By way of Introduction I would like to give an overview of the plight of our young people. From the onset let me thank the organisers of this workshop for the privilege to address this distinguished forum. The subject of youth is and should be lively because you are dealing with agile and energetic group of the population. Moulding and harnessing of this agility for development should be the first and paramount business for change agent such as us. It is a serious business when you discuss the future of our country and especially for Papua New Guinea today when it is going through a turbulent stage of its development. Our country has just passed its childhood and teenage stage and has to emerge into adulthood and thus must be properly prepared and initiated into being and recognised adult.
You hear a lot of our leaders when addressing our youths, refer to them as the future leaders of tomorrow and unfortunately that's where it stops, just words with no substance and/or significant form of backings in terms of financing of youth programs. The last program for young people that was properly funded was in 1992 when the National Youth Service Program received a little more then K5.0 million and since then program funds have dwindled to point now when nothing has being allocated for youth program this year. A lot can be said about the decrease in funding but the fact remains that a country that forgets its youth faces a very blink future. The continued existence of a country/nation depends largely on how it shapes its youths. If you have watched the Sunday 29th September 1996 Sixty (60) minutes program on South Africa where it was reported that those 3-5 year old kids that were throwing rocks at cars and nothing was done about it are now carrying guns and taking law into their own hands. This is happening right here in Papua New Guinea where the problem is just starting and therefore we must address it now or face the consequences later.
Youths are an integral part of the community and therefore any program and or activities that we develop for them must be part and parcel of the overall community development. While there may be areas that need to be specifically addressed, the whole program must be developed within the context of the community where program support and sustainability can be achieved. When we develop young people's program, the program should start from kids aged 4 and 5 years old in their tokples kindergarten or pre-school right through to University level. Youth program must be developed in close consultation with the formal Education system and too the formal system must have its youth program as an integral and compulsory syllabus of their education program. There should be intervention schemes to take on the young people that drop out of formal system and help to integrate them into the society and too develop schemes to address those who have not had any formal education.
I would like to remind us all that, what ever views we hold in relation to the good or the bad and whether we are for or against the reform is irrelevant at this point in time. The reform on the previous Provincial Government has been made and the new Organic Law on Provincial and Local Level Government is in place effective as of July 1995. The important question that all of us here in this forum should ask is "How can I as a Politician, Administrator, Public Servant, a Non Government Organisation, a community or youth group and or private individual or youth whether in our cities, as in our rural villages right across this country Contribute in the change "WHAT PART DO I PLAY IN THIS REFORM? (Positive, proactive, personal interest out, for our youths).
The reform is only one year three months old and it must be given a chance to prove itself. Our plea at the Provincial level is for those at the National level especially the Central Agencies and the National Monitoring Authority to work together and provide a clear direction and technical assistance to both the National Functional Departments and us at the Provincial level. We want to get on without responsibility and that is to implement the reform.
Let me start by making this statement "A GOOD REFORM POLICY IS BASED ON MANY AND COMPLEX IMPLEMENTATION DECISIONS". Being one of those at the front line in the implementation of the reforms at the Provincial Level, confirms this statement.
In line with that statement I see my purpose at this very important conference is to present to you our experience on the implementation of the Provincial and Local Level Government Reforms, with particular reference to youth in Madang Province. You will agree that the constraints and difficulties experienced by us when we implement the reform is not an isolated case and I do believe that other provinces are facing the same difficulties. Also the constraints affecting implementation of Youth Sector Reform is common to all other sectors. While I would be highlighting these constraints, I would like to make my position and that of my administration very clear - we fully support the reforms, in fact the basis of our unqualified support is reflected by the fact that all Madang National Members have voted for the Reform Bill. The problems and constraints discussed are based on one year three months experience we had in the implementation of the reforms.
Being an implementator, you will appreciate that my discussion will centre around the functional inter-relationships, common structures and coordination aspects affecting the implementation of the reforms.
Before I start to discuss these complex relationship, it is important that we clearly identify the roles or functional responsibilities of the three (3) level of government and how these affects the implementation of the reforms.
National Functions (NYC) (Section 80) :
Provincial Functions :
Local Level Functions :
I have to elaborate on this functional responsibilities as some of the constraints experienced are very much related to this functional relationship. And the "LOCAL ACTION PLAN" will definitely be affected unless issues affecting these relationships are properly discussed and solutions identified.
NATIONAL YOUTH POLICY
In line with the functional responsibilities of the National Youth Commission and or Home Affairs Department after consultations with provinces, NGO, Churches and Youth Organisations we must review the one National Youth Policy. This is a major shift from our traditional practice of having twenty or so different Youth Policies. Now under the reform we have one Youth Policy, one standard, one Local Action Plan which would be implemented by all. Because there is one Youth Policy and Local Action Plan, monitoring could be a lot easier.
