By JASON WURI
A STRATEGIC approach to national development was the theme of the National Research Institute’s (NRI) corporate plan 2009-13 that was launched last Thursday in Port Moresby.
NRI director Dr Thomas Webster, in his opening remarks, said the plan was prepared and approved by the NRI council early this year but lack of funds to have it printed had caused delays.
He said the corporate plan was building on the lessons of the previous plans.
“There are several improvements to this plan, reached after much internal consultation among researchers and other staff, our external stakeholders from the various government and non-governmental agencies that we work with, and also our financiers, principally AusAID, that fund, most of the research programmes, and the Government, through the National Planning and Monitoring Department,” Dr Webster said.
He told media representatives and the NRI staff witnessing the launching that the plan outlined four research programme themes that they have planned to work on over the plan period; these were wealth creation, governance and the public sector, universal basic education and environment and people.
“We are mindful that the Government has just launched the 2050 vision statement, next year we will have to review this plan and see how we can take on board the aspirations of Vision 2050 and factor the research requirements into an updated corporate plan,” Dr Webster said.
On hand to launch the plan was Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology Minister Michael Ogio who told the gathering that he would advocate for research and how evidence-based research could contribute towards positive nation building through making informed decisions and formulating appropriate policies within his mandate.
Mr Ogio thanked the Australian government for its continued support to NRI’s research programmes since 2005.
The funding has supported the institute and it has been able to upgrade its infrastructure and improve its ICT systems.
“These infrastructure developments and improvements to NRI’s research programmes have boosted the institute’s public profile in PNG, the Pacific Islands region and through out the world,” he said.