Did the AusAID Electoral Support Program Phase 2 & 3 Achieve its Terms of Reference?

The Electoral Support Program Phase 2 from 2005-2011 cost AU$26.1 million. The design of ESP 2 was based around four main components:
  • Component One: To support reform and development of electoral policy and improvements to the electoral system in PNG.
  • Component Two: To improve the capacity of the PNGEC to plan, prepare and conduct elections in PNG (including by-elections, the 2007 elections, and elections in Bougainville).
  • Component Three: To improve the awareness and understanding of the PNG electoral system, by voters and the community.
  • Component Four: To improve the organizational capacity of the PNGEC as an electoral office

In addition the Electoral Support Program Phase 3 from 2005-2011 cost AU$14.6 million – The goal of this AusAID Project was also to contribute to strengthened PNG Electoral Systems.

The current phase of the program has four objectives:

  • to strengthen electoral governance
  • to strengthen the PNG Electoral Commission’s capacity to manage elections
  • to improve civic awareness of electoral processes and understanding of the PNG electoral system
  • to improve research, analysis, program management and coordination.

The purpose of the Program is to work primarily with the PNG Electoral Commission in supporting and assisting them to fulfill their mandate to conduct free and fair elections. At the same time, the Program supports a whole-of-government approach to election co-ordination by strengthening linkages between national and provincial government agencies.

Phase 3 of the Electoral Support Program builds was intended to build on Cardno’s five years of experience supporting PNG elections in Phase 2. The new phase has a particular emphasis on gender, HIV and AIDS and disability and research.

The reports coming out from Elections 2012 showed flaws and is going to be the test to see if AusAID’s ESP Phases 1,2 and 3 actually achieved its Terms Of Reference and if its contractor Cardno kept its promise of regularly and pro-actively analyses PNG’s political, social and economic climate to ensure risks which were identified earlier were addressed and that the Electoral Commission was supported to go into the 2012 General Elections and respond to risks when they arise.

What do you all think?

4 thoughts on “Did the AusAID Electoral Support Program Phase 2 & 3 Achieve its Terms of Reference?

  1. Comments from facebook group, Sharp Talk:

    Rex Anthony Pat Paura what a waste … in my personal opinion, none of the objective was achieve… what a waste of $14 million… wonder how they will account for it

    Manu Bobola It is very unlikely ESP1,2&3 achieved its TOR – the result is evident in this election – another battle lost and another boomerang gone back.

    Rex Anthony Pat Paura They never learn do they?? Manu Bobola, why can’t they just find someone locally to help achieve their objectives?

    Manu Bobola We do not trust each other – PNGeans do not think that their own kind will achieve anything therefore putting their trust on outsiders – we will continue this cycle of failure until someone crushes the head of the snake.

    Rensie Xhira Bada AUSAID is an independent arm of govt in Aussie, meaning they have to find issues in countries and tell their govt, that they need money to fund this and that, in other words, they gotta make money for themselves to keep their programmes alive. Our issues, actualy are a revenue generating platform for their HQ in Aussie. Cause if its about genuine bilateral aid, they would not be sending their own personnals to come and work here.

    Rex Anthony Pat Paura Personally, I think we PNGean’s let ourselves down .. we have not down our best to show we are capable … once we do that consistantly, then we can be sure of some positive results

    Manu Bobola For this reason and many others the Government of PNG should immediately put a temporary stop on all new AusAID initiatives and review all our bilateral agreements.

    Annette Ross Manu, do you actually know what the Key developement achievment’s were in 2010-2011 by ausAID?

    Karabuspalau Kaiku Agree bro Manu; the new government has to undertake a major review of bilateral arrangements with Oz! Seriously. This is soooooo long overdue!

    Annette Ross • funding 539 000 textbooks for over 3400 primary schools and eight teacher trainingcolleges. These books provide crucial teaching resources, especially in rural and remote schools where materials are scarce
    • constructing 184 new classrooms with desks for about 6500 children, 92 new school offices and 85 new houses for teachers
    • supporting 394 Papua New Guineans to gain trade-related qualifications that meet Australian standards through the Asia-Pacific Technical College, which has a campus located in Port Moresby. All graduates subsequently gained employment
    • granting 233 Papua New Guineans scholarships to undertake tertiary studies in Australia
    • supporting a rapid and effective emergency response to an outbreak of cholera in
    Western Province in late 2010. This quickly stabilised the situation on Daru Island and
    improved those in the middle and lower Fly River regions

    • supporting thousands of Papua New Guineans to access treatment for HIV. By the
    end of 2010, 7555 adults and children were on antiretroviral therapy compared with
    6751 people in 2009. AusAID assistance represents about 70 per cent of Papua New
    Guinea’s HIV response

