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.


The PNG NRI Council, in 2016, resolved to develop the Institute's Waigani Campus into the PNG Knowledge Hub. The Council made this strategic decision motivated by successes during the ten-year period, starting in 2005, under the leadership of Dr Thomas Webster as Director and late Sir Henry Chow as Chairman.

Prior to 2005, the PNG NRI was an academic institution w here the different research interests of academics dominated the research agenda. Over the ten-year period since 2005, the Institute has shifted focus towards becoming a public policy think tank. With this new strategic direction, the Institute aims to take its place among the leading think tanks within the Asia-Pacific region. It’s Mission, however, is to promote research and policies that enhance the welfare of Papua New Guineans.

The Institute seeks to move towards achieving its Vision and mission through a set of five year corporate plans. The 2017 annual work plan marks the second year of the 2016-2020 corporate plan. PNG NRI has a strategic implementation framework which connects each annual work plan to the corporate plan. Through this process, we aim to remain focused and ensure our work addresses PNG’s long-term development challenges.

In building the Knowledge Hub, the six main components that will enable us to realise this objective are:

1. Infrastructure Development: To realise the development of the PNG NRI campus into the PNG Knowledge Hub requires investments in appropriate office space, accommodation, and landscape design. We have started work on this and are making good progress. This includes the refurbishment of the research building, road network, design of the Sir Henry Chow Building, and now housing two Projects of national significance – Bougainville Referendum research and the APEC Study Centre.

2. Information Management System: A good Knowledge Hub requires a sound information management system that facilitates access to and processing of data and information. The information must be available internally, but also for a wider audience. We therefore need to invest in a system that allow s each section of the institute to operate effectively, to link to the rest of the institute through an intranet system, and to connect to the outside world via the internet. This will require upgrading of our hardware, software and training or recruiting the staff with the right skill set to operate. We have started the process with the KPMG review of our IT system. More importantly, DFAT Australia has assisted us to recruit an Information Systems Manager who has recently started working here at the PNG NRI. Finally, we have drafted an IT strategy which is currently being reviewed by our Information Systems Manager.

3. Financial Management System: The need for a new financial management system which enables us to make strategic financial and management decisions. We w ant to make the Institute financially independent and sustainable. Hence, investment in a financial management system is critical.

4. Human Resource Development: The PNG NRI systems and processes, senior management, research, corporate, and knowledge management, require a set of skills that we cannot easily find in PNG. Hence, we will develop our ow n system for recruiting, investing and developing our own people who will appreciate and mainstream the PNG NRI w ay. We have started this with the leadership development program, a fluid senior management structure, and recruitment approaches. We also have institutionalized job descriptions and annual performance appraisals.

More importantly, we have started employing our ow n (former) cadets-turned researchers. In going forward, we will heavily invest in the development of our cadets for researchers, and in traineeships for non-research staff.

5. Organisational and Management Structure: The PNG NRI Organisational Structure must remain fluid and facilitate the work of the Institute. We avoid granting monopoly power to any one section or individual. Our focus is on the systems and processes which turn ideas into action. Within this framework, people are recruited to fit into the system as and when required.

A fluid, dynamic and organic structure is what we are investing in. The Council remains the overall decision making and oversight body. In 2016, this fluid management system was trialed, and it worked, so we remain committed to using this approach going forward.

6. Knowledge Management Division Development: The development of the Knowledge Management Division (KMD) has progressed well. The Office renovation has been completed with staff making full use of the office now. The work on the library database, public policy collection, and scanning of internal PNG NRI documents is being progressed. On the social media front, the Institute’s work is being promoted heavily on its new website ( and its accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube and Google +.

7. District Profile Database: On the basis of the PNGNRI mission ‘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’ and the expansion of the previous work on District Profiles, we have progressed this innovative work, we will provide the selected and updated information to users who will access information through the use of internet. In 2018, a proof of concept to build a web based user interface tool incorporating a GIS platform to detail key information, both written and GIS information. This platform is a user-friendly tool to navigate and easy to understand. The conversions of lowest geographical unit data from one platform to GIS has been progressed and information in the database are now verified at random locations in nine provinces and this verification work is completed. The updating and compilation process of confirmation and re-arranging information will commence and will progress to online in 2019. It is NRI’s intention to provide access to GIS mapping of various entities down to district level.

Complementing the GeoNRI, is the development of the AtlasNRI is a platform for ready-made social indicators on the basis of the detailed analysis. This information will be presented in a static format and ready for use by interested developers of policies, planners and programmers. Based on a proof of concept prototype in 2017 and in 2018, conversion of data profiles from one software to another has been resolved and ongoing development of indicators is planned for webpage in 2019.

