Bougainville.

Bougainville Education and Health News: New report -A lost decade? Service Delivery and reforms in Papua New Guinea

photo (9)

The positive results revealed by the survey not only show that progress in service delivery is possible in Papua New Guinea, but also show how progress can be made. A large chunk of the report is devoted to understanding the impact (or lack of impact) of recent reforms, such as free health and education, and the reasons for the differences and trends that we observe”

Launched at the ANU Canberra Australia by Mr Charles Lepani Papua New Guinea High Commissioner to Australia

Picture Colin Cowell Bougainville News; Canberra

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT HERE , A lost decade? Service delivery and reforms in Papua New Guinea,

How to make service delivery work in Bougainville and Papua New Guinea

A report based on two surveys ten years apart and two years of analysis has been  by a team of researchers from the National Research Institute (NRI) and The Australian National University (ANU).

In 2002, the Papua New Guinea National Research Institute (NRI), in collaboration with the World Bank, surveyed some 330 primary schools and health clinics across the country, from the national capital to the most remote districts. In 2012, NRI, this time in collaboration with the Development Policy Centre at ANU, went back to many of the same primary schools and health clinics in the same eight provinces, this time surveying a total of about 360 facilities.

The end-product is a data set of unprecedented detail and depth in relation to service delivery in PNG. Indeed, very few countries around the world can boast of a panel survey of facilities of this type which enables comparisons to be made over time.

The NRI-ANU research team has spent the last two years analysing the data sets,

PEPEcover-213x300

The report, A lost decade? Service delivery and reforms in Papua New Guinea, shows that PNG’s primary schools have expanded rapidly over the last decade, but that fewer services are now provided by its health clinics.

Since the difficulties of service delivery in PNG are already well-known, what is perhaps more interesting are the areas of progress shown in the report. There were 89 per cent more children enrolled in the average PNG primary school in 2012 compared to 2001. Whereas there used to be one girl at primary school for every two boys, now there is almost one girl for every boy. The number of teachers has grown by a third over the decade, and the share of female teachers has grown from a quarter to a half. The number of ghost teachers (teachers claiming pay but not actually working) has fallen dramatically. The average school has more and better classrooms, teacher houses and textbooks. More have drinking water and electricity.

Of course, PNG’s primary schools and – to a much greater extent – health clinics still face many challenges. A third of classrooms require rebuilding: the same share as in 2002. Class sizes have increased a lot, and there are broader concerns about the quality of education on offer. Though the number of children in school has certainly increased, absenteeism has risen.

Nevertheless, the positive results revealed by the survey not only show that progress in service delivery is possible in Papua New Guinea, but also show how progress can be made. A large chunk of the report is devoted to understanding the impact (or lack of impact) of recent reforms, such as free health and education, and the reasons for the differences and trends that we observe.

Getting finances to the service delivery front-line stands out as critical. A lot more funds are reaching schools today than health clinics. About 40 per cent of health clinics receive no external support at all (in cash or in kind), whereas nearly all schools receive the twice-yearly subsidy payments. And schools receive more than twice as much funding than they did ten years ago, even after inflation. What they have lost in school fees they have more than made up for through generous government support.

Local governance and supervision also matter. Schools have mature and increasingly powerful Boards of Management which provide local oversight. They receive community support through P&C Committees. And most schools are inspected.

Resolving workforce issues is also key. The Education Department has been able to hire new teachers, whereas many retired health workers continue in place since there is no-one to replace them. Significantly, about half the health workers we interviewed felt they were not being paid at the correct grade. That was true of teachers ten years ago, but now it is only 10 per cent. Again, progress is possible.

In summary, getting funding to the front line, providing community and administrative oversight, and sorting out human resource problems seems to be the secret for the success of PNG’s primary schools. It is a recipe that could be applied more to primary health care, perhaps starting at the bigger district-level facilities.

Regular monitoring of basic data across PNG is critical for understanding what is working, what isn’t working, and why. Without it, we will be in the dark about service delivery. We look forward to the discussion that we hope our report will generate. In our next phase of research, we’ll be going back into the field to undertake more detailed case studies to better understand the conditions required for service delivery success. And perhaps in another five years or so we’ll be able to further develop this unique data set by undertaking another nationwide facility survey.

