Governance and community capitals : understanding how governance has worked in three faith-based schools in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea

  • Ray Bartell

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This thesis, titled Governance and Community Capitals, explores the kinds of practical processes that have made governance work in three faith-based schools in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG). To date, the nation of PNG has been unable to meet its stated educational goals; however, some faith-based primary schools have overcome educational challenges by changing their local governance systems. What constitutes good governance in developing countries and how it can be achieved in a PNG schooling context has received very little scholarly attention. In this study ,the subject of governance is approached at the nexus between the administrative sciences and asset-based community development. In this space, the researcher provides an understanding of the contribution that community capitals have made to understandings of local forms of governance in the development context. However, by and large, conceptions of governance have a history of being positioned within a Euro-centric frame and very little, if anything is known about the naming of capitals by indigenous peoples. In this thesis, six indigenous community capitals are made visible, expanding the repertoire of extant capitals published to date. The capitals identified and named in this thesis are: Story, Wisdom, Action, Blessing, Name and Unity. In-depth insights into these capitals are provided and through the theoretical idea of performativity, the researcher advances an understanding of how the habitual enactment of the practical components of the capitals made governance work in this unique setting. The study draws from a grounded and appreciative methodology and is based on a case study design incorporating a three-stage cycle of investigation. The first stage tested the application of an assets-based method to documentary sources of data including most significant change stories, community mapping and visual diaries. In the second stage, a group process method relevant to a PNG context was developed and employed. The third stage involved building theory from case study evidence using content analysis, language and metaphorical speech acts as guides for complex analysis. The thesis demonstrates the contribution that indigenous community capitals can make to understanding local forms of governance and how PNG faith-based schools meet their local governance challenges.
    Date of Award2015
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorBarbara Pamphilon (Supervisor), Robert Fitzgerald (Supervisor), Josephine Caffery (Supervisor) & Tiina Roppola (Supervisor)

    Cite this