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In 2016 several SSGM scholars commenced work on a major research project exploring the legacy of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) for Pacific policing. Led by ANU College of Asia and the Pacific Dean, Michael Wesley, the project is a collaboration between the Australian Federal Police, the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police, the Pacific Islands Forum and the Australian National University.
As RAMSI approaches the end of deployment, it’s timely to reflect on the contribution it has made to regional policing. Over the past 14 years, RAMSI’s policing contingent has included officers drawn from 15 Pacific countries: Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
The primary aim of this project is to describe and assess the overall effects of service in RAMSI on the effectiveness and connectivity of policing in the Pacific. The project involves collection of quantitative and qualitative data across all 15 police forces that have participated in RAMSI to determine the impact of the RAMSI experience on Pacific policing.
In late February Sinclair Dinnen and Judy Putt conducted interviews with senior police officers from Pacific Islands countries who were attending a regional policing conference in Brisbane, where they also made a presentation on their research. Over the next few months researchers will continue interviewing members of the various police forces that were members of RAMSI, as well as other government and civil society stakeholders, prior to commencing data analysis. The research findings will be reported in a final research summary report and policy paper, as well as being published in an SSGM Discussion Paper and several In Briefs.