The Bougainville Audience Research Study is a comprehensive research study on the media and communication landscape in Bougainville. It offers key insights into the access and ownership of media and communication channels, and provides an in-depth picture of the audiences’ views and aspirations in relation to the Bougainville Peace Agreement. The project included capacity building and collaborative design processes working closely with field researchers and communities in Bougainville to identify relevant processes and issues.
The baseline research of the Bougainville Audience Study (Phase 1), which was conducted in 2015 and published in 2017, demonstrated a number of limitations and opportunities with regards to media and communication for people living in Bougainville. The study provided information about Bougainvilleans’ access to and use of information sources and channels, as well as how much they knew about, and how they perceived, the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the referendum. Phase 2 of the study, conducted in 2018/2019, used the data of the Bougainville Audience Study conducted in 2015 as comparative data, and aimed to assess the effectiveness of relevant information activities undertaken and materials circulated since 2016. The Phase 2 research formed an important component in understanding the knowledge levels of the Bougainville population prior to the referendum, as well as people’s attitudes and expectations about the various components of government and Bougainville’s political development.
The results presented in the two reports offer insights to the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) and other organisations involved in public awareness and designing media and communication strategies. The reports provided a comprehensive understanding of media access and use, knowledge levels of the Bougainville Peace Agreement, and people’s aspirations that support key recommendations for communication strategies to be developed for Bougainville.
The Bougainville Audience Study was supported by the Bougainville Partnership, a development partnership between the Autonomous Bougainville Government, and the governments of Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand.