Programs & Projects

The Pacific Islands Program

The Pacific Islands Program

A focus on Pacific Islands has been a central component of the Lowy Institute’s work for more than a decade. We research contemporary challenges facing the Pacific islands region in areas including geostrategic competition, sustainable economic development, governance and leadership challenges, poverty alleviation, and Australia’s relationship with Pacific countries and organisations. We also hold major conferences, workshops, dialogues and exchanges. We have produced influential work on Australia’s Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands, the 2006 Fiji Coup, normalising Australia’s bilateral relationship with Fiji, Australia’s bilateral relationship with Papua New Guinea, the future development challenges of Papua New Guinea, the economic benefits of greater labour mobility between Australia and the South Pacific, security and resilience dynamics in the Pacific, and foreign aid flows in the Pacific.

The Institute manages four major projects focusing on the Pacific:

The Pacific Research Program (PRP) is a consortium partnership between the Lowy Institute and the Australian National University’s Department of Pacific Affairs and Development Policy Centre, with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The PRP is designed to be a globally pre-eminent centre of excellence for research on the Pacific. Read more details .

The program contributes to the Lowy Institute Pacific Aid Map which is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is designed to enhance aid effectiveness in the Pacific.

The Australia-PNG Network is a project supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, designed to foster people-to-people links between Australia and Papua New Guinea. Read more details.

The South Pacific Fragile States Project was a project supported by the Department of Defence to produce independent research and forward looking analysis on the key drivers of instability in the South Pacific and the associated security challenges for Australia and the wider region. Read more details.

The Mapping Foreign Assistance in the Pacific Project

The Lowy Institute Pacific Aid Map is an analytical tool designed to enhance aid effectiveness in the Pacific by improving coordination, alignment, and accountability of foreign aid through enhanced transparency of aid flows. The Pacific Aid Map has collected data on close to 13,000 projects in 14 countries supplied by 62 donors from 2011 onwards. All data has been made freely available on this interactive platform, allowing users to investigate and manipulate the information in a variety of ways. The Pacific Aid Map is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


Country profiles from Pacific Islands countries can be found here.

The Chinese Aid in the Pacific map is no longer maintained, and the data can be found in the Acidic Aid Map.

Experts
Latest publications
News and media
Research Fellow, Pacific Islands Program
Deputy Director, Indo-Pacific Development Centre
Research Assistant
Director, Pacific Islands Program
FDC Pacific Fellow
Project Director, Australia-PNG Network
Nonresident Fellow
Nonresident Fellow
Nonresident Fellow
Nonresident Fellow
Vaccinating the Pacific
Interactives
Vaccinating the Pacific
This Interactive provides country-specific modelling of Covid-19 vaccination rates for each Pacific Island Country, using data available to October 2021. The Interactive employs a…
Commentary
Telstra’s Digicel Pacific challenge
The deal with the government insulates the telco from financial risk. But accepting the role of Australia’s lead business ambassador in the region makes it no set-and-forget…
Lowy Institute Conversations: Richard Marles on Australia in the Pacific
Podcasts
Lowy Institute Conversations: Richard Marles on Australia in the Pacific
In this episode of Conversations, Jonathan Pryke speaks with Richard Marles.
Commentary
The Pacific went a year without COVID. Now, it’s all under threat
Originally published by The Conversation.
Commentary
Coronavirus: PNG is on the precipice and it needs an urgent intervention
Originally published in The Australian.
Avoiding a Pacific Lost Decade: Financing the Pacific's COVID-19 Recovery
Policy Briefs
Avoiding a Pacific Lost Decade: Financing the Pacific's COVID-19 Recovery
The Pacific's post-pandemic economic revival will rely on an international multi-year recovery package of grants and loans led by Australia  
Commentary
Deepening Japan’s cooperation with Papua New Guinea
Originally published in East Asia Forum.
Channel NewsAsia
28 December 2022
East Asia Forum
26 November 2022
Radio New Zealand
23 November 2022
Australian Associated Press
1 November 2022
The Sydney Morning Herald
2 November 2022
The Saturday Paper
5 November 2022