6:00—7:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Adaptive Programming at the Sub-National Level: Evidence from Papua New Guinea

*This event will be livestreamed on Wednesday, February 2, 2022 at 9:00 - 10:30am Australian Eastern Standard Time (PNG And Queensland)


  • Baia Warapa, Research Associate with the Development Leadership Program (DLP)
  • Geoff King, Counsellor Justice, Accountability and Subnational, Australian High Commission in PNG, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Sandra Naranjo Bautista, Public Policy Specialist  and Chief Executive Officer of ‘Better Govs’
  • Andrew Parker, Freelance Development Economist and Entrepreneur 


  • Mark Moran, Non-Resident Fellow, CGD, and Senior Industry Fellow, University of Queensland


National government agencies can struggle to reach the periphery of their state, to places of poverty, international borders and geostrategic concerns, or they can direct their limited resources to security enforcement over service delivery. While the influence of local and district governments remain, informal governance and leadership can flourish, along with unregulated cross-border trade and exploitive market activity. The oscillation and patchiness of state authority can lead to a sovereignty gap which can be filled in part by multinational corporations and foreign governments. To reach into these places, bilateral aid donors deploy ‘subnational’ approaches to programming. This little understood approach is not solely local or national, but seeks to work across all scales and complexity in between. It aligns to a growing global consensus around ‘thinking and working politically’, to understand the electoral dynamics, connections, networks and coalitions that operate between constituents, private sector and civil society and different levels of government.

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