Creating the Community
In 2014, concerned gender specialists gathered at the University of the South Pacific to discuss how to strengthen gender-responsive policy development in the Pacific and to continue to build research capacity in the region. In 2016, a Pacific Gender Research Symposium and Workshop of about 100 gender specialists from around the region was held at USP to consider the results of a scoping study on gender research in the Pacific. One recommendation from the study Gender Research in the Pacific: 1994-2014: Beginnings was to establish a ‘dynamic research portal’. This was strongly supported by the Symposium.
Also supported was the establishment of a group to advise Pacific Woman Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women). The inaugural meeting of the Advisory Group on Research (AGR) was held in 2018 and began work developing a Research Strategy as well as establishing an ethics process. In May 2020, the original AGR was transitioned as Pacific Women moved into a new phase of programming. The momentum behind the research portal remained and, in mid 2020, Pacific Women and the Australian National University signed an agreement to develop the portal. A Pacific Gender Research Portal Reference Group was established including many of the earlier members of the AGR to guide the project towards its launch in 2021.