PORT MORESBY: Eight people have been appointed to two key decision-making bodies within the Strongim Pipol Strongim Nesen Programme.
The representatives come from a wide range of civil society and private sector roles.
Some will join the existing national government representatives on SPSN’s peak governance body, the Joint Governing Council (JGC), while others will be the first members of SPSN’s newly established National Grants Committee (NGC).
The newly-appointed civil society representatives for JGC are former Coffee Industries Council CEO Mr Ricky Mitio ML from Eastern Highlands, Ms Rachael Pokesy from Port Moresby, Mrs Cathy Rumints from Hagen and Mr Bonnie Keoka from Lae.
Members appointed to the NGC are Naomi Yupae from Eastern Highlands, Loa George Kevau from Port Moresby, Wasi Koni from Wewak, and Brian Paiferi from Bulolo.
SPSN programme director, Peter Aitsi congratulated the appointees, saying their wealth of experience in development and governance was crucial to SPSN and PNG.
“These individuals come from diverse backgrounds and will provide SPSN a strong community based perspective to ensure the programme continues to improve service delivery outcomes to bring about meaningful change to the lives of the rural majority,” he said.
“The appointment of civil society representatives will complement the existing expertise provided to the programme by its current national government members.
“Together, this committee will ensure SPSN is well placed to bring together civil society, government and key stakeholders through offering resources and support, including grants, capacity building, networking opportunities and research.”
The members of the JGC will be led by National Planning and Monitoring Acting Secretary, Ruby Zarriga, as chair, with other representatives including Mollie Willie, deputy Secretary for Department for Community Development, Simon Kunai, director for local level government division at the Department for Provincial and Local Government Affairs, and Kath Taplin, acting counsellor governance, AusAID Port Moresby.
The JGC plays a crucial role in strategically guiding SPSN towards its goal of encouraging government to connect with civil society and other development partners to meet PNG communities’ needs.
This includes ensuring the programme is in line with PNG government’s priorities such as improved health and education outcomes, as well as working as much as possible within PNG government's own systems.
The NGC is the highest funding decision-making body in the SPSN structure, and will ensure that grants and other forms of funding support are provided to credible organisations to deliver real results to communities living in all provinces around PNG.
The NGC’s first task will be to select 35 organisations for grant funding from over 250 expressions of interest that were submitted this year for SPSN’s medium and large grants programme.
SPSN is an Australian Government-funded initiative in partnership with the Government of Papua New Guinea that will contribute results to the government’s priority areas.
Its goal is to enable civil society with the state and others, to better meet the needs and priorities of men, women and children in communities across PNG.
SPSN supports improved good governance for service delivery that reaches the local level in PNG, including health, HIV, education, gender, and disability.
It provides civil society, government at all levels, and other key stakeholders with a range of support and resources, including grants, capacity building, networking opportunities and research.