Civic education partnerships: Civil society organisations, donors and the state in Fiji


  • Paolo Baleinakorodawa Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding
  • Rebecca Spence Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding
  • Micheal O'Loughlin Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding


This article reflects on some of the challenges and opportunities presented when working in partnership in the highly politicised and contested Fijian Civil Society environment over the past five years. The authors are practitioners who specialise in working with communities which experience conflict. The paper discusses and analyses the genesis and growth of a series of partnerships between and within civil society organisations in Fiji, a peacebuilding organisation in Australia, and a number of bilateral and multilateral donors. Recognising the importance of building multi stakeholder partnerships in order to advance processes of peacebuilding and development, we investigate how Civil Society Organisations are negotiating the ever-changing political landscape.

Author Biographies

Paolo Baleinakorodawa, Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding

Paulo Baleinakorodawa is a Peacebuilding Trainer and Facilitator who has worked in Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Bougainville and the Philippines. He with a few other collegues co-founded the Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding, an NGO based in Fiji but has a Pacific Region reach. In the last 3 years, he has been the Program Manager and Senior Trainer in the Centre. He is currently a Consultant and is focusing on the development of Restorative Justice, Dialogue, and Gender & Masculinity as sustainable non violent approaches to dealing with conflict issues at the local, national and international levels.

Rebecca Spence, Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding

Dr Rebecca Spence is the founder and  the co- Director of Peaceworks, a peacebuilding learning organisation,  and a parttime Senior Lecturer in Peace Studies at the University of , New England.   She has an international reputation as a peace/conflict specialist. She is currently working in Fiji with over 100 Civil Society Organisations providing support to Commuity engagement and dialogue design processes.

Micheal O'Loughlin, Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding

Dr Micheal O'Loughlin is a co-director of Peaceworks, a peace building learning organisation and  founding member and co-director of the independent, not for profit action-think tank Evolveris which focuses on supporting sustainability regional ‘communities’ and fostering web based community storytelling learning and friendship networks across the . Pacific-Oceania region. Mick has been working in Fiji and PNG most recently, designing community engagement processes and supporting the Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding.