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?