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Papua New Guinea administration and Governance

Overview of Indicators 

This section is intended as  a guide to the indicators chosen for these profiles. It  provides a description of the significance of each indicator and what it tells us about the  status of development in each of the districts and provinces.  

Administration and Governance 

The profiles in each district and province begin with administrative information on the numbers of wards and local-level governments  as well as the headquarters for each  province or district. In Papua New Guinea, the administrative boundaries are  coextensive with electoral boundaries. This is a useful situation when it comes to these  profiles, as it is possible to look at political representation  directly alongside the  development indicators for each unit of government and administration. However, there  are also problems associated with having the administrative boundaries linked to  electoral boundaries. Administrative boundaries can often be long-standing and rooted  in history, while electoral boundaries need to respond  to changing demographics. For  instance, electoral boundaries should cover  approximately equal population units, so  that representation is reasonably equal across the country. This is especially important  because PNG has single-member districts, that is, only one Member of Parliament  represents each district. In reality, this is not the case. Across the country, there is no  uniformity on the size (in terms of population) of local-level, district and provincial  government jurisdictions. The vested interests in the ‘status quo’ have also made it very 
difficult for the Electoral Boundaries Commission to successfully change electoral  boundaries to bring them more in-line with the demographic characteristics of the 

One challenge in PNG is to  get a definitive list of administrative units because the  National Statistical Office, the National Mapping Bureau and the Department of  Provincial and Local Government Affairs (DPLGA) all have slightly different lists,  especially at the local-level government and ward levels. A careful reader will notice that  often the district and provincial maps, supplied by the National Mapping Bureau, and the 
listing of local-level governments, supplied by the DPLGA differ in many districts. This  will continue to frustrate any department involved in the collection of statistics until there  is some resolution of administrative units, and their names and boundaries, at the 
national level.  

The profiles also give some basic information on the political representation within each 
province and district, by individual and by political party in the period since 2002. This 
section could be expanded in the future to  develop a longer term picture of political 
governance in each of the districts and provinces.

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