Vanuatu at Capacity Building Exercise on National Sport Policy Development

A new project ‘Raising the Voice for Sport in the Pacific’, led by the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) strengthens regional coordination and advocacy, builds the capacity of civil society to influence policy processes and creates spaces for dialogue between Government and Non-Government actors across portfolios on sport policy development.

The project is bringing together participants from Civil Society Organisations from eight countries - Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Kiribati, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Palau, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu - all of which are passionate about sport and physical activity.

Two selected representatives from each of the target countries will engage in the capacity building and national consultation for sport policy over 18 months.

These representatives will also lead a consultation process on sport policy development at the national level, and join the 'Voice for Sport' at the regional policy level.

Vanuatu will be represented at this meeting by VASANOC CEO Henry Tavoa and Program Development Manager of AFL Vanuatu Nancy Patterson, who have been chosen by a panel which consisted of representatives from ONOC, UNESCO and Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat following an initial selection process.

Project background

Sport policy in the Pacific has received very little attention on the regional agenda with only two Pacific Island countries having a current national sport policy. Five of the countries are currently in the process of developing and/or reviewing their national sport policies.

In terms of regional policy development, there are no structured processes for sport policy development, no regional coordination of information and data collection, and no regional plans to address these policy gaps in the foreseeable future.

Civil society organisations in sport are very well structured across the Pacific and are working towards strengthening governance, accountability and gender equality in sport management and administration.

The Olympic Agenda 2020 from the International Olympic Committee and the introduction of Governance courses under the ONOC Sport Education Program are examples of the institutional commitment to make progressive changes to the structures and systems supporting sport in the region.

A new project “Raising the Voice for Sport in the Pacific” has been developed with funding from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the European Union through the Programme for Strengthening Non-state actors (NSAs) in Regional Policy Engagement.

This initiative has several objectives.

It will bring non-State actor (NSA) stakeholders together from across the region to strengthen and unite advocacy efforts from diverse civil society stakeholders and promote informed contribution and influence of national sport policy development from NSAs.

A series of national and regional consultations will be conducted to capture the united voice of NSA stakeholders and to inform policy development in the area of sport, physical activity and physical education.

A further aim will be to develop and deliver a regional strategy to advocate for the development of comprehensive sport policy and ensure that the voices of NSA’s are systematically captured in policy development process.

Supporting ONOC in this project are UNESCO, PIFS and Australian Sport for Development NGO, Sport Matters.

For further details on the background of the project, please visit

Photo courtesy of Pacific Sports Compass


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