Building Capacity for the Fijian Disaster Resilience: Developing Women Community Leaders

On 29 – 30 June 2017 the International Training Centre for Authorities and Leaders in Newcastle (CIFAL Newcastle) and the University of Newcastle (UoN) in partnership with the Ministry for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation (MFWCPA), the Fiji Police Force (FPF) and the Grace Trifam Ministry (GTM) hosted the “Training of Trainers (ToT) Workshop on Women and Disaster Resilience” held at the Hexagon Hotel in Nadi, Fiji.

The Commonwealth of Australia through the Australian National Commission for UNESCO of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provided the support for successfully implementing this activity. The ToT focused on women and disaster resilience, bringing together 18 participants, consisting of 14 women and 4 men who were nominated by the partner organizations.

The training workshop achieved its two main objectives:

  • To co-develop a training package for capacity building of women leaders on disaster resilience in remote/rural areas of Fiji. This was facilitated by providing an indicative outline, which was then developed through group exercises by the participants, particularly to contextualize the training package for Fijian rural/remote and disaster-prone areas.
  • To plan for the next stage of the project, which is to support Fijian partner organizations to conduct a training course using the above package in a remote/rural location, and in the process evaluate the training. This was facilitated through group exercises where participants from the respective partner organizations proposed the timing, location, resources required and other related details.

The ToT also included contents on the training experience of the participants; capacity and risk assessment; dimensions, challenges and opportunities relating to women resilience leadership; and training evaluation and key success factors. This allowed framing and positioning the ToT to achieve the above objectives. These contents were discussed through key trigger points and group exercises. The ToT concluded with an evaluation by the participants and presentation of certificates by CIFAL Newcastle and UNITAR.

Dr. Iftekhar Ahmed and Associate Professor Thayaparan Gajendran from the University of Newcastle’s Disaster team conducted the workshop. Project Coordinator from Fiji, Ms. Ana Finau assisted in the facilitation of the ToT.