The PNG Promoting Effective Public Expenditure Project

A lost decade? Service delivery and reforms in Papua New Guinea 2002-2012

Stephen Howes, Andrew Anton Mako, Anthony Swan, Grant Walton, Thomas Webster and Colin Wiltshire
October 2014
This report presents the results of a 2012 survey of 360 primary schools and health clinics across eight provinces in PNG, from the nation’s capital to its most far-flung and inaccessible regions. Many of the same facilities were surveyed at the start of the decade. By combining the two surveys, we can assess progress on health and education service delivery over time, and analyse the impact of important policy reforms.

Professor Stephen Howes is Director of the Development Policy Centre. Andrew Anton Mako was a Research Fellow at NRI for most of the duration of this project. Dr Grant Walton and Dr Anthony Swan are Research Fellows at the Development Policy Centre. Dr Thomas Webster is the Director of the National Research Institute. Colin Wiltshire is the Project Manager for the PEPE project at the Development Policy Centre.

 

Bougainville “good news” Story: 2014 has been a very progressive year for Central Bougainville

Pic 1

The current government’s free education policy has seen increase in the number enrolments at schools around Central Bougainville. Numbers of schools are also on the increase and this means that more money must continue to put into education every year. Bougainville has missed out on education during the crisis and we have to bridge the gap created when children could not go to school during the troubled period.

What we need is a broader based economy instead of just relying on extractive industries that may run out one day. One of the biggest assets Bougainville has is its people who are creative and innovative. This is why there must be emphasis in putting a lot of money into education.

Picture above : A new classroom building funded by member for Central Bougainville, Jimmy Miringtoro at Raiovi Primary School Wakunai District, Our thanks to Chris Baria for assistance with this article

Good things ahead-On the Sunny Side

This year 2014 has been a very progressive year for Central Bougainville. The region started the year on a positive note with the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Peter O’Neill visiting all three regions of Bougainville including Central. During his visit he made a commitment to the people of Bougainville to fund high impact projects, several of which are in Central Bougainville.

Map 2

These are the water and sanitation restoration for Arawa Town, the Aropa Airport re-opening and the other major project is of course the sealing of Bougainville Coastal Trunk from Buka to Buin.

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This is a clear indication of commitment that the National Government with the support our four Bougainville MPs has a strong desire to see the Autonomous Region of Bougainville prosper in the coming years.

We have come a long way since the peace agreement was signed and there is a lot to be done as yet for Bougainville to achieve what was agreed to in the peace process. In Central Bougainville we have devoted a lot of time and money in improving education by providing more classrooms to accommodate ever increasing number enrolments in schools in the bid to bridge the gap left by the Bougainville crisis.

Education is one of the priority sectors that the government is putting money into along with Health, Infrastructure Development, Law and Order and Business Development. Health centers and aid-posts are also receiving funds from my electoral office. The police in Arawa have benefited from a vehicle allocation from the office of Member for Central as part of his community efforts to enhance the law and order sector. Funding has also been made available to the local Business Association as a form of assistance to grow small businesses in Central Bougainville.

Rural Communications Project and Integrated Government Information System (IGIS)

The government has already rolled out a rural communications project. You many have noticed new towers set up in areas that were not formerly serviced by mobile phone network. By the end of 2015 the government hopes that Bougainville will have more than 50% mobile network coverage that will include data, Internet and telephony. By 2016 Bougainville should have 100% mobile network coverage including remote and rural locations, which are not service by roads.

The main aim of the Rural Communications Project is to provide access to telecommunications and other ICT services including TV, internet, FM Radio and Data storage and transmission to rural and remote locations that lack these services.

The government has also established the “integrated government information system” or IGIS for short. This is the forerunner of e-government for Papua New Guinea. Under this ICT infrastructure all government departments and divisions will be interlinked through a computer network, which also has a data bank. This will prevent duplication and enable data and information sharing with ease.

Information can be stored at central location where those who need it and/or if they require it. The Rural Communication Project roll out will establish communication network that will become integrated into IGIS and link up all local level governments with the main government network and data center. This will mean that leaders will have to be more transparent in their work because the people will be able to monitor their performance online through IGIS.

Supporting sustainable development

Papua New Guinea is heavily reliant on logging, minerals, oil and gas for its revenue generation. These industries while they may bring economic boom to a country do have large problems associated with them and for one thing they are non-renewable, and finite and therefore unsustainable. Central Bougainville has had its taste of mining activity during the 70s and 80s.

What we need is a broader based economy instead of just relying on extractive industries that may run out one day. One of the biggest assets Bougainville has is its people who are creative and innovative. This is why there must be emphasis in putting a lot of money into education.

