The Samoa Office of the Electoral Commissioner in collaboration with the Samoa National Development Forum hosted a National Conference on the theme, ‘Democracy and Development in Samoa: The Role of Election’ from the 23-25 May 2017 at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel. The conference included presentations of research findings, comparative perspectives as well as discussions about issues relating to the theme which included:
- Evolution and state of play of democracy and development in Samoa and a macro construct of what development could mean in Samoa’s context?
- Samoa electoral system: Historical patterns, challenges, learnings and comparative perspectives to Samoa electoral systems.
- Samoa electoral system: What needs to change?
o A Review of the Electoral Boundaries in Samoa
o Findings of the Electoral Commission of Inquiry
o Findings of the Samoa Elections Monitoring and Observation Survey Report
- What is needed to change, retain and why, and how do we make the required changes – in village governance and development and in improving youth, disability and women’s voice in Samoa’s democracy and development.
- National Voters Day.
A publication titled ‘Women and Political Participation: The 2016 Election in Samoa’ by Ruta Fiti-Sinclair and Professor Meleisea Malama Meleisea and Dr Penelope Schoeffel was also launched during the conference.
The Conference was hosted by the Samoan National Leadership Development Forum, a coalition consisting of the Office of the Electoral Commissioner, National University of Samoa, Samoa National Youth Council, Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, Leadership Samoa, Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Australian Aid Pacific Leadership Programme.