    • helping maintain 2153 kilometres of national roads, including a key section of the
    Highlands Highway from the industrial centre of Lae to Goroka (365 kilometres), providing
    access to crucial health and education services, helping rural communities get their
    goods to market, and helping keep open and fully operational the most important road in
    Papua New Guinea, serving a population of more than 1.5 million people in the highlands

    • helping increase the number of women magistrates in the village courts system from
    40 in 2007 to 500 by the end of 2010, with a further 200 women currently being trained

    • encouraging about 1500 at risk young people to undertake community service in return
    for training and on the job placements through the Yumi Lukautim Mosbi (we look after
    Port Moresby) project. This initiative is helping young people find employment and
    alternatives to crime

    • helping to extend the reach of law and justice services in Bougainville by funding key
    infrastructure, such as community justice centres and a police training centre, upgrading
    rural police stations, and building new police housing

    Karabuspalau Kaiku AusAID measures its key development achievements by the “millions of Aussie dollars”. They are always quick to point out how much they expend. I wish capacity building for personnel in the public service is also quantified.

    Manu Bobola No one in the world measures development indicators based on the money they spent – but on the outcomes achieved, i.e. if the problems highlighted became better / improved.

    In this case, Electoral Commission of PNG is far worse off! Maski long giaman, inap, karim mani blong yu go!

    Rex Anthony Pat Paura ‎Karabuspalau Kaiku, I have always wondered why they never do “exchange programmes” for police, defense and public sector personnel. This would have do heaps for our people

    Manu Bobola ‎Annette Ross we are particularly interested in the AusAID ESP 1,2,&3 do not bring your vague and ambiguous discussion into this thread which is specific to AusAID support in the Electoral Sector of PNG.

    Are you trying to deviate this discussion – let look at AusAID performance sector by sector.

    Judith Day They will never agree to do what is required by us, they will do what they want to do with their money, unless you stand up to them. It is a waste of time and money in most instances, but not all. I agree that we really have to do something about it, the buck stops with PNG. It is their money and they can do whatever they like with it and who are we to complain about it. Time to cut the ties and learn to use your own money and be responsible for your own affairs.

    Klen Banisman ‎Annette Ross, looks pretty but nothing much to show it. What about the break up of the expenses or work done and achieved for the Electoral Commission. We are now talking EC here so let’s not cloud the issue with pretty looking briefs. Not convincing at all.

    Manu Bobola ‎Annette Ross are you sure you know what you are talking about?

    Annette Ross ausAID website, annual reports, 2010-2011 PDF, page 43 section 2.

    Karabuspalau Kaiku Annette Ross; I can make a critique of all these so-called developmental assistance to you and show how self-serving and guilt-riddled Australia is in its delivery of these projects. You will expect this from an agency that is serving Australia’s foreign policy agendas.

    Manu Bobola ‎Annette Ross is this report specific to AusAID Electoral Support Program 1,2&3?

    Rensie Xhira Bado I believe, halting the Aid is not sensible, but immediately getting down to the bottom of the common roll issue first. Investigate both the AUSAID Consultants and EC Officers who were working together, I would really wanna know what went wrong with the massive absence of many names

    Annette Ross no Manu.. it is not

    Karabuspalau Kaiku But mi les long waste im taim blong mi. The new government will have to review the role of AusAID and put in place a progressive formular to start the phasing out of these “mini-government”! Inap pinis.

    Manu Bobola ‎Annette Ross then do not bring it into this discussion because it is not relevant – we need specific information pertaining to AusAID ESP1,2&3.

    Rensie Xhira Bado I think we should GRADUALLY put a stop to AusAID funding in key government sectors because it is the responsibility of the Government of PNG.

    Rex Anthony Pat Paura ‎Annette Ross, please don’t try to divert the attention. Let us keep the focus on electoral commission

    Annette Ross no worries, actually posted this on the worng thread.. 🙂

    Manu Bobola No Annette Ross I think you deliberately did that to DISINFORM members of this forum and posters on this thread – is this a black propaganda campaign?

    Rex Anthony Pat Paura ‎Manu Bobola, next PNG Government should do this now… Sovereign Wealth Fund would cater for this

    Patrick Sepzkuofo Thanks Manu Bobola for providing that information. the engaged AusAid advisers has been working with EC for the last 6 years and nothing tangible has comes out as final-outcome of this election as part of phase 2.

    Judith Day Like I said, in most instances it is a waste of time and Australian tax payers money being used by their own government to create lucrative jobs for themselves in the name of helping one of the poorest country, their neighbour and former colony. The problem is us, we cannot get our act together to be self sifficient in managing our own affairs.

