The PNG Good Practice Scheme (GPS) is a success story from the Pacific region, in particular its approaches that are evidently cost-effective, practical and adaptable to local situations. The success of the PNG GPS has increased interest in local governments in Australia and development partners across the Pacific region and many of the CLGF member countries are asking for an expansion of the scheme to their councils. This mechanism has proven time and again to be a most cost effective and sustainable form of technical assistance.
A review of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) PNG Good Practice Scheme (GPS) was conducted last year and concluded that CLGF should complete its management role of the GPS by June 2013. The new decision was to integrate the PNG GPS with the new Sub National Program (SNP) and managed by PNG Department of Provincial and local Government Affairs (DPLGA).
In order to maintain the long standing excellent relationship that has been created between partners from councils in Australia and PNG, a workshop was organized by CLGF and LGMA to get all stakeholders and partners to make sure that the transition to the new arrangement does not disrupt the on-going activities as well as the implementation of activities in the pipeline.
The workshop was held in Canberra in April this year as part of the winding down process for the GPS in PNG but more importantly to provide an opportunity for all key stakeholders and partners to dialogue and consult on the new GPS-Plus in terms of scope and contents . The new GPS-Plus will be introduced to other members of CLGF who are still interested in the scheme including PNG.
The discussions at the workshop revealed a lot of interest by the partners in Australia to continue with their on-going activities with partners in PNG, and the Department of Provincial and local Government Affairs. There was also a consensus among partners to continue working with CLGF and LGMA on the scheme and to expand it to include all Urban Local Government Councils and smaller councils in PNG. There was strong support to have the scheme expanded to other Pacific member countries with the assistance of CLGF.