Kapasa is a tool waiting to be used

posted: 4:00 pm - 3rd August 2018
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(Picture caption: Kapasa is an approach for incorporating the perspectives of Pacific peoples in the generic policy development process, and the framework encourages policy advisers and their agencies to think critically about Pacific peoples issues. CREDIT ECNZ)

Kapasa, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) tool for policy managers, advisers and analysts within government agencies, is a bit of a hidden gem.  

It is an approach for incorporating the perspectives of Pacific peoples in the generic policy development process, and the framework encourages policy advisers and their agencies to think critically about Pacific peoples issues. 

Not only does it set out ways to effectively include information about Pacific peoples and to take account of their values and their diversity, but it ensures effective consultation with them in the policy development process. 

Recently, Sara-Jane director of ECG stumbled across the resource.

She says Kapasa – along with additional advice from MPP Senior Policy Advisor Viliami Liavaa – has been very helpful when looking at ways to incorporate a Pacific lens into the organisations she sits on at Board level.

Hoping she would not have to start from scratch, she researched MPP’s materials on policy and statistics.

“Kapasa had everything that I wanted to use as a way of encouraging our governance structure but also to enable policies that can be developed and filter down through an organisation to enhance and become aware of Pacific people.”

One of the Boards she sits on is Community Legal Services South Trust which has a mandate to provide Community Law Centres to the wider South Auckland (except Mangere) and Franklin district.  

When Sara-Jane presented the idea of adopting Kapasa as a way of integrating a Pacific lens in governance at the Trust, the mostly non-Pacific Board loved it, she says.   

Community Legal Services South Trust invited Viliama to present to a full staff meeting about MPP’s Kapasa policy. 

“Viliami’s presentation was outstanding,” she says. 

“It was integrative, it captured the essence of the use of Kapasa and really made our staff think about how we can integrate ‘policy’ into organisations that have a majority of Pacific people on staff and as clients.” 

She believes Kapasa can be truly strategic and effective when used to support those in governance. 

“There are many Directors/Boards thinking about how to integrate ‘Pacific’ approaches into their organisations.” 

While there are many professional development bodies looking into Pacific governance more presently, Sara-Jane says she can’t help but think Kapasa is already a framework waiting to be used but is not widely known about. 

“If you're in governance or senior management in any organisation with Pacific people, Kapasa is a tool to personalise your organisations policy through a Pacific lens. 

“Give it a try and check it out,” she says. 

For more information about Kapasa, visit HERE.