Pacific Sports Partnerships (PSP) Program
The $29 million Pacific Sports Partnerships (PSP) program is Australia’s flagship sport for development program in the Pacific.
Through PSP, Australia supports activities to address primary risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases, particularly physical inactivity, and address inequalities experienced by women, girls and people living with disability.
The PSP is delivered through partnerships between the Australian Government and Australian, regional and Pacific Island sports organisations. The PSP currently supports eleven sports across nine countries (see Table 1).
Support for Rugby League in the Pacific
The Australian Government has been a strong supporter of the NRL in the Pacific, with $4 million allocated to develop rugby league in PNG through the Australia-PNG bilateral aid agreement over 2009-14.
Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, signed an MoU on 8 May 2014 with the NRL and PNG Department of Education for the League Bilong Laif program (League for Life) which provides funding of $3.5 million from 2013-16 to help improve physical, social, literacy and maths skills of 50,000 students across 80 schools.
An additional $500,000 was provided to NRL in 2015 to expand the League Bilong Laif program into Fiji, Samoa and Tonga in 2015-16. The NRL will work with key groups in these countries to engage with more than 40,000 students each year across 230 schools, using 100 volunteers, to be more active in sport and have a healthier lifestyle.
The NRL’s overarching Pacific Strategy connects Australia and the Pacific through rugby league and builds on the great success of NRL in Papua New Guinea. The Pacific Strategy improves participation of both men and women in the sport, delivers education and health initiatives, and provides mentoring and leadership opportunities for women and girls.
The PSP program has completed two phases (Phase 1: $15 million over 2009–2014, Phase 2: $14 million over 2013–2017) and is currently being redesigned to strengthen its development effectiveness and contribution to public diplomacy. Independent evaluations of the PSP program can be found here:
DFAT has engaged GHD Australia to manage the PSP program 2015-18.