The PNG Promoting Effective Public Expenditure Project

PNG is experiencing a minerals boom and confronts serious challenges in translating increased resource revenues into effective development outcomes. Together with the National Research Institute of Papua New Guinea the Development Policy Centre undertook the “Promoting Effective Public Expenditure Project” over a three year period (2012-2014).

The PEPE project aimed to better understand how PNG allocates its public funds and then how their funds are provided to and used by those responsible for delivering basic services.

The project consisted of two inter-related components. The first focused on analysing the allocation of PNG’s public resources through the budget process. The findings of this analysis, as well as the surveys discussed below, were then presented at twice yearly budget fora to provide a more systematic understanding of how PNG allocates its public resources, which helps reveal the government’s policy priorities.

The second component focused on understanding local expenditure dynamics and reforms. Through an expenditure tracking survey focused on local schools and health facilities, we were able to better understand whether funds were been effectively managed to deliver services. In particular, we focused on recent reforms to see whether they were yielding improvements in service delivery.

If you are interested in receiving further information about this project, please contact, Colin Wiltshire.

PEPE final report: A lost decade? Service delivery and reforms in Papua New Guinea 2002-2012
Stephen Howes, Andrew Anton Mako, Anthony Swan, Grant Walton, Thomas Webster and Colin Wiltshire
October 2014
This report presents the results of a 2012 survey of 360 primary schools and health clinics across eight provinces in PNG, from the nation’s capital to its most far-flung and inaccessible regions. Many of the same facilities were visited at the start of the decade in a similar study. By combining the two surveys, we can assess progress on education and health service delivery over time, and analyse the impact of important policy reforms.

» Full report PDF [PDF 5.8 MB]
» NRI Spotlight summary [PDF 1.3 MB]
» A3 flyer summary [PDF 4.1 MB]
» Individual chapters from the report are available on the PEPE publications page.

Read a short analysis piece completed under the PEPE project.

As part of our budget and expenditure research with PNG’s National Research Institute, budget forums were held twice a year at the NRI in Port Moresby. The first PNG budget forum was held on 12 September 2012 and focused on a 10-year budget trend analysis. The second forum analysed the 2013 PNG Budget and took place in early 2013. The third forum presented preliminary findings from our PEPE health and education expenditure tracking and facility surveys.

The fourth forum presented analysis of the 2014 PNG Budget and released further findings from the PEPE survey on PNG’s free education and health policies. Our latest budget forum was held on 30 October, 2014. We launched our joint report with NRI, A lost decade? Service delivery and reforms in Papua New Guinea 2002-2012, and considered its implications for the 2015 PNG budget. Presentations and videos from these budget forums are provided below

PNG budget forums were open to the general public and held at the NRI Conference Centre in Port Moresby. For further information, please contact Ron Sofe or Colin Wiltshire.

Service delivery and reform in Papua New Guinea, 2002-2012: A lost decade? - 30 October 2014

Forum background

» October 2014 Budget Forum flyer
» Full report PDF
» NRI Spotlight summary
» A3 flyer summary

Presentations

  • A lost decade? Service delivery and reforms in Papua New Guinea 2002-2012
    Professor Stephen Howes, Director, Development Policy Centre, ANU
    » view presentation

  • PEPE research implications and the 2015 budget
    Paul Flanagan, Visiting Fellow, Development Policy Centre, ANU
    » view presentation

Implementing the policies from the PNG Budget: Evidence from the PEPE Project - 10 April 2014

Forum background

» April 2014 Budget Forum flyer
» April 2014 Budget Forum program

Welcome Address
Dr Thomas Webster, NRI Director

Session 1: 2014 PNG National Budget

  • Accountability and transparency at provincial, district and local levels
    Dr Ken Ngangan, Acting Secretary, Department of Finance
    » view presentation

  • Analysis of 2014 PNG Budget & Relevance to PEPE Research
    Professor Stephen Howes, Director, Development Policy Centre, ANU
    » view presentation

