Each year, representatives from each of the component projects, key partner organisations, co-funding agencies of ACIAR and DFAT, the program coordinating team, representatives from relevant PNG Government Departments and guest presenters all attended an Annual Meeting. The event was usually scheduled for mid-year, prior to reporting cycles and to align with academic calendars, and was hosted at different locations each year with the intention of showcasing one of the five TADEP component projects.

The Annual Meeting was an opportunity for each of the projects to provide a progress update, identify potential collaborative activities or opportunities for capacity building, review and discuss program activities and higher-level strategies including gender equity and private sector engagement. Various guest presentations were also included in the two-day event, with topics reflective of the need of the program and the expertise within the TADEP network. As a value-add to the event, which was usually held on a Tuesday and Wednesday, an optional field trip was organised to showcase project sites relevant to the program or one of the five TADEP component projects.

The 2016 Annual Meeting was hosted by the Cocoa Coconut Institute at Tavilo in East New Britain. This is the first time many of the projects had met and discussed their involvement in the broader TADEP program. As many of the projects were in early stages of planning and commencing their respective project activities, it was an opportune time to introduce the program monitoring and evaluation framework (see Impact) and discuss expectations relating to achieving the longer-term, higher-level program objectives (see Impact). As part of the two-day event, participants were able to tour the Galip Nut factory at the NARI Kerevat Research Station.

Group photo at 2016 TADEP Annual Meeting
Optional field tour of organic sweetpotato farm at 2017 TADEP Annual Meeting in Cairns.

Initially it was hoped that the 2017 Annual Meeting could be held in Bougainville but due to logistical challenges, the event was relocated to Cairns in Queensland. The project updates demonstrated significant progress against respective project objectives and opportunities for collaboration started to arise (see Collaborative Research Grants). As part of the two-day event, there were also presentations about the program activity MAD4TADEP and from cocoa farmers in Bougainville sharing their experience of being involved in the Bougainville Cocoa project. Whilst in Cairns Annual Meeting participants were also able to participate in an optional tour of nearby organic Sweetpotato farms and local chocolate makers.

The 2018 Annual Meeting was hosted by the New Ireland DPI at Kavieng in New Ireland, recognising the significance the province has in the PNG Cocoa and Family Farm Teams projects. Aside from the core updates and collaborative discussions, the event also featured presentations from entrepreneurs from the Galip Nut project and information about DFAT’s Do No Harm initiative, reflecting the program’s higher-level focus on private sector-led development and engagement, and gender equity. Short videos that were filmed in the months prior and showcasing the impact of the program were broadcast and cross-program communications and collaboration were discussed. Given the program was at its approximate halfway point, a series of Mid-Term Review group interviews were conducted by external reviewers, alternating with optional field tours to research sites relevant to the PNG Cocoa and Family Farm Teams projects.

Optional field tour at a CMFT nursery
Johnny Wemin (hat) from the Fresh Produce Development Agency

The 2019 TADEP+ Annual Meeting was held in Goroka, Eastern Highlands on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 June and welcomed 45 attendees from across Papua New Guinea and Australia. There was representation from each of the five TADEP+ component programs including the majority of Project Leaders, our key partner organisations in PNG, one ACIAR Research Program Manager as well as representatives from the ACIAR Country Programs team, three DFAT representatives from Port Moresby, representatives from the Eastern Highlands Provincial Government and guest presenters. There was a workshop to brainstorm and share tools and tips for effective learning, monitoring and evaluation as well as a number of guest presenters whom were specifically invited to TADEP+ Annual Meeting to introduce new ideas and concepts that align with the scope of the program. Guest presentation topics included an overview of the PNG Research, Science and Technology Council by Prof Lohi Matainaho, Ripple Effect Mapping by Gloria Nema, an overview of PHAMA+ by Jane Ravusiro and Collaborations in Cocoa by John Moxon of PPAP.