The inevitable question then comes in "How will the Districts and Local Governments develop their programs and make budget provisions to implement the NATIONAL YOUTH POLICY. Are the provincial and local government going to adopt the LOCAL ACTION PLAN, that would be developed through this Conference and have it translated into programs and projects with budgetary appropriations or are they going to develop their own? These are not tidy questions.
I MUST SAY HERE THAT A POLICY REFORM IS NOT AN OCCUPATION FOR THE TIDY AND LINEAR MIND . The nation of an orderly policy cycle (from analysis, policy formulation - local action plan - programming - budgeting and implementation) tends to dissolve in practice. This is especially so in the frequent cases where good and effective policy is the outcome of numberless implementation decisions made on the ground, subject to peculiar rationalities of administrative decisions and micro politics of everyday life. I am raising these questions as they will inevitably affect the implementation of our LOCAL ACTION PLAN that would be put together at the end of this conference.
Whilst raising these concerns, I must say that Madang experience so far has been slow in terms of youth development in the province and this much the same as what is happening here at the National level. The Madang Provincial Government under its recurrent budget has provided funding for the 1996 Youth activities. The funding has always been the same since 1994 because youths in Madang have not been identified as a potential resource for development which should and must be harnessed.
Provincial Activities :
The activities that have been funded by the province are basic support activities of the national program, the National Youth Service. K20,000.00 was allocated to fund these support activities :-
Much can be said about the activities of youth in Madang by nearly looking at the amount of funds that is being allocated towards youth.
National Program :
From 1994 through to 1995, the Province assisted in the implementation of the National Youth Service (NYS) program but this did not help and the program totally stopped in 1996. This has frustrated our youths who have been participating gracefully by paying their registration fee to become members of the National Youth Movement and ultimately to benefit from the NYS program. Our youths enthusiasm was further tarnished when for reasons unknown to us, they have not been issued their certificate of registration so that they can participated in the NYS Mini Loan Scheme with the Agriculture Bank this year 1996. What is becoming a headache for us now is that the youth groups are demanding a refund and we can not respond. This has resulted in a total decline in youth activities in the province and thus NYS scheme implementation has come to a stand still this year 1996.
OVERVIEW ON NATIONAL CAPITAL DISTRICT REFORM: A case Study Under the Provincial and Local Level Government Reforms
It is indeed a honour to be invited by the National Youth Service to address the PNG Mini Youth Conference on youth development programmes under the reforms in the National Capital District. My address today is focused to give you some insights on NCDC's youth development plan under the framework of the reforms. It is hoped that this presentation will be resourceful and meets your requirements to prepare for the 3rd Global Conference to be attended by the international participants here in Port Moresby next week.
The youth of today deserves to be given special attention because they constitute the highest sector of the growing demography. They are the leaders and workforce of tomorrow and responsible government and authorities must take the challenge to address their needs and aspirations.
The government in whatever level be in national, provincial or local level must seriously address the existence of the large youth population and formulate and support youth programmes and policies to enhance youth development plans and activities.
Government support and financial commitment is very vital to bring youth to participate in those activities to develop their well being and that of their families. The environment and cultural significance are some factors to be seriously considered when planning for youth development programmes in the community.
Youth development programmes in the urban environment must be formulated to take into consideration the influx of the emigrants. Foreigners and the local population all with different cultural background. The programmes must be conducive to urban development and the youth must be attracted to participate to develop themselves and be part of urban development.
The provincial and local level government responsible for youth in the rural environment must design programmes to sustain the progress of the rural development and be meaningful participants in that process.
At a time when there are global attempts to address youth problems of social disorder and cultural disorientation in many parts of the world. The role of the National and Provincial Government in responding effectively to youth problems is to be given priority.
The National Capital District Commission being the Nations Capital Urban Authority has always address the need and plan for youth programmes. This dates back to more than 10 years and before the inception of the National Capital District Commission. Since that time NCDC has not look back and every year, we make commitment to plan and budget youth development programmes within our means of affordabilty.
The tasks is difficult and with the limited resources and the fast urban development trends in the Nations Capital it is not always possible to meet the targets. We are not often successful in meeting our objectives, nevertheless we are proud to have made this commitment. We will continue to address and allocate resources to help in the process of youth development in this ever changing urban society.
Over the years NCDC commitment on budget allocation and youth development programmes has been directed to create opportunities and earn income for youth. This was primed to remove their attention from mischief and criminal activities in the city. Emphasis is now focused on formulating youth development plans to constitute objectives, designed to bring youth to participate meaningfully in the community development.
NCDC is mandated to have four (4) member of parliaments who are automatic parliamentarians to the Commission Board. Their level of support and commitment to youth development in the city has been very encouraging and this has contributed in the city youth programmes in many ways.
