Projects / Initiatives

The conduct of large-scale, nationally representative popular attitudes surveys is something new in the Pacific region. Indeed, the Pacific is the only region not covered by systematic global democracy and values surveys such as the Global Barometer Surveys and World Values Survey.

The Pacific Attitudes Survey (PAS) was developed in partnership between researchers from The Australian National University’s Department of Pacific Affairs (DPA) and Swinburne University of Technology (SUT). As of 2024, the PAS has been conducted in two countries – Samoa and Vanuatu – in partnership with local regional institutions. The surveys have been jointly funded by the ANU Department of Pacific Affairs and the Australian Government through the Pacific Research Program, and in Vanuatu, by The Asia Foundation.

The Pacific Attitudes Survey: Samoa is the first largescale popular political attitudes survey conducted in the Pacific region. This pilot survey in Samoa was conducted in a partnership with the National University of Samoa (NUS). Comprising 181 questions set out in 26 thematic modules, it covers a broad range of topics including attitudes to democracy, national identity, tradition, leadership, governance, development and international relations. The survey took place in late December 2020 and January 2021, and was conducted in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and in the lead up to what would prove an historic election.

The Pacific Attitudes Survey: Samoa was authored by Professor Michael Leach, Associate Professor Julien Barbara, Professor Ioana Tuugalei Vaai Chan Mow, Professor Sina Vaai, Dr Christopher Mudaliar, Professor Patila Amosa, Dr Louise Mataia Milo, Professor Susana Tauaa, Professor Taema Imo-Seuoti, and Vernetta Heem.

The Pacific Attitudes Survey: Vanuatu brings the survey to Melanesia, and was conducted between August and October 2023. The Vanuatu iteration of PAS was delivered through a partnership between the Australian National University, Swinburne University of Technology, the University of the South Pacific and the National University of Vanuatu. Expanded with a dataset of 191 questions, the Pacific Attitudes Survey: Vanuatu includes new expanded modules on climate change and labour mobility.

The Pacific Attitudes Survey: Vanuatu was authored by Dr Christopher Mudaliar, Professor Michael Leach, Dr Kerryn Baker, Associate Professor Julien Barbara, Dr Milla Vaha, Dr Krishna Kumar Kotra, and Trevor Leodoro.