Papua New Guinea - Reforming the RPNGC through behavioural change – a journey in capacity development
Country(ies): Papua New Guinea
Primary thematic focus: Sub-national capacity development: local solutions, national strengths
In a Nutshell:
A police to police arrangement between the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary and the Australian Federal Police commenced in 2008. The approach is different focusing on joint venture using behavioural change and improvement in service delivery. The focus is not on what is done, but how it is done.
The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) is the national police force of Papua New Guinea and while many associate contemporary law and order problems with lack of resources and low police numbers that is not necessarily the case and the lack of police numbers is not itself a cause of under-performance. Government commitment is limited, with claims of inadequate budgets severely curtailing operational ability. Other significant obstacles to police performance stem from constraints in the enabling environment at the organisational and individual levels including:
• embedded societal values and cultural obligations;
• multi-layered justice systems (formal, customary, community-based);
• ill suited organisational structure;
• outdated legislation;
• limited leadership and management capacity;
• poor communication and data systems.
The Constabulary suffers from a low level of public legitimacy due to poor performance, corruption and high levels of brutality. Addressing police behaviour is a significant challenge for reformers. Women, in particular, have been vocal in demanding that members of the police stop enacting violence. The Constabulary harbours diverse views on the need for change, which makes assessing the will for reform difficult. Consequently, momentum for change is amongst the key challenges to improved police performance.
The development framework has been collaboratively designed in a partnership arrangement identifying long-term development needs of the Constabulary employing a staged approach and drawing upon a broad range of strategies, recognising capacity development as a long-term process akin to change management implementation. To achieve holistic organisational change the base assumption that systemic performance improvements are dependent upon implementation of the entire package of strategies is fundamental. If individual strategies are implemented, short-term gains may occur in specific areas only, leading to unlikely sustainable improvements. A holistic organisational review addresses broader questions about the appropriateness of the existing policing model. This is not an exclusive internal police focussed exercise and involves political, whole of government, private sector and civil society consultation. Multi-pronged approaches to the promotion of organisational cultural and behavioural change through learning and development opportunities, providing a catalyst for organisational change, the inculcation of professional values and ultimately moulding the future behaviours of police.
To improve police operations, with a focus on service delivery to the public, with support to managers (primarily at the middle to senior ranks) throughout the police is fundamental to the creation of an enabling environment to facilitate the organisational changes brought about by implementing strategies in concert. Supporting management and leadership strategies will also provide the opportunity to address broader systemic issues such as communication, discipline, morale, and governance. Centralised corporate support functions identified to address significant deficiencies in core support areas such as finance, human resources, and logistics to ensure the sustainability of improvements in operational policing. Support for capital infrastructure focus in recognition that the police suffer from a lack of robust infrastructure and some equipment, which hampers the ability to undertake basic policing tasks and dampens morale.
Results and Critical Factors:
The approach to monitoring and evaluation (M&E) is based on a results-based system that provides assessment of a planned, ongoing capacity building program to determine its, efficiency, effectiveness, impact sustainability. This system aims to identify elements of the partnership that are critical to success; build a common understanding of what that partnership means; identify indicators of success; and outline assumptions that become the basis for future evaluation. This approach recognises that capacity development is a process through a number of stages (dependency, guided, assisted and independency) The continuous process of collecting and analysing information provides evidence of movement towards the achievement of outcomes and the impact the partnership is making. To date the program has implemented a number of strategies targeting behavioural change and improvement in service delivery as key areas. Organisational Reform One of the activities in this strategy is the creation of a Board of Management for the RPNGC. This is a systematic approach to encourage transparency, responsibility and accountability at the most senior management levels within the police. Manager’s behaviours have started to change as they are now required to account for their performance to the Board. Learning and Professional Development The creation of a “Centre of Excellence” has commenced with the review and reform of recruit, in-service, specialist, and supervisory training programmes in concert with the creation of a master plan for future infrastructure development.
Name of Primary Contact Person: Will Jamieson
Title of Primary Contact Person: Commander, Papua New Guinea-Australia Policing Partnership
City: Port Moresby