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Vol.35 no.3, 2015(11)

Title: The Health status of the Silver Generation in Fiji

Author: Seniloli, Kesaia, Tawake, Rupeni
Subject:  Ageing
 Health status
 Social disability
Volume: Vol.35 no.3, 2015
Collation: p. 168-187

Abstract: The proportion of the population aged 55 years and over in Fiji has increased over the years as progress in social and economic conditions extends. The best possible health of the elderly population is of obvious importance to their families, the community and the nation as a whole. This paper examines the demographic, social and economic factors that determine the health status of our elderly people. The importance of this study lies in the dearth of current knowledge on the health status of elderly persons in Fiji. It will contribute to the literature on elderly issues in Fiji and the wider Pacific. Given that ageing issues do not gain much attention in Fiji’s national policies, our hope is that with ample knowledge of their health status, we can help government and other stakeholders work towards upholding the standard of living of the elderly in Fiji. The study used a structured questionnaire to interview 815 elderly in both rural and urban areas of Fiji. The application of the proportional odds model showed that marital status, ethnicity, area of residence, age and household size are significant determinants of the health status of the elderly. The poor economic status of the elderly is also an important determinant because it affects their use of health services, ability to purchase western medicine and their ability to have a healthy life in general.

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Title: A reality check : teaching practices in Fijian secondary schools

Author: Martin, Tess, Sukanaivalu, Matereti Sarasau, Takiveikata, Sereima
Subject:  Teaching practices
 Continuous professional development
Volume: Vol.35 no.3, 2015
Collation: p. 95 - 107

Abstract: This interpretive study of teaching practices explored the perceptions of teachers in a changing landscape in secondary schools in Fiji. Research participants engaged in focus group interviews in which they shared their teaching stories. The study found that the key issues for teachers were student-centered learning and continuous assessment. It also found that teachers were skilled and knowledgeable in pedagogy however some of their teaching practices are ineffective. It is contended that this situation is the result of inadequate support systems for teachers and in turn is perpetuating protracted change in the education system. Suggestions for teachers to develop adaptive and innovative skills that enable them to meet the changing role of teaching include a range of initiatives related to continuous professional development.

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Title: Holistic, participatory and strategic : a vulnerability and adaptation assessment for Pacific communities faced with climate change

Author: McNamara, Karen Elizabeth, Limalevu, Leone
Subject:  Adaptation
 Environmental change
Volume: Vol.35 no.3, 2015
Collation: p. 28-39

Abstract: Community-based climate change vulnerability and adaptation assessments are burgeoning, matched by an expanding body of literature on vulnerability, resilience, adaptive capacity and adaptation. However, too often, these assessments are subjective, rapid and merely consultative which can lead to a lack of community ownership over adaptation projects and potential failure. This has been particularly common in the so-called ‘frontline’ states where large donor funding has flowed to in the last decade or more. Despite extensive local knowledge of environmental change and strategies to respond to such, the Pacific region is often depicted as ‘most vulnerable’ to the impacts of climate change; however, a one-size-fits-all vulnerability and adaptation assessment is challenging to develop effectively. This article provides details of the development and use of a community-based vulnerability and adaptation assessment that has been applied in 15 countries and close to 40 communities throughout the Pacific region. The assessment is not a single prescribed method; it is an approach that can be adapted to diverse communities and places and ensure a shared and open dialogue between external parties and local communities. It involves a number of critical steps and utilises a variety of techniques to collect data including field observations, in-depth focus group discussions, field assessments and group workshops. Three overarching principles guide the assessment. These include the need to: holistically capture the numerous assets that communities utilise to sustain their livelihoods (as vulnerability can be influenced by a host of factors); guarantee community participation and an ongoing two-way dialogue and sharing of knowledge; and ensure that medium and long-term community plans and goals are developed to help safeguard the sustainability and longevity of these communities.

