Launch statement by PNG NRI Acting Director Dr. Osborne Sanida

LAUNCH OF TWO REPORTS ON POST-BOUGAINVILLE REFERENDUM ERA

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 (https://pngnri.org) 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: referendum.research@pngnri.org 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.

Corporate Services Division

The Corporate Services Division incorporates five Sections, whose overall aim is to support the work of the Research Division and the Knowledge Management Division in achieving the Vision and Mission of the Institute.
• The Finance Section generates revenue, effectively manages NRI resources, and provides accountable and transparent financial reporting.
• The Human Resources Section develops and manages the Institute’s personnel in accordance with the Public Services Management Act and the relevant General Orders.
• The Grounds and Facilities Section manages the Institute’s facilities and environment so that they are of high quality, functional, and secure for staff, residents, and visitors.
• The Commercial Services Section generates sustainable internal revenue streams from PNG NRI’s commercial assets and services.
• The Executive Support Section assists the Institute’s Management and the NRI Council in carrying out their responsibilities, and in promoting ethical and inclusive governance.


The Finance Section manages the Institute’s finances and provides advice to Management in accordance with the Public Finance Management Act and International Accounting Standards
(IAS). Finance also ensures that NRI’s commercial units operate in accordance with the Public Services Management Act and the relevant General Orders. The Unit also ensures that all business activities are operating in accordance with set PNG NRI policies; and that contracts advertised, vetted, and approved by the PNG NRI Tenders Committee (a sub-committee of the PNG NRI Council) are transparently disbursed, consistent with the approved scopes, principles, and guidelines.

Finance Section will provide sound advice and oversight on the development of the core physical and IT infrastructure for developing the PNG NRI into a Knowledge Hub and a leading public policy think tank. More specifically, it will guide the management in developing the land and the commercial businesses with the aim of making the Institute financially self-reliant.

Goal

To effectively and efficiently manage PNG NRI financial resources and assets and provide accountable and transparent financial reporting.


The Human Resources Section is responsible for the development and implementation of human resources policies and procedures that ensure the Institute’s ability to attract, retain, develop, and manage a highly engaged and committed workforce through the provision of systematic, coordinated HR services across each of the research programs and Corporate Services sections, consistent with the Public Services Management Act.

Goal

To attract and retain the best quality staff.


The Ground and Facilities Section is the largest section of the Corporate Services Division in terms of staff numbers. The Section staff comprises drivers, cleaners, gardeners and a maintenance officer, who all report to the Grounds and Facilities Manager.

The Section manages and maintains the upkeep and appearance of the PNG NRI Campus office environment to be clean, neat and conducive for research. It also ensures the ongoing upkeep and maintenance of all PNG NRI properties, including office buildings and staff residential houses on the PNG NRI campus, as well as the Institute’s rental properties and staff houses off campus. The Section also oversees the PNG NRI security, and also ensures that utilities such as water, sewerage, and electricity are operational.

Goal

To ensure PNG NRI’s asset portfolio is developed, clean, safe, secure and well maintained.


The role of the Commercial Services Section is to manage PNG NRI’s commercial facilities, which comprise the Conference Centre, Waigani Lodge, and three rental properties. The PNG NRI Coffee Shop is leased to a catering company to manage. The Commercial Services Section also facilitates and/or assists in visa processing and passport application for PNG NRI staff. It also facilitates visas for visiting overseas academic researchers.

The Commercial Services Section is expected to provide direction and effective planning and implementation of a marketing/business plan in order to optimise the Institute’s generation of its income from its assets such as the conference centre, accommodation, coffee shop, and rental properties.

Goal

To grow independent and sustainable revenue streams from PNG NRI’s assets and services.


The Executive Support Section assists the Institute’s Management and the PNG NRI Council in carrying out their responsibilities, promoting ethical and inclusive governance. The Section
supports the monitoring and reporting of Institute activities; coordinates strategic and operational planning processes; provides advice and information to Council; and facilitates the effective communication of Council and management decisions to key stakeholders.

Goal

To support the Institute’s Management and the PNG NRI Council in carrying out their responsibilities, and promoting ethical and inclusive governance.

Knowledge Management Division

The Knowledge Management Division is a new division, which comprises of two sections: Communications and Information Knowledge Management. The Knowledge Management Division (KMD) provides specialist support, expertise, and advice to the Research Division and Corporate Services Division in the areas of knowledge storage, processing, retrieval and dissemination. It plays a key role in communicating PNG NRI’s work to relevant stakeholders.