    Patrick Sepzkuofo The blame should be bestowed upon Trawen, his staff and Ausaid Advisers. Trawen and his staff failed their responsibilities to raise alarm when designed tasks of each phases or phase 2 task were not executed accordingly. the advisers over-stepping their roles or not comply with each phases descriptions in assisting EC and preparing well for the election

    Ialibu Pangia Electorate ‎Manu Bobola – the key word here is ‘Support’ if you’re referring to support can be quantified as success or failure. Your extraction of design documents is accurate but whether or not achieving those objectives need to be analysed properly. Support in this case is PNG taking a lead role while international partners, such as AusAID support in areas where PNG requires, as agreed, with PNG government. At the end of the day, PNG own and lead.

    Manu Bobola ‎Ialibu Pangia Electorate – but the question we all should be asking is who identified the risk and weakness in our Electoral Commission and and Systems and who initiated the AusAID Electoral Support Program?

    Who set our the TOR for the Project? Who were the EC team members who interfaced with AusAID / Cardno?

    My point is that AusAID Electoral Support Program did not achieve its TOR – they had the leading hand in this project as in the case of others where their advisers take over and do things their way.

    I say the next government should set up and committee to see a gradual cut of AusAID support to key government sectors.

    Ialibu Pangia Electorate Institutional strengthening and improving capacity is only achieved if local ownership and leadership is clear on its destiny. What is apparently clear is the mess every PNG government institution is in at the moment. Not one single government institution that I know is functioning effectively (this case i refer to both enablers of effective service delivery and governance). The issue with EC is just a tip-of-ice bag. The Health Department, Education, Treasury and Finance, Law and Justice, National Planning, Transport,..list goes on..are literally dysfunctional and failing its people. Can can’t or even close to achieving the MDGs.

    So my point is – for those criticising AusAID or any other development partners, role of any development partner is to support PNG achieve its goals. PNG must take lead and to do that…we must first embrace the fact that we need partners to help us get there. And definitely we need skilled people too..such as Advisers.

    Patrick Sepzkuofo ‎Ialibu Pangia Electorate, the other key government agencies that you just mention also have tens of AusAid advisers attaching to those institutions. they played influential roles either assisting or over-stepping.

    Manu Bobola ‎Ialibu Pangia Electorate I hate the fact the our Government Institution cannot trust our own people to provide the necessary support and technical advise.

    God I hate to think that the Australians know more than us! The question still stands, Who identified the problems and who set up the TOR?

    I assume you have set in an AusAID led project meeting? And you have seen how they conduct themselves?

    Ludwig Nanawar Why would Australia not send its consultants when we cannot be trusted to handle their money? Its just basic. Why are we searching for answers? You dont need to be a rocket scientist to reason this out. Although the consultants fees are exorbitant, this is now being revised.

    Patrick Sepzkuofo ‎Ialibu Pangia Electorate, ausaid is not the only development partners in the country. there are other international development partners who have performance extremely well by assisting with eagerness to see the country progress. ausaid has different agendas and motives by applying neo-colonialism tactics.

    Manu Bobola Okay, well shame on all the public servants from syphoning Australian Tax Payer Money – no one within the public service can be trusted.

    So how come other international development partners such as EU do not experience the same?


    Emily Richard Department of Planning and Monitoring, aid effectiveness team, instigate an independent evaluation. It should be led by NDPM.

    Ludwig Nanawar Samuel Kiap you hit the nail on the head. And they become puppets which are easily manipulated. Emily Richard I heard from a senior planning officer that this is being done now including review of consultants fees which consumes significant junk of the AID.

    Emily Richard Who designed the project? Is it Cardno or EC? Who was on the team and what was the ratio of nationals to experts? What sort of consultation did they do?

    Alot of impact projects like the Global Fund have gone to waste because of useless consultation led by experts. They hide behind close door and only work with the top beaurocrats because they cant handle the national technocrats. They will lobby for the top beaurocrat who will go by them. They will the align AID to their friggin consulting firms.

    You own the money Australia but you cant mess around in my country as your playing field. PNG is a soverign nation, you go by my TOR and design if you want to be of relevance or signifnace to PNG. You want to help PNG, you help PNG with delivered results. We demand results and not friggin expediated tax payers money on your financial calender.

    Why cant those 22 consultants go and station themselves in 22 districts, work with the LLG presidents and ward members to collect, input data in whatever system they have on hand and train locals there. Use the sophisticated communication techology they carry around to transmit data. Then recommend whatever the cost effective mechanism to the EC. Or are they scared of paranoia or rather will surely miss Yacht club. And to you EC and other Department Beurocrats, sanap lo tupla lek Papa God antap i givim you and represent PNG. Dont bloody succumb to their demands or paid service to you.

    Planning Department should conduct an independent evaluation and have that report publish in PNG and Australia for public taxpayers consumption.

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