In the Government of Papua New Guinea’s strategic campaign to close long-running gender gaps in its education system, Coretta Naig serves as one of its key champions.
A Provincial Education Advisor serving in the country’s northwest Sundaun Province, Ms. Naig is tasked, among other duties, with supporting the Department of Education’s recently-developed Gender Equity Strategic Plan. But with limited data resources at her disposal, she was finding it difficult to effectively communicate the ground realities to her various target audiences.
“Constantly throughout the week, all kinds of stakeholders come to my office requesting information. But I’m not able to give them what
This situation is likely to dramatically change, following a DevInfo training workshop recently held in Papua New Guinea in May 2011. Targeting key members of the country’s newly-formed Accelerating Gender Equity in Education (AGE) National Steering Committee, the workshop focused on how to use DevInfo to advocate for gender equity within the education sector.
Four days after learning how to use DevInfo to generate tables, graphs and maps clearly displaying educational gender disparities for her province, Ms. Naig became convinced that this was the data solution she had been looking for.
“We do a lot of reporting and presentations,” she explained. “Most of the time, I know people don’t take time to read all those pages we put together. But now I realize that if I put in a few graphs or maps – which people like to look at – it can make a big difference to our audience.”
She continued, “I never thought that I could ever learn how to generate a map or a graph from a database – but now I’ve learned how to do this.
Ms. Naig is not alone. Most workshop participants agreed that the DevInfo database maintained by PNG’s Department of Education (DOE) would play a key role in supporting their future efforts to advocate for gender equity in education, both at the national and provincial levels.
Paul Laore, a representative of East New Britain Provincial Division of Education, shared, “I now see the DOE database as an important tool for helping us present key information – to government officials, to education committees, and to political committees –so they can better grasp the information.”
And according to Dr. Arnold Kukari, a Senior Research Fellow and Education Program Leader with the nation’s leading public policy think tank, the National Research Institute, “DevInfo is a very good tool for measuring progress in terms of various development indicators. It is particularly useful for our work, as we drive policy using evidence from our research.”
Workshop participants unanimously endorsed the rollout of the DOE database to all provinces throughout the country, vouching for its certain role in helping support more effective data reporting and strengthened gender advocacy initiatives throughout the country.
Added Godfrey Yerua, Chairman of the AGE
With the DevInfo DOE database positioned to support gender equity in Papua New Guinea’s education sector, the nation looks forward to seeing more girls enrolled in school, staying in school, and completing school – arguably the most critical ingredient to fast-forwarding the country’s overall human development.
Data making a difference.
For more information, please contact Dr. Wycliffe Otieno, Chief of Education, UNICEF PNG, firstname.lastname@example.org