Pacific Update 2017

Pacific Update 2017


2017 Pacific Update Conference


The 2017 Pacific update Conference will be held on June 20-21, 2017, at The University of the South Pacific, Laucala Campus, Suva, Fiji.

The conference is organised by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Australian National University’s Development Policy Centre, and  The University of the South Pacific (USP) School of Economics.


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View Abstracts & Biographies 


Presentations - Day 1


Plenary Session 1: Welcoming Addresses and Opening Ceremony


Welcome Remarks

Richard Coll, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Learning, Teaching & Student Services), USP


Opening Remarks

Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS)

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Keynote Address

Hon. Mahendra Reddy, Minister for Education, Heritage, Culture and Arts, Fiji

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Parallel Session 1a: Achieving a Blue-Green Economy


Blue-Green Growth in a Pacific Island Context– with Wesley Morgan, Matthew Dornan, and Sandra Tarte

Tess Newton Cain, Visiting Fellow, DevPolicy, ANU

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Reporting on the UN Oceans Conference— “Our Oceans, Our Future: Partnering for the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14”

Jeremy Hills, Director, Institute of Marine Resources, USP 

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Building Local Ownership and Action on Green Growth: Lessons from the Ha’apai Development Model and Green Growth Dialogue in Tonga

Emeline Siale Ilolohia, Executive Director, Civil Society Forum of Tonga 

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The Development-Diplomacy Nexus: Lessons from the Green Growth Leaders' Coalition

Aidan Craney, Research Coordinator, Pacific Leadership Program

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Parallel Session 1b: Sustainable Eco-Tourism


Overcoming High Costs: Niche Products and Services

Norio Usui, Senior Public Management Economist, ADB

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Regional Tourism Update

Christopher Cocker, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), South Pacific Tourism Organization 

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Sustainable Eco-tourism: The Opportunity Amongst Challenges in Solomon Islands 

Andrew Nihopara, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture & Tourism, Solomon Islands

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Sustainable Eco-Tourism in the Cook Islands

Halatoa Fua, CEO, Cook Islands Tourism Corporation

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Parallel Session 1c: Labor Markets and Skills Upgrading


Measuring Unemployment: How The Way You Define Employment Makes a Difference in Determining Labour Mobility, Job Creation, and Labour Marketswith Michael Levin

Meli Nadakuca, Assistant Statistician Demography, Fiji Bureau of Statistics and

Epeli Waqavonovono, Government Statistician, Fiji Bureau of Statistics

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Skills Development System Reform in Vanuatu- Supporting Entrepreneurship, Job Creation, and Labour Mobility – with Anna Gibert

Fremden Yanhambath, Program Director, Vanuatu Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Sector Strengthening Program

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TVET in TimorLeste: Public Policy on School Transition Period toward Labour Market

Apolinario Magno, Lecturer, Faculty of Economy and Management, Timor-Leste National University (UNTL)

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Job Creation through Economic Reform in Timor-Leste (via videocon)

Sam Porter and Cecilia Requena, Economic Advisors, MECAE, Timor-Leste

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Parallel Session 2a: Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience


Proceedings from the 2017 High-level Dialogue and Workshop on Building Resilience to Natural Disasters and Climate Change

Tubagus Feridhanusetyawan, Resident Representative for Pacific Islands, IMF

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Building Resilience through Affordable Coastal Protection (on behalf of the

Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility)

David Fay, Project Administration Unit Head, ADB

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Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific

Scott Hook, Economic Infrastructure Adviser, PIFS

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Retaining Pacific Sovereignty, Statehood and Exclusive Economic Zones in Changing Climate and Rising Sea Levels: Examining the Law

Kya Raina Lal,  Solicitor and Barrister, Lal Patel Bale Lawyers

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Parallel Session 2b: Framework for Pacific Regionalism and Its Impact on Public Policy Engagement (Round Table Discussion)


Teresa Manarangi-Trott, Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce

Representative of Specialist sub-committee for Regionalism (SSCR)


