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The first cohort of UPNG economics students taught by partnership staff at their Graduation Day, April 2016
The partnership between the University of Papua New Guinea’s School of Business and Public Policy (SBPP) and the Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy (Crawford) commenced in 2012. In March 2015, a new MOU between these two national universities provided a stronger foundation for this collaboration, and in August 2015 a new grant agreement between ANU and the Australian Aid program provided the means to significantly expand the partnership over the next three years. This support comes under the auspices of the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct, a new initiative between the governments of Papua New Guinea and Australia that aims to strengthen leadership, governance and public sector capacity in PNG. The ANU-UPNG partnership, with support from the Precinct, provides direct benefit to hundreds of students, some of whom will go on to be future leaders, and also helps strengthen SBPP, especially in the key areas of economics and public policy.
The ANU-UPNG partnership has a focus on faculty strengthening, collaborative research and outreach, and faculty / student exchanges in economics and public policy.
In 2015, two ANU-affiliated academics based in Port Moresby helped meet a staffing shortfall in the Division of Economics at UPNG. They taught courses in economics and undertook a range of initiatives to improve the quality of teaching and research in the Division. This team now consists of five ANU academics across the Division of Economics and the Division of Public Policy Management.
Collaborative research and outreach
The Development Policy Centre is involve in a variety of collaborative research with SBPP UPNG. The Centre and the School co-host the annual PNG Update which has been held at UPNG’s Waigani Campus (Port Moresby) since 2014. The PNG Update is PNG’s premier forum for the analysis of contemporary economic and social issues and presentations from the 2017 PNG Update are available online. We also support a number of other workshops and seminars, and many Devpolicy faculty undertake PNG-related research under the rubric of the PNG Project. The Centre provides outreach for our collaborative work through a variety of channels, including public seminars at UPNG and ANU, blog posts and occasional discussion papers.
We encourage two way visits between ANU and UPNG staff, with a particular focus on staff development. In 2017 we provided scholarship support for three SBPP academic staff to pursue Masters in International and Development Economics at ANU, and will select another candidate to join the scholarship program in 2018.