Sanma Province: Planning for expansion in Vanuatu

Motivation Australia (MA) has been working closely with the Vanuatu Society for People with Disabilities (VSPD), the Vanuatu Ministry of Health (MoH), and the Ministry of Justice and Community Services (MOJCS) to strengthen mobility device services (MDS) in Vanuatu through the Pacific MDS project. This work has focused on the island of Efate to date, however there is a well-recognised need for mobility device services in other Provinces and therefore in moving forwards the project aims to expand services where feasible.

In September Claire Ibell (MA) along with Judith Iakavai, Program Manager at VSPD, visited the island of Espiritu Santo in order to meet with stakeholders to discuss the expansion of the MDS project. Stakeholders across government, non-government and civil society sectors were included in consultations, and five mobility device users also kindly welcomed the team into their homes to discuss their experiences and thoughts on service provision. On the final day of the trip a half-day stakeholder workshop was conducted which brought together mobility device users, representatives from Northern Provincial Hospital (NPH), the Disability Promotion and Advocacy organisation, Sanma Frangipani Association, Provincial Government, Vanuatu Skills Partnership and Save the Children.

The individual meetings and stakeholder workshop provided MA and VSPD with a broad understanding of the potential service capacity of stakeholders, and in particular an understanding of the strong Provincial Government network throughout the province that could be used to support the service. NPH indicated their capacity to house the MDS, and every organisation involved in consultations showed enthusiasm and support for the service.

MA would like to thank everyone who met with and assisted us during this visit. The time, experience and insights shared by all were highly valued. MA would also like to say a huge thank you to Judith Iakavai who shared her in-depth experience of building mobility device services on Efate and supported in all stakeholder consultations. MA acknowledges that this work has been made possible through the support from the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

A draft plan for expansion is currently being put together in collaboration with partners, and will be circulated to all stakeholders for comment once ready.