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Title: Why Planning Fails: A Study of Higher Education Planning in Papua New Guinea, 1984-1990
Contributor(s): Murphy, Penelope (author); Harman, Grant  (supervisor); Meek, V. Lynn (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 1992
Copyright Date: 1991
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: The nature and key determinants of national policy process are explored through an empirical study of failure in national tertiary education planning. It centres on a case study of the formulation and implementation of the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Higher Education Plan 1986 - 1990: A Strategy for Rationalisation, during the period 1984 - 1990. It combines a grounded theoretical approach with examination of the explanatory power of pluralist, Marxist and elite theoretical perspectives. The main argument is that, although many factors combined to account for the lack of success in tertiary education planning in PNG, the following emerged as the most important: PNG's dependence on and vulnerability to the global economy; the scarcity of resources exacerbated by global recession, by Australian aid policy, and by PNG domestic economic policy in certain sectors; the weakness of PNG democracy and inherent incoherence in its government; and the deliberate frustration of planning by those interests that felt themselves directly threatened. A wide range of factors were exploited by those interests. Increasing resource scarcity, whether externally imposed or internally generated, played a key role in activating them and was associated with increase in inequality. Democracy was particularly vulnerable to elite domination when confronted by acute resource scarcity. Resource scarcity exacerbated the dominance of elite interests. This contributed significantly to the frustration of the national planning process, which in turn resulted in increased inequality. As many of these conditions and opportunities applied equally to the rest of the public sector, the explanation is applicable more generally to the policy process in PNG, and to some other countries with similar circumstances. Although pluralist, Marxist and elite theoretical perspectives are useful in explaining the frustration of policy process, each is insufficient by itself. They are not mutually exclusive and a synthesis would be more useful. Adequate theory would need to be capable of linking micro-level to global level policy phenomena.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Rights Statement: Copyright 1991 - Penelope Murphy
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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