Papua New Guinean Understandings of Corruption: Insights from a Nine-Province Survey

96 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2013

See all articles by Grant Walton

Grant Walton

Australian National University - Development Policy Centre

Sarah Dix


Date Written: November 27, 2013


This report sheds light on what Papua New Guineans think about corruption and anti-corruption efforts. It does so by presenting data from a survey into citizens’ understandings of corruption conducted during 2010 and 2011 by Transparency International Papua New Guinea.

We interviewed over 1800 rural and urban citizens across nine provinces and asked them about definitions, causes, and reporting of corruption, and their perceptions of the effectiveness of organisations in addressing corruption. In addition, we asked respondents to evaluate scenarios that might be considered corrupt, as well as a variety of statements about corruption, trust, democracy, the legal system and leadership.

For a long time there has been little evidence of what Papua New Guineans think about corruption. Building on findings from qualitative research undertaken by Transparency International Papua New Guinea in 2008, this report aims to – in a small way – help address this gap.

The report’s findings suggest that to address corruption in PNG more effectively it is important to:

1. Strengthen government institutions and encourage citizens to hold them and political leaders to account.

2. Build a common understanding about corruption between policy makers and citizens by encouraging debate about corruption and anti-corruption, and prioritising research to inform such debate. It is suggested that such discussion could help to better frame rules and laws about corruption in the future (see recommendation 6 below).

3. Fight the structural causes of corruption by addressing the causes of poverty and poor infrastructure, and demonstrate the link between accountability and transparency and development. 4. Conduct anti-corruption communication campaigns, which clearly communicate what corruption means. They should clarify which types of corrupt conduct are unlawful/unacceptable, so that citizens can better relate to the concept.

5. Expand and support anti-corruption mechanisms across the country to make it easier for citizens to report corruption.

6. Support efforts that ensure stricter enforcement of existing laws, and review laws and legal institutions for their relevance.

Keywords: Corruption; Anti-Corruption; Perceptions; Papua New Guinea

Suggested Citation

Walton, Grant and Dix, Sarah, Papua New Guinean Understandings of Corruption: Insights from a Nine-Province Survey (November 27, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Grant Walton (Contact Author)

Australian National University - Development Policy Centre ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601

Sarah Dix

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics