Project name: Economic and Public Sector Program

Client name: Australian Government – Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)

Duration: 2010 - ongoing 

Location: Asia Pacific, Papua New Guinea

Coffey manages the Economic and Public Sector Program for Papua New Guinea, on behalf of the Australian Government. The program aims to create a more effective and efficient public service sector for Papua New Guinea so that men, women and children can access better services.

Situation

Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, with over 800 different languages spoken by its seven million citizens. Despite recent economic improvements, Papua New Guinea faces extreme poverty with a low life expectancy of 60 years and an extremely high infant mortality rate of 47 deaths per 1000 births. A major contributing factor is the lack of equitable access to important government services.

To improve PNG’s development outcomes and provide broad-based economic growth, the Australian Government is working with the Government of Papua New Guinea to strengthen government institutions through the Economic and Public Sector Program, managed by Coffey.

It aims to create a more effective and efficient public service sector for Papua New Guinea so that men, women and children can access better services.

Solution

The Economic and Public Sector Program aims to strengthen key government institutions such as the Treasury, Auditor General, Internal Revenue and Public Accounts. All of these institutions have an important role to play in the timely and effective delivery of vital services.

Improving PNG’s governance structures is key to the program’s success. Technical staff and advisers work in close partnership with the Papua New Guinea

Government, the Australian High Commission and in-country stakeholders. By developing capacity within government central agencies, and providing support to civil society, the program is delivering its goal of an effective and equitable service delivery.

Research, Monitoring and Evaluation (RM&E) is an important element of the program, and independent reviews and research have been commissioned in order to understand the achievements and lessons learnt. This included studies on service delivery, capacity development and women in leadership.

Result

The Economic and Public Sector Program is innovative, flexible and responsive to immediate demands to improve governance structures in PNG. It’s introduced three major initiatives to improve the lives of citizens through better access to services and support.

The Gender Equality and Social Inclusion initiatives have focused on inequalities surrounding gender, HIV/AIDS and disability.

The program also created Tanim Graun, a monthly televised Q&A forum. The highly popular program helps to shape local, regional and national policies related to service delivery by engaging communities in public policy debate and giving a voice to citizens.

The Mobile Phones for Development Study has piloted three research projects through 2012-2013; the Childbirth & Maternal Hotline, Law & Justice SMS data collection project and SMS Story project for rural educators and teachers.