1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Social Policy and Development (2000 - 2009)

Social Policies in Fiji (Draft)



Fiji has had successful social development strategies in place over the last 40 years. The government has committed to providing health care and education, and ensured universal access by making services free. There have also been efforts to widen the network of services at the local level.

However, despite these efforts, the policies and strategies set out in the development plans have failed to achieve the desired level of social development in the country. There are persistent inequalities and a variable quality of services. Both health and education have been affected by problems of poor management and leadership, and skilled workers have migrated to countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.

The author argues that the failure to achieve a desirable level of social development is due in large part to persistent political instability in Fiji, which has been an obstacle to investments and therefore growth. He says that in order to improve the social and economic performance of the country, Fiji needs to engage in consensual and participatory democracy, improve social cohesion, develop its welfare state, and build capacity to exercise its power of jurisdiction. All this is possible through developing a stable political climate conducive to social and economic growth and development.