Integrating Formal and Informal Institutions: Towards a Healthy Community in the Pacific

26 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2018

See all articles by Lhawang Ugyel

Lhawang Ugyel

Australian National University (ANU)

Date Written: July 18, 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.

Keywords: formal institutions, informal institutions, Bougainville, healthy communities, public health

JEL Classification: I15, I18, F35

Suggested Citation

Ugyel, Lhawang, Integrating Formal and Informal Institutions: Towards a Healthy Community in the Pacific (July 18, 2018). Development Policy Centre Discussion Paper No. 69, Available at SSRN: or

Lhawang Ugyel (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601

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