The second stage of the project on ‘perceptions and preconditions for democratic development in the Fiji Islands’ was completed in May 2012. In this phase, almost ninety in-depth interviews with government representatives, politicians, traditional leaders, religious leaders, academics, representatives of civil society and the business community were conducted by the research team, and 40 focus group discussions with men and women from indigenous Fijian and Indo-Fijian communities in rural, urban and semi-urban areas of Viti Levu and Vanua Levue were carried out by four Fijian NGOs. PaCSIA’s Volker Boege was in Suva for interviews with academics, politicians and traditional authorities. Interviews focused on issues of decision-making, leadership, citizenship, rule of law and understandings of democracy.
In the next phase of the project, which starts in June, the data collected in interviews and focus grup discussions will be analysed, and a research report will be elaborated. The public launch of that report will take place in early 2013.
The project is coordinated by the Institute for Research and Social Analysis of the Pacific Theological College in Suva, Fiji, and funded by the Development Service of the Protestant Churches in Germany (EED).