Research funded by AusAID’s Samoa country program targets the country’s specific development challenges. Research
is also carried out on a regional level. Some of the highlights are listed below.
When Samoa and Tonga were hit by an 8.3 magnitude earthquake and tsunami on 29 September 2009, Australia was
shocked by the devastation inflicted on our neighbours. It killed 144 people, including five Australians, and in
its wake lives, homes, businesses, communities and pristine beaches were in ruins. This brochure outlines the
details of Australia’s response to this humanitarian tragedy.
Despite growing in large quantities in Samoa when in-season, avocado is highly underutilised in the country.
The fruit is only sold at local fruit markets and road-side stalls, consumed by a small number of people and some
restaurant franchises. Avocado oil can only be found in international supermarkets. Currently, the majority of
cooking oils are imported into the country.
There is no previous research on local avocado varieties, growth conditions and harvesting time in Samoa. This
report (external website) looks at how avocado oil can be better produced and distributed in Samoa in order to
contribute to the local economy, while delivering health benefits to the Samoan people.
Community-based disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation are crucial to aid effectiveness,
reducing both the duplication of efforts by aid agencies and confusion at the community level.
This research (external website) uses case studies in Fiji and Samoa to explore how best to gain community
involvement in initiatives that address climate change and disaster response. It looks at how to maximise efforts
to increase community resilience to impacts of disasters and climate change.
This report assesses the constraints and opportunities that exist for women in Samoa within the market, the
economy, and the business environment, in line with the World Bank’s Doing Business indicators.
Samoa’s performance on gender equality is impressive by Pacific standards. However, while women hold
leadership positions in the government and the private sector, Samoa’s village-chief system has produced two
strata of women (privileged and urban versus under-privileged and rural). Businesswomen in the urban centre are
well organised, well informed and well connected. In contrast, rural women are poorly organised and have little
awareness about the opportunities before them in business, or the institutions that could support them through
This report summarises the main findings of the study and makes recommendations for donors, and government and
non-government organisations to consider.