Series 558 - Assessment of the impacts of frost and drought in Papua New Guinea; surveys and research

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Assessment of the impacts of frost and drought in Papua New Guinea; surveys and research


  • 1997 - 1998 (Creation)

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14 type 1 boxes and 1 type 10 box ;

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Name of creator

(1944 -)

Biographical history

Bryant Allen was born in New Zealand in 1944 and holds a BA and MA from Massey University (1963 – 1970). From 1971 - 1974 he studied for a PhD in the Department of Human Geography, Research School of Pacific Studies, at the Australian National University. He carried out fieldwork in villages around Dreikikir, East Sepik Province in 1971 and 1972 and has returned to this area many times time since.
In 1974 Bryant took up a position as Lecturer in Geography at the University of Papua New Guinea and with Andrew Wood, studied Huli agriculture in the Tari Basin, Hela Province. During 1979 he was a visitor for 4 months at the School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia, England. In 1981-82 he was consultant to the PNG Office of Environment on population growth and land use.
Bryant returned to ANU in 1982 as a Research Fellow in the Department of Human Geography, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, College of Asia and the Pacific. In 1987 he participated in a review of the AIDAB funded Magarini Resettlement Project in Coast Province, Kenya for AusAID and co-authored an analysis of this project with Doug Porter and Gaye Thompson Development in Practice, published in 1991 and republished in 2013.
From 1990 – 2009 Bryant was a Senior Fellow at ANU. With colleagues Harold Brookfield, Mike Bourke, Robin Hide and the late Geoff Humphreys he formed the Land Management Group. LMG identified, mapped and documented agriculture systems over the whole of PNG in collaboration with the GoPNG. This project had many spin-offs, including collaboration in a World Bank poverty survey of PNG and two ACIAR projects. In 1997 Bryant was co-leader with Mike Bourke of an AusAID supported a national assessment of food and water shortages in Papua New Guinea which guided Australia’s food delivery program by the ADF. When he retired in December 2009 he had been the Head of the Department of Human Geography a number of times and was the Convenor of the Division of Society and Environment. Bryant has consulted for AusAID, the World Bank, ADB and FAO. After retirement from ANU he was contracted by Esso Highlands as a Community Affairs Field Manager and Senior Advisor to the PNG LNG Project (2009-2013).
Bryant is currently a Visiting Fellow, State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program, College of Asia and the Pacific at the ANU, and conducts his own social and economic consulting business in Canberra.

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Scope and content

In 1997 Papua New Guinea was in the throes of a severe drought with frosts at high altitudes, which severely disrupted food and water supplies. Funded by AusAid, teams of researchers led by the authors, including Papua New Guineans and Papua New Guinea based agriculturalists, conducted field surveys to assess the impact of drought and frost on village food and water supply in all 19 provinces and most districts. The collection includes the field survey data sheets, the Excel database spreadsheet compiled by Joseph Viles, his BA Hons thesis and Bryant Allen's collection of research papers.


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Researchers must sign an access agreement.

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Finding aids

Item List of survey results

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Copies of the field survey forms are held by the Papua New Guinea National Agriculture Research Institute,

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This project was funded by AusAID, a Commonwealth Department responsible for administering overseas aid and development assistance. It was integrated with the Department of Foreign Affairs [DFAT] in 2013, following the federal election on 7 September 2013 and the installation of the Liberal/National Coalition.

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Prepared by Christine Bryan on 10 January 2014




Allen, B J and Bourke, R M, Report of an assessment of the impacts of frost and drought in Papua New Guinea, Australian Agency for International development, Port Moresby, October 1997

Allen, Bryant and Bourke, R Michael et al, Report of an assessment of the impacts of frost and drought in Papua New Guinea – Phase 2, Papua New Guinea Department of Provincial and Local Government Affairs, Funded by the Australian Agency for International Development, December 1997

Viles, Joseph, Coping with drought and frost: Famine foods and migration during the 1997-98 El Nino event in rural Papua New Guinea. Canberra, ANU Bsc (Hons), 2013

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