Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Policy Making and Implementation

Policy Making and Implementation: Studies from Papua New Guinea

Volume: 5
Copyright Date: 2009
Published by: ANU Press
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Policy Making and Implementation
    Book Description:

    There is a vast literature on the principles of public administration and good governance, and no shortage of theoreticians, practitioners and donors eager to push for public sector reform, especially in less-developed countries. Papua New Guinea has had its share of public sector reforms, frequently under the influence of multinational agencies and aid donors. Yet there seems to be a general consensus, both within and outside Papua New Guinea, that policy making and implementation have fallen short of expectations, that there has been a failure to achieve 'good governance'. This volume, which brings together a number of Papua New Guinean and Australian-based scholars and practitioners with deep familiarity of policy making in Papua New Guinea, examines the record of policy making and implementation in Papua New Guinea since independence. It reviews the history of public sector reform in Papua New Guinea, and provides case studies of policy making and implementation in a number of areas, including the economy, agriculture, mineral development, health, education, lands, environment, forestry, decentralization, law and order, defence, women and foreign affairs, privatization, and AIDS. Policy is continuously evolving, but this study documents the processes of policy making and implementation over a number of years, with the hope that a better understanding of past successes and failures will contribute to improved governance in the future.  

    eISBN: 978-1-921536-69-4
    Subjects: Sociology, Political Science

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Contributors
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. Glossary
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Chapter 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)
    R. J. May

    There is a vast literature on the principles of public administration and good governance, and no shortage of theoreticians, practitioners and donors eager to push for public sector reform, especially in less-developed countries. Papua New Guinea has had its share of public sector reforms, frequently under the influence of multinational agencies, notably the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, and aid donors, including AusAID. Yet there seems to be a general consensus, both within and outside Papua New Guinea, that policy making and implementation have fallen short of expectations, that there has been a failure to achieve ′good governance′....

  7. Chapter 2 Explaining Public Sector Reform Failure: Papua New Guinea 1975–2001
    (pp. 9-26)
    Mark Turner and David Kavanamur

    Reforming the bureaucracies bequeathed by departing colonial powers has been a ubiquitous item on the policy agendas of newly independent countries. The contents of the policies have changed over the years and have varied between countries and political regimes. But the declared commitment to public sector reform has remained constant. By contrast, implementation of the reforms has often remained weak, leading to persistent failures or disappointment with the results (Polidano 2001; Hulme and Polidano 1999; Langseth et al. 1995; Kiggundu 1998; Manning 2001).

    Papua New Guinea appears to have conformed to this pattern since independence in 1975. A promising start...

  8. Chapter 3 Public Sector Reform Since 2001
    (pp. 27-38)
    R. J. May

    The later years of the 1990s saw a period of deteriorating governance, economic decline, and rising tensions in relations between the Papua New Guinea government and the World Bank and other donors. This culminated in a vote of no confidence against the prime minister, Bill Skate, and in 1999 Sir Mekere Morauta replaced Skate as prime minister. As documented in Chapter 2, Morauta promptly moved to initiate policies designed to achieve reconstruction and development.

    The Morauta government set itself six objectives: to stabilize the economy; to stabilize the budget; to rebuild the institutions of state; to remove impediments to investment...

  9. Part 1. Sectoral Studies

    • Chapter 4 Economic Policy Making
      (pp. 41-56)
      Satish Chand and Charles Yala

      The responsibility for economic policy making was transferred from Canberra to Port Moresby and from expatriate Australians to the locals at an accelerating pace from 1951 to 1973. The chief minister and prime minister-in-waiting noted that ′after April 1972 the elected representatives in the House of Assembly felt that they were in reality the government. We began to initiate policy′ (Somare 2001, 16). This chapter shows that the period preceding independence and a decade and half after independence saw responsible economic policy making. During this era of hope, policymakers were in control of the fiscal position and on track to...

    • Chapter 5 Policy Making in Agriculture
      (pp. 57-74)
      Bob McKillop, R. Michael Bourke and Valentine Kambori

      As successive strategy and policy papers have emphasized, agriculture is the most important economic sub-sector in Papua New Guinea. We are constantly told that agriculture provides the livelihood for about 85 per cent of the economically active population. The agriculture sector covers the activities of the private and public sector in cropping, animal husbandry, management of land and water resources, and post-harvest areas within the continuum of agriculture systems, from small-scale subsistence to intensive, commercial agri-business activities.

