TENDER: GESI Policy Review

Abt Associates on behalf of the Australian Government through the Public Sector Leadership and Reform Partnership is seeking submissions from suitable organisations (consulting firms, non-profit organizations, academic institutions etc.) with the expertise and capability to provide policy review advisory services to support the Department of Personnel Management to review and revise the National Public Service Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) Policy.

Since 2016, the Australian Government, through the Public Sector Leadership and Reform Partnership, has supported the Department of Personnel Management with the implementation of the GESI policy. This includes subnational roll-out of GESI Policy through Policy Implementation Planning Sessions with Provincial and District Administrations and Provincial Health Authorities, central and subnational delivery of Male Advocacy Training, and the development Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and Database.

The Department of Personnel Management has requested support from the Australian Government to enable the technical review and revision of the GESI Policy given it has been over six years since the launch of the policy.

Those interested in participating in this competitive approach to market can request the Request For Proposal (RFP) documentation from the Abt Associates Contact Officer at – or can access the RFP documents from


Male champion knows gender equality is everyone’s business

Emmanuel Ginis has dedicated the last eight years of his career to improving conditions and opportunities for women in the country’s biggest employer: the Government of Papua New Guinea.

“PNG has eight going on 10 million people – half are women and girls,” he says.

“If they can’t get in to a position to use their brains, hands and feet, then that is a huge loss for PNG’s development.”

Emmanuel leads the government’s push for greater equality for all Papua New Guineans as the Gender Equity and Social Inclusion Manager at the Department of Personnel Management.

An important part of his role is to make a pathway for more women in the public service to step into leadership positions, which can bring benefits within the organisation and to the broader community.

“I would like to see an equal number of men and women participating in employment,” he says.

“It’s a bigger issue where more men are holding decision-making and management roles in the public service.

“Employing more women means we would be putting money in the pay packets of families and households.”

There are significant benefits to Papua New Guinea when women are supported to participate in the economy.

A 2018 study estimated women’s equal participation would increase PNG’s gross domestic product – the total value of goods produced and services provided in a year – by nearly 14 per cent.

Emmanuel’s passion for equality goes back to 2011 when he contributed to the development of the Gender Equity and Social Inclusion Policy, which now informs expectations on government agencies and public servants throughout the country.

Today, he travels to the provinces and districts with support from the PNG-Australia Partnership to communicate the principles and values of GESI to public servants and explain how they can be implemented day-to-day in their workplaces and the communities they serve.

Emmanuel Ginis (standing) joins a group discussion at a GESI training session held in Jiwaka in October this year.

He admits these conversations aren’t always easy. “When we first mention gender to an agency, they would say: ‘it’s a women’s issue, let’s get all the women and they will discuss the issues’.”

“What they don’t realise is this is an issue that everyone should be responsible for.

“Men have dominating power and control over a lot of areas of government and decision-making – we can see this in our own communities – so having that conversation with them opens up their minds to how they can advocate for gender equality.”

Change doesn’t happen overnight, but Emmanuel is confident that the push for gender equality is building momentum.

A broader national conversation on the topic has sparked and Emmanuel says agencies and individuals are regularly getting in-touch with him for more information.

“That’s a good thing because when you are inquisitive about something, that’s when learning starts,” he says.

“A lot of public servants want to know more and now it’s up to us to provide that information to them in the best way possible.”

Emmanuel (left) during a session in Kavieng, New Ireland Province.

While Emmanuel’s remit only extends to government agencies, he believes the impact of gender equity and social inclusion will be felt by the broader community.

“It’s about leadership, capacity, resources and breaking through those cultural barriers that we have in our workplaces and communities,” he says.

“We want to iron out our issues – whatever challenges we have personally or within the workplace – then we work towards delivering services for the people.

“We are clearing a pathway for women to rise up and be part of the development of our country.  It starts in our homes, into our schools and then it comes to the workplace.”

The Department of Personnel Management has now delivered sessions that provide guidance on implementation of the Gender Equity and Social Inclusion Policy to provincial administrations and agencies in East New Britain, Jiwaka, Madang, Manus, New Ireland, Morobe, Oro, Simbu, Western Highlands and West Sepik.

