Children in a field

Joint district assessments and political context analysis in PNG

9 December 2015

Photo source: Kud Sitango, Lower kaugel Alkena road

In partnership with CARE PNG, Colin Wiltshire, Thiago Oppermann and Theresa Meki have recently undertaken joint district assessments and political context analysis in Menyamya District and Gumine District, Papua New Guinea. The assessments have focused on the impact of major decentralisation reforms in Papua New Guinea to establish District Development Authorities, which now have significant functional responsibilities for service delivery and economic development. This shift marks a major change in Papua New Guinea’s political economy, as it formalises the central role of districts and the Members of Parliament who represent them in deciding on development priorities and implementation arrangements in their respective districts. The research has also considered the outlook for plans to implement drought relief through DDAs, and the potential for increased politicisation of budgets, which is a serious concern, and one that is reshaping the environment in which aid delivery takes place. The research involved interviews and focus groups with over 200 people, including those involved in District Development Authorities, local level government, as well as the communities serviced by them.

This new In Brief by Thiago Oppermann and Colin Wiltshire considers the risks of relying on politically controlled development funds to provide drought relief to communities that need it most. It draws on their most fieldwork and fieldwork conducted in Obura Wonenara District in May this year.

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