ANZSOG to help build public sector leadership capacity in Papua New Guinea

Image of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
  • Published Date: 11 May 2022

ANZSOG has been working with the Pacific Institute of Leadership and Governance (PILAG) to design a high-level leadership and governance program for public servants in Papua New Guinea (PNG), as part of our work to improve governance in the Indo-Pacific region.

The work has been undertaken in partnership with the University of Queensland and will take advantage of ANZSOG’s experience in delivering custom education programs for public services, and our wide network of practitioners and academics. The University of Queensland, whose dedicated International Development unit has undertaken several engagements in Papua New Guinea, is recognised as one of the leading university development groups in the Indo-Pacific.

In August 2021, the Papua New Guinea Government launched the Sustainable, Stable and Consistent Public Sector Training for Improved Service Delivery policy with the aim of delivering a better performing public service. The policy directs the Pacific Institute of Leadership and Governance (PILAG) to deliver leadership development education for the heads of departments and agencies across the nation’s public sector.

Rebecca Gonapa, PILAG’s Manager Learning Development Research and Innovation, said that PILAG had made a decision to partner with an international organisation to ensure the program was the best quality possible.

“We chose ANZSOG because it is an organisation that has delivered a lot of leadership programs for the Australian and New Zealand public service and we wanted to partner with an international organisation with that experience,” Ms Gonapa said.

“We are delivering a program for department heads in the country – the cream of the crop – and we needed a high-quality program which we could only get by partnering with an international organisation like ANZSOG with that experience delivering leadership for the public service. We also want to work with ANZSOG so that graduates of the program could, in the future, potentially create a pathway for our graduates to pursue further training options with ANZSOG.”

“The public sector training policy advocates the need for public servants at every level, to have the required training to perform their roles, and that policy specifically dictates that we need to have a leadership training program for department heads. This to ensure that they have the essential competencies to perform their duties.

Ms Gonapa said that a key focus of the program would be training on public service ethics and values and leadership capabilities to address a key challenge in governance in PNG.

“Our selection system is often influenced by politics, and people from outside the public service are often brought into perform senior roles, not just at the national level but also at the provincial level,” she said.

“Along with having good administrative skills and knowledge of the public sector environment, we need vibrant and ethical leaders to lead our organisations, leaders who are able to prudently use public funds and public programs in an ethical way to deliver government services. When we have good leaders at the top, positive change trickles down to the lower levels. At the top, power can be used or misused, and we want ethical leadership and good governance to change things across the whole organisation and eventually the public service.”

ANZSOG’s initial engagement has delivered a program design that specifies critical program parameters, learning objectives, curriculum and delivery options.

The intent is for this program to be delivered to current and aspiring CEOs, Departmental Heads and Provincial Administrators, and District level CEOs across all three levels of government, focusing on the following themes: leading organisational culture, leading organisational performance and leading organisational change.