DP69 Integrating formal and informal institutions: towards a healthy community in the Pacific

Development Policy Centre Discussion Paper No. 69

By Lhawang Ugyel

July 2018

The role of institutions, both formal and informal, are important for the development of a country. While existing literature tends to focus primarily on formal institutions, informal institutions play a vital role in the delivery of public services in countries where formal institutions are weak. This paper analyses the integration of formal and informal institutions, using the Bougainville Healthy Communities Program’s (BHCP) delivery of public health services in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG) as a case study. It examines how an operative framework that combines formal and informal institutions is able to determine positive outcomes. The integrations take place at various levels between government and non-government sectors, as well as between formal and informal institutions. While the findings can be applied to PNG and other, similar, countries, particularly developing and post-conflict countries, this case study is important for Bougainville itself. In the next year or two, Bougainville will have a referendum on its future status, and the need for a strong governance system at the national and community levels will be of paramount importance.

Ugyel, L. 2018, ‘Integrating formal and informal institutions: towards a healthy community in the Pacific’, Discussion Paper No. 69, Development Policy Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, Canberra.

Lhawang Ugyel

Dr Lhawang Ugyel is a lecturer at the School of Business, University of
New South Wales, Canberra.