The topic you have invited me to address at this conference "OVERVIEW ON NCD REFORM - A CASE STUDY OPERATIONS UNDER THE PROVINCIAL & LOCAL LEVEL GOVERNMENT REFORMS' is a challenge to NCDC and all level of governments created under the reforms. We except this challenge to work within its framework to plan and filter the responsibilities to the three Local Level Government in NCD including the Government of the Motu Koitabuans.
Our view of the reforms is to decentralise responsibilities to lower level of government in order for the people in that government to be involve in decision making and participate in the development of the city.
Youth development programmes is one function and the reforms has allowed that to be planned and programme and implemented at the community level. The community based development objectives set by the reforms is conjectural of the development which gives the young people the greatest opportunity to fully realised their development potential at individual family and community level.
The role giving NCD the status similar to any other provincial government by the reforms is a very tough challenge. We believe that our status as the Nations Capital and the unique urban environment should be the priority to decide the system of Government for NCD.
NCD Governor, Honourable Bill Skate is adamant of the reforms affecting NCD. Despite the complications his instructions are clear. NCD must take preparations now to ensure that by return of writs in 1997, we are in a position to function under the framework of the reforms.
The preparatory work completed to date involves establishment of the three (3) Local Level Government offices equipped with furniture and equipment, staffing includes a executive officer and support staff.
The functions to be transferred to the Local Level Government is yet to be finalised and the NCDC Management is conducting series of meetings with the Local Level Government representatives to develop a system for smooth transfer of these functions.
The requirements of the reforms allows the functions of youth to be decentralise. No mechanisms or principles on how youth programmes can be developed in the Local Level Government has been put place.
NCDC is however developing a proposal "INTEGRATED YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PLAN" which fits nicely under the principles of reforms. It focuses on the need to develop youth programmes with emphasis on gross participation by the youth population in the process of implementing community based projects. This plans where details are yet to be formulated are design to stimulate and encourages creative youth participation to develop themselves and their families and contribute to the development of the city in a significant way.
The goal of the integrated youth development plan is to advocate plan and facilitate the involvement of young men and women in all aspects of social, economical, political and cultural development of the city.
The objectives of the plan is based on the strategies for :-
Specific description of each strategies is yet to be formulated. The plan aims at actively involving young people in all aspects of development in the city. Programs identified in the plan will be concurrently implemented in suburb and ward areas within the local level government areas.
The overall strategy of the integrated youth development plan is to mobilise young men and women in the ward areas into development groups. Families will also be encourage to be involved in the programmes to foster youth as the integral part of family unit.
Implementation of the NCD integrated youth development plan is envisage to produce a number of short term and long term beneficial outcome such as :-
The successful implementation of the programs contained in the integrated youth development plan will require a substantial resources input. NCDC will need support from other sectors, the National Government and the Community to ensure that the implementation of the plan is success.
Let me conclude my presentation by emphasising the importance to have plans that are transparent. The development plans must also be objective and there is a end result. Let the youth understand the plan and let them participate in all aspects of implementation.
I wish you all good luck in your deliberations and discussions.
The attached papers update the members of NATIONAL ORGANISING COMMITTEE (NOC) on views of Provincial Youth Councils expressed by Youth Leaders on status of National Youth Service in Papua New Guinea as at August, 1993, and then to date, the Reform System now instituted throughout the country.
Along with the Reform even further changes are anticipated to affect the lives of the young people. We therefore have at hand a compound frame work, structures and forms and substances that need careful interweaving to strike workable strategies that are "Technically Feasible and Financially Viable". We now have National Youth Policies and Programmes at Drawing Board status, encompassed by Organic Law and Local Level and Provincial Government to serve as the vehicle to carry us through, hopefully.
All these piece-meal technicalities must sum up to having a National entity that will house and operate contemporary and progressive Youth Network that will web in local, provincial, national and global angles. Such is the focal concern of all of us here at this National Organising Committee level. In reality when we reflect on the Conference Theme "Global Idea for Local Action" the Programmes feasibility and financial ability of our country to operate its National Youth Service requires in-depth analysis.
The Charter once adopted on Papua New Guinea soil would to some extent require the host country to strengthen its operational apparatus. This is why whilst to a large extent we would like to make the 3rd Global summit a success, we must not fail to enlarge the vision. Therefore practically we must by the end of Conference house the Secretariat until next conference. A already tailored National Package must be in place for the Global output to link into conveniently.
To that end, let me now refer you to a Post Courier article of August 20, 1993 as reprinted below :-
YOUTH LEADERS TO MEET IN LAE
The lack of a clear national youth policy will take centre stage at a provincial youth councils conference in Lae next week.
