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Development assistance in Papua New Guinea

Flag of Papua New Guinea

Promoting effective governance in Papua New Guinea


Governance affects virtually all aspects of a country's prosperity. Effective governance is a critical factor to realise fully the economic, security, people to people and institutional benefits of a maturing Australia-Papua New Guinea relationship.

Through the PNG-Australia Governance Partnership (2016-2022) the Governments of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Australia are focussing on public sector leadership, improved decentralisation and citizen participation, economic governance (see also Enabling Economic Growth), Bougainville, Kokoda, the PNG Partnership Fund and institutional partnerships. Australia’s development assistance to Bougainville aims to improve peace, stability and prosperity as the Government of PNG and the Autonomous Bougainville Government continue to implement autonomy arrangements under the Bougainville Peace Agreement. The Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct (the Precinct) is a flagship leadership initiative of the Papua New Guinea and Australian governments, building a new generation of ethical and capable leaders for the PNG public sector. In supporting decentralisation and citizen participation, Australia contributes to national policies and systems to support subnational service delivery. Through the Kokoda Initiative we aim to protect the Kokoda Track; Brown River catchment and Owen Stanley Range; improve services for local communities; enhance the trekking experience; improve safety and protect the important natural, cultural and military values of the region. Australia supports institutional partnerships between Australian and PNG public service departments and agencies, training and mentoring of PNG public servants, short term deployments of Australian public servants to PNG, and the deployment of Papua New Guinean officials to Australian agencies.

Australia's law and justice sector investment is delivered through the Justice Services and Stability for Development program (up to $90 million; 2016-19) and support provided by the Attorney General's Department and Commonwealth Ombudsman. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) also provides training and capacity building. The program's long-term objectives are to create safer and more secure communities in target Papua New Guinea provinces, and more accountable, legitimate and responsive law and justice agencies. The Program works to improve community safety; strengthen legal services; address family and sexual violence; and confront corruption in six target provinces.

Related initiatives

Papua New Guinea – Australia Governance Partnership


The Papua New Guinea – Australia Governance Partnership has delivered the majority of DFAT’s governance programs in PNG since 1 July 2016. It delivers these activities at the national and subnational levels across the following work areas:

  1. decentralisation;
  2. promoting private sector development;
  3. economic governance;
  4. citizen participation;
  5. strengthening leadership and coalitions;
  6. incentivising high performing organisations/consortia to improve the coverage, sustainability and quality of basic service delivery at scale; and
  7. institutional partnerships.

The PNG-Australia Governance Partnership also delivers location specific interventions in Bougainville and along the Kokoda Track. The partnership has consolidated the majority of on-going governance projects into a single facility to realise greater coherence and coordination. It provides greater flexibility to respond to PNG’s complex political and operating environment.

Name of document Year published Type
PGF Design document 2015 Design
Annual review of the Papua New Guinea-Australia Governance Partnership 2018 and management response 2019 Annual review

Annual review of the Papua New Guinea-Australia Governance Partnership 2019 and management response

2019 Annual review

Church Partnership Program Phase 3

Up to $23 million, 2017-2020

The Church Partnership Program Phase 3 (CPP3) focuses on an enhanced partnership and collaboration to improve service delivery, build community resilience and strengthen the institutional capacity of the PNG Churches and their partners. Australia supports CPP churches to improve their capacity to deliver crucial health and education services, especially in rural remote areas, as well as delivering on a broad range of activities in support of gender equality and social inclusion, peace and prosperity, and disaster risk reduction.

CPP3 capitalises on the wide presence of churches to empower communities and influence collective development to improve service provision, governance, inclusion, and management practice whilst upholding the core Church partnerships and values that underline the success of CPP to date. Critical partners include the PNG Council of Churches, and the Department for Community Development and Religion through the Office of Religion responsible for the delivery of the Government of PNG's Church State Partnership.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
Independent Review of two Democratic Governance Programs in PNG- Strongim Pipol Strongim Nesen and Church Partnership Program 2013 Evaluation report
Independent Review of two Democratic Governance Programs in PNG – Strongim Pipol Strongim Nesen (SPSN) and Church Partnership Program (CPP) – Management response 2013 Management response
Mid-term Review of the Papua New Guinea Church Partnership Program Phase 3 2019 Mid Term review and Management response

Supporting Electoral Processes in PNG

Up to $8 million, 2016-2018

Under the Electoral Support Program, Australia is partnering with the PNG Electoral Commission (PNGEC), and other PNG stakeholders, to improve the integrity of elections in PNG. Australia is working with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) to provide a three year (2015-2018) electoral support program in PNG. The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is also partnering with PNGEC to share its electoral expertise in a range of areas such as improving the electoral roll and the delivery of electoral training programs for PNG officials. This support was further augmented by Australian Civilian Corp (ACC) personnel deployments that supported the PNGEC in the lead-up to the 2017 national elections.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
Evaluation of Australia's electoral assistance to PNG 2015-17 and DFAT management response 2018 Evaluation report and management response
Independent Evaluation of Australian Electoral Assistance in Papua New Guinea 2000-2012 2013 Evaluation report
Independent Evaluation of Australian Electoral Assistance in Papua New Guinea 2000-2012 – Management response 2013 Management response

