Decentralisation and governance from the ground-up : two case studies from Papua New Guinea

Greenwood, Matthew. (2003). Decentralisation and governance from the ground-up : two case studies from Papua New Guinea MPhil Thesis, School of Social Science, The University of Queensland.

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Author Greenwood, Matthew.
Thesis Title Decentralisation and governance from the ground-up : two case studies from Papua New Guinea
School, Centre or Institute School of Social Science
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2003
Thesis type MPhil Thesis
Supervisor Dr. David Ip
Total pages 277
Collection year 2003
Language eng
Subjects L
370107 Social Change
750599 Justice and the law not elsewhere classified
Formatted abstract
Decentralised forms of government are seen to promote local participation, empowerment and sustainable development outcomes in developing countries. Although much work has been done in investigating and analysing forms of decentralised government and their impacts and outcomes there still remains much to be discovered and understood. Decentralisation takes on many forms across countries and produces differing results. There are now are a number of agreed upon factors that are required to be present if decentralisation is to be ‘successful' This may explain differences across countries but explaining differences within countries that are subject to the same structural circumstances allows us to investigate other factors that can impact on its ‘successfulness’ The purpose is to apply the theory to the situation in Papua New Guinea and compare the outcomes. By doing this we can see what factors are important for "successful' decentralisation and in what situations do they arise.

The research is a qualitative study which utilises an Actor-Oriented approach to investigation where two case study areas are used as a basis for comparison. One case study is recognised as an area that is a poor performer in terms of governance and political accountability while the other appears to be at the other end of the spectrum. Theoretically having government closer to the people is to produce positive results in terms of political accountability, governance and ultimately development outcomes. The research looks at the case for Papua New Guinea and highlights differences in socio-cultural and socio-economic factors as well as historical considerations across the two case studies. The nature and composition of society within the particular territorial boundary is also an important factor.

The results highlight the often incompatible worlds of the traditional and the modem in a developing country context. Therefore the design of the system will need to evolve with the processes of social change which will invariably occur. This supports the new way of thinking in development, or confirms the limitations of mainstream development approaches, that not all development outcomes are externally driven and the nature of society, including traditional modes of exchange and socialisation are ingredients of social change. This has important implications for the developing country at hand as well as for theory in general. The outcome is that external intervention such as implementing a specific government structure will need to consider such factors as social capital and how it is utilised within specific territorial boundaries.
Keyword Decentralization in government -- Papua New Guinea -- Case studies
Local government -- Papua New Guinea -- Case studies

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (RHD) - UQ staff and students only
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Created: Fri, 24 Aug 2007, 18:13:19 EST