The KMD is managed on a daily basis by the Communications Manager and Information Management Manager respectively with oversight from the Deputy Director Research.


The Communications Section is responsible for packaging and disseminating research findings to key policy decision makers, policy practitioners, other stakeholders in the government and the private sector, civic society, and people in the urban and rural communities. The aim is to influence thinking, generate debate and discussions, and influence policy development and policy implementation. There are two units under Communications Section: Digital Media and Editorial.

Digital Media Unit

The Unit develops and implements communication plans, media and public relations activities for PNG NRI research programs and projects as well as for the Institute as a whole. It utilises various communication tools and employs communication strategies to ensure effective dissemination and communication of information to third parties.

Goal

To inform, influence and shape policy outcomes through effective dissemination of research outputs.

Editorial Unit

Formerly known as Publications Unit coordinates the production of research outputs from a manuscript through to publication in any one of the following PNG NRI’s suite of publications: research reports, discussion papers, issues papers, spotlight articles, and other special reports. The Unit provides editing, laying-out, and designing services, which can be tasked internally or externally. It also oversees the distribution and storage of all PNG NRI publications.

The Unit remains committed to exploring means and ways to improve publication services so that PNG NRI’s research outputs contribute to informed debate and decision making on developmental policies in PNG.

Goal

Efficiently produce quality research outputs in a timely manner, and also provide an effective and efficient distribution and storage system for all PNG NRI publications.


This section is expected to play an important role in guiding the management and the council to implement the core ICT infrastructure for the Knowledge Hub. There are three units under Information Management Section: ICT Unit, Library Unit and Database Unit.

The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Unit

Unit is mandated to provide and support the ICT core infrastructure of Institute, including the server and computer hardware, network and internet devices, software and specific applications to certain work units.

The ICT Unit is comprised of the IT Support Officer and Helpdesk Support Officer. The IT Support Officer ensures regular and daily maintenance and administration of the network hardware, software and applications. The position’s secondary role is to support the ICT Officer in providing technical support during the implementation of specific projects. The Helpdesk Support Officer provides assistance to end users and oversees the operations of audio-visual equipment at the PNG NRI.

Going forward, the PNG NRI is committed to a reliable, efficient and effective ICT system to generate, store and disseminate research outputs. Hence, the role of the ICT Unit is critical in this corporate plan.

Goal

To guide the development of an appropriate (reliable, efficient, and effective) ICT infrastructure and services to the PNG NRI developing into a Knowledge Hub and leading think tank while ensuring the everyday smooth operation of the ICT system.

Library Unit

The PNG NRI is positioned to be a vibrant and dynamic research think tank making a contribution to the global information landscape while informing and influencing policy makers and implementers. In this respect, the PNG NRI Library can no longer be “a house full of books, with card catalogues”; rather it is embracing electronic digitalization—the way forward for all libraries.

Hence, with the application of the Institute’s investments in information technology, the library is poised to move from its paper-based Research Information Management System to a paperless, digital/electronic library allowing global access by researchers and policymakers to PNG’s public policy documents.

The Library based database will be an integral part of the PNG NRI’s network of databases to be developed to house different types of data targeting different stakeholders and users. Hence, the PNG NRI Library database will have all the collection of all past PNG NRI publications (to be scanned and uploaded onto the database), complete scanning of the Post-Courier index, scanning useful and rare books from the library’s hard copy selection, and create links with libraries and databases around the world.

 Goal

To collect and store public policy information for timely and easy access by PNG NRI users.

Database Unit

Electronic data management system is critical for the PNG NRI going forward. Hence, an efficient Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) is designed for internal use and the Public Policy Collection Database for external users. The present EDMS system will be reviewed and appropriate software and data management installed within the corporate plan period. Once created, it will act as a central repository for the processing and storage of NRI’s corporate documents. It creates an enabling environment for information to be easily stored and retrieved, with hard copies of corporate documents scanned and registered into the system. The Public Policy Database, on the other hand has an external focus. Similar to the PNG NRI Library database system, it will hold a range of public policy documents, including research reports, in an online repository, allowing easy access by the interested stakeholders.

Goal

Establish and maintain a paperless work and research environment by providing an efficient information storage and retrieval system.

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.

Motto

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.