PiPP provided advisory support and input into this three year collaborative research project involving RMIT University, Oxfam Australia, Deakin University and the University of the South Pacific. Funding for the project was through the Australian Development Research Awards.
Led by RMIT University Associate Professor Simon Feeny, who is also a PiPP associate, the research examined how shocks affect individual households, as well as understanding how households are resilient, and seeks to provide important evidence to help design and target policies that protect households from the effects of future shocks.
Fieldwork was conducted across 12 sites in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu in 2010–11 and consisted of 1,000 household surveys, more than 50 focus group discussions, and a number of key informant interviews. Six of the sites were re-visited approximately two years later to assess how things are changing in the communities. In the latest round of fieldwork, smartphone technology was used to conduct the household survey.
A book on the research findings, Household Vulnerability and Resilience to Economic Shocks, Findings from Melanesia, includes a forward by Odo Tevi, a member of the PiPP board, and described by PiPP executive director, Derek Brien, as ‘a very welcome rich new body of evidence to inform the policy debate and help shape new social protection measures required in our region’. Especially as we are at a point in time where traditional social security networks and land tenure systems in melanesia coming under threat as people increasingly move to urban centres.