Many of the 532 participants are now – like Emmanuel – making equality their business each and every day.

Gender UPNG School of Business and Public Policy

Student’s passion for equality makes a mark at UPNG

Mapusaga Tanuvasa: a strong sense of justice and desire for equity.

Mapusaga Tanuvasa has seen the realities of inequity and exclusion up close and personal.

“I’ve witnessed my mother,” he said, reminiscing about his childhood, “she has a degree, but no matter how many years and how hard she worked they never promoted her to anything above an officer.”

“They gave her the extra workload, but she never got promoted to manager until very recently.”

While this was not a unique situation, it was discordant with Mapusaga’s sense of justice and sparked a desire to see all Papua New Guineans given a level playing field to fulfil their potential, so it is not entirely surprising that he decided undertake a law degree at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG).

This year, his fourth and final of study, he was given an opportunity to pursue gender equity, oppose discrimination and permanently influence campus life.

Mapusaga was one of 35 UPNG students and staff invited to form a committee to develop the Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) Policy and mechanisms for it to be enforced.

The committee researched international best practice and drafted a policy specific to the UPNG context.

Committee members were tasked to work on specific sections of the policy, including disability, workplace harassment, gender-based violence, sexual harassment, and safety and security.

Members of the UPNG GESI Committee after a meeting at UPNG in September last year.

The new approach echoes the PNG Government’s own commitment to equality, including through the Gender Equity and Social Inclusion Policy.

The UPNG Policy, which was developed with support by the Papua New Guinea-Australia Partnership, has the full backing of the university’s executive and is expected to be finalised in early 2020.

In June, speaking ahead of a UPNG-hosted discussion event on gender equity, vice-chancellor Professor Frank Griffin said that women and men need to work side-by-side.

The qualities of individuals need to be acknowledged rather than their superficial differences.

“Working together allows the country to move in a direction where gender equity and gender equality will become more prominent in the years to come,” Professor Griffin said.

“To be a free thinker, at the university level, it doesn’t matter if you are male or female.”

For Mapusaga participation on the GESI committee was an opportunity to promote equality and inclusion as a responsibility to be shouldered by all people.

He knows that now the policy is on paper the hard work is in its implementation, which will address the issues of today and improve life for future students.

“The GESI Policy is written but it must also be implemented,” he said.

“I don’t think about what I would do tomorrow or next year, I think about what would happen for the future generations when they come into the university.

“What we need to change first and foremost is the mindsets,” he continued.

“It just takes a few likeminded individuals – starting with just one – and if that person is capable of influencing other people we can form a domain of influence.”

He identified the lecturers as key influencers of student attitudes – viewing them as crucial advocates and allies for gender equity and social inclusion.

“Thousands of students pass through the university every year – thousands leave educated,” Mapusaga said.

“You can change the mind of thousands of people or more in your lifetime being a lecturer.”

As his time as an undergraduate law student draws to a close, Mapusaga can be proud of the role he has played in the promotion of gender equity and social inclusion.

The hope is that the GESI Policy will remain as an important guide to attitudes and behaviour long after he’s left – a positive legacy for the institution.

Success will mean people are not excluded or unfairly treated because of their sex or gender, special needs, sexual orientation, cultural background, religious views, medical conditions or any other perceived difference.

It is certain that Mapusaga’s passion for equality and justice won’t waver – he’ll carry that with him wherever he goes.

“I’ve been writing about discrimination since my first year at UPNG,” he said.

“I don’t care if it takes me a year or many years, it’s something I want to keep pushing forward.”


Madang public servants ready to level the playing field

Robyn Barausiki was among the Madang public servants to benefit from the GESI sessions.

Senior Madang public servants are confident they can level the playing field for all Papua New Guineans following the completion of a workshop focused on inclusive and equitable attitudes and practices.

The weeklong session communicated the principles and values of gender equity and social inclusion (GESI) and provided guidance on their application to work and community life.

