Economic Development

Owing to economic geography and political economy constraints to investment and trade, economic growth in most Pacific Island countries has been sluggish since Independence. It is clear that economic development in most Pacific Island countries will not follow a conventional path. As part of the Pacific Research Program, research on economic development in the Pacific is a core priority for the ANU Development Policy Centre and the Lowy Institute.

The Development Policy Centre leads the PRP’s research into economic development and Pacific labour mobility.

Current areas of our PRP research include:

  • Pacific labour mobility
  • Analysis of the economic impact of and responses to COVID-19.
  • Analysis of household environment, and underlying vulnerabilities, for protection from COVID-19 in Kiribati and Papua New Guinea.
  • Attitudes to Australia’s aid program to the Pacific.
  • Forest cover and forest loss for PNG, Vanuatu, and Solomon Islands.
  • Economic impacts of mining in Papua New Guinea.
  • Randomised Control Trials (RCTs) of development policies and programs in the Pacific.

DPA researchers contribute to the PRP research on Pacific labour mobility, particularly on the social impacts of labour mobility in the Pacific.

WP 2020/02 Health Care Management in Australia’s and New Zealand’s Seasonal Worker Schemes

Globally, it is estimated that there are over 164 million labour migrants, many of whom are temporary migrants choosing overseas labour mobility options as a way to improve livelihoods for their families and...

In brief

IB 2019/13 Ni-Vanuatu ‘Making Business’ through Seasonal Worker Programs

An objective of both Australia’s Seasonal Worker Program (SWP) and New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme (RSE) is to encourage economic development in the Pacific. This In Brief highlights how a number of...

New Zealand’s Recognised Employer Scheme (RSE) – 10 Year Longitudinal Case Study

This research stems from a 10-year longitudinal study of 22 ni-Vanuatu temporary migrant labourers participating in New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme (RSE) established on 30 April 2007. The RSE scheme...

IB 2019/12 Limiting Possible Exploitation in Transportation Services for Seasonal Worker Programs

This In Brief highlights the problem of overcharging for transportation of seasonal workers to and from their worksites in Australia’s Seasonal Worker Program (SWP) and New Zealand’s

In Brief

IB 2018/24 Suitable Accommodation for Seasonal Worker Programs

This In Brief looks at some of the challenges as well as changes that have recently occurred in relation to accommodation standards in New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme (RSE) and argues that such...

In Brief

IB 2018/22 Ni-Vanuatu in Australia and New Zealand’s Labour Mobility Schemes: An Examination of Provinces

This In Brief discusses the demographic study undertaken in July 2018 by Department of Pacific Affairs (DPA), in collaboration with the Vanuatu Department of Labour and Employment Services (ESU). The study focuses on...

DPA in Brief

IB 2018/15 Blacklisting and Reporting in Seasonal Worker Programs

This In Brief examines the practice of blacklisting in seasonal worker programs such as Australia’s Seasonal Worker Program (SWP) and New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme (RSE). Blacklisting occurs when...

DPA In Brief

IB2017/36 Seasonal Worker Programs and Opportunity for Religious Observance

This In Brief discusses an often overlooked aspect of Australia’s Seasonal Workers Programme (SWP) and New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme (RSE): opportunities for workers to have religious observances...

DPA In Brief

IB2017/27 Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme/Seasonal Worker Programme Team Leaders’ Workshop: Vanuatu 2017

On 30 June 2017, the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia program (now Department of Pacific Affairs) at the Australian National University hosted the Team Leaders’ Workshop in Port Vila for ni-Vanuatu...

SSGM In Brief

IB2017/21 Temporary Labour Schemes, the New Avenue of Social Mobility: Case Study Vanuatu

Since the establishment of Australia’s Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) in 2012, the number of workers from Vanuatu has increased significantly from 119 to 1533. It has been established that labour mobility improves...

SSGM In Brief

IB2017/17 The Role of ni-Vanuatu Team Leaders in Seasonal Worker Programs

Based on 10 years of research with team leaders and employers in the New Zealand and Australian seasonal worker programs, this In Brief highlights the duties of ni-Vanuatu team leaders, the challenges they face and...

SSGM In Brief

IB2017/15 Evolving Labour Mobility Relationships through Mutual Cultural Understandings

As a result of New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme, cross-cultural encounters have transcended international boundaries, providing participants an understanding of each other’s significant...


Developing Insecurity: Sorcery, Witchcraft and Melanesian Economic Development

There are compelling reasons for development practitioners to see sorcery and witchcraft as a serious human rights issue, particularly when it leads to accus

Updated:  24 February 2024/Responsible Officer:  Bell School Marketing Team/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team