Session 2: Providing free Health and Education services

  • PEPE findings on Health financing and implications for the free Health policy
    Mr Colin Wiltshire, ANU and Mr Andrew A. Mako, NRI
    » view presentation

  • Nazarene hospital advice: partnership in planning for free/subsidised health plan
    Dr Scott Dooley, Hospital Administrator, Jiwaka Province
    » view presentation

  • School subsidy spending and the free education policy
    Dr Anthony Swan, ANU
    » view presentation

PNG’s Lost Decade? Budget Forum - 19 September 2013

Forum background

» September 2013 Budget Forum flyer
» September 2013 Budget Forum program

Presentations

Welcome and forum overview
Dr Charles Yala, Acting Director, NRI

Session 1: National analysis

  • PEPE survey: Key findings
    Professor Stephen Howes, Director, Development Policy Centre, ANU
    » view presentation [pdf]

  • Policy implications
    Dr Thomas Webster, Director, NRI
    » view presentation [pdf]

Session 2: Provincial analysis

  • PEPE survey: Health findings by province
    Mr Colin Wiltshire, ANU and Mr Andrew Mako, NRI
    » view presentation [pdf]

  • PEPE survey: Education findings by province
    Dr Anthony Swan, ANU and Dr Grant Walton, ANU
    » view presentation [pdf]

The Focus and Implementation of the 2013 PNG National Budget - 7 February 2013

Forum background
» February 2013 Budget Forum flyer (pdf, 130kB)
» February 2013 Budget Forum program (pdf, 170kB)
» view video

Presentations

Welcome Remarks
Dr Thomas Webster, NRI Director

Session 1: 2013 National Budget – Overview and Assessment

  • Overview, Rationale and Implementation
    Hon. Don Polye, MP, Minister for Treasury
    » view presentation (pdf, 2MB)
    » view video

  • Accountability and Transparency
    Hon. Mr James Marape, MP, Minister for Finance
    » view presentation (pdf, 353kB)
    » view video

  • Analysis and Assessment
    Professor Stephen Howes, Director, Development Policy Centre, ANU
    » view presentation (pdf, 1.1MB)

Session 2: National Budget – Commentary and Reporting back from the field

  • Commentary on Budget Presentation and Analysis
    Mr Tim Bulman, Country Economist for PNG and Solomon Islands, World Bank, and Mr John Leahy, President, PNG Chamber of Commerce & Industry
    » view presentation (pdf, 1.4MB)

  • Promoting Effective Public Expenditure Survey: Reporting back from the field
    Mr Colin Wiltshire, ANU and Mr Andrew A. Mako, NRI
    » view presentation (pdf, 2.8MB)

2012 Budget Forum, 12 September 2012

Forum background
» 2012 Budget Forum flyer (pdf, 130kB)
» 2012 Budget Forum program (pdf, 137kB)

Presentations

Launch of joint NRI/ANU Research Project
Thomas Webster and Stephen Howes

Past Budget trends: Lessons for the future
Professor Stephen Howes and Mr Andrew A. Mako, Devpolicy, ANU
» view presentation (pdf, 786kB)

Panel Session 1: Discussion of Budget Trends
Mr Stuart Schaefer, Head of Aid, AusAID PNG
» view presentation (pdf, 293kB)

Sovereign Wealth Fund
Mr Anthony Yauieb, Deputy Secretary, Economic and Financial Policy, Department of Treasury, PNG
» view presentation (pdf, 319kB)
» view speech (pdf, 96.4kB)

Panel Session 2: Discussion on Sovereign Wealth Fund
Mr Matt Morris, Development Policy Centre, ANU and Mr Richard Conn, President, Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce - National Government development priorities for the next five years
Minister Hon. Charles Abel MP , Member for Alotau and Minister for National Planning, PNG
» view presentation (pdf, 3.8MB)

Panel Session 3: Discussion of Government development priorities
Mr Paul Barker, Executive Director, INA

As part of The PNG Promoting Effective Public Expenditure Project, we conducted an extensive nationwide expenditure tracking survey of more than 360 schools and health facilities. Fieldwork was conducted from September to December 2012, where survey teams travelled to some of PNG’s most rural and remote locations in order to complete over 1276 separate surveys.