It was the latest in the Department of Personnel Management’s GESI Policy implementation planning sessions, which are rolled-out at the provincial and district levels, and supported through the Papua New Guinea-Australia Partnership.

Among nearly 40 participants were senior managers and executives from the Madang Provincial Administration and Provincial Health Authority.

The group included veteran public servant Augustine Siamoli, human resource (HR) manager at Modilon General Hospital, who said that leadership qualities can be found in women and men equally.

“There is a lot of goodness in women being leaders,” he said. “I’ve worked under two [women] – they are good leaders, they listen, they gather views, they get recommendations and if they need technical advice they seek help.”

“The GESI Policy links to everything to do with my job as HR Manager – the content of the training really touched on the importance of implementing all these activities and duties.”

Madang public servants ready to work together for greater equality.

Another participant was Robyn Borausiki, a social worker and family support centre coordinator, who works with women to address domestic violence and gender-based violence, and improving referral pathways to seek justice.

She said her work is challenging, and partnerships, training and practical policies are important to progress towards equality for all constituents in Madang.

“I am confident,” Ms Borausiki said, “when you look at the challenges and you feel like giving up, but such trainings and workshops give you hope to go back one more time and do it all over again for a positive response.”

“All genders are equal – we equip people in what we do and we can bring it forward together.

“With the GESI [Policy] in place we can look at some good strategies – which were in the workshop – to enforce and implement gender equity and social inclusion,” she continued.

“Partnerships, like with Australia, helps policies created at the national level to be carried out. We work closely with the provincial and districts governments to get all policies implemented.”

GESI Policy sessions have reached more than 500 public servants across 10 provinces. They are expected to be delivered in East Sepik and Enga before the end of 2019. Gender equity and social inclusion are the responsibilities of all people – women and men – and is important in workplaces, families, communities and schools.

Gender Press Releases

Natalie and her girls break down barriers to construct a legacy

Photo Left-to-right: Wasimaelo, Natalie and Sarah-Kristine Romney.

Things were not always easy for Natalie Romney when she first entered the construction industry, a sector that has been largely male dominated, but the SBS Electrical Fire Services Manager is unfazed by stereotypes and lets her ability do the talking.

The 50-year old from Boianai and Rabe in Milne Bay Province grew up with her brother and sister, and, looking back, Natalie realises how hard her parents worked to provide for them.

“I really appreciate what they did for us and I can say that I had a happy and stable childhood,” Natalie recalled.

Natalie started school in Lae, then moved to Fiji with her family before returning to PNG to complete her secondary education in Port Moresby.

The single mother of two girls enjoys watching movies, reading and singing, but when she’s at work her mind is always on the job.

Natalie has always been determined to provide opportunities for her girls, who are now grown-up with careers of their own.

“My focus has always been to do my job well so I can provide for my children,” Natalie said, “that my chosen career happens to be in a male dominated industry is incidental and does not really have any bearing on how I work.”

“It’s a matter of focusing and not being intimidated. It comes down to confidence – knowing what you have to do and ensuring clarity in your instructions to those that report to you but at the same time being respectful in your approach to those you lead – which in turn will gain you their respect.”

Natalie sparked an interest in electricity as a high school student – from that moment she knew she wanted to be an engineer.

In 1992, her dream came true when she graduated from the Papua New Guinea University of Technology (UniTech) with a Bachelor of Engineering and worked for five years with a multi-discipline engineering consultancy firm as a design engineer.

Natalie can now look back on more than 25 amazing years in the construction industry – a career that has included involvement in the creation of some of the country’s most high-profile buildings.

In the late 90s she worked on the landmark Kina Haus (formerly Deloitte Tower), one of the original office towers in downtown Port Moresby. Natalie’s job was to liaise between project managers and senior management.

“Construction is really interesting,” Natalie said, “it’s fun to work as a team and see this building appear that you’ve only seen on drawings.”

“You get to walk into the finished product that you were involved in and worked with the people who put it together. That’s interesting – to see something that’s on paper be built around you.

