Launch statement by PNG NRI Acting Director Dr. Osborne Sanida


Launch Statement by PNG NRI Acting Director Dr. Osborne Sanida

Thursday 21 January 2021

In a Referendum conducted in December 2019, as provided for in the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA) of 2001, ninety eight percent (98%) of the people who voted, chose ‘Independence’ over ‘Greater Autonomy’ for Bougainville. As required by the BPA, the outcome of the Referendum is subject to ratification by the National Parliament following consultation with the Bougainville Government.

The Bougainville Referendum Research Project at the PNG NRI commissioned two independent research reports to inform critical developments in the Post Referendum era. One report discusses possible institutional arrangements to assist negotiations on Bougainville’s political future whilst the other looks at ideas on raising adequate revenues for the Bougainville Government to achieve fiscal independence.

We are now pleased to launch these reports and have them available for public discourse.

Research Report 8: Institution Building in Post Referendum Bougainville
This report was undertaken by Professor Cheryl Saunders and Dr. Anna Dziedzic from the Constitutional Transformation Network of the Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne, Australia. The report looks at the possible institutional requirements for governance in post-referendum Bougainville. The primary target audience for this report is those engaged in the consultations between the Bougainville and PNG Governments following the referendum.

Research Report 9: Increasing Revenues for the Bougainville Government
This report was undertaken by a team of economists from Canberra: Professor Satish Chand, Professor Ronald Duncan and Dr. Theodore Levantis. The report looks at how the Bougainville Government can increase its revenues so that Bougainville can increase revenues for its budget and achieve economic independence.

The contents of the reports have been presented to key stakeholders in a Zoom Conference in October of 2020. This was to allow feedback for the research teams to refine their reports. Videos of the presentations made by the research teams can be accessed via links provided on the PNG NRI website ( and on the PNG NRI Social Media platforms.

Additionally, two Commentaries, one on each of the reports outlining the contents of the reports and the main focus and messages from the reports have been posted on the PNG NRI website and on its social media pages. Furthermore, the Executive Summary of the two reports have been extracted and posted for reference.

Thank you the media for the important role you play in the dissemination of the reports. Should you require any further information, the BRRP team can also be contacted on email: or on phone: +675 326 0061/ +675 326 0300 for any other information.

Finally, on behalf of the NRI Council and Management, I would like to thank everyone involved in producing these reports. In particular, the authors of the reports; the BRRP team led by Dr. Thomas Webster; all persons involved in the logistics and administrative work at PNG NRI and external partners; and the Government of PNG and Bougainville Government.

Research Communication

The mission of the PNGNRI is to provide evidence-based information for informed decision-making in order to contribute to improved service delivery to enhance the welfare of Papua New Guineans.This is achieved through the “three I mantra”: Inquire, Inform, Influence.

Inquiry (or research and analysis) is done by our Research Team based on sound theoretical grounding and relevant methodology in the different fields of research.

Inform and Influence represent the research communication process. Informing involves the communication of our various research material (reports, issues papers, spotlight articles, blogs, and commentaries) to targeted audiences. Avenues for informing include: seminars, media releases, social media platforms (twitter, facebook, website), book launches, TV interviews (Talkback Shows), newspaper commentaries, and distribution of hard copies. This functions performed by our Communications Team in conjunction with our Research Team and Support Services Team (i.e. Corporate and Knowledge Management Teams).

Influencing is an extension of informing. That is, in addition to communicating research information, the Institute endeavours to influence decision-making whereby the research information communicated is used for decision making by the recipients of information. The key desired outcome for informed decision making is that such decisions lead to improvement in the welfare of Papua New Guineans, whatever sphere of life it may be. Influencing is achieved by either: passively through the dissemination of information or actively by active involvement of our staff with targeted audiences, the decision makers. Influence is achieved when decisions are made using information provided by the Institute.


Welcome to The Papua New Guinea APEC Study Centre (PNG ASC) web page.

The PNG ASC was officially opened on the 9th of October 2018 as part of PNG’s commitment to hosting the APEC 2018.

The PNG ASC’s goal is to support world class research and advocate for policy which strengthens access to social and economic opportunities for all across PNG and the APEC region.

The PNG ASC will aim to challenge established norms and promote evidence-based decision-making across public-policy in PNG and the APEC region.

The PNG ASC was established in February 2017 through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the PNG Government’s National Economic Council (NEC) and the PNG NRI.

The PNG ASC is located at PNG National Research Institute campus in Port Moresby.

The PNG ASC is part of a growing consortium of APEC study centres providing research and policy support to APEC.


The basic proposition of this Program is that effective governance, through predictable institutions, is a requisite for effective service delivery and sustainable economic development. Discussions about service delivery in PNG are often intertwined with discussions about degrees of autonomy, and about the devolution of powers and functions to the different levels of government. The recent establishment of city authorities and District Development Authorities, and the debates surrounding both, provide ample evidence of these discussions from which will emerge a number of key research questions.

It is envisaged that the Governance Program will monitor service delivery and reflect on arrangements for distribution of powers and functions through the lens of economic development. The Program will enjoy close links with other NRI research programs, including Economic Policy, Property Sector Development, Informal Economy, Building Safer Communities, and Gender. It will also link with the Office of Political Parties and Candidates, the Constitutional Law Reform Commission, the National Economic and Fiscal Commission, and the government of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Establishment and Mandate 

The Papua New Guinea National Research Institute (PNG NRI) was established as the  New  Guinea Research Unit (NGRU) of the Australian National University in 1961. When  PNG gained  independence in 1975, the NGRU became the Institute for Applied Social and  Economic  Research (IASER), and in 1993 was officially recognised as the National  Research Institute. The  PNG NRI is an independent statutory authority established by an  Act of Parliament in 1988 and  confirmed by the IASER (Amendment) Act 1993 to conduct  independent policy research into  economic and social development issues affecting PNG.

PNGNRITaglineThe Act states that the functions of the PNG NRI are:“(a) the promotion of research into  Papua  New Guinea society and the economy”, and in particular “(b), the undertaking of  research into  social, political and economic problems of Papua New Guinea in order to  enable practical  solutions to such problems to be formulated.”

Vision and Mission

  • The Papua New Guinea National Research Institute (PNG NRI) is recognised among the  leading public policy think tanks in the Asia – Pacific region.
  • The Papua New Guinea National Research Institute will provide quality research which  contributes to evidence – based public policies and decision – making processes that  improve service delivery, leading to better quality of life for all Papua New Guineans.


PNG NRI is committed to inquiring, informing and influencing Papua New Guinea’s future through  conducting cutting-edge policy research, the facilitation of public dialogue, and influencing decision  making.

We inquire, to better understand problems.

We inform, to help others understand those problems.

We influence, advocating for effective public policies based on research and evidence.