Project Profile

Independent Evaluation of Australian Electoral Assistance in Papua New Guinea 2000-2012

Client // DFAT -Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Country // Australia
Date // March 2013

IOD PARC  led an evaluation of long-term Australian support for electoral processes in Papua New Guinea. The team comprised Simon Henderson (IOD PARC Director) and Horacio Boneo (Independent Elections Expert).  The report highlights that national elections in Papua New Guinea have been getting increasingly expensive, with a cost per voter in 2012 comparable with the most expensive elections in the world (including Afghanistan).  At the same time, there has not been an equivalent increase in the quality of elections.  

The report is critical of the long-term capacity building support provided by Australia to the PNG Electoral Commission, which focused on corporate systems and structure, while neglecting more pressing concerns of organisational culture, leadership, strategy and the broader incentives affecting staff motivation.  

The report makes important recommendations regarding: aligning support with the electoral cycle; coordinating aid and diplomatic activities; and managing the moral hazard risks associated with large-scale, last minute assistance. 

The management response can be found here.