What’s wrong with the PNG's (draft) integrated rural development policy?

The Papua New Guinea National Research Institute (PNG NRI) has released a new Issues paper, “What’s wrong with the (draft) integrated rural development policy for Papua New Guinea?” This paper looks at the important issues that lie behind the draft integrated rural development policy for Papua New Guinea.

The author, Dr Francis Odhuno, Program Leader of the Economic Policy Program says the proposed policy would perpetuate a hand-out mentality. He argues, for example, that there is no reason for emphasising the absence of non – durable household assets, such as refrigerators, televisions and motor vehicles to inform the required intervention in each rural place.

Dr Odhuno also doubts the sustainability of duplicate public services to support businesses in rural communities. He argues, for example, that by intervening through guarantee schemes in rural enterprise financing the policy is unlikely to achieve its intended goals.

The article states, that the suggested policy measures are a recipe for failure. It further added that the proposed policy fails to link rural development to the progress in land reform which should be the country’s most strategic policy priority.

It concludes by reiterating that the suggested rural development strategies and policy measures overestimate the expected impact of government actions and undermine the problem – solving capacity of the country’s rural communities and recommends the need to rethink sustainable rural development policies.

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