Alphonse Gelu talks about decentralization in Papua New Guinea first from a historical perspective and then from a more current perspective. He discusses the various issues that motivated decentralization in the 1970s and subsequently that motivated that national government to take back the power given to provincial governments through a significant reform effort in 1995. Gelu concludes that decentralization and its reform have not really had much of an impact on the lives of ordinary citizens in PNG, especially in remote areas where the central government remained as distant in 2010 as it was when the country achieved independence in 1975.
At the time of this interview, Alphonse Gelu was a senior research fellow at the National Research Institute, a government think tank in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Educated at the University of Papua New Guinea, Ohio University in the United States, and the University of Auckland in New Zealand, Gelu studied PNG politics since the 1990s.