Legal Empowerment in the Pacific - case studies for PhD?

I am an Australian researcher starting a PhD about legal empowerment and development. The focus of my research will be on the Pacific region, and I am looking to identify as many projects as I can that might be relevant.

I am interested in stand-alone legal empowerment projects, as well as any broader, multi-disciplinary projects with a legal empowerment component.

I am interested in projects in the following countries: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kirabati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

If anyone can point me in the direction of any current, completed or anticipated projects I would be very grateful. If you can suggest people I could contact that might be able to assist me I would also be very interested.

Thanks in advance for your help!



Hi Lucy! Welcome to our community. It’s great to have you here and we look forward to accompanying you on your PhD journey. :wink:

Other members can pipe in, but if you haven’t already you might want to have a look around in the forum, resource library and member directory for projects to look into. The forum search (see :mag: in top right corner) is very handy for looking up countries and then jumping into ongoing conversations. It would be a big help to those members and to the rest of this community as well if you could give them a nudge to update the community on their progress. You might also let us know about projects you find that are good examples or raise interesting questions, and fellow members can then also give you further guidance on your research.

Legal empowerment is both particular to communities and involves shared challenges and strategies, so it is helpful to share.


Thanks so much for your response and suggestions, Tobias! I will certainly keep you posted on anything interesting I come across.

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Hello Lucy, I was happy to read your post this morning. The legal empowerment is very interesting and enriching area. I have a legal experience from Bulgaria but it is very difficult to start a new legal career in Canada mostly because the legal community in our area is conservative and doesn’t allow to new people to enter. Logically, I was interested in related areas and topics with a legal content with international orientation and hope to find interesting projects. In what particular themes are you interested? The legal empowerment is very broad. Thank you very much for your time. Alexandar

Hi @LucyQuinn! Thanks for your post - your research project sounds really interesting!

In What Do We Know About Legal Empowerment: Mapping the Evidence, there were a few project evaluations or case studies that we found related to legal empowerment programs in Papua New Guinea. They are listed in appendix 3 - the link is on the bottom of page 162 (page 6 in the PDF). That might give you a few ideas of organizations to contact or research further!

The resource library is also a great place to check - you can sort by region to see what might be relevant for your countries of interest.

Let us know what you find!

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Hi @lauragoodwin - thanks very much for your reply, and apologies for my delayed response - it has been a very busy summer period for me!

Your article is really useful and interesting - it was actually one of the first I read when I embarked on my research last year and I anticipate I will rely on it quite heavily.

The PNG projects are great, and very much on point given I have narrowed my focus to projects aiming to empower women and/or members of the LGTBQ community in particular.

Given your experience and prior research I may well be in contact again to pick your brains at some point if you don’t mind!

Thanks again for reaching out.