Having a say on school in Fiji
In 2009, the Crawford School and Save the Children Fiji, with funding from AusAID, organised the first-ever Forum at which children and young people in Fiji were able to express their views on education and school. The Forum is one dimension of research being carried out by Sharon Bessell, and used a research methodology designed by Sharon to create opportunities for children and young people to speak out on policy relevant issues. The Fiji Ministry of Social Welfare and the Ministry of Education have each expressed interest in holding similar Forums, and the approach has attracted attention from UN agencies. The findings of the Forum will be discussed in detail with policymakers in Fiji during workshops in February 2010. The first scholarly article from the Forum was published in Pacific Economic Bulletin in November 2009 and the report is available online (PDF, 2.4MB).
This work has been watched throughout the Pacific, and will be used again in Fiji and elsewhere as a tool of policy development.
Left: Sharon Bessell is a Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the Crawford School.
Right: Save the Children Fiji.