Alternative Indicators of Well-being for Melanesia
Status of initiative: Completed
Description/achievement of initiative

The partnership seeks to establish a culturally relevant and comprehensive set of indicators for use in tracking progress towards achieving sustainable development goals in Melanesia, as well as for use in appropriate policy development at national and sub-regional level.

Implementation methodologies

The project began in Vanuatu with a pilot study completed in 2012 that verified a positive relationship between well-being and access to natural resources, active participation in traditional practices, and support from cooperative communities. MSG member countries adopted the project in 2013 to trial the development of an index that links similar Melanesian values in an effort to regain control of development outcomes. Member countries are currently preparing to pilot the indicators previously piloted in Vanuatu.Member NSOs will submit the data collected in their respective pilots to the Project Coordinator based at the MSG Secretariat. The Project Coordinator will draw from the indicators that are consistent and comparable to develop the regional well-being index prior to submitting to members for discussion on application of the data in policy development and monitoring progress. Political adoption of the indicators will be at the discretion of each member country, as each member will have tailored the indicators to fit their specific needs.

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

The project seeks to build partnerships between cultural and statistics authorities in MSG member countries in the acts of survey design and cultural relevance of data collection for purposes of tracking national progress. All member country statistics offices have sufficient capacity to undertake such data collection activities, and the MSG Secretariat Project Coordinator along with SPC Statistics for Development will be available for technical assistance and assistance with data analysis.

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure

Coordination of survey design and data collection and facilitation of data analysis and well-being index construction through the MSG Secretariat; Survey instrument development through national cultural committees in MSG member countries; Data collection through National Statistics Offices in MSG member countries.


Vanuatu National Statistics Office; Vanuatu Cultural Council; Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs; Vanuatu Department of Strategic Policy, Planning and Aid Coordination; Solomon Islands National Statistics Office; Solomon Islands Department of Culture, Ministry of Culture and Tourism; Fiji Islands Bureau of Statistics; Fiji Department of National Heritage Arts & Culture; i-Taukei Institute of Language and Culture; Papua New Guinea National Statistics Office; Papua New Guinea National Cultural Council; Papua New Guinea Department of National Planning and Monitoring; Bougainville Division of Culture, Tourism, Environment and Conservation; Front de Libération Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) ; Institute de la Statistique et des Etudes Economique (ISEE); Secretariat for the Pacific Community (SPC), Statistics for Development
Completed pilots for all MSG member countries
Melanesian Well-being Index
Policy tools utilizing alternative indicators of well-being
Political endorsement for use of alternative indicators to measure progress
Resources devoted to implementation
Staff / Technical expertise
Each member country will have access to the MSG Secretariat Project Coordinator for assistance with training of enumerators, survey design, and other needs as specified by the member country NSO
Financing (in USD)
In-kind contribution
Internal support will be sought by leaders in each MSG member country to ensure timely delivery of pilots, as well as support towards index and policy tool design and political endorsement of indicators
Progress reports
Cut off date each year: 1 July
This initiative fulfils the SMART criteria.
Date of completion: April 30, 2017
Operating in countries
Contact information/focal point(s)
Mr Jamie Tanguay, j.tanguay@msg.int

Copyright 2017 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs