The Centre for Democratic Institutions (CDI) is Australia’s leading democracy promotion organisation, established by the Australian Government in 1998. CDI’s focus is on parliamentary governance and political parties, with special attention to the quality of electoral processes and the promotion of women’s representation.
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Taking your seat as a newly-elected member of parliament can be a daunting experience, but a program run by the Crawford School’s Centre for Democratic Institutions (CDI) is helping Papua New Guinea’s new parliamentarians find their feet.
The induction program was run in Port Moresby to coincide with August’s official opening of PNG’s ninth parliament, and saw more than 60 MPs get a chance to find out more about being an elected representative. The program was designed and run by CDI’s Deputy Director Grant Harrison, Program Manager Bronwen Harvey and PNG based Research and Project Officer, John Varey.
“Our role in the Induction was multi-faceted. Initially we worked with the office of the Deputy Clerk and other Parliamentary Staff to help them think about the scope and structure of the Induction program,” said Harrison.
“As a result, the final program design shifted from a focus on MP’s entitlements and the roles of Parliamentary staff to a focus on the duties of an MP and the services provided by Parliament to help them perform these duties.”
CDI worked with PNG’s Parliamentary staff to design and rehearse their various presentations and supported the Parliament to engage and brief a number of external speakers including representatives from the: Ombudsman Commission, Office of Rural Development, Department of Justice and the Attorney General, Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Commission, National Research Institute, Law Reform Commission, PNG Media Council and Transparency International - PNG.
With the support of the Australian and New Zealand International Election Monitors Institute (ANZIEMI), CDI also brought two former New Zealand Parliamentarians to the Induction program - the Hon Rick Barker and the Hon Steve Chadwick - to share their experiences of the role of an MP.
Harrison said the CDI team was delighted to be able to meet so many members of the ninth PNG Parliament and to talk to them about their interests and concerns.
“We were very impressed with the leadership demonstrated by Speaker Zurenuoc who gave an inspiring speech on the first day.
“We look forward to watching the Parliament prosper and serve the people of PNG,” he said.