08 August 2011
The impact of economic shocks in the Pacific
A team of household surveyors and focus group facilitators in Vanuatu.
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RMIT University, Deakin University, the University of the South Pacific and Oxfam Australia are undertaking an internationally collaborative research project in the Pacific.
The project is being conducted over three years and is funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) through the Australian Research Development Awards scheme.
Pacific countries are increasingly vulnerable to external shocks which include events outside the countries’ control such as economic shocks and natural disasters.
While studies have examined the impact and response to economic shocks internationally, there has been surprisingly little research into the vulnerability and resilience of households within the Pacific.
This research project will look at Pacific households to determine how vulnerable they are to economic shocks and how resilient they are when it comes to dealing with these shocks.
To assist with the research, households will be surveyed in urban and rural locations in both the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
Results from these surveys will be complemented with qualitative information obtained from focus groups and semi-structured interviews.
The RMIT research team includes Associate Professor Simon Feeny, Dr Alberto Posso and PhD candidate Lachlan McDonald.
“By identifying the most vulnerable households and understanding the factors that contribute to household resilience, this research will provide policymakers and aid donors with crucial information to help target their interventions,” Associate Professor Feeny said.
“This knowledge will be particularly important for future economic development and social protection programs.”