Social Security in Pacific Island countries
In 2005, the International Labour Organization (ILO) had embarked on a project entitled “Social Security in Pacific Island Countries” and conducted analysis of the National Provident Funds of Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu and correspondence with the Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea and Tonga.
The project was funded by the Netherlands Government and aims to develop gender based social security policies, action plans for extension of coverage of and provide capacity building and regional support to social security agencies.
As part of the project, a training course was designed to provide line managers in social security agencies of the eight Pacific Island countries with training in social security, financial management, risk management, management information system and gender issues.
The course was conducted in two stages, the first stage being a face-to-face course in Nadi, Fiji from October 24 to 28, 2005. Then, it was followed by a five week tutorial period by distance learning using the internet from November 7 until December 12, 2005.
The course had been designed and conducted by the ILO training center in Turin, Italy. Two ILO trainers have conducted the first phase in Nadi and were supported by two lecturers from the University of South Pacific for the learning components. The project staff of the ILO Office in Suva provided administrative support. All aspects of the course (i.e. airfare, lodging, meals and allowances) were funded by the project.
After their return from the training, the two MISSA representatives, Ave Gimao Jr. and Joseph Hesly, brought with them much information to share with the Administration and subsequently, completed their distance learning assignments.
Except for the Marshall Islands, the other seven countries represented in the training are all under the National Provident Fund scheme which, in many ways, is different from the social insurance system adopted by the Marshall Islands.
During the workshop, the MISSA delegation presented a brief overview of the evolution of the Trust Territory Social Security System and how the Marshall Islands Social Security Administration was established. Being new to them, the other participants from the seven countries showed interest in how the social insurance system is administered in the RMI.