The current government’s free education policy has seen increase in the number enrolments at schools around Central Bougainville. Numbers of schools are also on the increase and this means that more money must continue to put into education every year. Bougainville has missed out on education during the crisis and we have to bridge the gap created when children could not go to school during the troubled period.

Kindles a revolutionary literacy tool in Bougainville schools

In another first for Central Bougainville and in fact Papua New Guinea,James Tanis (former Bougainville President) has established Book-Gain-Ville E reader Revolution in a number of schools in Central Bougainville including Nariana, St. Judes Pok Pok Island, Dareenai Kavearonau and Piruana .

It was launched as  an initiative to improve literacy throughout Bougainville.

Bookgainville.com

Each Kindle can hold up to 1,400 books and by the end of 2014 there will over 50 kindles in 11 Bougainville schools. To date there has been no government support but hopefully in 2015 with the support of Government and NGO’s more schools can get these E reader libraries

See Website for more details or make a donation  http://www.bookgainville.com/

Government Development Priorities

As part of its continuing commitment the National Government development policy covers five development sectors, which are in, line with its Medium Term Development Plan (MTDP). These are also applicable to Bougainville. These sectors are Health, Education, Infrastructure, Law and Order and Small Business. In line with this plan Bougainville MPs have funded a number of health facilities. In Central this includes Manetai and Wakunai Health Centres and a number of village level aid posts in the rural communities.

PiC 3

In the health sector, the office of MP for in Central has also funded ambulances to all major health centres in Central Bougainville. More money has been spent on building classrooms and other school infrastructure to cater for the increase in the number of enrolments over the years.

With regard to infrastructure, considerable amount of money is being used on feeder road maintenance including, for the first time a new road into remote and densely populated area in Paruparu previously inaccessible by road. A considerable level of funds has also allocated to restoration of Aropa Airport, which is about to be opened soon. PNG Power also received funding to provide power to Arawa town, Kieta port and to the new Kieta Distict entre in Toniva. Up to K1million has been committed to the Central Bougainville Business Association to assist small business in the region.

Looking ahead

Pic 5

Children are our future

Lot of work has been done to provide much needed infrastructure such as roads, schools, and of course the soon be reopened Aropa Airport. Services such as health and education continue to more draw more funds from the government through my electoral office and the treasury.

A lot more needs to be done to improve current services and to build more roads and schools. The government is ready to help out in anyway it can. However, there are certain areas where the community can contribute to the development process. For example, in order for feeder roads to last longer, drains need to kept clear of debris and grass has to be cut along the roadside. A little preventive maintenance can make a lot of difference.

Same goes for schools. Parents and community must devote sometime to do maintenance work, cleaning and grass-cutting in the school areas. The community must help to look after what the government has provided for them. The government cannot be expected to do everything. In order for us to move ahead it requires joint effort by all.

Bougainville Government Update: New Public Service must now be responsive to the direction of Cabinet and the House

President Momis

“I am looking for to having these appointments made quickly and transparently. It is vital that the Administration gets down to work under the new Public Service structure and new leadership. Our government has a very full programme of infrastructure, economic development and social projects that need to be implemented down at the districts.” said President Momis.  “We have wasted too much time in the past and the Public Service must now be responsive to the direction of Cabinet and the House.”

President Momis as Chairman of the Bougainville Senior Appointments Committee

BOUGAINVILLE PUBLIC SERVICES SELECTION PROCESS BEGINS

President Momis has announced that the process for selecting the top level management for the ABG had commenced. Advertising closed just over two weeks ago.

“I am delighted to say that as a result of extensive advertising the ABG has received a large number of applications, over 160, from a wide range of candidates for the positions of Chief Secretary, 13 departmental heads and the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner. Most positions have over 10 applicants,” said the President.

President Momis went on to say “The Bougainville Senior Appointments Committee has approved a process that will see the shortlisted candidates for Chief Secretary interviewed by an independent panel of three people who will make their recommendations to the Committee. Preliminary interviews are taking place, and referee checks will be made. The Committee is planning to make an appointment before Christmas. The selection process is rigorous. There will be no outside interference in the process.”

