Opening Remarks by NRI Council Acting Chairman Mr Wilson Thompson on the Occasion of the Launch of the PNG NRI Strategic Plan 2021-2030 and PNG NRI Corporate Plan 2021-2023.

Venue: PNG NRI Conference Centre, Waigani, NCD
Date: 11 June 2021


Hon. Wesley Raminai, Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science, Technology and Sports. Members of the NRI Council. Invited guests. The Media. NRI management and staff. Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the PNG National Research Institute in this refurbished Conference Centre. Based on Council approval in February, management took on the challenge to get the Conference Centre refurbished. And I am pleased that this venue is open for business especially, to Inform and Influence Public Policy.

Consistent with the National Research Institute Act 1993, the PNG NRI Council is the governing body of the Institute. It sets the strategic direction upon which the plans of the Institute are developed. These plans include the Strategic Plan, Corporate Plans and Annual Work Plans.

Today we are launching two documents: the NRI Strategic Plan 2021-2030 and the NRI Corporate Plan 2021-2023. I want to acknowledge and thank Hon. Minister Raminai for accepting the Institute’s invitation to preside over the launching of these two important documents today.

The Governing Council of the PNG NRI is setting its vision through the Strategic Plan. Having a vision gives us the ability to see where the Institute is today and predict a future on its growth and improvement. Having a vision is essential in business and government and NRI is no exception.

The Institute has now come to the crossroads. The previous five-year Corporate Plan ended in December 2020. The Council is paving the way forward through the Strategic Plan 2021-2030 which will guide the development of future Corporate Plans and annual work plans.

Over the years, PNG NRI has looked inwardly in terms of structure, profession, staffing and influence. With research conducted through programs in areas such as economics, land, environment, politics, education, culture, law and order, gender, informal economy, development indicators, and through facilities only at Waigani. In doing so, we may have gone into smaller confines.

To set the pace for the Council’s collective visioning, the operations of the PNG NRI will be reviewed during this Strategic Plan period in view of the core functions of research and informing and influencing public policy, and support function of corporate services. In the Strategic Plan, there are important strategies in research, knowledge management and corporate services to drive the Institute’s mandate of conducting applied social and economic research.

The Corporate Plan 2021-2023 is a key document for the Institute, which the Council has approved. This new Corporate Plan follows from the completion of the previous Corporate Plan 2016-2020. Based on Council directive, the management did a review on the previous Corporate Plan and the lessons learned are incorporated into this new Corporate Plan.

We are mindful of the Government focus which was outlined by the Minister in his visit to NRI. We were fortunate to have the Minister visit us first and so it coincided with preparation of the plans. Apart from NRI, we are mindful of the Minister’s concern that we need a research agenda and further need coordination to focus our research including others towards a national agenda. Further, we take the Minister’s vision to coordinate all Research Institutes and agencies to understand our own space and establish a progressive society through Research and Innovation Grant to stimulate our people to be creative and progressive in knowledge space.

The Corporate Plan is a living document and has room for progressive “evolution” as NRI’s Council and Management sees fit to sequential development(s).

As such, there is an expectation that certain aspects of the Plan may change within the 3-year period of the Plan knowing the dynamics of progressive challenges, and ever evolving socio-economic and cultural shifts. The Plan is a possibility and a pathway ahead and it points to a preferred direction.

It is vital to state that the success of the Plan does not depend only on what the Institute has and does but also on how we work with our stakeholders, which include the Government, Institutions of Government, private sector, development partners and non-governmental organisations. The NRI Council acknowledges the anticipated collaborations with our stakeholders of NRI under this new Corporate Plan.

The Corporate Plan is also vital for the implementation of the new NRI Strategic Plan 2021-2030. The strategic directions have been set clearly in the Strategic Plan in terms of research, knowledge management and Corporate Services. This Corporate Plan and futures ones will translate the visions of the Strategic Plan for implementation.

The Council is committed to ensuring that the management of the Institute and staff work together to ensure that the goals and objectives of this strategic plan are achieved to drive the role of PNG NRI as the country’s premier research institute and independent policy think tank.

Finally, we commend the Minister and the Government that since 2020, we have actually received funding for research, our core function after more than 20 years. On that note, we might need to lift our profile. Our good Minister, we need to move out and upwards and may I on behalf of the Council seek your endorsement to get our Knowledge Hub concept started with the construction of the Sir Henry Chow Building and precinct.

Once again, I thank Minister Raminai for always encouraging us by accepting our invitation to launch the two documents. I now invite the Hon Minister to give his remarks and launch the documents.


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