Matthew Vaea, Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee Representative of regional Non-State Actors (NSA)


Albion Ishoda, Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands in Fiji

Representative of a PIF member country


United Nations (TBC)

Representative of a development partner



Parallel Session 2c: Improving Labour Market Outcomes in the Pacific – An ADB and International Labour Organization (ILO) Report


The Pacific Paradox: Missing Links between Growth and Development

Norio Usui, Senior Public Management Economist, ADB

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Improving Labor Market Outcomes: Main Findings and Implications for Policy

Sameer Khatiwada, Employment Specialist, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, ILO

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Promoting Skills Formation through Public Investment Projects: Case Studies from ADB-financed Infrastructure Projects in Papua New Guinea (PNG)

Richard Curtain, Visiting Fellow, Devpolicy, ANU

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Parallel Session 3a: Disaster Response and Risk Reduction 


Does Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction Make a Difference in the Face of Category 5 Cyclone? A Comparative Impact Study in the Wake of Tropical Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu - with Julie Webb and Charlie Damon

Megan Chisholm, Country Director, CARE International Vanuatu

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Does Manna from Heaven Help? The Role of Cash Transfers in Disaster Recovery: Lessons from Tropical Cyclone Winston - with Oleksiy Ivaschenko,  Jaekyun Kim, and Jonathan Sibley

Jesse Doyle, Social Protection Economist, World Bank

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Achieving a more Appropriate and Fit Purpose Humanitarian Disaster Response Ecosystem in the Pacific- with Louise McCosker

Linda Kenni, Independent Researcher and Former Project Manager, Pacific Institute for Public Policy, and Railala Nakabea, Assistant Professor, Fiji National University

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Parallel Session 3b: Information and Communications Technology (ICT)


An Update on ICT in the Pacific

Ian Thomson, Senior Fellow (e-Learning), Faculty of Arts, Law, and Education, USP

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The Present State of Mobile Broadband in the Pacific: Troublesome but Promising

Marc Lipton, Director, Pacific ICT Regulatory Resource Center

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The Role of the Private Sector in Enhancing Connectivity in the Pacific

Pepe Fia’ailetoa Christian Fruean, Chair, Digicel Samoa/ Director, Digicel Pacific

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Parallel Session 3c: Labour Mobility


Learning from Seasonal Worker Programs in Australia and New Zealand - with Matthew Dornan, Richard Curtain, and Henry Sherrell

Stephen Howes, Director, DevPolicy, ANU

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Intra-regional Mobility and Migrant-centered Development in the Pacific – with

Alessio Cangiano, Senior Lecturer, School of Economics and Andreea Torre, Lecturer, School of Government, Development and International Affairs (SGDIA), USP

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Migrant Remittances and Non-farm Employment of Agricultural Households in Fiji – with Zhongwei Xing

Rukmani Gounder, Professor of Economics,  Massey University

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The Development Benefits of Expanding Pacific Access to Australia’s Labour Market- with Leon Berkelmans

Jonathan Pryke, Research Fellow, Melanesia Program, Lowy Institute

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Presentations - Day 2


Plenary Session 2: Fiji Economy


Fiji Economy Update

Sunil Kumar, Senior Lecturer, School of Economics, USP

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Urbanization and Sustainable Development in Fiji

Rup Singh, Senior Lecturer, School of Economics, USP

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Marketing and Exporting Cocoa Beans from Fiji

Arif Khan, Founder/Managing Director, Cacao Fiji 

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Parallel Session 4a: Renewable Energy


Upscaling the Green Energy Transition to Achieve Renewable Energy Targets- with Jeremy Hills and Victor Kouloumpis

Evanthie Michalena, Adjunct Associate Professor, Sustainability Research Centre, University of Sunshine Coast

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Energy Policy, Aid, and the Development of Renewable Energy Resources in Small Island Developing States – with Kalim U. Shah