      The colonial legacy in agriculture was described in an earlier policy-making workshop at the Australian National University, in 1977 (McKillop 1981). It followed...

    • Chapter 6 A Short History of Mineral Development Policies in Papua New Guinea, 1972-2002
      (pp. 75-116)
      Colin Filer and Benedict Imbun

      There was a time, during the 1980s, when Papua New Guinea was an attractive place for mineral exploration and investment, because it was seen to have a stable and user-friendly policy framework by comparison with many other developing countries. This is no longer the case. The circumstances surrounding and following the closure of the Bougainville copper mine in 1989, and the sequence of events which has led BHP Billiton to disengage from operation of the Ok Tedi mine, have both done enormous damage to the country′s reputation. To read much of the recent writing on the history of mining and...

    • Chapter 7 Policy Making in Health
      (pp. 117-130)
      Jane Thomason and Pascoe Kase

      This chapter highlights the current state of affairs in regard to health policy under the decentralization arrangements introduced in 1995. It contrasts the achievements of the health sector during the pre-independence, centralized system with the decentralized systems of governance implemented after independence. It then presents a set of options for policy makers to consider in their endeavour to rectify the declining state of the health services and, most importantly, the state of the people′s health.

      Papua New Guinea has an accomplished history of sound health policy, and well-articulated health plans. Indeed Papua New Guinea health policies and plans have been...

    • Chapter 8 Formulating and Implementing Education Policy
      (pp. 131-154)
      Richard Guy

      Formal education in Papua New Guinea is of relatively recent origin. Literacy and numeracy programs were first offered to adults in the 1890s in schools established by missionaries to facilitate evangelization. The British administration, at the time, encouraged the establishment of such schools to assist with its policy of ′pacifying the natives′.

      By the 1920s there was some concern by the administration with benefiting the natives, rather than white settlers, and emphasis was placed on the transformation of ′the tribe of disappointed warriors into a race of more or less industrious workmen′ (Murray 1929, 8). By 1926, technical, industrial and...

    • Chapter 9 Lands Policy
      (pp. 155-164)
      Tony Power and Oswald Tolopa

      Policy making may be initiated by politicians, bureaucrats, the private sector, or a combination of these. Policies may evolve through a formal system or be driven by interest groups who bring about changes in administrative practice that become de facto policy. Frequently, actual practice is not enshrined in any defined policy statement; on the other hand intended policies may be restated year after year but never see the light of day. It seems that for policy commitments to be put into practice there must be a synergy between active individuals in the bureaucracy and committed politicians who have a shared...

    • Chapter 10 Environment and Conservation Policy and Implementation
      (pp. 165-186)
      David Mowbray and John Duguman

      This chapter provides an overview of environment and conservation policy in Papua New Guinea. It addresses how environment and conservation policy protect the physical, biological and social/cultural environments of Papua New Guinea and looks at how, in a rapidly changing country like Papua New Guinea, human impact is or ought to be managed. Hence the policy areas that are covered include areas of environmental governance that impinge on management of the environment, resource use, and conservation of natural and cultural resources, and, more broadly, policy and planning for sustainable development, The main focus is the role of the Department/Office of...

    • Chapter 11 Forest Sector Policy Making and Implementation
      (pp. 187-202)
      Hartmut Holzknecht and Martin Golman

      The total forested area of Papua New Guinea is estimated at around 36 million ha. (Louman and Nicholls 1995, 155). Of this, an estimated 13.5 million ha. is regarded as potentially commercial ′production forest′ (Filer 1997b, 225). Exported forest products, particularly unprocessed logs, provided some 18.6 per cent of export earnings in 1994 but there has since been a steady decline in both the FOB value and the volume of forestry exports. While the reported 1993 timber harvest of 3.5 million cu.m. was said to be at the estimated sustainable yield nationally (Duncan 1994), logging in certain areas was well...

    • Chapter 12 Policy Making on Decentralization
      (pp. 203-232)
      R. J. May

      The division of the powers and responsibilities of government between national, provincial and local levels is a critical element of Papua New Guinea′s political and administrative structure, and one which has important implications for governance generally and for service delivery in all sectors of government, as other chapters in this volume demonstrate. It is also an area that has been subject to virtually continuous contestation, recurrent review, and one major restructuring. As such, a study of decentralization might be expected to highlight some of the major issues which arise in policy making and implementation in Papua New Guinea, and elsewhere.²...

