RERIPA in Ethiopia (February 2023) 

In February, at the invitation of the OACPS Research & Innovation Programme, the RERIPA project staff from the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) presented the project during a stakeholder’s exchange meeting and a training session on science, technology and innovation policy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  

The stakeholder exchange meeting was attended by participants, representing research and innovation (R&I) projects, from the African, Caribbean and Pacific Island countries, sharing knowledge and experiences to shape the R&I ecosystems at local, national and international levels. The capacity building session on science, technology and innovation policy was jointly facilitated by OACPS Research & Innovation Programme’s and UN Technology Facility Mechanism, which was established to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

The two events provided a wealth of knowledge in relation to best practices and lessons learnt particularly as most international donor agencies are moving towards multisectoral projects. It was an eye-opener particularly seeing that PIDF wishes to establish a firm footing on innovation, leadership, partnership and finance, and these themes were appropriately covered. 


The University of the South Pacific facilitated a workshop at the Nalagi Resort in Nadi on 27-28 April 2023 in an effort to progress the work under Call 1 “Mapping and diagnosis of R&I ecosystems, networking facilitation, R&I general vision/strategy with a particular focus on climate change and Call 2 “Capacity building in innovation and valorization” of which the university is the project lead. This workshop was also attended by a number of stakeholders from the region, particularly those involved in Call 1 and Call 2. 

OACPS & IRD facilitate technical workshop for RERIPA EU-funded recipients (September 2023) 

The technical workshop was held on 23 and 24 October in Suva, Fiji at the University of the South Pacific’s Statham Campus. It was jointly facilitated by Gérard den Ouden of the OACPS Research and Innovation Program and Yolande Dahot from Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). The sessions were interactive with group breakout sessions and brainstorming exercises. The primary goal was to enhance the knowledge, understanding and capabilities of RERIPA project partners in project engineering and financial management and reporting.  

RERIPA Event brings together RERIPA consortium partners (October 2023) 

The RERIPA Coordination and Management Team drew together representatives from the eight different RERIPA projects under the same roof for the first time at a two-day hybrid RERIPA Event at The Pearl Resort in Pacific Harbour, Fiji. The Event saw RERIPA project representatives from Fiji, Cook Islands, Tonga, and Solomon Islands participating both in-person and virtually. The chief guests at the Event were Ms. Roxane Castelein, representing the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific, Ms. France Bailly, representing the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement and Prof. Sushil Kumar representing the University of the South Pacific. 

This was an opportune time for the RERIPA project partners to learn of the various activities that have been underway by Call 1, led by The University of the South Pacific, with their mapping and diagnosis of research and innovation stakeholders in the Pacific region, and by Call 2, which is also led by The University of the South Pacific, with their activities to strengthen the capacities of stakeholders in innovation and valorization. The five living labs of Call 3 also presented on their proposed activities, the results of which will inform Call 4 to strengthen a Pacific-based framework for education and knowledge on research and innovation processes and tools. Call 4 is led by the Fiji National University.  

The five living labs of Call 3 that address climate change impacts in the Pacific are: 

i) Climate change adaptation innovations for coral reefs in support of community-based conservation (led by The University of the South Pacific) 

ii) Decarbonized energy production in Samoa (led by National University of Samoa) 

iii) Sustainable infrastructure for Pacific ocean community (led by The University of the South Pacific) 

iv) Innovative and sustainable solutions for managing coastal erosion (led by Te Ipukarea Society) 

v) Climate change and the futures of coastal communities: transformation of sociality, livelihoods and lifestyle in the South Pacific (led by The University of the South Pacific) 

The winning consortium of Call 4 “Contributing to education and knowledge in the Pacific on research and innovation processes and tools, with reference to the results of living laboratories against the impacts of climate change” was able to present its activity schedule. 

Having the different consortium partners under one roof allowed for information exchange on what one RERIPA Call expected from the other RERIPA Calls. It also allowed for exchange of ideas and perspectives on how to strengthen research and innovation in the Pacific. Also, there were three special presentations from i) the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat on the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, ii) the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the challenges that will result from climate change impacts with a focus on the Pacific Region, and iii) a member of the RERIPA external advisory board on the main roads which are followed in the world to stimulate climate change impacts related innovation. 

RERIPA CMT engagements 

The RERIPA Coordination & Management Team (RERIPA CMT), tasked to oversee the successful implementation of the project activities carried out by the four RERIPA Calls, over the course of 2023 have met regularly with project partners and within the RERIPA consortium as well.

The lead implementing partner, IRD together with Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) met with Emmaline Siale of the Pacific Islands Association for Non-governmental Organizations (PIANGO) to provide updates of the project and to discuss how best they can assist with the various RERIPA projects in achieving proposed outputs. PIDF RERIPA project staff also touched base with Vanuatu Meteorology Geohazards Department (VMGD) in Port Vila, Vanuatu in October. These in-person meetings are important to maintain established relationships and to keep each consortium partner informed on the various RERIPA-related happenings. 

There have also been weekly meetings with The University of the South Pacific, who is the lead for Call 1 and Call 2 and three of the five living labs in Call 3 to monitor the progress of their activities and to work through any administrative challenges encountered. 

The RERIPA CMT also engaged with Call 3 and Call 4 project partners in September over a series of technical meetings at the PIDF office in Suva, Fiji. The purpose of the technical meetings was to build relationships with Call 3 and Call 4 consortium partners and to enhance their understanding of RERIPA operations. This was also an opportunity for Call 1 and Call 2 project partners to learn of the various activities proposed by the living labs (Call 3) and Call 4. 

Following the September technical meetings was intervention meeting in October for Call 1 and Call 2. The purpose of the intervention meetings was to go over the current status of each proposed activity listed in the logical frameworks of Call 1 and Call 2. It was also an opportunity for the lead applicants to discuss with the RERIPA CMT what they intended to present at the RERIPA Event held on 25-26 October. 

2024 will see more of these monitoring meetings happening as all eight RERIPA projects will have activities occurring simultaneously and in different countries in the Pacific region.