“One important thing I’ve learnt is to be humble and respectful and always be willing to learn from others because 99 per cent of the time, there’s someone in your team who has more skill, knowledge, expertise and or wisdom than you.”

Natalie is a role model to her two daughters, who have followed her footsteps in to the construction sector.

Her eldest also graduated from UniTech as an electrical engineer and her younger daughter is a drafter, helping to compile documents for complex projects.

Two years ago, an opportunity arose that was beyond Natalie’s wildest dreams – the chance to work alongside her daughters on a project of major significance to Papua New Guinea.

The trio are among more than 300 Papua New Guineans and Australians who worked side-by-side on the University of Papua New Guinea’s new School of Business and Public Policy.

Natalie has now led the SBS Fire Services Division for more than a decade and her eldest daughter, Wasimaelo, helped with the testing process for the fire alarm system as the new School of Business neared completion. She knows her kids have the ability to excel in their roles and is looking forward to seeing more and more Papua New Guineans involved in the management of major projects.

The new School of Business and Public Policy is a symbol of the strong partnership between PNG and Australia.

“For complex projects like this, documentation is really important. Production of the operations and maintenance manuals are a very big part of the project, so both my daughters are involved in that.

“My eldest daughter will liaise with the project managers and others on-site to make sure that the documentation is accurate and the testing is complete and that we’re complying with our requirements.

“It’s quite exciting because they are part of my team too – we’re together 24 hours each day.”

Taiko Lalo, Infrastructure Project Manager from the Australian Government funded Technical Enabling Unit, which implements construction projects, worked alongside Natalie and drew on her experience.

“Natalie has been in the industry a bit longer than myself,” Taiko said, “she has a wealth of experience and being able to work with her has been great.”

“It’s empowering for me because I’d like to see females step up and be part of the bigger picture.”

The School of Business and Public Policy building was constructed with support from the Australian Government, through the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct. It is international-standard infrastructure for learning, equipped with modern facilities for teaching, research and collaboration.

Natalie believes the School of Business, the new Lecture Theatre and Student Services Building – all completed this year – complement UPNG’s aim of producing top quality graduates who can meet the demands of the modern day. She said the state of art facilities match what UPNG is trying to achieve.

“I think it’s exciting for the staff and students to see they have a new Lecture Theatre on the other side and now they are going to have this state of the art building,” she continued.

The Precinct, a partnership between Papua New Guinea and Australia, supports generations of leaders – both women and men – who can develop ethical, practical and intellectual leadership for the nation, and promotes the principles of gender equity and social inclusion.

Natalie believes the new facilities are befitting UPNG’s tradition of producing graduates who play a great role in shaping Papua New Guinea’s future.

“Thousands of students are going to benefit from these, and maybe their children,” she said.

“This is a legacy building.”

In the years to come, Natalie and her daughters will look upon the new School of Business and Public Policy building with pride, knowing they played an important role in its construction.

They might just leave a legacy of their own by breaking down construction industry barriers through their own ability, passion and commitment.


Male advocates ready to champion gender equity

Participants discuss terminologies around gender-based violence and in-equality at the Male Advocacy training.

Male public servants have committed to taking a leadership role in responding to and preventing gender-based violence in the workplace.

This follows a four-day Male Advocacy Training program from April 3-6 which 15 male public servants participated in, to better understand the role they can play in addressing this pressing issue.

Jack Wale, Database Manager and Business Analyst at the Internal Revenue Commission, said the training helped him see the importance of the role of men in addressing gender issues.

“At the Internal Revenue Commission we are trying to make the workplace safe and secure for our female staff,” Mr Wale said.

“This training has given me first-hand knowledge on the impact of gender inequality and gender-based violence and how to respond to these challenges.

Australian High Commission Counsellor for Education and Leadership Suzanne Edgecombe (seated second from right) with the male advocates.

I have two daughters and it made me consider how I want my girls to be treated – to be free to succeed in whatever they want to do.”

Gotch Mou, Principal Advisor – Employment Conditions and Industrial Relations at the Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council said the practice of gender equity and social inclusion can improve the office environment and performance.

