The South Pacific Centre for Central Banking (SPCCB) facilitated capacity building program reached a new milestone in late 2019. The central banks of Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Timor Leste signed a PhD Memorandum of Understanding with Griffith University to take the capacity building program to the next level–to build a credible local capacity for policy-oriented research–one of the four key objectives of the program.

“The intention of the PhD program is to strengthen the region’s capacity for conducting independent, rigorous inquiry into the problems facing the management of economies in the South Pacific”, said Dr Parmendra Sharma, SPCCB’s founding program convenor.

“A basic premise for which is that such management is more likely to happen where there is an active, well-informed group of locally based, adequately trained and professional researchers to conduct policy-relevant research.”

The MoU essentially provides for a cost-sharing scholarship, where Griffith covers the tuition fees and health insurance and the central banks cover living expenses over the duration of the studies. Only central bankers from the South Pacific may apply for the scholarship, which commences in 2020.