PNG Women in Leadership Support Program

Rita Pearson, 2015 election candidate in Taonita Teop, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, with some of her campaign team. Image SSGM

Project leader(s)

PNG Women in Leadership Support Program

In January 2017, the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia (SSGM) Program at the Australian National University will commence a five year PNG Women in Leadership Support Program (WLSP). Supported by Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development, the goal of the WLSP is to improve women’s political participation by enhancing their competitiveness in elections. Drawing on the latest research concerning successful electoral campaigning in PNG, prospective women candidates will be provided with a program of staged electoral cycle support to help them develop effective and tailored campaign strategies that respond to the distinctive circumstances of their particular electorates. In doing so, it is hoped that the program will help to improve the overall performance of women candidates in elections, and ultimately the level of women’s representation in parliament and sub-national legislatures.

The program will be supported by a Women in Political Leadership Reference Group, chaired by Dr Alphonse Gelu, Registrar of the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Commission. The Reference Group will comprise key stakeholders with expertise in elections, governance, and women’s leadership in PNG.

Approach

The WLSP will focus on building the capacity of prospective women candidates to develop and implement credible election campaigns. Program support will be strongly grounded in the available evidence concerning candidate success and will take account of the realities of contesting elections in PNG. It also recognises that women who perform well typically have deep connections to their electorates and tend to be located in provinces and districts which are not ordinarily reached by development programs.

The program will provide participants with a range of support designed to help them develop strong campaign strategies. Principally support will involve training, supplemented by other assistance such as tailored mentoring. The training will draw on SSGM’s long-term research on elections, electoral politics, and women’s leadership in Melanesia, and on the discussions and lessons learned from our Improving Women’s Electoral Prospects through an Evidence-Based Approach workshop held at ANU in June 2016. The training and support program will focus on building women candidates’ knowledge of the factors and characteristics of candidates who have performed well in recent elections, and support them to strengthen, develop and leverage those characteristics and factors in their own campaigns.

The WLSP will take a targeted approach to delivering support. It will seek to identify and work with intending women candidates who are strongly placed to run competitive campaigns. Successful applicants will need to demonstrate that they have thought carefully about their campaign and the strategies they will need to implement in their electorates. It will also target the campaign managers of those intending candidates, in recognition of the critical role campaign managers and committees play in PNG elections.

The WLSP will be delivered in complementary phases. It will involve initial applicant selection, targeted support for intending candidates, post-election evaluation and learning, and election cycle campaign support.

Upcoming Training for Intending Women Candidates

The WLSP will involve delivery of a training module at several locations across PNG in late January-February 2017. This training module will be delivered over three days and will focus on supporting selected candidates to develop practical and politically feasible campaign strategies that respond to local political realities.

The participant selection process for the first training module will involve identifying a pool of high-quality, prospective women candidates, having regard to the characteristics and campaign factors common to women candidates who have performed well in recent elections in Melanesia. Within these parameters, the program will seek to include as many participants as possible.

Topics to be addressed in the first module include:

  • Understanding your electorate: political mapping and political economy analysis
  • Gauging your campaign preparedness
    • Assessing family and community support
    • Determining the material and in-kind resources at your disposal
  • Maximising your support base
    • Coalition building and the role of male champions
    • Using LPV to your advantage (effective preferencing)
    • Political party membership and endorsement
  • Building a strong campaign team
  • Developing your campaign
    • Campaign techniques
    • Timing your campaign
    • Campaign messaging and targeting
  • Resourcing challenges
  • Your safety: campaigning as a woman

The final locations for training workshops will be determined based, as much as possible, on demand, following assessment of applications. Anticipated workshop locations are:

  • Port Moresby (National Capital District and Southern Region)
  • Kavieng (New Guinea Islands Region)
  • Three separate locations in the Highlands (Tari, Mt Hagen and Goroka)
  • Wewak (East Sepik and Sandaun Provinces)
  • Madang (Madang and Morobe Provinces)
  • Buka (Bougainville)

Applying for the WLSP

If you wish to apply to participate in the program, please submit the online application available here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Module1Part1. Alternatively you can lodge your application by calling our program support officers based in Port Moresby on +675 7664 5524 between 10am and 4pm Monday-Friday during the application period (excluding public holidays. Following completion of this first phase of the application process we will review your responses and may contact you for more information to complete the application process.

Application Eligibility Criteria

You must be a woman intending to contest PNG’s 2017 national general elections, the 2018 LLG elections and/or the 2022 national general elections to apply for this program.

Application should only be completed by intending candidates and not family members or campaign managers.

If you are selected to participate in this program, you must be able to commit to attending a three-day training workshop to be held in late January or early February 2017. Failure to attend the workshop in full will preclude further support.

You will be advised of the workshop dates and locations as soon as possible. We anticipate that workshops will be held in Port Moresby, Kavieng, Tari, Mt Hagen, Goroka, Wewak, Madang and Buka, though workshop locations will be determined according to applicant demand.

SSGM is the implementing partner for the PNG Women in Leadership Support Program. The program delivery team will be led by Associate Professor Nicole Haley, who will be supported by a team of SSGM researchers. A number Papua New Guinean researchers and facilitators based in PNG, including Patricia Kassman, Stephen Gari and David Lundape, will work with SSGM to deliver the program.

Kerryn Baker

Kerryn Baker

Kerryn is a Research Fellow in Pacific Politics with SSGM. Her PhD thesis, submitted in 2014, examined campaigns for parliamentary gender quotas in the Pacific Islands region, with case studies in...

Kerry Zubrinich

Dr Kerry Zubrinich is a researcher with the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program. For the past 25 years her research has centred on aspects of social life in Melanesia with the...

Julien Barbara

Dr Julien Barbara is a Senior Policy Fellow at the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program, having joined SSGM in mid-2013. From November 2013 to December 2016 Julien was also the...

Thiago Opperman

Thiago Oppermann joined SSGM in 2013 as a Research Fellow. His principal research focuses on the interactions between villagers and the state in Bougainville. Core aspects of this program include...

Colin Wiltshire

Colin Wiltshire is a research fellow in the politics of service delivery at SSGM. His research explores the political economy of budget and expenditure practices in PNG and its implications for...

Theresa Meki

Theresa Meki is a PhD Candidate with the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs. Her research focuses on women’s presence and vote share in...

Almah Tararia

Almah Tararia is a PhD scholar with SSGM. She’s recently completed her 12-month field research in New Ireland returning to ANU to begin the next phase of writing/analysis of her material. Her...

Hannah McMahon

Hannah joined SSGM in April 2015. She is responsible for managing SSGM program activities and, together with the SSGM Convenor and the SSGM Management Committee, providing strategic direction to...

Nicole Haley

Nicole Haley

Dr Nicole Haley joined SSGM in 2006 and was appointed Convenor of the Program in January 2010. Nicole originally came to ANU in 1994 and graduated with a PhD in Anthropology in May 2003. Her...

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Hannah McMahon
Program Manager
State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program
Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
The Australian National University

T: +61-2-6125 8394
hannah.mcmahon@anu.edu.au

Or:

ssgm@anu.edu.au

Updated:  23 March 2016/Responsible Officer:  Su-Ann Tan/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team