The South Pacific Community Nutrition Training Project
(1987-1992) (Phase I)

The Pacific Islands Nutrition Training Project
(1992-1996) (Phase II)

Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia
The University of the South Pacific

The World Health Organisation's goals of "Health for All by the Year 2000" and "Water and Sanitation for All by the Year 2000" have been adopted by all Pacific Island Nations. The University of the South Pacific, serving twelve island nations in the region (Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga,Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Western Samoa) has the unique capacity to provide these countries with equitable access to quality nutrition education that would be too expensive for smaller agencies and institutions operating on a country-by-country basis.

The specific purpose and objectives of this programme were to train 400 community workers as "trainers" and to assist The University of the South Pacific (USP) by

  • increasing and improving the nutrition knowledge of people working in the communities
  • upgrading communication and teaching skills
  • enabling community nutrition workers to initiate, implement, and manage community nutrition projects and activities with the minimum need for supervision
  • developing production skills, including desktop publishing and in the educational application of microcomputers, in order to enhance training materials
  • strengthening the University's human and institutional capacity to sustain the project

The Pacific Islands Community Nutrition Training Project was a two-part program in collaboration with The University of the South Pacific approved by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). During 1987–91, 13 training manuals and a user's guide were produced, with input from the Centre for Distance Education at Simon Fraser University and The University of the South Pacific. Several training workshops were held in the South Pacific by Centre for Distance Education staff, and University of the South Pacific staff consulted the Centre in Vancouver. The second phase focused on the Train-the-Trainers mode; workshops provided training for some 400 community health workers, and a Community Nutrition Certificate available in distance mode was also developed.

In 1996, the Centre for Distance Education received the Canadian Association for Distance Education (CADE) Award for Excellence in International Initiatives for the project.