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We are an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development
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Leadership beyond state limits: Case studies from Papua New Guinea

26 May 2023

Leadership beyond state limits in Papua New Guinea examined the political economy of informal and formal leadership within the villages of South Fly District, Western Province, Papua New Guinea. It explores how – in the absence or dysfunction of government funding and services – local leadership reorientates around other sources of finance, including aid projects to make change happen. The research looked at these five questions:

  1. How does formal and informal leadership interact, with a particular focus on women’s leadership?
  2. How do these types of leadership orientate around external funding opportunities?
  3. How can village leaders and coalitions form transparent, effective and legitimate institutions, that contest and reform existing sub-national structures?
  4. How can funding enter informal governance spaces, and strengthen rather than undermine informal leadership and governance structures?
  5. What are the extent, scale, capabilities and aspirations of informal women’s networks in South Fly, and their potential to facilitate development and reform?

This paper documents the case studies referenced in the two main papers from this project: The political economy of subnational leadership and governance in Papua New Guinea and Leadership beyond state limits: Women’s leadership in Papua New Guinea.

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