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Title: Trade's impacts on production efficiency and technology in Pacific Island countries

Author: Chen, Hong, Prasad, Biman Chand
Subject:  Singh, Baljeet
Volume: Vol.35 no.3, 2015
Collation: p. 56-78

Abstract: Pacific Island countries have relatively high level of openness measured by the trade-to-GDP ratio; yet they are faced with the difficulty of making progress in economic development. This raises the concern whether trade works effectively to enhance economic growth in PICs. Answer to this question is particularly important since these countries have limited domestic sources to boost economic growth. This study aims to provide an answer to the above question by assessing exports and imports’ impacts on production efficiency and technology. The non-parametric data envelopment analysis approach is employed to calculate efficiency and technology levels for seven Pacific Island countries over 1970-2009; this is followed by panel regression analyses to assess trade’s impacts on production efficiency and technology in these countries.

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Title: Climate-induced disaster, urban flooding and human security in Pacific towns and cities

Author: Mohanty, Mahoranjan
Subject:  Climate–induced disaster
 Human security
 Urban flooding
Volume: Vol.35 no.3, 2015
Collation: p. 5-27

Abstract: Climate change, a consequence of global bio-physical changes, is a challenge to humankind. Flood is the most frequently occurring event among the climate-induced disasters and increasing in intensity in Pacific cities. The purpose of the paper is to bring out the linkages between climate-induced disasters, urban flooding and human security. It examines the causes and occurrence of flooding in Pacific cities and assesses the extent of economic loss due to recent flooding especially in the urban areas in Fiji and also explores flooding implications to food, water and human security. The paper also suggests some flood planning, and management measures in preventing urban floods in making a ‘safer’ city or town.

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Title: Birdwatching as a potential tourism market on Kiritimati Island

Author: Towner, Nicholas, Vas, Krisztian, Milne, Simon
Subject:  Birdwatching
Volume: Vol.35 no.3, 2015
Collation: p. 127-144

Abstract: Kiritimati is an isolated low lying atoll located in the Pacific Ocean and is part of the Republic of Kiribati. Kiritimati faces many challenges to its economy. An absence of economies of scale, long distance from major markets, scarce fresh water supplies and limited land area contribute to its economic vulnerability. Unlike other Pacific islands, Kiritimati receives very few international visitors, and these are generally restricted to bone fisherman, consultants and government officials. This article reviews the current tourism activities occurring on Kiritimati and evaluates whether the island’s enormous colonies of breeding seabirds could be an opportunity for environmentally based ecotourism. The island is home to numerous rare seabird species, which have a high economic value due to their ability to attract the committed birdwatchers, who tend to have long stays, highexpenditures levels, and a high return rate. The potential for developing birdwatching tourism in Kiritimati relies on developing sustainable niche products on an appropriate scale that does not exceed current carrying capacities. Further research [is needed into any] heavy promotion in international tourist markets and protection of birds from exploitation due to local poaching

Original information

Title: Management education in the era of globalisation : challenges, prospects and the way forward for the South Pacific Region

Author: Naz, Rafia...[et al.]
Subject:  Management education
 Higher education
Volume: Vol.35 no.3, 2015
Collation: p. 79-94

Abstract: While internationally scholars have surveyed “management education in the era of globalisation” with reference to challenges and prospects within the context of HEIs, there is unquestionably a dearth of research investigation in the Pacific. The purpose of this paper is to discover the interconnection between globalisation and management education and draw from the review of the literature and the theoretical underpinnings, present the way forward in the milieu of a developing island state.

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Title: The Successes and failures of policy in Fijian agriculture development, 1965-2012

Author: Kumar, Salesh, Kumar, Sunil
Subject:  Economic development
 Development programmes
 Capital investments
Volume: Vol.35 no.3, 2015
Collation: p. 188-205

Abstract: Agriculture is an important sector for Fiji’s economic progress providing rural employment and food security. Apart from commercial production, currently significant amounts of food crops are grown as subsistence. With global comparisons, the scale of agricultural production in Fiji is small with rudimentary farming practices. However, some technological inputs and modern methods are evident in recent times with increasing government support for new initiatives. Attempts have been made by government to strengthen the sub-sectorial linkages through commercialization of agriculture and re-implementation of policies but real success seems scanty, where the contributions of agricultural sectors to GDP are declining, sugar being the key one. Even performance of small scale commercial enterprises in agriculture is waning off. This paper examines Fiji’s agricultural development policies with specific attention to their successes and failures. A few relevant government projects and schemes are analysed to establish their development rationale and to link them to the underlying fault-lines that lead them to their failures. The lack of capacity in monitoring and evaluating projects combined with weather calamities and bad governance have resulted in poor outcomes of numerous agricultural projects.

