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The context for VUSSC is diverse across participating countries. The population sizes of VUSSC countries range from 10,000 (Tuvalu) to 6,331,000 (Papua New Guinea). The average and median population sizes are, respectively, 1,097,964 and 318,500. There are at least 17 different languages spoken among the VUSSC countries (not including the 850 indigenous languages in Papua New Guinea). The number of Internet users per 1,000 people ranges from 29 (Tonga and Papua New Guinea) to 595 (Barbados), with an average of 199 and a median of 162.

There are 29 VUSSC Interlocutors confirmed out of 30 VUSSC member countries. There are two Interlocutors from Trinidad and Tobago, and no Interlocutors yet from Kiribati and Solomon Islands. (A representative from the Solomon Islands participated in the Interlocutors Meeting in London, July 2008).

VUSSC Activities and Outputs

  • Thirty-three small states have participated in VUSSC events since 2005. This includes Brunei Darussalam, Fiji and The Comores (Non-Commonwealth). Only Kiribati has not yet participated in any VUSSC events.

  • There have been two VUSSC Orientation and Planning Meetings (Singapore 2005, 2006).

  • There have been two VUSSC Interlocutors Meetings (Jamaica 2006 and London 2008).

  • There have been five training and course development workshops, also called “Bootcamps” (Mauritius 2006 -Tourism and Entrepreneurship; Singapore 2007 - Training Educators to Develop Open and Distance Learning Materials; Trinidad & Tobago 2007 - Life Skills; Samoa 2007 - Disaster Management; and Seychelles 2008 - Fisheries).

  • The sixth Bootcamp is planned for November 2008 in The Bahamas and will focus on construction management.

  • A total of 281 participants (including repeat individuals such as Interlocutors) have attended VUSSC events. This also includes non-small states such as: Canada, China, France, and Singapore (a total of 9 people).

  • A total of 207 people (excluding repeat individuals such as Interlocutors) have attended VUSSC events. This includes 54% women (112) and 46% men (95).

  • Many VUSSC participants have conducted training and capacity building workshops in their home countries after returning from the Bootcamp.

  • Audiences for the VUSSC follow-up workshops have included high school teachers, college lecturers, instructors, tutors, tourist guides, guidance counselors, ministry personnel, IT managers, and ODL practitioners.

VUSSC M&E Update, September 2008, prepared by C. Dunlop, SFU

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