Best practices highlighted to minimize rural-urban drift

The Highlands Provincial Coordinator for the Department of Community Development and Religion, David Nugi wants to see the “all of government” going to the wards by bypassing the bureaucracy red tape at the provincial level.

Speaking about concepts being practiced in the Highlands region, and how it is working well for them and keeping the youths leveled in working the land and earning a living. Mr. Nugi stated that the Department has seen that the bottom-up concept is the right way in which the government should be approaching initiatives to realize maximum results.

According to Nugi, by bringing government services to the ward level will stimulate economic growth with greater outcomes.

In quoting figures from the ‘Informal Economy Audit Report’ of the Institute of National Affairs,  Mr. Nugi said, “there’s about K2 billion circulating in the informal sector that is not banked”, and asked how the nation can tap into that industry.

There is a concept currently being utilized by the Fresh Produce Development Agency (FPDA) in Goroka where youths who went through Financial Literacy Training had their local MP open bank accounts for them instead of giving them money, and allowed them to sell their produce to FPDA.

This system has worked and has distracted youths from engaging in illicit activities or wander into urban areas seeking opportunities as they are able to generate income at the village level. Mr Nugi is recommending this concept to all provinces to ensure there is no rural-urban drift in the country.

The Community Development Department has embarked on building community centres around the country where services such as trainings, facilities and offices are established so that people don’t have to travel far to access them.

In Madang Province, Mr. Nugi stated that they are looking at building a District Development Community Centre in Bogia were all of the Community Development services and other partnering sectors will have to establish an office for public convenience.

 In addition, the District Development Authority will need to step in to take ownership in maintaining the overall functionality whilst the implementation agencies support with funding and trainings as required.

Mr. Nugi emphasized that the bottom-up concept is workable because they are responding to the needs of the people as requested instead of imposing policies which half the time does not even work.

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