PNG National Museum and Art Gallery

Up to $25 million, 2014-2015 to 2017-18

A package of support to the PNG National Museum and Art Gallery includes infrastructure upgrades, development of a long-term organisational master-plan, establishment of formal partnerships with leading Australian cultural institutions and the mounting of an exhibition to coincide with PNG's 40th anniversary of independence celebrations. This support will enhance an important institution that conserves Papua New Guinea's cultural traditions and history and helps shape Papua New Guinea's national identity.

Kokoda Initiative

Up to $25 million, 2016-2020

In 2015, a new joint declaration was signed between the two governments recognising the enduring significance of the Kokoda Track region to both nations.

The Kokoda Initiative is a partnership between the Government of PNG and Australia to sustainably develop and protect the Kokoda Track and the surrounding Owen Stanley Ranges. The Kokoda Initiative reflects the strong commitment of both governments to continue to enhance the quality of life of communities living along the track, to protect the environment, cultural values and to keep the track open and well managed. Since 2010, Australian-funded community development activities have included:

  • construction/renovation of 15 double classrooms, 16 school staff houses, 5 health posts and 36 water and sanitation facilities;
  • training and certification of 88 elementary and primary school teachers to improve learning outcomes for over 1,900 students;
  • training, certification and equipping 96 Village Health Volunteers to provide basic health services, benefiting over 14,000 people; and
  • administration of 2,467 vaccines to children under the age of five years.

The next phase of the Kokoda Initiative will be implemented in accordance with a new Kokoda Initiative Master Plan. DFAT will lead the next phase with the Department of Environment continuing to have a role in supporting specific activities, including seeking a joint World Heritage listing for the Kokoda Track and the Owen Stanley Ranges.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
PNG-Australia Joint Declaration on the Preservation of the Kokoda Track Region 2015 Joint declaration

Law and Justice Sector Support

Up to $90 million, 2016-2019 for the Justice Services and Stability for Development (JSS4D) Program

The Justice Services and Stability for Development Program (JSS4D) commenced in January 2016. It builds on more than twenty-five years of continuous Australian support to PNG's law and justice sector - most recently under the Papua New Guinea-Australia Law and Justice Partnership (2009 to June 2014) and subsequent Transition Program (July 2014 to December 2015). This is complemented by assistance through other Australian government departments.

JSS4D activities are focused on:

  • Enhancing community safety and security
  • Addressing family and sexual violence
  • Strengthening effective law and justice services
  • Supporting anti-corruption efforts.

In addition, the program supports stability in Bougainville.

JSS4D was designed to reflect that over 80 per cent of PNG citizens live in rural areas and access justice through locally available and community justice mechanisms. A priority for Australia's policy engagement and funding efforts is to improve the links between local level and community justice mechanisms and national agencies, to extend the authority and legitimacy of the State and create more secure families and communities.

Australia also provides law and justice funding to PNG through regional programs. These include:

  • The World Bank's Justice for the Poor Project for East Asia and the Pacific;
  • Transparency International's Asia-Pacific Program; and
  • United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and United Nations Development Programme anti-corruption programs.

More information on these regional programs can be found under the Anti-Corruption and Justice Initiatives page.

Other Australian government departments also provide law and justice assistance in PNG, including the Australian Federal Police, the Attorney General's Department, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and the Commonwealth Ombudsman. Support includes a number of institutional twinning arrangements between PNG and Australian Commonwealth and State agencies, supporting capacity building and long-term people-to-people and organisational links.

Information on the performance of Australia's law and justice program in Papua New Guinea can be found in the 2016-17 Aid Program Performance Report (APPR).

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
PALJP Infrastructure Impact Evaluation 2013 Evaluation report
DFAT Management Response to the PALJP Infrastructure Impact Evaluation 2014 Management response
Papua New Guinea Justice Services and Stability for Development: Investment Design 2015 Design document
Evaluation of the RPNGC Family and Sexual Violence Units for Papua New Guinea - Australia Law and Justice Partnership: Evaluation Report 2015 Evaluation report
Evaluation of Village Court Officials' Training: Summary of findings 2016 Evaluation report
Papua New Guinea Justice Services and Stability for Development Program (JSS4D): Mid-term review 2018 Evaluation report


* The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is committed to high standards of transparency and accountability in the management of the Australian aid program through publishing information on our website, including policies, plans, results, evaluations and research. Our practice is to publish documents after the partner government and any other partners directly involved in the delivery of the initiative have been consulted. Not all material published on this site is created by the Australian aid program and therefore not all documents reflect our views. In limited circumstances some information may be withheld for reasons including privacy and commercial sensitivity.


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