BLOG SURF: Human capital

In 2013, when I came to Papua New Guinea (PNG), the country was enjoying the peak of the benefits of one of the world’s largest liquefied natural gas projects that had sent the costs of almost all commercial goods and services skyrocketing.

It was not a good time to have construction project as everybody was competing for scarce resources, with many experiencing cost overruns.

An even bigger challenge was recruiting national staff and consultants.

Although we always prefer hiring locally, we experienced difficulties in hiring national staff as consultants or for project implementation units for ADB-funded projects.

After several job advertisement extensions and re-advertisements yielded no results, the positions were reluctantly converted to international positions.

This translated into delays of 1-2 years, compounded by cost overruns, as some critical activities were dependent upon these consultants.