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Social Policy

Mother and baby
© UNICEF PNG/2013/Sokhin

Overview

The development programming environment in Papua New Guinea is changing. Strong growth in PNG's mining and resource sector has led to PNG becoming the sixth fastest-growing economy in the world. Despite this, many people live in extreme poverty, with about one third of the population living on less than US$1.25 per day.

The country faces a number of challenges in delivering quality basic services to a growing population. At the same time, development aid is shrinking. There is greater demand by government and development partners to deliver results effectively and efficiently. Data is especially critical to target increasingly scarce resources towards interventions that work for children.

Yet, accessing and using situational and performance based data continues to be a challenge. Data is often outdated or unreliable. Monitoring and reporting of development results is of varied quality.

Recognizing the importance of data and evidence for better programme delivery, the Government of Papua New Guinea is prioritizing the monitoring and analysis of data. UNICEF, together with partners, is supporting the government to strengthen national and provincial capacity on data and analysis. This is especially important in the context of decentralization, where government is divesting more responsibility and resources to provincial and district levels in an effort to strengthen institutional capacity to deliver services. It is important that provinces and districts are equipped with the necessary skills and capacity to report credible data.

Technical support aims to build a cadre of provincial planners and sectoral focal points that are better able to 1) plan and report on critical development indicators; 2) discern good data from bad; 3) tell the story of development in PNG; and 4) facilitate more responsive planning and programming, allowing for more effective investment of resources to maximize results, especially for the most disadvantaged communities. 

UNICEF in action

UNICEF is supporting the Government to:

  • Test innovations to strengthen data collection and advocacy for responsive policy development and budgeting. UNICEF is supporting four Government departments to pilot the use of SMS technology (RapidPro) to collect real-time data to inform programme and budget implementation.
  • Strengthen Government and partner monitoring systems to track barriers and bottlenecks, improve disaggregated data collection. UNICEF is supporting the Department of Planning, National Statistics Office and partner departments to use DevInfo (called PNGInfo) for processing and analyzing critical data. A cadre of national and provincial staff from six departments have been trained to use the online platform. UNICEF is also supporting the Department of Implementation and Rural Development to collect and analyze real-time data at district level. The data will provide baseline data on enabling environment and supply-side barriers on service delivery.
  • Support Government to roll out child friendly social protection and budgets to address inequality. UNICEF is supporting the Department for Community Development to develop child-sensitive social protection to ensure that all children — regardless of income or geography — can access critical services. Greater attention will be given to strengthening public finance and local governance to secure resources for children.

 

 
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