Looking Forward

Building on the achievements of 2015–2016, the next 12 months will continue to be a busy period for Pacific Women.

It will be a time for reflection and learning about the achievements and challenges of the program to inform future programming.

Some key activities will contribute to this reflection and direction setting period. They include the Year 3 program evaluation. This will be an independent assessment of whether Pacific Women has achieved its first interim objective which is to contribute to increased capacity and resources, strengthened relationships, and supported action in its key result areas. The evaluation will also identify effective strategies, barriers and challenges to progress in the four intended outcome areas; and develop recommendations for program improvement and for future program development.

The Year 3 Evaluation Report will be used in a number of ways:

  • for learning and improvement by DFAT and implementing partners;
  • for accountability to DFAT, in-country partners, the Pacific Women Advisory Board, and the whole spectrum of program stakeholders including those at community level; and
  • to contribute to information and advocacy efforts within Australia, the Pacific and in other regions of the world of the critical importance of investing in and progressing gender equality in the Pacific island region.

A roadmap to inform and guide future investments in the four outcome areas of Pacific Women is underway. It will draw on current practice, programs and experience, learning from research, monitoring and evaluation at national and regional level and be informed by international and regional good practice. The roadmap will include identification of structural and cultural barriers to women’s empowerment in order to identify the gaps, opportunities and priorities for Pacific Women support. Views of Pacific island stakeholders are critical to this process. The roadmap will primarily focus on regional implementation but can also serve as a useful evidence driven guide for country-level decision making.45

Another priority for the coming period is knowledge management and learning. The Pacific Women Support Unit will develop, update and implement systems to facilitate this. Sharing program knowledge and lessons learned is an important dimension of Pacific Women.The re-design and launch of the Pacific Women website will facilitate improved information sharing.

To assist with the implementation of Pacific Women activities, Pacific Women technical panels46 set up in 2016 in the areas of Monitoring and Evaluation and Gender advisory support will become operational as part of the focus on further improving the quality and timeliness of technical support to DFAT offices in each program country.

The Support Unit will continue to engage closely with DFAT staff and management to refine and review the operations and role of the Support Unit to ensure that it responds to the changing context and meets DFAT and program stakeholders’ needs and expectations.

Key activities to be undertaken by Pacific Women in the next year will include:

Direction setting

  • Completing the roadmap – women and leadership, economic empowerment, ending violence against women and enhancing agency- to guide ongoing and future investments in these areas.
  • Undertaking an evaluation of Pacific Women to establish progress against the Year 3 objective and to identify lessons learned for program improvement.
  • Undertaking a mid-term review of the PNG Country Plan and reviewing the Cook Islands and Solomon Islands country plans.
  • Conducting evaluations of specific projects, including the PWPP project, the SPC PGEP program and CARE’s Coffee Industry Support project in PNG.

Research and analysis

  • Finalising a resource paper on the legal barriers to gender equality in support of DFAT’s gender equality advocacy and mainstreaming efforts.
  • Finalising a review of counselling services available to survivors of violence in the region to assess their relevance and quality in order to inform efforts to increase the effectiveness of these services at country and regional levels.
  • Finalising research on managing menstruation in the Pacific to support DFAT gender equality efforts in the education and health sectors.
  • Development and implementation of a research strategy to increase knowledge about gender in the Pacific.


  • Establishing a gender advisory panel of suitably experienced gender specialists and practitioners to assist with technical implementation of the program.
  • Redesigning the Pacific Women website to increase knowledge sharing and introduce a PNG e-newsletter.
  • Undertaking a review of the operations of the Support Unit.
  • Development and implementation of a program capacity development strategy.

45Note, priorities for country-level Pacific Women support are identified through country planning processes.

46These are panels of specialists and practitioners sourced through open tender process that will be utilized on an as needs basis to provide technical support to DFAT offices and implementing partners.