13 December 2009

Scenario Planning for Fiji's Future

By Sai Lealea - 13 December 2009

In thinking about how Fiji might be able to chart its way out of the present bleak political situation, I thought an exercise in future scenario planning could offer a number of plausible stories that could guide the development of a pathway to stable democratic rule.

Borrowing from the South African "Mont Fleur" experience during the transition from minority white rule, four similar future scenarios emerge that are applicable to Fiji if we project a 10 year future to 2020. The four scenarios provide alternative views of Fiji’s future and identify some significant events, main actors and their motivations and convey how Fiji relates to the world.

The year takes into account the current regime's plan to have elections in 2014 and so the scenarios cover the intention to have in place an "elected" government.

As is the process in future scenario planning, the key question asked of the future scenarios or stories is: How will the plan to return Fiji to democratic rule go and whether the nation will be successful in securing a stable future?

I plan to develop these scenarios further, but in brief the four stories are:

 • Extended Interim Regime – no election in 2014 as regime bides its time to effect changes or entrench its rule. Disastrous for the economy and as negative impact bites, unrest will grow so crack down increases. Fiji is further isolated. No end in site.

 • New Military Endorsed Government in Power – some form of state sponsored election fraud occurs and government officials, like in Zimbabwe, used as agents and supervised by military personnel already in senior government posts. All law and order and enforcement agencies, FICAC, Crown Law, Justice and Military, Police and Prison service will play an active role in elections, overseen closely by regime figures.

 • New Government in Opposition to Current Regime – elected under a “new constitution” it opposed. Begins to reverse current regime’s policies and seek return to previous constitutional order. Sets in place process to prosecute 2006 coup perpetrators. Inherits a collapsed economy and citizens’ demand for relief increase manifold. Overseas aid and assistance provide some relief but is insufficient. Increase in social expenditure only bleeds the economy further. Military intervention highly likely using the widespread suffering and chaos as an excuse.

 • Return to Democratic Rule is Successful via a Negotiated Settlement – Military returns to Camp. All the regime’s decrees and policies to be reviewed and those of merit to be extended. An exercise in national reconciliation and healing akin to a Truth Commission is put in place and facilitated by neutral external experts. Question of Immunity be subject to national referendum including the future of Fiji’s military and promulgation of any new constitution after a constitutional review. Regional and international partners drafted in to provide security where required especially in lead up to referendum and national election. Economy starts to mend and slowly takes off.

There are clearly three dark prophecies that are plausible futures for Fiji. The last one does offer hope and no doubt presents a possible way ahead. As part of story telling, these 4 stories could be refined further and shared widely for feedback and discussion.

At this stage, the intention should not necessarily be about making a choice but refining the scenarios and testing the assumptions and driving factors involved.

Ideally it would be great to have the means to engage and bring together a diverse group of stakeholders to flesh out the four scenarios and further consult widely before publishing the stories in Fiji and abroad. To this end, I have written to various potential partners in the hope sponsorship could be secured for this work to take place.

10 November 2009

Policy Training Workshop on Pasifika Perspectives


About the Workshop

Public sector agencies face increasing calls to maximise the impact of their policy interventions, especially for hard to reach groups. Pasifika peoples make up a significant segment of that target group and are an increasingly important proportion of New Zealand’s younger population.

The best way of lifting the quality and effectiveness of policy outcomes is to ensure Pasifika perspectives are incorporated in the thinking and analysis phases of the public policy process. This workshop provides the knowledge and frameworks for exactly that.

The course begins with the important historical and constitutional features of Pasifika peoples and their transition to New Zealand. It identifies the important Pasifika values and concepts that underpin their communities. And it offers a practical step by step guide to incorporate these values and concepts into the policy process. Throughout the day insights and practical tips are offered in understanding Pasifika values and practices. The workshop will be highly interactive with a blend of presentations, case studies and practical application.

The Presenters, Sai Lealea and Holona Lui, collectively bring more than 20 years experience in public sector policy development, consultation and engagement with Pasifika peoples. They are knowledgeable about the Pasifika community and both are experienced in facilitating and delivering training workshops.

