Update: Investment Concept - Program for Improved Performance in Education (PAPE) in Papua New Guinea

29 October 2019

Investments in human capital have been shown to improve employment rates and earnings and offer significant social rates of return. Australia is supporting PNG’s human capital development by investing in the country’s education system and leadership capability.

Education is a central component of the Papua New Guinea–Australia Partnership. Australia recognises that a stable and prosperous Papua New Guinea, with a growing economy, is one of its highest foreign policy priorities. Australia has a mutual interest in PNG being able to take full advantage of its economic and human potential.

Portfolio Plan

The Australian High Commission’s Education and Leadership (E&L) Portfolio Plan 2018-2022 supports the PNG Government’s vision for all citizens to gain the skills and knowledge to take advantage of employment and leadership opportunities.

Australia’s investments are organised around three priority areas:

Outcome 1 – Foundations: more girls and boys in targeted provinces/schools have improved early grade literacy and numeracy

Outcome 2 – Skills and Productivity: more women and men gain appropriate skills in priority sectors

Outcome 3 – Leadership: more women and men are able to apply leadership skills and attributes towards the development of PNG

These priority areas are directly relevant to supporting the PNG Government to deliver against the Vision 2050 statement and priorities made under the Alotau Accord II. They are also aligned to the Medium Term Development Plan III 2018-2022, in particular key result areas: 3. Sustainable Social Development, 5. Improved Service Delivery and 6. Improved Governance.

Program for Improved Performance in Education (PAPE)

Australia in partnership with the PNG Government is planning for a new, innovative investment to support to the education sector in Papua New Guinea. This will replace some of the key functions of the existing Education Capacity Development Facility.

The design is currently being revised to focus on Australia’s next phase of support to foundations education (Outcome 1) in Papua New Guinea and the provision of targeted technical advice.

Australia in partnership with the PNG Government is currently reshaping how it will deliver its support for skills and productivity (Outcome 2). Leadership outcomes (Outcome 3) will continue to be delivered under existing programs.

Proposed DFAT funding allocation is AUD50 million over five years (2020-21 to 2024-25).

PAPE will support the PNG Government to deliver on its own objectives. The Program will work in two ways:

  1. supporting targeted areas of the national education system to deliver better outcomes for students; and
  2. documenting new and existing successful models of good practice which can, over time, be embedded into the broader system. With a robust monitoring and evaluation framework, an in-depth understanding of the political economy and high quality action research, PAPE will identify system blockages and their solutions in line with PNG Government policies and plans.

Functions of PAPE

PAPE is expected to perform the following functions:

  1. Facilitation and enabling support to address system challenges. This could include a mix of long and short-term technical assistance at national and subnational levels.
  2. Design of new foundational educational activities as required over the five-year life of the program.
  3. Evidence gathering, research and analysis, including the collection, analysis and dissemination of evidence of effective approaches to improving foundations literacy and numeracy.
  4. High quality policy advice on the state and needs of the education sector, emerging issues and opportunities available for Australia to add value.

Next steps:

  • Procurement of contractor/consortium (Mar-Dec 2020)
  • Mobilisation (Feb 2021)


This information is provided for planning purposes only and it does not represent solicitation or constitute a request for proposal, nor is it a commitment to purchase or tender for any described services. The scale, scope and focus of any proposed program may change at any time and is subject to formal approval by the Australian and PNG Governments before any procurement process will commence. Should a procurement be approved, it is expected to commence in the second half of 2019. This information is subject to delays, revision or cancellations.

Last Updated: 5 November 2019