Author Archives: Stephen Howes

PNG’s elections: the most expensive in the world, and getting worse

An interesting evaluation has just been released by DFAT of Australia’s assistance to PNG to help it hold elections over the last decade. The evaluation… Continue reading

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Re-advertisement: Opportunity to work as a lecturer in economics at UPNG

Our Australian Volunteers for International Development position for an ”Economics Teaching and Research Fellow” to work in the Division of Economics of the University of… Continue reading

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Foreign aid in the August Statement: pushing back the scale up for the fifth time; more details on aid to PNG

This post explores the implications of the August Budget Statement for Australian aid, and for aid to PNG. The use of aid to fund the… Continue reading

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Rampaging soldiers at the Moresby medical school: implications for Rudd’s PNG solution

On Sunday 14 July, the day Prime Minister Rudd arrived in PNG, two truckloads of rampaging soldiers attacked medical students at the University of PNG… Continue reading

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Time for a new approach to improving governance in PNG? Try transparency and social mobilisation

In his insightful  blog post of January 24 this year, which provoked a lively on-line discussion, Graham Teskey, AusAID’s principal governance adviser, asked the question: What can donors do to improve governance in PNG? His basic argument was that it had to be something different. What had been tried to date hadn’t worked. Graham had several suggestions for what a new approach might look like, including working with non-state partners, […] Continue reading

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PNG Sustainable Development Program to exit Ok Tedi

At its 2012 Annual Report Meeting held in Port Moresby today, the PNG Sustainable Development Program (SDP) announced its willingness to negotiate an exit from OTML, the company which runs the Ok Tedi mine, PNG’s largest. SDP is currently the majority shareholder in Ok Tedi, with a 63% shareholding. But the PNG Prime Minister has made clear his determination to remove SDP from Ok Tedi, and now the trust-fund, established […] Continue reading

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Australia’s ban on the World Bank and the ADB lending to Fiji

If you go to the DFAT website to look at the sanctions Australia imposes on Fiji because of its military rule, you will conclude that they relate to military assistance and personal travel. You wouldn’t guess from that website, and you won’t find it from any other official one, that another sanction which Australia imposes on Fiji is that we, together with New Zealand, prevent the Asian Development Bank and […] Continue reading

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PNG in 2013: politics, economics, PNG-Australia relations, and Ross Garnaut

The core areas of focus for the Development Policy Centre are aid effectiveness and PNG and the Pacific. Last week, Robin Davies and I gave our views on key Australian aid issues for 2013. Tomorrow, Tess Newton-Cain will write on the Pacific in 2013. Today, it’s me on PNG. Politics Politically, the 2012 elections, whatever else can be said about them, did provide the much-hoped-for circuit-breaker to the political stand-off which […] Continue reading

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Illegal labour and red tape: another Pacific SWP perspective

Anna Berry runs Pasifika Resources, a labour-hire company in the Riverina. She has been working in the horticultural sector for the last ten years, and has been following the Pacific Seasonal Worker Program (SWP) since its inception as a pilot in 2008. Stephen: Perhaps you can start by telling us about your background. Anna: I was born in Vanuatu. I came to Australia, and I’ve lived here for 40 years. I’ve worked […] Continue reading

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Note: Australia-Pacific Technical College

We are starting a new category of blog posts to supplement our longer, daily feature posts. Notes will be much shorter posts, scheduled on demand. In a recent Centre for Global Development blog post, Owen Barder puts forward some promising migration-for-development initiatives, highlighting, among others, the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) which, he says “is financed by Australian aid to train workers in its poor neighbouring countries (such as Papua New […] Continue reading

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Back to the future: Pacific 2020 in 2011

I was the main author of the 2006 AusAID publication Pacific 2020: challenges and opportunities for growth. As the name suggests, Pacific 2020 was an exercise in long-term thinking. What would the Pacific island region look like in 2020? And what could the Pacific do to make 2020 look more enticing? Today, five years later, we are a third of the way to 2020 from the time the report was written. This blog is not so much about 2020 but about Pacific 2020. Does it […] Continue reading

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