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Today, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and The Pacific Community (SPC) announced a new partnership to support the strengthening of data collection and data analysis to improve the lives of the most vulnerable children, women and people with disabilities across the Pacific islands and territories.

The collection and dissemination of reliable data of children and women worldwide is vital to identify and plan for their needs and to inform policies.

UNICEF Representative, Sheldon Yett, said, “Statistically sound and internationally comparable data is essential for the targeting of resources to reach the Sustainable Development Goals and meet the needs of the most vulnerable.  We welcome this partnership with SPC, which will work towards ensuring that global best practices are in place for data collection and analysis for women and children in the Pacific.”

Through the collection of quality data, decision-makers are able to make positive change by identifying needs and monitoring progress in their countries. Quality data is essential for measuring a country’s progress against the Sustainable Development Goals and currently in the Pacific islands, there is a lack of data to accurately measure this progress.

Highlighting the potential impact of this agreement for the Pacific, SPC’s Deputy Director General, Audrey Aumua, said, “Good policy is formed on a foundation of good data. Through this agreement, SPC and UNICEF will be able to better support the work of Pacific leaders to improve the lives of women and children across our region.”

The new UNICEF-SPC partnership aims to support Pacific island governments to:

  • Improve the quality and standards of data collection for children, women and people with disabilities
  • Analyse and utilize new and existing data to report and monitor the situation of children, women and people with disabilities; and
  • Disseminate statistics, engage stakeholders and advocate for the collection and use of statistics in policy formulation.

This new initiative is aligned to the joint UN Data, Monitoring and Evaluation Group, established in Fiji and Samoa, which coordinates efforts to improve data collection, analysis and utilization for evidence based decision making and policy development in the Pacific islands and territories.

The 2017 World Bank Statistical Capacity Indicator reports that the Pacific Island countries rank significantly below the Asia-Pacific regional average and that the Pacific needs to improve specifically on health and poverty surveys as well as vital registration systems. Insufficient or no data risks leaving children behind on critical issues such as improving health, sanitation, education, and protecting children from violence, abuse and exploitation.

Regional initiatives, such as the Ten Year Pacific Statistics Strategy (TYPSS), seek to address some data collection challenges, however, despite these efforts, greater attention is needed to produce regular statistics on marginalised populations, including children, women and people with disabilities. 

For more information, please contact:
UNICEF Pacific: Cate Heinrich, [email protected], +679 9925 606
SPC: Michael Sharp, [email protected], +687 916095


Statistics for Development Division


Related Datasets

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SPC’s Statistics for Development Division (SDD) has entered into a contract with the World Bank, which aims to promote and increase access to, and use of, existing data for research and policy formation. The World Bank Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building (TFSCB) has committed USD 500,000 to the project.

The funds will be used to establish a regional data hub – the Pacific Data Archive – which will preserve, catalogue and disseminate Pacific microdata sets. SDD will also produce and disseminate a collection of harmonized datasets by standardizing data structures and processing procedures in order to rapidly produce regionally comparable statistics across a range of sectors for use in policy formation.

The demand for high quality and timely Pacific data is increasing in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals reporting requirements, however accessing data and metadata on the Pacific remains a significant challenge. As a result, many studies on global issues have very little accurate or up-to-date input from the region. This ‘data gap’ means that Pacific voices are often not heard, even on issues for which the region may have valuable and unique data to contribute. The establishment of a regional data hub will go a long way towards closing this gap.
Tonga’s Government Statistician, Dr Viliami Fifita, says “The project will preserve and document data sets to prevent their loss and benefit the Pacific region by providing a centralised data repository and microdata dissemination platform. This data can be used to guide planning, decision making and policy formation. The project will also help to build statistical capacity in the region and improve the quality of data production through the development of guidelines for sampling in small island states like Tonga.”

This project will help deliver on SDD’s vision of promoting ‘trusted Pacific data to support well informed policy decisions that help improve Pacific people’s lives’ and is closely connected to the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Strategic Development Goals of strengthen access to and use of development statistics in policy development and monitoring progress.