“I am hoping and praying that the people we select for these positions imbued with the spirit of service to the people of Bougainville. They have to work together to change the culture of the Public Service. They need to earn the support of the people and change Bougainville to its former position of being the best performing and premier government in Papua New Guinea” said the President

Once the Chief Secretary is appointed the Senior Appointments Committee will meet in January and February next year to make the remaining appointments of departmental heads. This is a realistic timetable given the number of applicants and the background checks that have to be made in the next five weeks.

The Bougainville Senior Appointments Committee is made up of President Momis, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Andrew Miriki, Bishop Tim Arthur representing the churches, Mrs Hona Hollan appointed by the Bougainville Women’s Federation and appointed by the PNG Law Society Mr Hubert Kikira. Under Bougainville law the Committee will receive a report from the independent panel ranking the applicants. The Committee may then decide to reinterview the candidates but it does not have to. The Committee then selects the preferred candidate.

The position of Bougainville Electoral Commissioner will also be filled before Christmas. The Bougainville Constitution says that for constitutional offices the National Government must appoint two members to the Committee. The additional members are the Secretary of the Department of Personnel Management Mr John Kali and the PNG Electoral Commissioner Mr Andrew Trawen.

“I am looking for to having these appointments made quickly and transparently. It is vital that the Administration gets down to work under the new Public Service structure and new leadership. Our government has a very full programme of infrastructure, economic development and social projects that need to be implemented down at the districts.” said President Momis.  “We have wasted too much time in the past and the Public Service must now be responsive to the direction of Cabinet and the House.”

 

JOHN MOMIS, GCL, MHR,

PRESIDENT AND CHAIRMAN BOUGAINVILLE SENIOR APPOINTMENTS COMMITTEE

Tuesday 25 November 2014

 

Bougainville News : A lost decade? Service delivery and reforms in Papua New Guinea

JM PO

“The positive results revealed by the survey not only show that progress in service delivery is possible in Papua New Guinea, but also show how progress can be made. A large chunk of the report is devoted to understanding the impact (or lack of impact) of recent reforms, such as free health and education, and the reasons for the differences and trends that we observe.”

The full report, a summary, and a two-page overview are available here.

A report based on two surveys ten years apart and two years of analysis has been  by a team of researchers from the National Research Institute (NRI) and The Australian National University (ANU).

In 2002, the Papua New Guinea National Research Institute (NRI), in collaboration with the World Bank, surveyed some 330 primary schools and health clinics across the country, from the national capital to the most remote districts. In 2012, NRI, this time in collaboration with the Development Policy Centre at ANU, went back to many of the same primary schools and health clinics in the same eight provinces, this time surveying a total of about 360 facilities.

The end-product is a data set of unprecedented detail and depth in relation to service delivery in PNG. Indeed, very few countries around the world can boast of a panel survey of facilities of this type which enables comparisons to be made over time.

The NRI-ANU research team has spent the last two years analysing the data sets, and today released their results at the report launch at the NRI campus in Port Moresby.

The report, A lost decade? Service delivery and reforms in Papua New Guinea, shows that PNG’s primary schools have expanded rapidly over the last decade, but that fewer services are now provided by its health clinics.

Since the difficulties of service delivery in PNG are already well-known, what is perhaps more interesting are the areas of progress shown in the report. There were 89 per cent more children enrolled in the average PNG primary school in 2012 compared to 2001. Whereas there used to be one girl at primary school for every two boys, now there is almost one girl for every boy. The number of teachers has grown by a third over the decade, and the share of female teachers has grown from a quarter to a half. The number of ghost teachers (teachers claiming pay but not actually working) has fallen dramatically. The average school has more and better classrooms, teacher houses and textbooks. More have drinking water and electricity.

Of course, PNG’s primary schools and – to a much greater extent – health clinics still face many challenges. A third of classrooms require rebuilding: the same share as in 2002. Class sizes have increased a lot, and there are broader concerns about the quality of education on offer. Though the number of children in school has certainly increased, absenteeism has risen.

Nevertheless, the positive results revealed by the survey not only show that progress in service delivery is possible in Papua New Guinea, but also show how progress can be made. A large chunk of the report is devoted to understanding the impact (or lack of impact) of recent reforms, such as free health and education, and the reasons for the differences and trends that we observe.

Getting finances to the service delivery front-line stands out as critical. A lot more funds are reaching schools today than health clinics. About 40 per cent of health clinics receive no external support at all (in cash or in kind), whereas nearly all schools receive the twice-yearly subsidy payments. And schools receive more than twice as much funding than they did ten years ago, even after inflation. What they have lost in school fees they have more than made up for through generous government support.