    • Chapter 13 Thirty Years of Law and Order Policy and Practice: Trying To Do 'Too Much, Too Badly, With Too Little'?
      (pp. 233-260)
      Sinclair Dinnen

      Set against a background of significant levels of crime, violence, and conflict, concerns about ′law and order′ have become prominent in public debate and private reflection throughout Papua New Guinea. ′Law and order′ is a capacious term that relates to threats to personal and societal security, as well as to institutions, mechanisms and processes aimed at preventing or controlling these threats. In a country noted for its acute socio-linguistic diversity and limited sense of shared identity, discussion about ′law and order′ has become a genuinely ′national′ discourse. Whether in the rural village, urban settlement, suburban home, or government office —...

    • Chapter 14 Policy Making in Defence
      (pp. 261-280)
      R. J. May and James Laki

      At independence the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF), under the command of a Papua New Guinean officer, was widely regarded as one of the best trained and most cohesive institutions of the new state — though defence policy was still largely determined by Australia. The PNGDF′s successful intervention in support of the newly independent government of Vanuatu, in the ′Santo rebellion′ of 1980, further boosted its image and morale (see Gubb 1994). Over the years — against a background of growing problems of internal security culminating in the Bougainville conflict of 1988–2001, increasing pressures on government resources, occasional...

    • Chapter 15 Women, Policy Making and Development
      (pp. 281-298)
      Anne Dickson-Waiko

      Women and gender issues have received increasing attention, partly as a result of the United Nations International Year of Women (1975) and first Decade for Women (1976–85). New bureaucratic structures have been set up with an explicit mandate to bring women′s interests into the policy-making process (Miller and Razavi 1998; Staudt 1998; Tsikata 2000; Jahan 1995). Feminist activists and scholars have scrutinized and contested the role played by various state institutions and development agencies in sustaining gender inequalities through their structures, procedures and policy outcomes. There has been debate among feminists about whether to engage with or disengage from...

    • Chapter 16 Foreign Policy Making
      (pp. 299-322)
      Edward P. Wolfers and William Dihm

      Foreign policy is a notoriously elusive concept. A number of factors combine to blur the distinction between foreign and domestic policies (cf. Rosenau 1997; see also Rosenau 1992). Among the factors of particular contemporary relevance, both in the present case and generally, are: the domestic requirements and effects of globalization; the growing spread and depth of international cooperation and the increasing domestic acceptance and application of international law (which, together, affect almost all areas of public policy in Papua New Guinea, and impose increasingly tight limits on the internal discretion and activities of government across more and more); aid dependency...

  10. Part 2. Policy Case Studies

    • Chapter 17 The 1997-98 Drought in Papua New Guinea: Failure of Policy or Triumph of the Citizenry?
      (pp. 325-344)
      Bryant J. Allen and R. Michael Bourke

      At first glance, the 1997–98 drought in Papua New Guinea was a natural disaster. Between December 1996 and March 1997 the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), which is the standardized difference in surface air pressure between Darwin and Tahiti and is the oldest and simplest measure of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon in the Pacific, fell from +12 to –25. This is the most spectacular fall in the SOI in the post-1950 history of ENSO events. In Papua New Guinea, usually one of the wettest and cloudiest places on the globe, rainfall declined across much of the country. Crops...

    • Chapter 18 Privatization Policy in Papua New Guinea
      (pp. 345-368)
      Timothy Curtin

      In its short history as an independent state, Papua New Guinea has gone full circle, from a mostly private enterprise economy through state capitalism and back to private enterprise, much more rapidly than many developed countries. In 1975 its public enterprise sector was quite small, and broadly limited to the classical public utilities of electricity, water and sewerage, transport (airways and harbours), posts and telecommunications, and central banking. Shortly before independence, the government acquired the local banking network of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, renamed the Papua New Guinea Banking Corporation (PNGBC). In addition, the new government owned the Papua...

    • Chapter 19 Policy Making on AIDS, to 2000
      (pp. 369-378)
      John Ballard and Clement Malau

      Policy making on AIDS in Papua New Guinea has a number of features which set it apart from policy making on other subjects. Most obviously, AIDS presents a new subject for policy, unknown before the mid 1980s; the relevant inheritance from other sectors of policy is not limited to health, since AIDS affects all sectors concerned with development. Because AIDS has been a new issue, the process of its emergence on the policy agenda and the ways in which it has been defined as an issue must be examined; these are taken for granted in other sectors. Finally, because a...

  11. Index
    (pp. 379-399)