“The training addressed misconduct and negative attitudes in the workplace, including sexual advances, playfulness and unwanted attention between male and female colleagues,” Mr Mou said.

“We broke down the meaning of gender related issues at the workplace. I can now use these correctly in my work when dealing with issues or report writing.”

Acting Secretary of the Department of Personnel Management, Taies Sansan, said the National Public Service has a vital role to play on gender issues.

“Gender-based violence and gender inequality are major challenges for Papua New Guinea,” she said.

“As public servants, we have a responsibility to show leadership in changing attitudes and behaviours – both in the workplace and in the community.

At the Department of Personnel Management we are empowering women by ensuring equitable access to training and merit-based appointments, and we are supporting strong male advocates who can champion change.”

The training program was supported by the Australian Government in partnership with the Government of Papua New Guinea through the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct to support the development of ethical and capable public sector leaders in the country. The courses will soon be held in Western Highlands and Northern (Oro) to reach provincial and district public servants.

Australian High Commission Counsellor Education and Leadership, Suzanne Edgecombe, said gender equity and the empowerment of women is a top priority of the partnership between Papua New Guinea and Australia.

“Denying opportunities to women is a great inhibitor of economic development, innovation and investment – this is the case in Australia just as it is in Papua New Guinea,” Ms Edgecombe said.

“We are fully committed to supporting the Government of Papua New Guinea’s push to uphold gender equity and social inclusion across all public sector agencies.

We want women and men to stand shoulder-to-shoulder as leaders to create change on gender-based violence and inequality.”

Events Gender PNG Institute of Public Administration Press Releases

PNG and Indigenous Australian women make leadership link

Professional women leaders from Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their Papua New Guinean counterparts have taken the first step towards establishing a formal dialogue on leadership, gender and culture at a landmark meeting timed to coincide with Australia’s annual celebration of its Indigenous people.

A panel discussion hosted by the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct on Monday brought eminent women from both nations together for NAIDOC Week, which is held each year to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Indigenous Australians.

Stephanie Harvey, CEO of Indigenous Community Volunteers in Australia, said she was excited to share ideas and experiences with women leaders in Papua New Guinea.
“PNG is our closest neighbour and I believe there is a lot we can learn from each other,” Ms Harvey said.

“It would be wonderful if we could build strong relationships between Indigenous women leaders from Papua New Guinea and Australia to strengthen leadership, governance and economic development.”

“In Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are in leadership roles and are walking side by side with male leaders.”

The four visitors from Australia were welcomed to PNGIPA by a singsing group

Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis said the partnership between Papua New Guinea and Australia is particularly focused on supporting current and emerging women in leadership positions.

“We want to ensure institutional barriers to women’s participation in the economy are addressed,” Mr Davis said.

“These events spark conversations that need to be had around important topics, such as women in leadership, and create networks that can support positive change.”

“One of the great strengths of the Papua New Guinea-Australia partnership is the person-to-person links that span business, education and sport.”

The panel discussion also included Divine Word University President Dr Cecilia Nembou, Exxon Mobil’s Susil Nelson-Kongoi and Vonda Malone, Mayor of Torres Shire Council in Queensland.

The event was hosted by the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct, a partnership between the Governments of Papua New Guinea and Australia that supports the development of ethical, capable leaders, and facilitates dialogue about development challenges.

WECREATE Challenge participant Rita Jaima Paru (left) (Owner/Director – Dial-a-Lunch Services) at the roundtable discussion, to the rights is Mayor of the Torres Strait Shire Council, Vonda Malone.

The four invited guests had earlier joined staff at the Australian High Commission in a ceremony to raise the Australian flag with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.
Yesterday, the High Commission also hosted a roundtable discussion with the Indigenous Australian women and invited guests. The discussion is to explore business, innovation and entrepreneurship themes.

A key outcome of this session will be to develop initiatives that could be taken forward into the APEC year.

NAIDOC first emerged in the 1920s when Aboriginal groups sought to increase awareness on the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians.

