NZ-backed hub fills data gaps on the Pacific

By Shannon Jenkins

Thursday December 3, 2020


The Pacific Community (SPC) has this week launched a new platform that aims to improve decision-making in the region through the provision of reliable and current data.

Supported by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Pacific Data Hub provides information on key areas, including population statistics, fisheries science, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and resilience, public health surveillance, conservation of plant genetic resources for food security, and human rights.

NZ has invested $6.5 million into the SPC-led Pacific Statistics and Data project over nearly four years, leading to the creation of the new data hub. Australia provided in-kind support early on in the project, the SPC said.

The initiative has been nearly two years in the making, according to SPC director general Dr Stuart Minchin.

“The Pacific Data Hub has been entirely created and developed in the Pacific, by the Pacific, with the guiding objective of improving the lives of the Pacific peoples,” he said.

“We’re excited about the launch and by what this will do for the Pacific well into the future.”

Read more: Australian preventative and proactive policies can reduce displacement risk in the Pacific, says new research

The SPC said the hub would act as a single, authoritative point of entry for all Pacific data, information, and publications from Pacific countries, development partners, academia and research organisations, and the private sector.

NZ consul-general in New Caledonia Belinda Brown noted the platform would enable a more joined-up response to development issues, as “many of the problems facing the Pacific are too big to tackle alone”.

“It provides a platform to share knowledge and build an ongoing cycle of evidence, which will drive learning and better outcomes over time,” she said.

“The Pacific Data Hub will increase confidence in the decisions we make through the New Zealand Aid Programme, and is particularly important at a time when we are helping countries address COVID-19 and respond to its wide-ranging socio-economic impacts.”

Read more: Despite its Pacific ‘step-up’, Australia is still not listening to the region, new research shows


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