SDD’s priorities are also guided by the Ten Year Pacific Statistics Strategy (TYPSS 2010-2020). The current phase of this strategy places a high priority on ensuring Pacific statistics are disseminated to all users in a timely and easy to access manner. In a 2017 meeting, the Heads of Planning and Statistics (HOPS) endorsed the Pacific Regional Data Dissemination Framework which provides National Statistics Offices (NSOs) with guidelines on making their data more accessible to users. This joint World Bank-SPC project will provide a secure facility to house, document and disseminate data.
SPC’s Director of Statistics for Development Division, Ofa Ketuu, highlighted that, “Having access to reliable, accurate and current data is essential for Pacific leaders to make informed decisions on matters of national and regional development. Establishing a data hub for the Pacific will create an invaluable information resource for our region, and will make a significant contribution to international research and knowledge exchange.”
Ms. Ketuu travelled to Washington DC on 1 March 2018 to finalise the agreement, where she met with Haishan Fu (Director) and Olivier Dupriez (Lead Statistician) from the World Bank Development Data Group.

About Us:

The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific. Established in 1947, it gathers 26 Member Countries and Territories and works for the development and advancement of the Pacific peoples. For more information, please visit our website on

Media Contacts:
Phil Bright – GIS, Innovation and Dissemination Specialist : [email protected]
Michael Sharp – Economic Adviser (Household surveys) : [email protected]

Nadi, Fiji – The Australian and New Zealand governments, together with the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), have formalised a €12.8 million commitment with the Pacific Community (SPC) towards education in the Pacific region. This commitments extends to 2023.

The Australian government has committed €9.8 million ($AUD 15.5 million) over five years and the New Zealand government has committed €2.9 million ($NZD 5 million) for the next three years. This funding, as well as a technical partnership with ACER, puts SPC in a solid position to serve educational needs in the region.

The partnership will directly contribute to the 6 education outcome areas that were identified by SPC and its partners as priorities for the Pacific: raising student achievement in literacy and numeracy; improving teachers’ and principals’ accountabilities; benchmarking factors contributing to educational quality; increasing the education system’s capacity to use high quality data; strengthening national accreditation and assessment systems; and providing high quality programmatic technical services and policy advice.

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In 2017, SPC provided multi-sectoral scientific and technical assistance to strengthen the capability of PICTs to access international markets. Private enterprises received support for accessing markets, and the capacity of PICTs to meet biosecurity standards and operate ports that comply with international standards was improved.

Key challenges in this area include:

  • The aquaculture sector has the potential to make a positive contribution to food security and livelihoods in the Pacific, but development of the sector lags far behind that in other regions, particularly Asia.
  • Within the region, better integration of currently disparate markets along the coconut value chain could bolster the Pacific coconut sector.

Self-assessment of progress

The self-assessment by SPC divisions and programmes reporting against this development objective found that on average, some progress has been made.

Looking to 2018

Emerging markets at a global level for all coconut and coconut oil products provide opportunities for the Pacific to learn from industry experiences in Asia to improve the coconut industry value chain in the Pacific. Specific research on the prospect of non traditional products such as virgin coconut oil, coconut water, cream and timber products will be supported in 2018.

SPC will continue to support research, extension services and advice on import substitution on exports of fruit and vegetables, accessing new export markets and biosecurity compliance with farmers in Fiji.




Vanuatu accords high priority to education. Major efforts have been directed towards enhancing educational opportunities, quality and relevance and Open VEMIS (Vanuatu Education Management Information System) is an important tool for effective decision making towards realising these national goals. Informed decision-making in education requires accurate and timely information which shows the relationships between resource inputs to the teaching and learning process and student achievements. Linking Open VEMIS to agencies and institutions in education and other sectors that are engaged in educational activities is therefore important.

Participating in SPC’s review of data usage in the Pacific signals Vanuatu’s belief that information is crucial for informed decisions on planning, policy and programme development, and resource allocation across government.The emerging demands for high-quality and timely information from a wide range of stakeholders have alerted the Ministry to improve its management efforts to meet these demands.Vanuatu has come a long way and according to high level officials in government, the importance of data cannot be over emphasised.

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