Local governance and supervision also matter. Schools have mature and increasingly powerful Boards of Management which provide local oversight. They receive community support through P&C Committees. And most schools are inspected.

Resolving workforce issues is also key. The Education Department has been able to hire new teachers, whereas many retired health workers continue in place since there is no-one to replace them. Significantly, about half the health workers we interviewed felt they were not being paid at the correct grade. That was true of teachers ten years ago, but now it is only 10 per cent. Again, progress is possible.

In summary, getting funding to the front line, providing community and administrative oversight, and sorting out human resource problems seems to be the secret for the success of PNG’s primary schools. It is a recipe that could be applied more to primary health care, perhaps starting at the bigger district-level facilities.

Regular monitoring of basic data across PNG is critical for understanding what is working, what isn’t working, and why. Without it, we will be in the dark about service delivery. We look forward to the discussion that we hope our report will generate. In our next phase of research, we’ll be going back into the field to undertake more detailed case studies to better understand the conditions required for service delivery success. And perhaps in another five years or so we’ll be able to further develop this unique data set by undertaking another nationwide facility survey.

Professor Stephen Howes is Director of the Development Policy Centre. Andrew Anton Mako was a Research Fellow at NRI for most of the duration of this project. Dr Grant Walton and Dr Anthony Swan are Research Fellows at the Development Policy Centre. Dr Thomas Webster is the Director of the National Research Institute. Colin Wiltshire is the Project Manager for the PEPE project at the Development Policy Centre.

The NRI-ANU PNG Promoting Effective Public Expenditure (PEPE) project aims to understand how Papua New Guinea allocates its public funds and how these funds are provided to and used by those responsible for delivering basic services. PEPE is supported by the Australian aid program through the Economic and Public Sector Program (EPSP).

The full report, a summary, and a two-page overview are available here.

Our previous blog posts on PEPE research are collected here.

Bougainvile Education News: Applications now open for prestigious Australia Awards scholarships

Applications now open

 

 

James Hall, the Australian High Commission’s Minister Counsellor with representatives from the PNG Assembly of Disabled Persons at their bi-annual conference held in Port Moresby.

On 1 October, the Australian High Commission opened applications for the prestigious Australia Awards scholarships. PNG’s next generation of leaders will have an opportunity to undertake tertiary study, research or professional development in Australia in 2016.

The Australia Awards team will conduct promotional roadshows across the country about the Awards. Visits will include provinces that have not been well represented in previous years including the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Further information about the Australia Awards can be found at: www.australiaawards.org.pg

The first Australia Awards information session was held on Friday 3 October at the regional PNG Assembly of Disabled Persons meeting in Port Moresby. Factsheets, information booklets and posters were provided to each representative to disseminate through their regional disability networks.

Australia’s Minister Counsellor for Development Cooperation, Mr James Hall said, “More than 2000 Papua New Guineans have participated in the Australia Awards program since 1996 and are making a significant contribution to the future of PNG. This year, women, people living with a disability, and people living and working in the provinces are particularly encouraged to apply.”

“I would urge you all to reach out to young Papua New Guineans, especially those living with a disability, and support them to pursue an opportunity of a lifetime by applying for an Award,” Mr Hall said.

The Australia Awards program is an initiative of the Australian Government. The Australia Awards aim to contribute to PNG’s long term development needs by awarding scholarships in areas that align with PNG’s development partnership with Australia including health, education and law and justice.

Scholarships are highly competitive with selection based on academic ability, leadership, employment record, the developmental benefit of the proposed field of study, and overall preparedness to study in Australia. Each year the Australian Government offers around 150 Australia Award scholarships. At least fifty percent of these will be awarded to women.

Applications close on 16 February 2015. The Australia Awards team will conduct promotional roadshows across the country about the Awards. Visits will include provinces that have not been well represented in previous years including Manus, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, East Sepik, Enga, West New Britain, Gulf, and Oro. Further information about the Australia Awards can be found at: www.australiaawards.org.pg

The Australia Awards PNG Information Centre is equipped with institutional handbooks and internet access to help potential applicants research courses. Staff are available to provide assistance with applications and to assist alumni to look for employment where they can apply their newly obtained skills. The centre is located in Port Tower, Hunter St, Port Moresby, and is open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm.

