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ACT NOW! is excited to announced it’s partnership with Wantok Niupepa. 

The only “Tokpisin” newspaper in the country will be featuring stories based on the District Development Authority Watch or DDA Watch website for the next 6 months. 

The first issue featuring DDA Watch website was published on Thursday the 30th of May 2024. Copies of the Wantok Newspaper are circulated nationwide through the Catholic Church and it’s partners. 

ACT NOW! acknowledges Wantok Newspaper in disseminating this information on District Development Authorities and their functions. 

DDAs were created by the government in 2014 with the intent to decentralize political and financial powers to the districts plus also make people feel the presence of government on the ground. However, there is lack of transparency and accountability from the DDAs leading to misuse of funds resulting in lack of basic services reaching the majority of the rural population. Given the need to increased openness by DDAs, ACT NOW! has built a website called DDA Watch and launched in June 2023.

The main intention of having such website is to increase transparency, accountability and accessibility to information on DDAs. ACT NOW! has over the last 11 months been promoting the website using various means and the use of media has been very helpful in educating Papua New Guineans and even DDAs. 

Wantok newspaper was approached and gladly they have come on board in promoting the message. It is important the website and its functions are explained in “Tokpisin” so that many Tok-Pisin speakers throughout the country are aware of its importance and can contribute.

Tokpisin is the most spoken language in Papua New Guinea and it is understood by many in the rural areas. Disseminating information in a form and language for the people to understand, how the DDA Board is made up, it’s functions and roles in administering the K20 million District Services Improvement Program Funds or the DSIP funding and how they can benefit and hold their MPs to account.

The District Development Authority was set up purposely to manage the annual allocation of the District Services Improvement Program funds. 

The DDA Board is made up of the MP and the LLG members. The number of members in the DDA Board depends on the number of LLG’s in one district. 

The role of the DDA Chairman is to call meetings and discuss with the Board Members how the K20 million DSIP funding will be used. From that meeting, agreements and resolutions are reached on how much money is allocated to certain projects in the district and based on its five year development plan.

In this publication, we have explained how the website works and how the people can participant in ranking of their DDAs based on the availability of the key transparency and accountability documents.

DDA Chief Executive Officers are subject to the leadership code and failure to perform functions will lead to them been held accountable.

DDAs must have five year plans that should be publicly made available together with an Annual Budget, the Acquittal Report, the Inspection Report and the Audit Report. It’s public money, the people must know how their money is being spent .

Copies of the newspaper can be collected at the Wantok Head Office in Port Moresby or through Catholic Parishes throughout the country. 

Stay in touch with us through Wantok niuspepa on our next edition.