SCEFI Emblematic Stories on Strengthening Leadership Capacities and Local Governance Structures to Adapt to A Modern Age
Traditional leaders across Fiji’s iTaukei communities are in dire need of skills building and leadership training to cope with the governance challenges of a country at a crossroad between modernization and traditionalism.
Given the similarities in the challenges facing Fiji’s 14 provinces, a national approach to strengthen local level governance structures serves Fiji’s interest best. In 2014, UNDP’s Strengthening Citizen Engagement in Fiji Initiative (SCEFI) and the iTaukei Affairs Board, supported by Provincial authorities, began developing a National Strategy to strengthen local level governance structures.
It aimed at equipping traditional leaders with competencies to adapt to fast-paced changes of modern times without compromising on values that makes the iTaukei unique. The initiative involved, among other things, developing a training curriculum and a national manual for local level leaders. The curriculum aimed at improving national and provincial level coordination of local initiatives, and “bringing back” social cohesion as a relevant factor in development planning. In 2015, the training was implemented in 24 villages in a pilot project.