All provincial youth councils chairmen will also take a united stand to push for a separate Youth Ministry.
For years, successive national governments have paid lip service to youths despite being blamed for much of the country's social problems, Morobe Provincial Youth Council Chairman, Suma Andum said yesterday the week long conference which starts on Monday and ends on Friday, aims at drafting a national youth policy for submission to the government.
"We have been ignored long enough and we the youths are taking the initiative because it has become apparent that no-one cares for us anymore."
The theme of the conference is Youth Beyond 2000. Various prominent leaders will present papers on the subject of youth from which a policy would be drafted. The conference will also review the National Youth Service because the youths felt it was not working.
A working committee will be formed to work on the draft policy plus adopting resolution calling for a separate ministry. Youth and Home Affairs Minister Andrew Posai and Youth Commissioner Mr. Martin Tabel have been invited to officiate but have indicated they were unable to attend.
Let me now continue and report on what has transpired since then up to this Mini Conference on National Youth Service.
The concept of public organisations existing in democratic countries around the world all aim to strengthen the government policies on way or another.
Papua New Guinea is commonwealth member country, a member of the United Nations and maintain numerous affiliations in government organisations in the international setting. This it does for the expediency of total existence, be it political, economical or otherwise.
The Deputy Prime Minister and then Minister for Finance and National Planning, in his message to celebrate PNG's eighteen (18) years of self rule said, our country's democracy does not lie underground, but it is striving alive and well. The first Governor General of Papua New Guinea, Sir John Guise when handling over the Australian Flag to his Australian counterpart namely Sir John Kerr said, we are lowering it to give way for Papua New Guinea's own identity to fly on top of the mast under which a sovereign nation is born this day 16th September, 1975.
On this note the emergence of National Youth Forum is to serve and strengthen PNG youths national identity. Such identity at the moment is lost in the clouds of inactivity, hence out of sight. Our electoral laws states that a eligible youth voter in any provincial or national government elections must be eighteen (18) years old to be able to cast his or her vote. Come eighteen years of Independence now, youths must be able to exercise this democratic vote. The vote cast at the forum is that the National Youth Service needs a total overhaul, as it had not fulfilled its mission.
The objective of the submissions contained herein is to inform the Honourable Minister for Home Affairs and Youth, the concerns of the youth leaders from all provincial youth councils/advisory committees. Issues addressed relate to ineffective implementation of National Youth Service programmes given the lack of clear policy directives.
Giving effect to government policies by objectively established mouth piece bodies is a effective means of communication. The inception of National Youth Forum is such a initiative to speak for an represent the youth population who are equal to the adolescent citizens of this nation.
The already established bodies like the regional and national premiers council secretariats, the National Council of Women, the National Sports Federation, advocating policy initiatives and making consultations to national government are some examples to mention.
In respect to youth's mouth piece, the National Youth Advisory Board (NYAB), provinces were never meaningful affiliated, hence were not well represented. Consequently the provinces were not able to participate in any policy formulations or making any other in-puts.
The National Youth Forum fully realise this functional deficiencies attributed by the bottle-neck mechanisms and therefore, contended that a meaningful and systematic channel of communication be immediately instituted. The fifteen (15) Provincial Youth Councils present at the forum unanimously resolved to establish.
The National Youth Forum accordingly. The structural design is such that all provinces affiliate to the National Youth Forum through regional networks.
The National Youth Forum acknowledge that for the last decade the national youth programmes were operated without constitutional basis. This gave liberty to the programmes management to be conducted in ad-hoc or make-shift style.
The forum delegates are thoroughly convinced that the National Youth Advisory Board Membership needs to be totally changed and National Youth Service turn a new leaf.
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT ISSUES
Undoubtedly Youth is an integral part of the Community, however the types of developments that have taken place seems to indicate that the needs and aspirations of the Youths are not being adequately and effectively met which of course is the focal point of concern at this point in time. Evidently due to various reasons the Government sponsored Youth Development Programmes have not brought meaningful and tangible development to the lives of the Youths over the last eighteen (18) years.
The inflamed situation coupled with resource constraints have compelled the Provincial Youth Councils to convene a forum in Lae in order to collectively scan the Youth activities and recommend appropriate action to resurrect and streamline the National Youth Service programmes both at National and Provincial level. This indeed is the fundamental element of the forum hence there is no sinister motive behind it nor do we attempt to discredit your Ministry.
ISSUES OF DELIBERATION WITH COMMISSIONER :
The forum deliberated on various issues affecting the youth in the country and identified the following major areas of concern :-
[A copy of a policy submission was presented with the original paper, but has been left out for the sake of brevity]
Michael Maravila, Papua New Guinea
GEORGE H. WRONDIMI, Conference Facilitator
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