  • Public Sector staff [incl managers, analysts and policy advisers] with an active role in public policy development
Workshop Objectives

On completion of this course participants will understand important Pasifika values and concepts and how these impact on:
  • defining policy problems
  • setting relevant goals and objectives
  • developing effective solutions
  • engaging effectively with Pasifika peoples, and
  • how Pasifika social structures might impact on service delivery.
  • The benefits of incorporating Pasifika perspectives in Policy Analysis
  • Historical and Constitutional context
  • Demographic drivers and key outcome indicators for Pasifika peoples
  • Understanding important Pasifika values and concepts
  • Incorporating Pasifika perspectives in the step-by-step policy analysis process
  • Engaging Pasifika peoples in the policy process
  • Practical applications through case studies

For Enquiries contact:

Sai Lealea: Tel: +64 27 2490 472 ; Email: sai.lealea@sdlconsultancy.com

Holona Lui: Tel: +64 27 4439 345 ; Email: holona.lui@catalystpacific.co.nz


06 November 2009

Focusing on Strengths not Problems

posted on: myriam-musing.blogspot.com

Whether facilitating a group or developing a learning program, where should we focus the bulk of our attention - areas of strength or areas that fall short of the ideal? Most of us are well conditioned to believe that if we focus on problems and areas requiring improvement, this will actually help us perform better.

The sad truth is that only 32% of workers have the opportunity to do their best. 
(Gallup, US Survey, circa 2007). Research by Professor Emeritus Ron Lippitt (Univ. of Michigan) showed that when work groups focus on problems, two things occur. First they become more depressed, and secondly, they focus their energy on how to avoid pain rather than how to creatively move towards what they desire. As facilitators and instructors, we would do well to heed these learnings and adopt strategies that build on strengths and what's working.

Focusing on the Positive Core

  1. Would you ask people to focus the bulk of their energy and effort on what they do worst as a strategy for highest return on investment? Rather, use Appreciative Inquiry to discover what works and areas of strength, and find ways to transfer these learnings to areas requiring improvement, in order to move towards the desired future.
  2. When we operate from our strengths, we are often in the 'flow' (or for atheletes, the 'zone'). We become more confident, focused, and creative; we lose track of time and are generally inspired to produce better results, faster.
  3. We're happier when we can operate from our strengths, yet according to Gallup only 32% of employees have the opportunity to do so. Imagine the latent potential that can be tapped with more inspired, confident, and powerfully effective people on your team! ,
  4. Focusing on people's strengths benefits the organization and the people who work there. Leverage this power by focusing your facilitation and learning programs so that people can refine and expand their inherent talents and abilities, rather than on the Training painful ‘areas of improvement’.

28 October 2009

Fiji Facilitators Undergo Training in Civic Education

Facilitators ready to promote civic education

www.fijisun.com.fj - 11/2/2009

The training of community Civic Education Facilitators (CEFs) in the Western and Northern Division marks the beginning of outreach activities to local communities in Fiji.One hundred participants from eight partner Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) were trained in areas of democracy, democratic governance, human rights and constitutionalism for three weeks, in Nadi and Labasa.
A session is planned for the Central and Eastern Division later this month. With the acquired knowledge and skills, CEFs are now ready to carry out civic education outreach activities to local communities.

Facilitation Skills Program -  Click Here!
This is in a neutral and impartial manner after completing the National Initiative on Civic Education (NICE) training.
NICE is a project on civic education, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on behalf of the Government of Fiji and supported by NZAID and the European Union.

UNDP Resident Representative, Knut Ostby, emphasises the importance of awareness on essential matters.
"Civic education activities carried out in these communities are crucial for promoting democracy and in helping to build a culture of civic responsibility among citizens.

The knowledge and skills acquired from the training are meant to assist civic education facilitators from partner CSOs. They will share knowledge and raise awareness on issues of democracy and democratic governance for people's participation in decision making processes at local and national level," Mr. Ostby said.

CSOs which will conduct civic education exercises are the Fiji Muslim League, TISI Sangam, Shree Sangam Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji, Methodist Church, Catholic Women's League, Soqosoqo Vakamarama, Fiji Disabled People's Association and Transparency International.

UNDP is providing a grant of FJD $463,360 to the CSOs.
The NICE project is a three-year project which started in 2008. The project focuses on community civic education and advocacy for citizen participation.

22 October 2009

Fiji and Commonwealth

Conversation Event on Fiji

Fiji and the Commonwealth
Title: Conversation Event on Fiji
Location: Wellington, New Zealand; Venue: Level 2, James Smith Building, Cuba st, Wellington
Description: Organized by: Luvei Viti Think Tank Social group @ My Victoria & Fiji Truth Commission Movement
All are invited to a Commonwealth Conversation Forum with Fiji as the main Focus. The thrust of the discussion will be “Fiji & the Commonwealth : Where to from here!”
Date: 2009-10-23
The programme for the event will be as follows, pending minor changes.
  • 2.30pm – Welcome
  • Short DVD on Commonwealth Conversation
  • Speech Sai Lealea [also facilitator]
  • Speech by Exec Officer CID
  • Short DVD on Fiji
  • Poem on Fiji
  • Speech by Trade Aid NZ about their links with Fiji & the Pacific
  • Open Forum/Plenary session  
  • Wrap -up
  • Reflections on Fiji ‘dvd’
  • End