The State, Society and Governance in Melanesia (SSGM) Program led a team of observers during Papua New Guinea’s recent national election
This is the third consecutive, large-scale domestic election observation conducted by SSGM in PNG. Involving over 250 election observers, including researchers from ANU, Swinburne University of Technology, the Lowy Institute, and Divine Word University in mentoring roles, and observers from a number of PNG tertiary institutions, government agencies and civil society organisations, observations have been conducted in 36 electorates across the country. Electorates have been selected to ensure a representative mix of rural and urban, and open and provincial, electorates to ensure a comprehensive view of the 2017 elections is captured.
SSGM’s approach to domestic election observation uses methods to systematically observe nomination, campaigning, pre-polling, polling and counting periods in order to provide research-based evidence on electoral politics, electoral administration, election conduct and political participation.
Nine ANU students undertaking SSGM’s PNG Field School undergraduate teaching course joined the election observation team for a week. The course was run to coincide with the election in order to provide students with first-hand experience of the electoral process as a part of their studies in politics, security, international relations and law.
The data collected from the observation will provide the basis for significant comparative work across PNG elections and elections conducted elsewhere in the Pacific. A report will be handed down in early 2018.