SCEFI Emblematic Stories on Building Inclusive and Peaceful Communities in Rural Fiji through Training and Dialogue
Fijian society is at a crossroads between modernisation and traditionalism. Modern lifestyles based on individual freedoms coexist and sometimes collide with centuries of traditional communal social hierarchies and conventions of behavior. In the face of modernisation, people in rural communities request improved public services such as access to clean drinking water, electricity and medical facilities, better roads and transport. Therefore, developing the capacities of local communities so they can better address a variety of social concerns and engage with government bodies is critical. In 2014, the Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding (PCP), supported by UNDP’s Strengthening Citizen Engagement in Fiji Initiative (SCEFI), initiated a project in Vanua Levu to strengthen local level governance structures in 12 rural communities. The project involved collecting evidence through baseline surveys and conducting contextualized training in the target communities, so that they could constructively engage in dialogue with government to collectively find solutions to longstanding community problems.