The PNG National Research Institute (PNG NRI) has been conducting an intensive six-week training program in economic policy analysis since 1989, and awards a diploma certificate to participants who have successfully met the requirements of the program. It has gained popularity in the training of bureaucrats, executives, advisors, administrators, planners, political leaders, media personnel and researchers in both the public and private sectors.
This year the course was run for eight (8) weeks. A total of 49 participants registered, who are mostly senior officers and profesionals from various government departments, disciplinary forces, political parties, provincial administrations, development partners, private sector and the media with keen interest in gaining better understanding of key governmnet economic and other public policies. Notable figures who attended include Royal PNG Constabulary Assistant Commissioners Sylvester Kalaut and Tony Duwang, Department of Communication, Information, Technology & Energy Acting Secretary John Avira, and prominent lawyer Stanley Liria. Of the total registered participants, 15 participants were sponsored by Australian Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and comprised those serving in offices of various political parties and members offices of PNG Parliament. The PNG NRI is grateful to the Government of Australia for the sponsorship.
A sample of the policy areas covered during the course include development planning, fiscal and monetary policies, land and natural resource development, markets and competition, and international trade. The courses were delivered by an experienced team comprising of senior researchers/lecturers from the PNG NRI and seasoned guest lecturers.
The EPAC program offered a rewarding and enriching opportunity for the participants to gain new knowledge and better understanding and insights into major economic and public policies that impact national development in PNG. One of the important requirements of the training is to write a policy paper on issues of national importance. The assignment enabled the participants to draw on their professional experience to articulate a topical issue, research, analyse, and write a cogent policy paper.
The PNG NRI endeavours to help others understand PNG’s problems, issues and challenges through its publications and engagement with the public. The EPAC provides an important avenue to engage with middle-to-senior professionals in the public and private sectors. Graduates, who are in a position to make influential decisions on public policy matters, will be conscious of the importance of making decisions that are based on sound theory, research, policy and practice.
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