Pamela Thomas's picture

Pamela Thomas

Visiting Fellow, Resource Management in Asia-Pacific Program,Director, Development Studies Network



Contact details

Pamela is a human geographer who, for 30 years, has undertaken development-related research, policy development and project design in Pacific Island countries focusing on delivery of health and educational services in rural and hard to reach areas. Her recent work includes research into health trends and the delivery of primary health care in rural areas of Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands looking at the roles of both government and non government organisations. Her areas of interest also include the factors that influence the dissemination and effectiveness of health and gender-related information and the inter-relationship between disability, development and poverty in the Pacific and Asia. Pamela continues to undertake research into declining infant immunisation rates and maternal mortality. She has undertaken numerous consultancies for AusAID, NZAID, United Nations Organisations and DFID.She is the director of the Development Studies Network and editor of the multidisciplinary journal [Development Bulletin] ( which has now published 77 issues.

Research interests

The role of culture and communication in social and economic change; the influence of culture, environment and rapid change on health trends, health service delivery and development; land tenure, community-based and inclusive development.


Provided both academic and community-based training in research methods, monitoring and evaluation, research skills and gender and disability inclusion. Taught a diploma course course in communication skills for health and agricultural development in Tanzania; trained teachers for a schools broadcasting unit, Freetown, Sierra Leone; taught research techniques at USP and capacity-building for rural health workers in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. As Regional Adviser in Training and Communication for the East Asia and Pacific Region of UNICEF, Bangkok ran regular regional workshops in mass media for development.

Career Highlights

Gold Medal in Social Sciences, USP 1982

Regional Adviser, Communication and Training, UNICEF Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, 1988-91

Six UNICEF maternal and child health research grants South and Western Pacific 1999, 2000-2001, 2003-2004, 2006-2007, 2007-2010, 2012

AusAID research grant for situational analysis of Child Abuse in the Pacific 2000-2001

Executive Committee member, Australian Disability and Development Consortium, NGO/Universities Research Network (now RDI Network), Oceania Development Network

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