Skip to main content
ACFID National Conference 2022
ACFID National Conference 2022
Times are shown in your local time zone GMT

Case Study Carousel ZR5

Session Program

1:20 pm



This session presents the findings of an empirical survey co-designed and conducted by Papua New Guinean researchers in 2021. The PNG Voices research project asked 536 ordinary Papua New Guineans, originating in 21 of PNG’s provinces, how they view their own society, their hopes for the future and their views of Australia and Australians in PNG.  The research found that PNG’s cultural and linguistic diversity, as well as biodiversity, were identified as major strengths of the country. Holding true to Papua New Guinean values whilst continuing to develop economically emerged as a key concern and hope for the future. Many respondents to the survey affirmed the desire for self-reliance and development in what they identified as a particularly ‘Papua New Guinean way. 

The session will present key messages and findings from the research and strategies for co-designing research in PNG that builds on existing research capacity and includes a wide range of Papua New Guineans. The findings offer practical insights into how international actors in PNG can work to address existing asymmetries and create more resilient relationships to action development initiatives the PNG way – building capacity in both directions. 

The presentation will be followed by a moderated panel discussion on the key theme of re-thinking development and capacity building in PNG through ‘deep listening’ that respects local knowledges, skills, and expertise. Integrating PNG norms, values, and insights into the development process implicitly identifies capacity building as a ‘two-way’ street for international actors intending to work in PNG or currently doing so. A virtual white board will be used to collect the discussion and offer a tangible resource of the discussion to delegates. 

2:00 pm


Why join this session?

“Our world has never been more threatened or more divided.  We face the greatest cascade of crises in our lifetimes.”  Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, Address to the 76th Session of the UNGA 21 September 202, New York.

Real-world challenges like climate change, Covid-19 and conflict are mounting pressures and increasing global humanitarians needs.  The humanitarian system and diverse entities that engage with the system and endeavor to deliver assistance and protection are facing new challenges and opportunities.  The humanitarian system is evolving, including coordination between civilian, military and police actors responding to disasters and complex emergencies, including pandemics.

The Australian Civil-Military Centre ACMC) and the Australian Council for International Development (AFCID) has convened an expert group to advise on the themes and priorities to ensure a state of the art revised “Same Space Different Mandates” handbook. 

Join our session to engage with a panel of experts on current and emerging issues impacting civil-military-police relations, such as localisation, the increase in non-state armed groups (NSAGs), and consequences of increased frequency of natural hazards and likelihood of cascading or concurrent disasters.

2:40 pm



The session invites all participants to attend and join a discussion on the future of Australian-based NGOs in the context of global change. In collaboration with ACFID, we will provide a short snapshot of actors, priorities, activities and resources, and how these have changed over time since the last ACFID State of the Sector report was published in 2018. In particular, we will consider how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the sector, in terms of its substantive focus, scope and sources of funding, and practices of engagement. While the pandemic has posed many challenges to the sector, it has also presented opportunities to re-envisage how development work is done. In particular, the pandemic has accelerated the discussion of localisation and the related decolonisation agenda involving the dismantling and reshaping of power relations. Following our presentation, we will ask participants to collaboratively reflect on:

·       experiences in the development sector from 2020-2022 in light of the data presented above.
·       whether or not localisation and decolonial practices can and will be sustained in the longer term in the context of cascading global crises.
·       opportunities and challenges for the sector looking ahead.

With the participant's consent, key themes from the discussion will be used to inform the design of a larger collaborative research project between ACFID and Monash University examining the role of Australian NGOs, with the purpose of producing the next ACFID State of the Sector Report.