Matthew Dornan, Deputy Director, DevPolicy, ANU

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ADB Pacific Renewable Energy Initiatives – with Woo Yul Lee (working title)

Taniela Faletau, Safeguards Officer, ADB

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Parallel Session 4b: Regional Cooperation and Development Financing


More than the Money: In Pursuit of Deeper Pacific Regionalism

Anna Naupa,  Regional and International Issues Adviser, PIFS

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Financing Pacific Governments for Pacific Development

Kim Edwards, Country Economist for Timor-Leste, PNG, and Pacific Islands, World Bank

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Making Aid to Pacific Island Countries More Effectivewith David Abbott &Tony Hughes

Steve Pollard, Independent Consultant and Former Principal Economist, ADB, and Garry Wiseman, Independent Consultant and Former Manager,  UNDP Pacific Centre in Fiji

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European Union Pacific Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Adaptation (EU PAcTVET): Enhancing Regional Cooperation in Education – with T. Martin, H. Jacot Des Combes, L.A. Buliruarua, N. Kua,  and T. Marawa

Sarah Hemstock, Team Leader, EU PacTVET Project

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Parallel Session 4c: Graduate Student Session 1


Developing a Contingency Model for Collaborative Management: A Case Study of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission

David Mapuru, PhD Candidate, School of Management and Public Administration, USP

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Perceived Impacts of Climate Change on Non-Communicable Diseases

Peni Hausia Havea, PhD Candidate, Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development, USP

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Sustainable Financing for Climate and Disaster Resilience in Tuvalu and Kiribati

Tauisi Taupo, PhD Candidate-Economics, Victoria University of Wellington

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Parallel Session 5a: Roundtable Discussion on Promoting Trade through Enhanced Connectivity in the Pacific- Role of Maritime Transport and Digital Connectivity


Deborah Elms, Executive Director, Asian Trade Centre


Eranda Kotelawala, Chief Executive Officer, Solomon Islands Ports Authority


Maria Melei, Senior Country Coordination Officer, Extended Mission to Samoa, ADB


Michelle Curran, Communications Manager, Grow Pacific E-commerce Training Program, Pacific Cooperation Foundation

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Parallel Session 5b: Papua New Guinea (PNG) Labour and Economic Updates


Survey of the PNG Economy

Marcel Schroder, Lecturer, University of PNG  and DevPolicy, ANU

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Measurement of Entrepreneurial Traits of University Students of UPNG – with John Raymond, Manoj Pandey, P. Manohar, and Benedicta Mellam

Lekshmi N. Pillai,  Executive Dean, School of Business & Public Policy, UPNG

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Demographic Changes and Labour Market Developments in PNG: Challenges and Prospects

Manoj Pandey, Lecturer, UPNG and DevPolicy, ANU

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Curbing Corruption in PNG

Sam Koim, Visiting Fellow, DevPolicy, ANU and Former Chairman, Taskforce Sweep

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Parallel Session 5c: Graduate Student Session 2


Postharvest Research and Development Challenges for Fiji

Salesh Kumar, PhD Candidate, School of Economics, USP

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Wantok System as an Alternative Development Strategy in Solomon Islands

Derek Mane , PhD Candidate, SGDIA, USP

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Mapping Intra and Extra-Regional Labour Movements - A Comparative Analysis of Pacific Island Countries and the Caribbean Countries

Khushbu Rai, Economics Masters Student, School of Economics, USP

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Closing Plenary


2017 Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific Findings - Improving Governance and Fiscal Management

Sanjesh Naidu, Economic Affairs Officer, UNESCAP Suva (TBC)

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Pacific Possible: Main Report and Findings

Robert Utz, Lead Economist and Program Leader, Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions, East Asia and Pacific, World Bank

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ADB Regional Priorities: Responding to the Changing Needs of the Pacific

Emma Veve, Director,  Urban, Social Development, and Public Management Division, Pacific Department, ADB

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Pacific Update 2017
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