31st EPAC Graduation Ceremony

PNG NRI Campus, Waigani, NCD, 13 November 2020

Speech by PNG NRI Director Dr. Osborne Sanida


Professor Father Jan Czuba, Secretary for Depart of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, our Guest of Honour for today’s EPAC Graduation (standing in for Minister Nick Kuman); PNG NRI Council Acting Chairman, Mr. Wilson Thompson; Members of PNG NRI Council; EPAC 2020 Graduands and family/friends/sponsors; Representatives from the Diplomatic Corp, Government Institutions; Representatives from Private Sector and NGOs; EPAC Lecturers; EPAC Coordinating Team; NRI Staff; the media; and Ladies and Gentlemen.

Good morning, I welcome you all to the 30th Graduation of the Diploma Program in Economic Policy Analysis, popularly known as “EPAC”, the Economic Policy Analysis Course.

The PNG NRI is a Public Policy “Think Tank”, mandated by the NRI Act to conduct applied social and economic research into the PNG economy and society. Our mission is to generate research information that will lead to informed decision-making in order to improve the welfare of our people.

The PNG NRI operates on the “3 I mantra” or motto: Inquire, Inform and Influence. Inquire is to dig out information and understand issues that affect PNG with relevant analytical tools. Inform is to disseminate our research findings to key stakeholders who are in decision-making positions and the general public. Influence, is to make an impact by ensuring as much as possible, that information received by decision makers is actually used to make good decisions in order to make positive changes to the lives of our people.

As part of its mandate to inform and influence public policy making, PNG NRI has been conducting an intensive training program, the Economic Policy Analysis (EPAC), and awards a Diploma Certificate, since 1989. The EPAC’s target group comprises economists and non-economists who are interested in national development policies – key government economic policies and other public policies that impact sustainable economic growth and national development. However, the course attracts interest from a wide range of professionals, including bureaucrats, executives, managers, administrators, policy analysts, planners, directors, advisors, political leaders and researchers in public, and the private and NGO sectors.

The EPAC training team comprises NRI Senior Research Fellows supplemented by outsourced experienced academics and professionals and guest speakers, where applicable.

Today marks the end of what has been a demanding but rewarding 8 weeks of the 2020 EPAC. Today, we are here to witness the fruit of the hard work of the 32 students over the past 8 weeks.

The students have been taught different issues in economic policy and public policy during the course of the 8 weeks. I am confident that you have learnt a lot during your time here at PNG NRI and that you have been equipped with the tools to design good policies, analyse/evaluate policies, and effectively implement policies with the ultimate objective of making a positive change to the lives of those who will be affected by polices.

With the analytical tools you have learnt, I urge you to conduct good inquiry (research and analysis), inform and influence policy making, and implementation of the policies for the purpose of improving the welfare of our people, wherever you will be after graduation. We hope that you will act as our ambassadors out there, providing positive role models for those thinking of studying the EPAC at PNG NRI.

To conclude, let me once again thank:

  • Guest of Honour, Professor Czuba;
  • NRI Council for its oversight and direction provided for the Institute, including the EPAC.
  • Families/friends of the students.
  • Sponsors of students both as employers or private sponsorship for the 32 students.
  • EPAC coordinating team (Dr. Odhuno; Assoc. Prof. Ezebilo; R. Sofe; and L. Iwong) and Lecturers for imparting your knowledge to the students.
  • Various NRI staff, who worked hard to ensure the success of the program (finance team, communications team, logistics team, and the grounds staff).

Congratulations to the 32 Graduating EPAC Class of 2020!

Thank you and may God Bless us all.

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