In 2014, DEVCO/EuropeAid commissioned a St Andrews-led international and interdisciplinary research team throughout 2015 to provide a ‘better contextual understanding of why achieving gender equality in the region appears to be so challenging’ with a focus on how cultural ‘subtleties are overlooked in mainstream analysis and programming’. Throughout 2015, a research team conducted studies in all three regions of the Pacific – Melanesia (Fiji, PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu), Micronesia (FSM, Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Palau) and Polynesia (Samoa and Tuvalu), alongside Pacific men and women’s involvements in globalisation mobility in certain fishing ports in the region.
The Centre for Pacific Studies played a key part in the initiation of a European Consortium for Pacific Studies [ECOPAS] and in the engagement with the European Union at a large international conference in St Andrews in 2010. EU representatives called for a European social science and humanities research network and research-policy interfaces to better inform its understanding and activities in the Pacific.
The project involved a collaboration with the St Andrews Sustainability Institute (SASI) and the University of Dundee Centre for Energy, Petroleum, Mining, Law and Policy (CEPMLP), the leading professional and graduate legal training facility. The project resulted in a series of 8 Leverhulme Lectures, 5 project workshops and conference panels and several publications. The Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship developed CPS’ capacity and anthropological skill base in consultancy and knowledge transfer, and led to new teaching courses at Undergraduate and Masters levels.