When was PIDP founded?

PIDP was founded in 1980 at the request of Pacific Islands Heads of Government, led by Fiji’s former Prime Minister, the late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara. In close association with the East-West Center, PIDP was established to service the technical, research, and educational needs of the region.

For nearly 40 years, PIDP has been a platform for our region’s leaders to discuss critical issues and an institute to share use-inspired expertise, produce policy relevant research, and train the next generation of Pacific leaders.

What was PIDP’s original purpose?

The Pacific Islands Heads of Government established PIDP in response to the myriad of issues emerging from decades of colonization. PIDP’s mission is to address these issues through education, capacity development, and the dissemination of relevant research and analysis.

What is the PIDP’s relationship to the East-West Center?

PIDP is a separate and distinct entity within the East-West Center and works towards empowering Pacific peoples through programs informed by the voices of the region itself. PIDP’s governing council is the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders. In addition to its own activities for the peoples of the Pacific region, PIDP uses its status within the EWC to advise and coordinate the Center’s research and programmatic activities in the Pacific.

What is the PIDP’s relationship to CROP?

PIDP is a founding member of the Council of Regional Organizations of the Pacific (CROP) established by Pacific Island Forum Leaders in 1988 to improve cooperation, coordination, and collaboration among Pacific inter-governmental organizations. Working with other CROP agencies while playing a unique role as the only CROP member based north of the equator, PIDP is focused on enhancing Pacific regionalism and implementing the Framework for Pacific Regionalism (2014) and the CROP Charter (2018). PIDP collaborates closely with other CROP agencies including the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the Pacific Community (SPC), South Pacific Tourism Organization (SPTO), the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP), and the University of the South Pacific (USP) across programmatic areas such as tourism and media training, women’s empowerment, post-graduate education, and environmental security.

What does PIDP do for the people of the Pacific Islands?

PIDP’s broad range of activities to enhance the quality of life in the Pacific Islands, includes serving as the Secretariat of the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders, implementing capacity-building and leadership-development programs, and providing a hub for dialogue and research on issues of critical importance.

More specifically, we run capacity-building programs including facilitating and supporting post-graduate education; we undertake policy-relevant research, with a particular focus on climate change in Micronesia; and we use PIDP and East-West Center’s convening abilities to provide linkages or sub-regional platforms deemed useful by our members.

PIDP also advises and collaborates with the research and programmatic activities of the East-West Center in the Pacific region. These include:

  • use-inspired research on climate change impacts and mitigation
  • women’s empowerment workshops
  • economic and policy analysis
  • reporting tours and professional exchanges for Pacific journalists and tourism professionals
  • and leadership training and capacity-development (PILP).
What is PIDP doing about Climate Change?

Over the past decade, our main research focus has been climate-related. In this area we have leveraged the resources of the East-West Center to: secure targeted funding; produce world-class use-inspired data presented in an accessible manner for policy makers and non-governmental organizations; contribute to Pacific efforts to combat the effects of climate change on a bilateral basis (particularly in the North Pacific), and multilaterally through regional mechanisms such as 2nd Symposium on Climate Change Adaptation in the Pacific Region in Fiji in August.

One stand-out program is the collection of scientists and the Pacific RISA (Regional Integrated Science and Assessments) who undertake research in our nations, then provide climate-change research and policy analysis tailored to the needs of our Pacific Islands communities – ranging from fresh water issues including physical modelling of groundwater resources, to climate-related migration, to devastating drought.

What is PIDP doing to empower the women of the Pacific?

PIDP programs focus on helping women to develop their leadership skills. One of the most effective has been the North Pacific Women’s Action Program, which has hosted and mentored hundreds of female community leaders from Palau, RMI, and FSM in incubator programs and intensive workshops.

What is PIDP doing to empower future Pacific Leaders?

The Pacific Islands Leadership Program (PILP) works with emerging leaders to share pan-Pacific perspectives and foster a dynamic network of cross-sector regional leaders. Funded by Taiwan, PILP provides future Pacific leaders with opportunities to create connections with Asia and explore common challenges and solutions.

What is the PIDP’s relationship to the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders?

The PICL was established in 1980 to provide a venue for Pacific communities to meet to discuss issues of regional concern, and to promote research and exchange of ideas. PIDP serves as the PICL’s Secretariat, providing administrative support for the PICL, implementing priority research projects that the PICL identifies and approves, and expanding collaboration between PIDP and the other members of the Council of Regional Organizations of the Pacific (CROP).