On 19 July, Coffey supported a Q&A session on implementing best practice communication strategies to improve governance outcomes with the Government of Papua New Guinea. It was part of Coffey’s overall technical support to the AusAID-funded Economic and Private Sector Program.
The Minister for Planning and Monitoring, Charles Abel and Governor Gary Juffa led the discussion. Panel members included Dame Carol Kidu; Hohora Suve, Chief Executive of the National Economic and Fiscal Commission; Alex Rheeny, Editor of the Post Courier and Anthony Yauieb, Deputy Secretary for the Department of Treasury.
All participants recognised the importance of using media and communication tools to ensure government transparency, accountability and effective service delivery.
Dame Carol Kidu expressed hope that improved communication and social media engagement would increase awareness at the local level about national policy and reform initiatives.
“My observation as a former Minister and as a citizen is that there is a real disconnect between what is done at a national level and what happens on the ground. On so many occasions the government is doing its work in legislative and policy reform but they’re not getting it out there,” said Dame Carol.
“We’ve got to use modern technology and look toward community learning centres and we must get knowledge out to our people and specifically produce knowledge about some of these reforms that are occurring,” she said.
The potential for social media platforms to disseminate government materials and improve public access to services and up-to-date information was highlighted.
Emmanuel Narakobi and Deni Tokunai, two social media experts, joined the conversation to discuss how the government can utilise social media platforms more effectively.
This Q&A session was broadcast on the local TV station, EM TV. The first episode is available here.