Papua New Guinea (PNG) has experienced unprecedented economic growth over the past decade. For most of the country’s people, however, quality of life has not improved. The Government of PNG faces challenges in implementing its development vision, as well as in implementing its governance and policy agendas.

The Australian Government’s aid program in PNG includes investments to help PNG tackle these challenges. Strongim Pipol Strongim Nesen (SPSN), meaning ‘Empower People, Strengthen the Nation’ in Tok Pisin, was one of these investments.

SPSN aimed to improve service delivery outcomes for communities across PNG by supporting the engagement of citizens, civil society, the private sector and government in shared public decision making. Applying and promoting democratic principles, SPSN targeted improvements in health, education, gender equality and disability-inclusive development.

AECOM managed the delivery of SPSN, supporting the improvement of service delivery in PNG through focusing on the following five key service areas:

  • Strengthening practice and promotion of democratic governance through key partnerships;
  • Facilitating communities working together to address identified priorities;
  • Supporting initiatives that improve local governance;
  • Strengthening collaboration of men and women to promote democratic governance; and
  • Strengthening human capital for the practice of democratic governance.

Over five years, the program made significant progress in each of its key service areas, working in 87 of the country’s 89 districts and across all 22 provinces. As part of the program, AECOM administered 400 grants for activities that focus on issues such as gender equality, health (including HIV and AIDS), education and disability.