"The PNG National Research Institute (PNG NRI) is mandated by legislation to carry out independent research and analysis on development issues affecting Papua New Guinea."


The Papua New Guinea National Research Institute 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.


The PNG NRI Corporate Plan 2016-2020 provides a roadmap of activities to be implemented over the course of five years to gradually transform the PNG NRI into a Knowledge Hub that will subsequently enable the Institute to find a place among the leading think tanks within the Asia Pacific region as stipulated in the PNG NRI Strategic Plan. This corporate plan starts the implementation of the first phase of the strategic direction as articulated in the Strategic Plan.

Click here to access the PNG NRI Corporate Plan 2016-2020.

The Knowledge Hub will be a physical precinct where leading thinkers, researchers, consultants, private sector players, and policy makers will meet and interact. The Knowledge Hub is envisioned to serve as a place of Inquiry (research and analysis), Informing (access and dissemination) and Influencing (shaping better public policy). The vision underpinning the framework is the intention to shape the PNG NRI into becoming one of the leading public policy think tanks within the Asia Pacific region.


The ‘PNG NRI Way’ defines how the Institute ‘gets things done’. It is the essence of the PNG NRI brand, and is encapsulated in the vision, mission and purpose outlined above. Underpinning the PNG NRI way are three core principles, which serve as a critical compass for the organisation.

1. Integrity of Research, which is characterised by intellectual rigour, and by products that are empirical and contestable.
2. Integrity of Operations, which are process-driven, non-discretionary and transparent.
3. Independent Thinking, through the generation, articulation and respect of different ideas.


Our Services

The Papua New Guinea National Research Institute‘s (PNG NRI) Commercial Services can offer you and your institution, organisation, or business a wide range of services to help you achieve your personal, academic, research, or corporate goals. The Institute’s Commercial Services can provide access to the following facilities:

The Institute has eight secure self-contained, motel-type units on the NRI campus available for rental. The units are set in a natural, quiet environment which is conducive to academic research. The units are air-conditioned, have cooking facilities; study area, and television services and has a laundry service.

Units are available for short term, medium-term, or long-term stays and can be booked as part of Conference Centre bookings, by visiting research academics and researchers, or by independent arrangement with the Institute. We charge at K230/night and payments are done by credit card or visa card using the EFTPOS machine or direct deposit in the PNG NRI account.

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Attached to the PNG NRI Conference Centre is the PNG NRI Coffee Shop, which caters for all Conference Centre functions, as well as casual catering for the Institute’s staff, and internal functions. Menus for morning and afternoon teas, and lunches are available on request.

The PNG NRI Coffee Shop is a perfect place for a quiet lunch outing with friends or family. It is open to the conference centre users, lodge guests, visitors to PNG NRI and the public. It is located in secure and attractive environment where you get to enjoy the cool natural breeze.


The Papua New Guinea National Research Institute has a 250-seat Conference Centre that is set in a secure and attractive surroundings. The Centre is available to all government departments and agencies, non-government organizations, donor agencies, appointed communities; civic society, and the private sector. (At the moment not avaliable - under refubrishment).



The Commercial Services takes charge of all 3 PNG NRI properties that are located in three different safe and secure locations. We have 4x units at Waigani, 2 x units at Hohola and 4 x units at Boroko.


 North Waigani, Swallow Place:
1 x 2 bedroom Unit with a study room, fully furnished with ceiling fans.
• Car park area.
• 24 hour security service on the premises.
• Close to the shops, market, bus stop and police station.

Lease Price:
1 x 2 bedroom—K3, 336.66 per month

North Waigani, Swallow Place:
1 x 3 bedroom Unit with a study room, fully furnished with ceiling fans.
• Car park area.
• 24 hour security service on the premises.
• Close to the shops, market, bus stop and police station.

Lease Price:
1 x 3 bedroom—K3,900.00 per month


Hohola 2, Amoora Street:
1 x 2 bedroom Unit, fully furnished with ceiling fans.
• Car park area.
• Recently built.
• Close to the shops, market, bus stop and police station.

Lease Price:
1 x 2 bedroom—K3, 033.33 per month


East Boroko, Kaubebe Street:
1 x 3 bedroom Unit, fully furnished with ceiling fans, air-condition.
• Recently renovated.
• 24 hour security service on premises.
• Car park area.
• Close to the shops, market, bus stop and police station.

Lease Price:
1 x 3 bedroom—K6, 500 per month 

The Commercial Services also facilities the services in visas and passports. The service is very sufficient and reliable. If you need assistance don’t hesitate to call or email the Commercial Services Coordinator. 

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.