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Communities and Business – Growing Together
Fijian stakeholders from the government, financial sector, private sector and development agencies at the Community Engagement Research Validation workshop in Suva

Fijian stakeholders from the government, financial sector, private sector and development agencies at the Community Engagement Research Validation workshop in Suva

The Australian Government funded Market Development Facility (MDF) Fiji hosted a Community Engagement Research Validation Workshop at Suva’s Albert Park Pavilion on Friday 22 September 2017.

In May to June this year, MDF conducted a Community Engagement research to deepen it’s understanding of how iTaukei villages connect to, manage and maintain business relationships in Fiji.

The workshop was held to share the research findings with stakeholders who were also invited to share their experiences of working with communities and businesses.

The study sought to unpack the dynamics of the relationship and presented recommendations that serve as key steps to guide businesses on how to commercially engage with Fijian villages.

Participants were divided into groups to discuss the key findings from the Community Engagement Research

Participants were divided into groups to discuss the key findings from the Community Engagement Research

MDF Fiji Country Representative, Mujaddid Mohsin, said MDF has cemented itself as a mature programme through its partnerships with businesses and has learnt that businesses vary widely in the type and depth of engagements they have with communities.

“For many in the private sector, the concept of community engagement is still being trialed and tested. The level of understanding of business from a community’s perspective also varies greatly as does how they operate, engage and communicate with businesses,” Mohsin said.

“Through this workshop, we aim to influence the thinking and behaviour of our partner businesses in terms of how they engage with communities, by encouraging them to learn more about the product that they want to buy from the communities and to create customised strategies for engaging with communities.”

“We also hope to be able to foster dialogue with provincial authorities on how to become more commercially-oriented and help communities understand the points of view of businesses as well as help broker commercial relationships.”

Research participants from the four communities in the study were invited to observe how the information gathered from their communities is being used in the report and discussions

Research participants from the four communities in the study were invited to observe how the information gathered from their communities is being used in the report and discussions