The Electoral Support Program Phase 3 (ESP3) is a 34-month AU$18.9 million AusAID project in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The goal of ESP3 is to contribute to strengthened PNG electoral systems.
The current phase of the program has four objectives:
- to strengthen electoral governance
- to strengthen the PNG Electoral Commission's capacity to manage elections
- to improve civic awareness of electoral processes and understanding of the PNG electoral system
- to improve research, analysis, program management and coordination.
The Program works primarily with the PNG Electoral Commission, supporting and assisting them to fulfil their mandate to conduct free and fair elections. At the same time, the Program supports a whole-of-government approach to election co-ordination by strengthening linkages between national and provincial government agencies.
Phase 3 of the Electoral Support Program builds on Cardno’s five years of experience supporting PNG elections in Phase 2. The new phase has a particular emphasis on gender, HIV and AIDS and disability and research.
Elections in PNG are highly contested, with increased pressures and incentives stemming from the country’s resources boom. Cardno regularly and pro-actively analyses PNG’s political, social and economic climate to ensure risks are identified early and that the Electoral Commission is supported to plan for and respond to risks when they arise.