And do not forget our current project for our young kids to get this opportunity  ; DONATE TODAY

Bookgainville  Project on Bougainville PNG

Bougainville voice of Simon Pentanu”let not outsiders pit us against ourselves”

A Bougainville voice:

Simon Pentanu

AUSTRALIAN NGO Jubilee Australia published a report in September on views held by villagers near the mine on the re-opening of the Panguna mine in Bougainville.

SEE OUR REPORT and reports in Bougainville24

Jubilee, which claims to be a “scientific research body”, prepared the report jointly with two highly partisan organisations, the International State Crime Initiative and the Bismarck Ramu Group.

Kristian Lasslett, an Ulster-based Australian academic who is a constant purveyor of attacks on the Bougainville leadership, generally with little or no evidence, was heavily involved in the preparation and writing of the report.

In response to criticism of the report in the social media, Lasslett has defended himself and Jubilee notably in posts on the PNG Mine Watch blog (run by the Bismarck Ramu Group) and on Facebook’s Bougainville Forum.

Australians, Vicki Johns and Dantares Midway Jones (aka Andrew Jones) and Australian-based Bougainvillean, Clive Porabou, have all joined Lasslett in defending the report on the Bougainville Forum.

Jubilee and these others domiciled abroad will have us believe that they know more about Bougainville than anyone living on Bougainville and that they are privy to the personal views of the majority of Bougainvilleans today, including mine site landowners.

The spread of these dubious “research findings” in Australia can be likened to a new malady that is about to hit Canberra, the cure for which only the bearers of the ill tidings possess and can administer.

Jubilee is at the forefront and is in this for exposure and publicity, not for the benefit of Bougainville.

Every time these desktop researchers return to their own countries after a very brief foray into their own mystical Bougainville, they carry a hastily packaged fantasy that reveals the ‘undeniable truth’ about what the majority of Bougainvilleans think about Panguna.

Jubilee is in Australia. They believe that a brief visit by anti-mining Bougainville researchers to Panguna, armed with questions to which they already ‘know’ the answers, provides better credentials than they had as remote-controlled observers of Bougainville from afar.

After ticking off their questionnaires, the organisation can make a jubilant exit, highly satisfied that their “research” confirms what they always believed.

With a prejudice and orientation against anything and everybody engaged in, or supportive of, what they see as the sordid business of mining, organisations like this will always be predisposed to searching and commenting to satisfy and confirm their very own views, which they can then confidently sell to Canberra.

Kristian Lasslett works and schemes from Ulster in Northern Ireland (UK). On matters concerning Bougainville he is the self-made expert – chopping, pasting and moulding Bougainville like plasticine to be forced into his desired shape and form.

Like the operatives at Jubilee, he drives a metal car, flies in metal planes and eats, I assume, mainly with metal cutlery. He and the Jubilee operatives do not suffer from metal fatigue, despite their disdain for industries that extract useful minerals.

Kristian will swear by his comments and views, defend them and feed them to anyone who likes to lap up tales of deceit and conspiracy against Bougainville by mining giants and governments.

At best he is a socialist, born to save the world’s downtrodden. At worst he is a Trotskyite, peddling and romanticising his thoughts around Melanesia.

He is a smooth operator, armed with mind-boggling academic qualifications, but why should PNG and Bougainville take notice of him?

He does not add value to our attempts to resolve our issues on Bougainville island, or in PNG for that matter. His activities simply feed his own ambitions.

He tells us that he knows Bougainville from the 1960s, though his appearance indicates he was barely an adolescent at the time of the Bougainville crisis.

He arrived after the crisis, well after the peace process took hold, only to collect the crumbs when the smorgasbord was over. This is obvious in his comments about wanting to return to Bougainville’s past. Bougainvilleans be warned: this fellow cannot be trusted.

There’s little I can say about Vikki John. I believe she’s relatively harmless because I understand she rarely expresses her own views, assuming she has some. Apparently, her function is to cut, paste and disseminate any anti-mining material she comes across, in order to alert poor, ignorant Bougainvilleans to the dangers of doing further business with notoriously nasty mining companies.

I don’t know who DAntares Midway Jones (aka Andrew Jones) is, but I gather he has been searching for his ancestry/roots, as his interchanging name suggests.

He has suddenly splashed himself onto the Bougainville scene with grandiose ideas for the salvation of the island and its population. He believes he has a profound proposal to rid Bougainville of its muddled past.

He proposes a Peoples Tribunal with draft terms of reference comprising Bougainvilleans who will preside as judge, jury, prosecutor and terminator. He even has a Tribunal Facebook page.

