Democracy, Governance and Leadership

Democracy, governance and leadership are interconnected and interdependent, and their strength and growth are a vital underpinning for the success of social and economic development in Fiji.

Pacific Dialogue’s work in this area aligns with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions - which aims to promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies. Goal 16 recognises that peace, stability, human rights and effective governance based on the rule of law are important conduits for sustainable development. 

You can read about our democracy, governance and leadership initiatives and projects here.

Democracy

The Republic of Fiji is a young democracy, having gained independence from British colonial rule in 1970.

Since independence, the growth and development of democratic institutions and processes in Fiji have been disrupted by a series of coups. The periods of democratic turmoil and instability created by the coups have impacted on the strength of democratic processes and governance mechanisms in Fiji, and on their ability to respond to the needs of ordinary citizens, to promote and drive economic and social development, and to enable a more equitable distribution of public resources to grassroots communities and the marginalized.

Pacific Dialogue works to build the capacity of citizens to understand and engage in democratic processes, including the constitution and elections, with a focus on grassroots communities and on youth.

Governance

Governance is referred to by the UN as “the exercise of political and administrative authority at all levels to manage a country’s affairs. It comprises the mechanisms, processes and institutions, through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations and mediate their differences.”

Good governance is about making institutions and rules more effective and efficient, in order to achieve equity, transparency, participation, responsiveness, accountability and the rule of law.

The UN lists two broad areas of governance. The first covers public administration and public services, connected with the sound management of resources, the delivery of and equitable access to public services, a responsiveness to the views of citizens and their participation in decisions that concern them.

The second is about the concepts of democracy and the rule of law, including rights-based claims to equality before the law, judicial independence, participation in the conduct of public affairs, electoral integrity, political plurality and freedom of expression and media independence.

Pacific Dialogue believes that the key underpinning for effective governance is an informed and empowered citizenry engaged in transparent and accountable governance processes, and our work in the governance area reflects this.

Leadership

Leadership plays a pivotal role in the growth and maturation of democracy and good governance in Fiji, which in turn underpins the country’s economic and social development.  

Good leadership requires the ability to face challenges and to achieve results in complex conditions, whether as an individual, organisation, coalition or a community.

Pacific Dialogue’s leadership work is focused on grass roots communities in Fiji, with the aim of helping leaders to help their communities prosper and grow.

 

Read our 'Even Dozen' information sheet on democracy,governance and human rights here