Digital Scoping and Mapping of Fiji and Vanuatu

Location: Pacific Islands
Program area: Inclusive Economic Growth
Deadline: April 5, 2024
Type: Request for proposal

Digital literacy in the Pacific can unlock the future of work and increase people-to-people connectivity and communication flows.

The “youth bulge” across the Pacific is expected to peak around 2050, and this generation can be transformative to the wealth, connectivity, and success of their nations if they are supported with skills that support their ambitions. Today, young people, women, and underserved groups across the Pacific have not had the same opportunities as their global counterparts to enhance digital skills, e-commerce, and resilience against misinformation. To reduce the widening digital divide and make the dividends of growth accessible to underserved communities in two pilot countries, Fiji and Vanuatu, Go Digital Pacific will conduct targeted digital skilling, leading to improved livelihoods and strengthening local economies in these two countries. This work will be informed by close consultation with regional experts and aligned programs. Lessons learned from this pilot will be shared across other small island developing states to inform future work.

The research aims to provide recommendations that inform the targeted digital skilling needs in the two countries and offer insight into potential curriculum design. The Asia Foundation looks forward to receiving comprehensive proposals from qualified consultants or organizations interested in conducting this research to support the development of a Go Digital Pacific digital skills training program in Fiji and Vanuatu. Qualified Pacific Island women and men are encouraged to apply.

The findings from this report will inform country plans identifying stakeholders, opportunities, and challenges for the Fiji and Vanuatu context.

  • Part 1: Desk review to investigate policy priorities, labor skills gap, and existing digital skills training available in Fiji and Vanuatu, as well as potential partners or training institutions.
  • Part 2: Needs assessment that will serve as a foundational step in designing a tailored digital skills training program that addresses the unique requirements and challenges faced by the people of Fiji and Vanuatu.

The research will focus on work engaging women, young people under 25, and underserved communities with priority areas including:

  • Basic digital literacy
  • Financial literacy
  • Business and financial planning
  • E-commerce
  • Cybersecurity and safety
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Digital marketing
  • Green business policies

The Asia Foundation’s office in the Pacific Islands is looking for one consultant or a team to provide a desk review and needs assessment in each pilot country. The study will also highlight key overlapping areas from The Pacific E-commerce Initiative and may also reference The Asia Foundation’s Go Digital ASEAN model supported by

Rapid Needs Assessment Objectives

  • To determine the current level of digital skills in Fiji and Vanuatu.
  • Identify the gaps in digital skills and areas where support can be provided.
  • To assess different sectors’ specific digital skill needs, including private, public, education, and entrepreneurship.
  • To understand the availability and accessibility of digital infrastructure and resources in both countries.
  • To gather insights into the barriers and challenges individuals, businesses, and institutions face in acquiring digital skills.
  • To identify potential stakeholders and partners for the digital skills training program and trainers to deliver the training modules.

Scope of Work

  • Desk Review: Conduct a comprehensive review of existing policy priorities relevant to skills gaps in the workforce, e-commerce readiness, capacity, and an overview of the digital landscape, including connectivity, access, and challenges.
  • Needs assessment: Conduct a needs assessment to identify gaps in digital skills in the workforce based on national priorities in both countries.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Engage with relevant stakeholders to identify those with opportunities for potential partnerships and to gain a holistic perspective on digital skills needs.
  • Recommendations: Provide clear and actionable recommendations based on the findings to inform the design and implementation of a digital skills training program in Fiji and Vanuatu. Recommendations should also include a detailed resource inventory of partners advising on available services and infrastructure and the level of support needed to provide training modules.


  • Demonstrated regional research experience and ability to undertake analytical reviews and technical expertise in conducting needs assessments.
  • Background in ICT, e-commerce, higher education, and regional training.
  • Demonstrated capacity to write clear and well-constructed reports in accordance with agreed terms of reference and within specified time constraints.
  • Lead consultant should have a minimum of five to seven years of relevant professional experience.
  • Experience conducting similar work in the two target countries is desirable.

Expected Deliverables and Milestones, and Target Completion Date

  1. Proposal of work plan, methodology, and timelines (March 20, 2024)
  2. First draft of report (Desk review and needs assessment) (April 20, 2024)
  3. Final report and coalition structure (May 15, 2024)
  4. Recommendations to inform curriculum (May 30, 2024)
  5. Presentation of findings and recommendations on country and market skill needs in consultation with PIFS and country priorities (June 7, 2024)

Output guidelines

  1. Detailed report summarizing the findings and recommendations.
  2. Presentation of the assessment results to relevant stakeholders.
  3. Raw data and research materials (interview transcripts, survey responses, etc.) for transparency and future reference.

Timeline: The needs assessment will be completed within eight weeks of the contract initiation date.

Selection criteria

The Asia Foundation will assess the suitability of the consultant(s) or organization based on the following criteria:

  1. Capacity
    • An overview of the capacity (individual or organization) to deliver the scope of services
    • Relevant examples and case studies in performing a similar assignment in the Pacific Islands
    • Identified personnel who will be involved in delivering the services and their relevant experience
    • Sample of previous written work
    • Preference will be given to Pacific Island individuals and organizations
  2. Approach
    • Description of the proposed methodology for the needs assessment
    • Detailed work plan to deliver the services in both countries
  3. Financial proposal
    • A fee structure (proposed cost including expenses related to data collection, analysis, and stakeholder engagement)
    • Proposed milestone payments

Confidentiality and Data Protection

All data collected during the assessment will be treated with the utmost confidentiality, and measures will be taken to ensure data protection and privacy compliance.

Proposal submission

Interested consultants or organizations are invited to submit their proposals, including a detailed methodology, work plan with milestones, proposed budget, and CV highlighting relevant experience.

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