Enhancing human development in Papua New Guinea


PNG continues to face enormous challenges in providing access to quality health services and education opportunities for all Papua New Guineans.

We are focusing our efforts in health and education to develop PNG’s own capacity to deliver services to its population using its own resources.

Australia is assisting PNG to achieve a more effective health system, targeting improvements in maternal and child health and communicable disease control. To maximise the influence of our investments we focus on key areas of the health system, including workforce, infrastructure and financing. Our investments in HIV are progressively shifting to PNG Government responsibility, while maintaining a focus on most-at-risk populations. We are continuing to work to make inroads against malaria and tuberculosis. We are maintaining partnerships with multilateral agencies and developing a stronger engagement with the private sector and faith-based health services.

Australia's support for education in PNG focusses on improving access and quality across the sector, including working in the basic, secondary, technical and higher education sub-sectors. Our efforts support more students, particularly girls and children with a disability, to enrol in and complete school, to further their education through university or technical college, and to enter the workforce with the skills that they need. As part of our changing aid program, the Education Program is investigating opportunities to work with business across the education sector. In particular, we are collaborating with business and industry, as well as government, to revitalise PNG’s technical colleges, working to ensure technical and vocational training is strongly linked to industry demand. We are also facilitating partnerships between higher education institutions in PNG and Australian universities.

Promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls are critical to PNG’s economic and human development. The Women Shaping Pacific Development Program has increased critical investments to support these objectives, including through the Australia-Pacific Women Parliamentary Partnerships Project. The Business Coalition for Women has also been developed to support the mentoring of women business leaders and to facilitate connections across the Pacific.

Australia also harnesses public diplomacy and human development opportunities through new sports for development investments in PNG in line with the new Australian Sports Diplomacy Strategy.

Related initiatives

PNG Health and HIV Capacity Development

Up to $271 million, 2012-2017

This program supports a range of PNG government and non-state actors to improve maternal and child health outcomes by delivering health and HIV services to the rural majority and high risk populations across PNG. In line with the PNG National Health Plan and National HIV Strategy, the program provides grant funding to partners working in health and HIV and supports PNG to improve the detection, diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis (TB), particularly in the National Capital District and Western Province. The program also supports the PNG Government to work towards the goal of malaria elimination by 2030.

The particular focus on TB control in Western Province is supported by the Torres Strait Cross Border Health Issues Committee (HIC), an ongoing sub-committee of The Joint Advisory Council (JAC). The JAC is an advisory body of Australian and PNG officials, co-chaired by Australian and PNG Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade, together with traditional inhabitant representatives to discuss issues related to the Torres Strait Treaty. The HIC is, co-chaired by the Australian and PNG Departments of Health. The primary objective of the HIC is to identify health concerns that arise in the Torres Strait Treaty Zone and adjacent Treaty villages along the South Fly coast of PNG and work with member agencies to identify appropriate strategies and resources to address these concerns.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
Health System Capacity Development Program (HSCDP) Design 2011 Design document
2013 NDOH Capacity Assessment 2013 Analysis
October 2014 Torres Strait Cross Border Health Issues Committee (HIC) meeting: Summary of discussion and key outcomes 2014 Meeting outcomes summary
April 2015 Torres Strait Cross Border Health Issues Committee (HIC) meeting: Summary of discussion and key outcomes 2015 Meeting outcomes summary
October 2015 Torres Strait Cross Border Health Issues Committee (HIC) meeting: Summary of discussion and key outcomes 2015 Meeting outcomes summary
April 2016 Torres Strait Cross Border Health Issues Committee (HIC) meeting: Summary of discussion and key outcomes 2016 Meeting outcomes summary
November 2016 Torres Strait Cross Border Health Issues Committee (HIC) meeting: Summary of discussion and key outcomes 2016 Meeting outcomes summary

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Health Financing

Up to $48.73 million, 2013-2017

The PNG Health Services Improvement Program (HSIP) is a direct financing program aimed at improving key PNG health system and service delivery functions. Most funding is directed towards PNG’s sub-national level, to complement the Government of PNG’s funding to provinces for health service delivery. This includes targeted funding for emergency obstetric transfers for remote locations; in-service training for primary health care workers and managers; minor health facility refurbishment and investment in health facility and staff housing refurbishment in PNG’s 20 most disadvantaged districts. It also includes support to PNG’s National Department of Health for policy formulation, standards enforcement, and monitoring and evaluation of PNG’s National Health Plan.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
Health System Capacity Development Program (HSCDP) Design 2011 Design document
Health Sector Improvement Program (HSIP) redesign 2012 Design

PNG Health and HIV Multilateral Partnerships

Up to $68.5 million, 2011-2016

Australia funds three multilateral partners in PNG to leverage their experience and comparative advantage in improving health outcomes. The World Health Organization provides technical support to the National Department of Health and supports routine and supplementary immunisation campaigns to ensure that children in the most remote districts are vaccinated. The World Bank undertakes analysis of health financing to support effective funding flows for health service delivery. The Asian Development Bank is contributing to improving the National Health Information System as well as strengthening governance arrangements for delivery of health services in provinces, including through upskilling the health workforce and construction of new Community Health Posts.

