The government’s national strategic plan (NSP) framework 2010 - 2050 recently renamed Vision 2050 and launched by the PNG government is our first long-term plan since independence.
This framework forms a basis for a strategic 40-year development plan to 2050.
The key to formulating a sound national development policy lies with good strategic planning for the future.
PNG must first and foremost, develop sound strategic planning mechanisms built into its overall strategic political and government planning systems.
The country’s overall strategy must be derived from a combination of factors, including the development of a highly professional, competent and a well-resourced and equipped national workforce (both public and private sector).
This future workforce must be shaped by a rigorous application of sound planning principals, ass the lead-times for governments are either short (five years) or long-term (beyond a two-term administration).
Therefore, strategic planning must both look to medium and long term, as well as our ongoing needs to ensure that adjustments are made to cover uncertain ties, and risks that may emerge in future.
The present improved economic conditions in recent times must now be maximised for long-term growth and prosperity.
This directly impinges upon future financial assumptions on which a “whole of government” approach taken including related forward planning considerations will be based.
There are significant challenges with our present political and government systems that must be critically addressed today.
Government planners, therefore, face a period of growing complexity and uncertainty.
In addition, through a process of economic reform and restructuring, PNG will become a more open and competitive market economy.
To better achieve this, the private sector is expected to support future developmental efforts to contribute towards the NSP in the next few years.
Some key factors of change national planners must fully take into account are:
· Government modernisation programs within the region;
· The future impact of economic interdependence and changing trade alignments on international relationships, and whether this will produce stability or new tensions;
· The economic dynamism of the Asian countries, while increasing the stability of the region, but also if sustained over the longer term, will bring changes in our relative national strength;
· Continuing economic and social problems in the south-west pacific; and
· National aspirations for a better future quality of life and wellbeing.
PNG’s strategic environment poses many development challenges.
We are now facing varying levels of transnational issues with serious security implications that the government must critically addressed.
Thus, development priorities of national capabilities must be driven principally by our future vision, mission and core values and guiding principles derived from the national constitution.
Careful planning of future development must ensure we have the right level and mix of state management capabilities necessary for national self-sufficiency and reliance over time.
Therefore, development efforts must be at an appropriate level and can be economically sustained within national resources.
This approach provides a rigorous, enduring basis for disciplined planning as our future strategic circumstances become more demanding.
PNG’s long- term plan covers 40 years and in that timeframe, the government needs to also factor in forecasted future risks with suitable in-built hedging strategies designed to minimise risks that may affect final outcomes.
The task for national planners is not easy but to make certain that our strategic framework is comprehensive enough to cope with future contingencies, not yet discerned by the most far-sighted government analyst.
Reginald Renagi is a former PNG Defence Force Chief, now a maritime school trainer and writes as a hobby.