About us

About UNDP in Papua New Guinea

Globally the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, UNDP offers a global perspective, as well as local insights to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

Development challenges in Papua New Guinea are as diverse and complex as the country itself.

To respond to these challenges, UNDP in PNG concentrates its efforts on building the country’s capacity to promote inclusive, pro-poor growth, effective governance, and sustainable and resilient development. We help our partners in identifying relevant solutions to today’s complex, trans-boundary development challenges. We support them to design and implement large scale development initiatives that deliver lasting social, economic and environmental improvements in the country.

Our support to governments, civil society, the private sector and communities is at every level of their organization: we provide legislative and regulatory advice that transforms governance systems; we provide capacity building and trainings that build nations; and we organize employment schemes that bring jobs to the most vulnerable groups.

For every project, we provide our partners with a team of experts who link local challenges to national, regional and global knowledge and resources. With decades of experience in the country, UNDP has become a trusted advisor and a ‘development partner’ of choice for the government of PNG, not only in accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, but also supporting the transition to the Sustainable Development Goals. 

What do we want to accomplish?

Guided by UNDP’s 2014-2017 Strategic Plan, advisory and implementation work focuses on the following areas:

  • Democratic Governance and Peace-building;
  • Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment;
  • Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management.

In addition to these areas of focus which reflect country’s developmental priorities, UNDP in emphasizes gender, climate change, social protection and inclusive growth, in all aspects of our work.

What are our results?

UNDP’s  interventions in 2012 were focused on raising awareness of the Government and the general public of PNG on MDGs, population and human development, and accelerating MDG achievement through a bottom-up approach to inform development planning, budgeting, implementation and monitoring for greater development effectiveness and social service delivery at the local level. Through a budget allocation of PGK 13 billion for 2013 – an increase of 22.7% compared to 2012 - the Government of PNG seeks to provide free basic education and primary health care, as well as improved infrastructure for social service delivery. This step is expected to have a positive impact across all MDG areas and targets and improve human development with equity in the long term. At the same time, the Government of PNG has become more aware of disparities in levels of human development between districts and provinces across the country. Therefore, the Department of National Planning and Monitoring (DNPM)requested its officers to assist provinces whose development indicators are much lower compared to the national average, e.g. Sandaun (West Sepik) Province, the so-called “Hot Spot” provinces.

The Provincial Capacity Building Programme (PCaB) is a Government of PNG initiative, supported by the UN through policy and technical advice, and funded by AusAID to improve public sector service delivery at sub-national levels through effective and efficient public financial management. A total of 74 Department of Finance staff, of which 48% were women, graduated as competent with the knowledge and skill to produce accurate financial reports in the six pilot provinces.

More than a decade has passed since the conflict in which 20,000 men and women died and many more were left without family, access to basic services and infrastructure, and ultimately traumatized and scarred for life. The Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARB) is making slow but steady progress towards political, economic and social normality. Dialogue between the Autonomous Government of Bougainville (ABG) President and the Regional Members to the National Parliament resulted in a new commitment of aligning District Support Improvement Programme funds to fill ABGs development budget gaps. With its neutrality, the UN played the key brokering and convening role for these often politically sensitive dialogues.

With respect to increasing capacity of national women’s machineries and other selected institutions for gender equality and women’s empowerment, the UN focused on supporting women candidates in the 2012 national elections. Key activities aimed at supporting women candidates were conducted with the National Women’s Machinery and its partners, including a first ever practice parliament and training for intending women candidates. Three women were elected to the PNG National Parliament in July 2012. A total of 135 women contested the 2012 elections, the highest number recorded since PNG Independence in 1975.

Effective HIV prevention approaches include strategies for working directly with people more at risk of HIV. In December 2012, the National Network for men who have sex with men (MSM) and Transgendered Persons (TGP) – Kapul Champions was launched, which is the first such group in PNG. This group will: engage with the Government of PNG and Stakeholders to advance universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care; promote non-judgmental, non-stigmatizing services; and raise awareness of legal issues affecting MSM and TGPs in PNG. The UN has also provided legal literacy and organisational capacity training to the organisation’s membership and executive.

UNDP provided technical, policy, strategic advisory services to the Government of PNG to scale-up national interventions to achieve environmental sustainability and address emerging threats of climate change with an emphasis on community empowerment. This led to programmatic guidance sought from the UNDP by the Department of Environment and Conservation to promote environmentally sustainable economic development through increased recognition of the ecosystem values and highlight development needs of isolated rural communities who are custodians of vast biodiversity of PNG. This was a paradigm shift of the Government of PNG to focus its interventions to explore income earning opportunities for communities as alternatives to the rapid natural resource exploitation by the extractive industries, given the Governments export driven policy to promote economic growth. As a result, the UN and DEC have initiated implementation of a pilot project titled “Community-based Forest and Coastal Conservation and Resource Management in PNG, worth USD 29 million. The funds were mobilized from the Government of PNG, Global Environment Facility, AusAID and Bishop Museum. UNDP provided similar support and services on climate change to the Government of PNG through the Office of Climate Change and Development. This contributed to Office of Climate Change and Development mobilizing USD 6.3 million from Adaptation Fund to implement pilot integration of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction through policy formulation, preparedness, response plans and strategies to enhance the capacity of agencies and officials of the public and private sector, civil society organizations and vulnerable communities of the North Coast and Island Region of PNG.

UNDP provided policy and technical support to strengthen the Disaster Risk Management institutional arrangements through the development and Government of PNG endorsement of a National DRM Plan. The Plan provides an institutional framework for DRM at all levels and paved the way for the revision of the existing DRM legislation. With the technical assistance from UNDP, for the first time, the Government of PNG has reviewed its progress and challenges in the implementation of disaster risk reduction and recovery action undertaken at the national level, in accordance with the Hyogo Frameworks priorities. This has enabled the Government of PNG to reflect on its efforts to strengthen its capacities and to identify strengths and gaps in relation to DRM. The findings from the review will help Government of PNG for forward planning.

* UNDP in Papua New Guinea: frameworks and results

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