The provinces surveyed were as follows:

  • Southern (Papua) region: Gulf, National Capital District
  • Highlands region: Enga, Eastern Highlands
  • Momase region: West Sepik (Sandaun), Morobe
  • Islands region: West New Britain, East New Britain

PEPE researchers from NRI and ANU went back to surveyed provinces in August 2013 to share results from the survey. We verified much of the data with the help of the provinces who also assisted us to interpret some of the results and implications of the findings.

Preliminary findings from the surveys were first publically released at our Budget Forum held on 19 September 2013 at NRI in Port Moresby. The presentations were entitled ‘PNG’s Lost Decade?’ as we compared our survey findings to a similar survey conducted by NRI and the World Bank more than ten years ago in 2002 (reported in Public Expenditure and Service Delivery Survey 2002).

» summary blog post
» presentations
» final report

The PEPE project and ongoing research through expenditure case studies will help to fill critical data gaps about the progress (or lack of it) made over the last decade in the delivery of government services, during which the resources boom has tripled PNG government revenue, and a number of important expenditure reforms have been undertaken.

A lost decade? Service delivery and reforms in Papua New Guinea 2002-2012
Stephen Howes, Andrew Anton Mako, Anthony Swan, Grant Walton, Thomas Webster and Colin Wiltshire
October 2014
This report presents the results of a 2012 survey of 360 primary schools and health clinics across eight provinces in PNG, from the nation’s capital to its most far-flung and inaccessible regions. Many of the same facilities were surveyed at the start of the decade. By combining the two surveys, we can assess progress on health and education service delivery over time, and analyse the impact of important policy reforms.

» Full report PDF [PDF 5.8 MB]
» NRI Spotlight summary [PDF 1.3 MB]
» A3 flyer summary [PDF 4.1 MB]

Individual chapters
» Foreword, acknowledgements, map and summary [PDF 843 KB]
» Chapter 1: Introduction [PDF 498 KB]
» Chapter 2: Method [PDF 709 KB]
» Chapter 3: Primary schools: 2002 to 2012 [PDF 1.2 MB]
» Chapter 4: Health clinics: 2002 to 2012 [PDF 684 KB]
» Chapter 5: Education financing the the Tuition Fee-Free policy [PDF 559 KB]
» Chapter 6: Health financing and the free health policy [PDF 739 KB]
» Chapter 7: DSIP: are health and education benefitting? [PDF 516 KB]
» Chapter 8: Facility level explanations of performance [PDF 550 KB]
» Chapter 9: Conclusion [PDF 457 KB]
» References and acronyms [PDF 131 KB]

Financing PNG’s free primary health care policy: user fees, funding and performance
Colin Wiltshire and Andrew Mako, June 2014

This was the first major publication to be released from our Promoting Effective Public Expenditure project, with findings presented in June at the 2014 PNG National Health Conference in Port Moresby. The publication uses health financing results from PEPE expenditure tracking surveys to inform the implementation of PNG’s free primary health care policy.

» View publication

Related Devpolicy Blog posts and In Briefs

2015

2014

2013

2012

2002 NRI/World Bank Public Expenditure and Service Delivery Survey 2002

This is the report based on the facility survey undertaken by the World Bank and NRI in 2002, which was updated through our 2012 survey and 2014 report.
» Full report

2002 Wok Bung: A qualitative study of twelve primary schools in Papua New Guinea

This report is complementary to the 2001 World Bank/NRI PESD study. It is a qualitative study of twelve of the schools involved in the quantitative study.