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PNG Health and HIV Procurement Program

Up to $78 million, 2013-2016

Procurement support within the health program focuses on helping PNG to plan its health infrastructure redevelopments by providing support for rehabilitation of priority health infrastructure. The Australian Government is also supporting health training institutions to take in more students to combat the growing healthcare worker crisis through support to refurbishment of teaching areas as well as teacher and student accommodation. The Australian Government ended its funding of medical supply distribution in 2014 but continues to provide technical assistance.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
Medical Supply Evaluation 2013 Evaluation

Related links

PNG Education Program

Up to $243.93 million, 2011-2016

In basic education, we work in partnership with the National Department of Education and provincial education divisions. We focus on capacity building at the national level, supporting teachers to improve the quality of teaching and learning, and primary school infrastructure.

In the higher education and vocational sector, we work in partnership with the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, universities, Technical and Vocational Educational and Training (TVET) institutions and colleges to improve access and quality. The program is supporting high quality higher education in Papuan New Guinea strengthening quality assurance and accreditation in the higher education sector. In particular, the program responds to the demand for a qualified PNG labour force. We also work closely with industry to ensure graduates and the skills sector are meeting industry needs. Our support to the TVET sector is complemented with an Australia Pacific Technical College (APTC) campus in Port Moresby. APTC meets a key gap in the PNG TVET sector, providing internationally-recognised trade qualifications to Papua New Guineans in key areas of demand, such as metal fabrication and welding, and hospitality.

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PNG Sports Development Programs

Up to $10million, 2015 - 2018

The objective of this initiative is to contribute to improving gender equality, health, education, wellbeing and development outcomes through sports and to broaden mutual understanding, building, enduring relationships and strengthen people to people links between Australia and PNG. The Australian Government is working with a range of partners in PNG through targeted sports development programs.
Current partners include:

  • Pacific Sports Partnership (PSP) - An Australian Government Initiative that has contributed to sport for development programs in the Pacific.  PSP supports development priorities with social inclusion, improving healthy behaviours associated with non-communicable diseases through activities delivered through partnerships with AFL, Cricket, Football, Rugby Union, Basketball and Table Tennis.

  • Just Play (in partnership with the Oceania Football Confederation) works through soccer to help children learn healthy lifestyles and diets.  It also promotes gender equality and actively works to include children who are living with disability.

  • Equal Playing Field delivered in partnership with Plan International Australia will deliver a program for boys and girls aged 12 – 14, to help them define healthy, positive and non-violent ways to express themselves to create stronger, safer, and happier communities.

  • League Bilong Life delivered in partnership with National Rugby League this program encourages healthy lifestyles for girls and boys while boosting their physical, social, reading and maths skills.

  • Water Aid delivered in partnership with Netball PNG to promote water and sanitation messages and increase women’s leadership through sports associations.


Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
Schools-based Rugby League Pilot Program in Papua New Guinea Design Document 2012 Design

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PNG Gender Equality and the Elimination of Gender Based Violence

Up to $58 million, 2008-2020

The Gender Equality and Elimination of Gender Based Violence initiative is focused on promoting gender equality in PNG through policy development, advocacy, and supporting women leaders to bring about change. This initiative also supports the PNG work plan under the Regional Gender Initiative "Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development". This funding is additional to existing gender equality programs funded by the bilateral program.

See below for information about "Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development".

Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development

Up to $58 million, 2012-2022

Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women) is a Pacific regional program, with individual plans developed for each country. It aims to improve the political, economic and social opportunities of Pacific women and supports countries to meet the commitments they made in the Pacific Leaders’ Gender Equality Declaration. Through this initiative, Australia is partnering with Papua New Guinean women and men to:

  • combat and prevent violence against women and support survivors of violence: For example, Australia is supporting UNDP and the Government of PNG to strengthen national coordination, implementation and monitoring mechanisms for zero tolerance of family and sexual violence.
  • promote economic opportunities for women: For example, Australia is supporting the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to improve the economic empowerment of women in partnership with the private sector – including through improving opportunities for women farmers in PNG.
  • promote opportunities for women to take up leadership roles at all levels of society: Australia is supporting the Inclusive Development in Post-Conflict Bougainville (IDIB) project to empower Bougainville women and to increase their capacity for leadership, community organisation and project management.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
Delivery Strategy: Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development 2012–2022 2012 Strategy
Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development—Design document 2014 Design document
Papua New Guinea Country Plan Summary 2014 Plan and design

Related links

* The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is committed to high standards of transparency and accountability in the management of the Australian aid program through publishing information on our website, including policies, plans, results, evaluations and research. Our practice is to publish documents after the partner government and any other partners directly involved in the delivery of the initiative have been consulted. Not all material published on this site is created by the Australian aid program and therefore not all documents reflect our views. In limited circumstances some information may be withheld for reasons including privacy and commercial sensitivity.



Last Updated: 24 February 2017