This year’s NAIDOC Week theme – Our Languages Matter – celebrates the important, unique role Indigenous languages play in cultural identity, linking people to their land, history, spirituality and rites.

Gender Press Releases

West New Britain mainstreams gender equity

Cathleen Dringo, a Community Development Officer at Kimbe Urban LLG, presented at the workshop.

West New Britain has prioritised merit based employment and equal access to opportunities as part of the Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) Policy rollout in the province.

The GESI Policy has been piloted at provincial level in West New Britain and it has now been taken to district level in Talasea.

The Department of Personal Management recently hosted a GESI Policy workshop in Talasea to demonstrate how the GESI Policy can meet provincial and district priorities and how it can be mainstreamed into public sector work at district level.

Provincial Administrator William Hosea said he was grateful that West New Britain was entrusted to pilot the rollout.

“The province has captured GESI activities in its corporate plan and we are looking forward to the implementation of the policy,” Mr Hosea said.

“We talked about effective service delivery. The way we think and the way we do things must be a coordinated effort, working together as a team and valuing the contributions of women.

“It’s very important for Talasea District to carry out GESI activities in a transparent way.”

Public servants from Talasea District and LLGs worked together at the GESI Policy Workshop.

Talasea District Administrator Robert Dau thanked the Department of Personnel Management and the Australian Government for their support of the policy rollout in the district.

“Talasea is a very big district in the province and gender equity is very important,” Mr Dau said.

“The onus is on us, the community development officers and our public servants to start the implementation of the GESI Policy.”

“I am very happy that officers from the District are attending this workshop because the policy requires everyone to work together,” Mr Dau added.

The GESI Policy has been given prominence in West New Britain since it was first introduced 18 months ago and has been integrated it as part of business processes and service delivery.

The workshop was facilitated by the Department of Personnel Management and the West New Britain Provincial Administration, and supported by the Australian Government.

Events Gender Press Releases UPNG School of Business and Public Policy

UPNG takes the lead on gender equality

UPNG School of Business and Public Policy academic staff with UPNG Vice-Chancellor, Professor Albert Mellam, and Executive Dean, Professor Lekshmi N. Pillai (back-centre).

The University of Papua New Guinea’s School of Business and Public Policy will integrate gender equality into its curriculum, as part of a new approach to changing behaviours.

A gender workshop was held at the university recently for the school of business staff to ensure gender issues become a part of student learning. The workshop was funded by the Association of Commonwealth Universities and facilitated through the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct.

University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Albert Mellam, said that the institution had an important role to play in creating change.

“Gender equality is so fundamentally critical to Papua New Guinea. This is one way of contributing to pushing back against these problems that are endemic across the world,” Professor Mellam said.

The School of Business Executive Dean, Professor Lekshmi N. Pillai, said that the time is right to embrace gender equality and embed it as part of the curriculum.

“Sustainable future growth must be based on the right principles, practices, and policies.

“We can integrate gender in to the way business, economics and public policy are taught, and change the way students think about these issues,” Professor Pillai said

Wasita Pomel, a Business Management tutor, and Nathan John, an Economics tutor, were among the participants at the Gender Equality Workshop.

Head of Business Management Evelyn Kua said education is crucial for improving opportunities for women in Papua New Guinea.

“Gender equality has been a foreign concept in the Papua New Guinean cultural context and that is a challenge which needs to be addressed.

“Traditionally, men have been the decision makers and the providers of food, shelter, and protection – but these trends are changing.

“We need to create a curriculum that can bridge the gap between tradition and the realities of today,” Mrs Kua said.

The University’s School of Business will use the outcomes of the workshop to promote gender equality as part of its curriculum, as part of the Papua New Guinea Government’s Gender and Social Inclusion (GESI) Policy, and the Ethics and Values-Based Executive Leadership and Management Capability Framework.

The Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct is part of the Papua New Guinea – Australia Partnership to build a new generation of ethical and accountable public and private sector leaders. The Precinct also works to ensure the Government’s GESI Policy is rolled out among all its stakeholders, including the University of Papua New Guinea.