Full report (pdf, 3.9 MB)

Chapter One: Setting the Scene
» Setting the Scene(pdf, 3.9 MB)

Chapter Two: Eastern Highlands
» Magitu Primary School(pdf, 344 kB)
» Siokiei Primary School(pdf, 345 kB)
» Yonki Primary School(pdf, 380 kB)

Chapter Three: East New Britain
» Bitapaka Primary School(pdf, 242 kB)
» Kabaleo Primary School(pdf, 224 kB)
» Nawnaram Primary School(pdf, 274 kB)

Chapter Four: Morobe
» Kalasa Primary School(pdf, 418 kB)
» Siki Primary School(pdf, 296 kB)
» Pindiu Primary School(pdf, 333 kB)

Chapter Five: National Capital District
» Koki Primary School(pdf, 303 kB)
» Hohola Primary School(pdf, 214 kB)
» Tatana Primary School(pdf, 231 kB)

Chapter Six: Making Sense of the Schools
» Making Sense of the Schools(pdf, 353 kB)

2012 Fee Free Tuition Policy Management Manual

This manual was distributed to schools by the PNG government in 2012.

» View here

In 2016, Dr Grant Walton, Dr Tony Swan and Ms Tara Davda at the Development Policy Centre, together with Ms Denise Lokinap and Mr Peter Kanaparo at UPNG and Mr Colin Wiltshire at the State Society and Governance in Melanesia Project (SSGM), conducted research into the effectiveness of public expenditure on health and education in Papua New Guinea. This research builds on the findings of the A Lost Decade? report, produced in partnership with the National Research Institute (NRI).

The 2016 research included follow-up fieldwork in Gulf, East New Britain and Central provinces with in-depth research at the same schools, health facilities and administrative institutions visited in 2012 while conducting research for A Lost Decade?. This case study research provided insights into:

  • how to get more external support to health clinics;
  • how to get more mileage from large school subsidy payments; and
  • performance differences between health facilities and schools.

Through this research, the team developed a more nuanced understanding of the geographical, economic, social and administrative factors that shape performance in health and education service delivery. Fieldwork and analysis in 2016 was conducted in partnership with counterparts at the University of Papua New Guinea and insights from case studies are augmented through statistical analysis of key national databases – such as the PNG national grade eight results. Research outputs from this work are available below.

This highly policy-relevant research will be of interest to government departments, donors, development agencies, NGOs, academics and other researchers.

Publications and Presentations

Report
Papua New Guinea’s primary health care system: views from the frontline
Colin Wiltshire, Amanda H. A. Watson, Denise Lokinap and Tatia Currie

Discussion Paper
The challenges of providing free education in Papua New Guinea
Grant Walton, Tara Davda and Peter Kanaparo

Blog Posts
“Free” education policy in PNG: a tale of two provinces
Creeping re-centralisation in PNG’s education sector
Research on anti-corruption messages and sharing education findings in PNG
The beginning of the end of “free education” in PNG?
Improving quality education in a world obsessed with student numbers: evidence from PNG
UPNG-ANU academics begin health and education research

Journal Article
Walton, GW (2018) Fee-free education, decentralisation and the politics of scale in Papua New Guinea. Journal of Education Policy.
» access online

Presentations
2018 PNG Update: Health expenditure performance in Papua New Guinea
Colin Wiltshire, Amanda Watson, Denise Lokinap and Tatia Currie
» download slides

2017 PNG Update: The challenges of free education in Papua New Guinea
Grant Walton, Tara Davda and Peter Kanaparo

» watch video
» download slides

2016 PNG Update: The unintended consequences of PNG’s tuition-free education policy
Grant Walton, Peter Kanaparo, Tara Davda and the ANU-UPNG partnership team.

» view presentation
» listen to podcast

Updated:  30 November 2022/Responsible Officer:  Devpolicy Admin/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team