He claims he has aboriginal ancestry. He dons a Fidel Castro type cap, is clad in khaki clothes with an Australian Aboriginal flag badge sewn on the breast and he sports a Fidel Castro beard. He is calm, cool and does not flinch at his critics.

I don’t know where he popped up from. He says he made a single visit to Bougainville, a lone trip that has convinced him that he knows Bougainville well enough to insert a Tribunal there to disable the culprits responsible for the island’s demise.

He has some strange ideas about what might be best for Bougainville. He impresses me as someone who has probably been wandering around admiring rock drawings in arid caves and sacred aboriginal sites and suddenly thinks he is sufficiently indigenous to transplant himself into another traditional society like Bougainville.

Clive Porabou is the next best thing to cheese, biscuits and shiraz. Just as these tasty and intoxicating items make party conversation flow freely, Clive’s presence and discussion with the likes of the people I have mentioned above make their adrenalin flow from both excitement and anger.

Clive lives abroad and, for those who have no personal experience on Bougainville, he is the Bougainville expatriate expert who satisfies the appetite of a certain mould of Australian academic, environmentalist, social psycho and welfare benefactor.

Always with an acoustic guitar in hand, he longs for the day when Bougainville might be governed by Me’ekamui, financed by Noah Musingku’s new Bougainville currency.

Hearing from Clive is enough to convince most non-Bougainvilleans that they have a duty to rescue Bougainville from bondage, and the government outfit to accomplish this is the version of Me’ekamui that Clive peddles abroad.

In truth, the Me’ekamui in central Bougainville have been consulting and beginning to work and cooperate with the Autonomous Bougainville Gobvernment (ABG), which was always bound to happen.

I can’t be too critical of Clive, because in his heart of hearts he will always remain a true Bougainvillean, but suspicious of his expat friends. It suits him fine if they are gullible enough to believe him, because as long as this unfortunate business lasts, he can continue to enjoy peace and a relatively convivial lifestyle offshore.

Take heart, the reason why most Bougainvilleans won’t whinge about, or flinch at, research that is carried out overnight from abroad is because it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.

If you were to enter the same Bougainville communities in the same locations and conduct your own research to extract a ‘yes to mining’ response, you would get it. It really depends on how the comments and questions are framed. The Jubilee research is simply a means to an end.

Jubilee, Kristian, Andrew Jones and all of these parties will always support such research and support each other. They are birds of a feather, flocking, scheming and screeching together. As some Bougainvilleans have commented in the Bougainville Facebook forum, this is all “bullshit”.

The ABG must make the Australian government aware that Jubilee is going to the Australian Parliament entirely of its own accord, without the knowledge, authority or respect of the ABG and most Bougainvilleans.

If we are not careful and if the ABG turns a blind eye, the confusion, disunity and anger these people can generate could pit Bougainvillean against Bougainvillean, community against community, clans and families against each other, and even the people against their leaders and government.

These are people coming into a society they really don’t know much about or understand. They are attempting to ride roughshod over the programs and projects the ABG and landowners have been involved in towards resolving every issue in Panguna.

There has been steady progress towards addressing many outstanding Panguna grievances that affect everyone, not just the sampling of villages Jubilee has selectively interviewed.

There are senior ministers in the Abbott government, like foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop, who always have an ear and heart for Bougainville. There is no reason why the president and senior bureaucrats who have the carriage of different aspects and areas of discussion over Panguna, e.g. Steve Burain, Raymond Masono and advisers like Dr Naihuwo Ahai, cannot approach Canberra and confront the Jubilee research.

This is how absurd it is: Jubilee operatives come to Bougainville, do their fact finding visit up the road, fold up all the work and turn up in Canberra unbeknownst to ABG and most of Bougainville.

They do not even have the courtesy to call on the authorities on Bougainville to explain or share what they have done. If this is not conspiracy against ABG, for reasons only known to themselves, then I don’t know what it is.

There is a real risk that foreign elements that have no responsibility or obligations on Bougainville and that are not accountable to anyone can derail fifteen years of peace process and reconciliation achieved without meddling from uninvited offbeat academics, latter day NGOs, busybodies and socialites that have nothing better to do in their own countries.

If they have nothing to contribute to their own governments and people, it is hard to accept the claim that their reconnaissance on Bougainville will enhance our future.

Bookgainville  Project on Bougainville PNG