Women leading and influencing



How Women's Leadership Initiative alumni and participants are contributing to the COVID-19 response

Monday, 20 July 2020

On the Women’s Leadership Initiative, we have been talking a lot about what ‘good’ leadership looks like in recent months, particularly during times of crisis or uncertainty. We’ve also considered the opportunities for new leadership, and different ways of working, to emerge during challenging times – and what this means for our participants and alumni in Australia and the Pacific.

In response to the challenges of COVID-19, the program recently launched a new activity supporting WLI participants and alumni in their efforts to exercise this ‘good’ leadership, and make a direct positive contribution to the COVID-19 response in their respective countries.

The program is supporting 49 Women’s Leadership Initiative participants and alumni to work collaboratively to scope, develop and implement their COVID-related projects in the Pacific.  A total of 15 projects, with a focus on health, education, safety/security, and agriculture and food security are being implemented across six Pacific countries (Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa, Nauru, Tonga and Solomon Islands).

With more traditional Workplace Internships currently on hold, these COVID-related projects have the added benefit of enabling participants and alumni to build their skills and networks, to exercise developmental leadership and to work with local leaders and other actors in their own countries.

All projects will be underway by August, and completed by December 2020. A full list of activities is provided below. Stay tuned for further updates from our implementing teams over the coming months.

Country Activity Objective Focus Area
Papua New Guinea Rain Water Catchment System for rural schools To provide students with access to clean water for washing of hands in an effort to promote hygiene & combat the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases Health; Education
Papua New Guinea COVID-19 Awareness and Support System To improve knowledge and behavioural change approaches to prevent COVID- 19 in the urban disadvantaged population Health; Education
Solomon Islands COVID-19 health education rural awareness program To conduct a health awareness and resilience program on COVID-19 prevention to vulnerable rural populations Health
Samoa Empowering mothers to keep families safe during COVID-19 To educate and empower mothers in ways that they can take care and keep their families safe and healthy during COVID-19 and beyond Health; Education; Agriculture / Food Security
Papua New Guinea Combatting COVID-19 through WASH in schools To combat COVID-19 and other communicable diseases through WASH training and promote good hygiene practices amongst young school children Health; Education
Papua New Guinea Economic Empowerment of women impacted by COVID-19 To promote women’s economic empowerment in response to COVID-19 management in the informal settlements in Port Moresby Safety / Security
Fiji Integrated Farming of Fish & Poultry To establish an integrated farming system to improve the livelihoods of families who have been affected by COVID-19 through empowering women as the main driver to earn an income Agriculture / Food Security
Papua New Guinea School-based awareness for COVID‑19 in Mui-Baiyer District To effectively implement preventive measures of COVID-19 in the Secondary and High schools within Mul Baiyer District Education
Papua New Guinea Menstrual health hygiene education and awareness To enable girls to continue schooling and complete all levels of education Health; Education
Papua New Guinea /Bougainville Reusable sanitary pads and facemasks for female high school students To train economic teachers in the five rural high schools in north Bougainville to create reusable sanitary pads and facemasks that will be distributed to female students Health; Education
Tonga COVID‑19 preparation and prevention-focused program To provide COVID-19-related trainings, information and communication products to residences in rural villages to increase awareness and understanding of the disease Health
Fiji Veinanumi Project To improve the lives of those significantly impacted by COVID-19 in Fiji Health; Agriculture / Food Security
Papua New Guinea Topak Health Centre Water Supply and Sanitation Project To help in the fight against COVID-19 and other communicable diseases through the provision of improved WASH Health
Nauru COVID‑19 Information and Awareness Initiative To raise public awareness of COVID-19 and improve general health literacy to prevent cases of COVID-19 and NCDs prevalence Health; Education
Papua New Guinea Project Proposal Writing and Management Training of Namatanai Rural Health Middle Management Personnel for Infrastructure Improvement for WASH and COVID-19 To enhance the project management skills of rural health workers in middle management in Namatanai through proposal writing and management training Health