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Successful partnership between USP Pacific TAFE and USAID’s Climate Ready Project

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Mr Toam Iabete (right) engages in group work during the Certificate IV in Project Management programme.

The University of the South Pacific (USP), through its Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE), continues to strengthen its partnership with the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Climate Ready Project.

Under the Letter of Agreement, signed late last year, USP through Pacific TAFE has been able to partner and support the delivery of accredited training and cohort programmes in Project Management to government, private sector and non-government organisation staff in selected Pacific Island Countries (PICs).

Pacific TAFE, College of Business Tourism and Hospitality, Head of College, Mr Hamish McCracken said the partnership with USAID Climate Ready to deliver cohorts on Project Management is a huge capacity building initiative for Pacific Islanders.

“The power of this programme is that through USAID Climate Ready resources and with employers of participants dedicating time for them to study, we have been able to bring together groups of people on the cutting edge of the challenges of climate change and deliver an extremely high quality programme using staff with international expertise.

“The results are evident in the way people have taken projects and ideas from the courses back to the work place to deliver to their nations. We will be feeling the benefits of this programme in the Pacific for years to come,” Mr McCracken said.

Mr Trevor Ole, the Chief of Party of USAID Climate Ready said that when Climate Ready did their initial consultations with the PICs, they identified that even when countries accessed funds for climate change projects, the implementation was slow as the implementers lacked the skills to manage project implementation.

“People also said that they wanted training to be done by accredited organisations so that trainees could get credit for it. So Climate Ready is pleased to be able to work with USP Pacific TAFE to provide this training that meets both requirements and will also improve implementation so that people can benefit from the climate change adaptation projects,” he added.

USP Pacific TAFE in conjunction with USAID Climate Ready has been able to deliver six cohorts in Project Management to date with one more scheduled for this year and two other cohorts intended for early next year.

Around 194 participants from six PICs have attended the Certificate IV in Project Management (Fiji – 36, Marshall Island – 31, Tonga – 27, Vanuatu – 36, Kiribati – 30, Palau – 34).

Kiribati, a tiny Pacific Island nation consisting of 33 atoll islands, is prone to the adverse impacts of climate change. Often during times of emergencies, the most vulnerable individuals amongst the scattered atolls are people living with disabilities. One such individual is Mr Toam Iabete.

Mr Iabete is a 43-year old Assistant Infrastructure Officer at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy in Beito, Kiribati.

He was one of the 30 participants, including 16 women, who were part of the first Project Management course in Kiribati, supported through the United States Government – funded USAID Climate Ready.

Mr Iabete said “I am grateful to the United States Government and USP for this opportunity.”

“Often people living with disabilities and other marginalised groups are forgotten in the planning of climate change adaptation programmes. I hope with my new skills I will be able to change the perception of the government and general public about people with disabilities and incorporate a more active engagement of people with disabilities in risk reduction activities in Kiribati,” he added.

Similar sentiments were shared by Ms Judith Iakavai, one of the 36 participants who took part in the USAID supported Pacific TAFE Certificate IV Project Management course, in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

Ms Iakavai is the Programme Manager for the Vanuatu Society for People with Disability.

“The Certificate IV in Project Management course has been an eye-opener. As a programme manager, working with particularly vulnerable groups, I now realise that I have a number of capacity needs,” Ms Iakavai said.

“Through this training I believe I will be able to improve on the implementation of projects that in turn will directly benefit the vulnerable groups I am working with”, she stated.

This news item was published on 19 Oct 2018 12:41:43 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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