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Papua New Guinea - Public Expenditure and Service Delivery Survey (Education)

New empirical research on the status of education provision in Papua New Guinea focuses on the links between poverty, remoteness, and school functioning. This survey is part of a multi-country pilot study which combines surveys of primary schools with household and other micro surveys to assess service delivery systems in education, measure performance, and establish a baseline for examining the impact of policy and institutional reforms over time.

Contact: Deon Filmerat

Description | Findings | Data


The vast majority of students in Papua New Guinea (PNG) attend schools that receive heavy government subsidies (recurrent public expenditures are predominantly made up of teacher salaries and school subsidies). Policies around teacher deployment and compensation, and school funding and control of those funds form both the domestic and international core of the debate on improvements in education service delivery.

This study is organized around trying to answer two main questions in the PNG context.

  • First, what are the factors that determine how effectively public funds flow through the administrative and budgetary system and ultimately reach teachers and schools?
  • Second, what determines how effectively those resources are combined with other inputs at the school level to generate education outcomes?

The basis for the analysis will be new data collected through a survey of 220 primary schools in 8 (out of 20) provinces. The survey includes instruments for head teacher (covering characteristics of the school as well as of all teachers), the chairman of the school’s board of management, a grade 5 teacher, and a parent of a student at the school.

Additional instruments cover the district, province, and national levels. Supplementary data on local level characteristics (including literacy and poverty), the list of teachers on the payroll by school, and on student test performance by school, will be collected from national level sources.

The main outcomes analyzed are the share of the intended per-student school subsidy that a school actually received in each quarter in 2001 and 2002; teacher posting and absenteeism (including long-term absenteeism); student learning achievement from test scores; student absenteeism, attrition and transition; and school decision-making. While effective resourcing and effective use of resources are separate issues, the competing hypotheses about what determines them are overlapping: poverty, physical remoteness, knowledge and information dissemination, organization and degrees of autonomy, participation, and political involvement.

The data collected and compiled from various administrative levels and from the service delivery points attempts to quantify all of these. The main goal of the research is to assess their relative contribution to explaining variations in outcomes.


The survey covered 214 schools in 19 districts across 8 provinces (out of a total of 20 in the country), with two provinces selected in each of the four main regions. Most schools were surveyed between April and May 2002. The survey used a series of instruments for collecting data at different levels.

The following instruments and the data sets are available here.

  • Instruments at the school level:
    School survey, grade 5 teacher survey, board of Management survey, parent survey
  • Instruments at the district/provincial level:
    District Education Administrator (DEA) survey, Provincial Education Adviser (PEA) survey
  • An instrument for nearby health centers
    Health facility survey


Papua New Guinea: Public Expenditure and Service Delivery, June 2004 (116 pages)
The data collected during a Public Expenditure and Service Delivery (PESD) highlight a number of concerns at different levels of the education delivery system: school facilities and environment, school finances, teacher and student performance, and the administration of education.
Report  | Annexes      

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