Original information

Title: The disciplinary terrain of Pacific history : origins, issues and views

Author: Raman, Anurag
Subject:  Historiography
 Island-oriented history
Volume: Vol.35 no.3, 2015
Collation: p. 40-55

Abstract: In the 1950s, J. W. Davidson took up the Chair of Pacific History at the Australian National University and delivered his inaugural lecture in which he suggested that history writing in the Pacific could no longer be seen from metropolitan capitals and that the focus should shift to the islands. Despite Davidson’s claim to have decolonised Pacific history, critics argued that he did not offer any new direction or vision. It is the contention of this paper that it is not just Davidson’s island-oriented History, but history writing in the Pacific in general that has suffered from progressive antiquation. There has been little or no theorizing in terms of the direction Pacific History should move towards. The consequence of all this is that Pacific historiography has become a methodologically and stylistically conservative discipline. New Pacific history needs to learn from writers in other disciplines, in particular literary studies that have been rejuvenated through the infusion of theory, philosophy and the styles and methodologies offered by other disciplines. This would be a primary step in decolonising the discipline that has remained for too long in the quagmire of conformity.

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Title: The Chinese are coming - is Fiji ready? : a study of Chinese tourists to Fiji

Author: Vada, Sera Kogure
Subject:  Chinese outbound tourism
Volume: Vol.35 no.3, 2015
Collation: p. 145-167

Abstract: Many tourism destinations are diversifying to new markets, and specifically to the Chinese outbound market to sustain their tourism industry. China has also been the fastest growing emerging market for Fiji. However, China is not a homogenous market. Their motivations and expectations differ from people from Western countries or even those from other parts of Asia. There has been limited research carried out on the Chinese outbound tourists to Pacific Island Countries. This study employed a survey questionnaire to 149 Chinese visitors to Fiji to identify the socio-demographics of Chinese visitors to Fiji and to assess their perceptions of Fiji as a tourist destination following their visit. The results provided a basic understanding of the profile of the Chinese tourist to Fiji in terms of their gender, marital status, education, residence, previous outbound experience, destination attributes and perceptions of their visit to Fiji.

Original information

Title: World Bank poverty analysis in Fiji : issues in methodology and policy applicability

Author: Narsey, Wadan Lal
Subject:  Incidence of poverty
 Methodology of poverty lines
 poverty alleviation guidelines
Volume: Vol.35 no.3, 2015
Collation: p. 108-126

Abstract: Quantitative poverty analysis for Fiji has become more frequent over the last five years, corresponding to the increasing frequency of household income and expenditure surveys (HIES). The Fiji Bureau of Statistics (FBS) has sponsored several poverty analyses using the 2002-03 and 2008-09 HIES data resulting in Narsey (2008), Narsey (2010), Narsey (2011b) and Narsey(2012). The World Bank also initiated a poverty analysis exercise in Fiji in 2010, using different methodology from that used by Narsey (2008) and FBS (2011) and produced parallel results which were different from Narsey (2011) in key respects. The World Bank (2011) results will understandably be the results used internationally and perhaps even locally. This paper argues, however, that the World Bank’s methodology has weaknesses when applied in the Fiji context, giving incorrect results and signals. The World Bank methodology also has weaknesses in important policy applications such as the determination of minimum wages guidelines to improve the living standards of the most vulnerable non-unionized workers in Fiji. Quite anomalously, World Bank poverty analysis in Fiji does not follow World Bank’s own expert advice for comparable situations. This paper suggests that international organisations like World Bank need to re-examine their poverty analysis methodology and policy applicability for middle income countries like Fiji where the HIES data is statistically robust, and also look towards strengthening domestic capabilities and continuity in such poverty analysis initiatives.

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