Partnership for Sustainable Development Goals: A Focus on Vanuatu

June 5, 2024

Participants of the 2-day Value Addition training in Port Vila, Vanuatu.


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), established by the United Nations in 2015, serve as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. This article focuses on the implementation of these goals in Vanuatu, with a particular emphasis on Goal 1 (No Poverty), and Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-being), Goal 5 (Gender Equality), Goal11- Sustainable Cities and Communities, and Goal 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).

Gender Equality: Empowering Women in Vanuatu

In Vanuatu, the Markets for Change Project plays a crucial role in promoting gender equality (Goal 5). This project empowers 4000-5000 rural women market vendors, through capacity development of skills and resource sharing to enhance livelihoods for sustainable growth. By focusing on women’s empowerment, the project not only advances gender equality but also contributes to poverty reduction (Goal 1) and improved health and well-being (Goal 3). 

Port Vila Market.


Last week, through joint collaborative efforts with UN Women Pacific and Department of Industry, 37 women market vendors participated in Value Addition Training,61 (59 women and 2 men) participate in Financial Literacy Training and 38 women vendors participated in the Food Safety Training. 

These collaborative efforts between UN Women Pacific, the Department of Industry, and local stakeholders demonstrate a proactive approach to advancing gender equality and promoting economic empowerment in Vanuatu.

Women vendors during a practical during the value add training session.


Attendees of the Finance and Business Management training.


No Poverty and Good Health and Well-being: The Impact of Empowering Women

Empowering women has a ripple effect on the community. As women gain financial independence, they are better able to provide for their families, reducing poverty levels (Goal 1) and contributing to sustainable cities and communities (Goal 11). Furthermore, women often prioritize health and education, leading to improved health and well-being for their families and communities (Goal 3), resulting in a good quality of life. 

Below are stories of women market vendors who participated in the capacity-building training organized through the Markets for Change Project, contributing to new skills, knowledge, networking, and sharing of life experiences that enrich their businesses.

Precilla Latik,55-year-old farmer from Teouma Community.


“I grow pineapples, tomatoes, and other vegetables, and I sell my produce at the main market in Port Vila. Our community is in a semi-urban area of Port Vila, and it takes about 30 minutes by public transport to reach the market. 

I am particularly pleased with the Value Addition training, as it will help me make the most out of what I grow in my garden. One of the most beneficial aspects of the training for me was learning how to preserve meat for later use. In our community, we do not have electricity to keep our meat in the freezer, so this knowledge is incredibly valuable. 

I am excited to use this meat preservation technique to benefit my family and share it with others in my community who could not attend the training.” - Precilla Latik, from Teouma Community.

Jacklyn Tuan, 36-yr-old vendor from Rantapau Community.


“I live with my husband and our three children. My kids attend primary school in a nearby village, and I work hard every day to prepare food for them to take to school. I am a housewife and I earn money by selling value-added products like banana, cassava, and taro chips. 

I usually buy the raw products, such as bananas, cassava, and taro, from the market to prepare my goods for selling. I sell my produce at the main market in Port Vila. My husband sometimes helps me with the preparation at home by peeling and slicing the bananas, cassava, and taro into pieces ready to be fried. He also helps with the packaging of the products. 

I enjoyed attending the training and I hope to return and make changes to my market business.” - Jacklyn Tua, from Rantapau Community.

Partnerships for the Goals: The Role of Joint UN Partnerships with Government and Local Market Vendors Association 
Achieving these ambitious goals requires strong partnerships. In Vanuatu, the Joint collaborative efforts was made possible through the support of UN women Pacific, and the Silae Vanua Market Vendors Association as entry points to reaching the wider project audient. 

The UN-to-UN partnership plays a critical role in supporting the implementation of localizing the SDGs. By pooling resources and expertise, these partnerships can drive progress towards the SDGs, demonstrating the power of collaboration (Goal 17).

Rachel, Silae Vanua Market Vendor Association Secretary.


“Today, I must say that this one-week training, organized through the partnership between UN Women and UNDP, is an excellent opportunity for our vendors. They are incredibly privileged to participate in this Value Addition training. Initially, the vendors were only expecting a food safety training, so the inclusion of the Value Addition training came as a pleasant surprise. This partnership has truly exceeded their expectations, allowing them to gain more than they had planned for.” - Rachel Marang, Secretary Silae Vanua Market Vendors Association.

Partners of the program – UNDP, UN Women, Market Vendors Association and Department of Industry.


The interconnectedness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is indeed evident in Vanuatu. Empowering women is a powerful tool for achieving progress in multiple areas, including gender equality, poverty reduction, and improved health and well-being.

However, achieving these goals is not a solitary endeavour. It requires strong partnerships at all levels, from local communities to international organizations and initiatives such as the Markets for Change Project and the Joint UN Women to UNDP with National Government partnership are excellent examples of how collaborative efforts can lead to significant progress.

This article showcases the strength of partnership for goals, focusing on the National Government of Vanuatu’s priority areas of Food Security, Enhanced Livelihood, and Sustainable Growth, contributing to a more sustainable and equitable world.

The Markets for Change (M4C) project aims to promote gender equality by economically empowering women market vendors in Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Samoa. This project, brings together various stakeholders, offers financial literacy training that connects vendors and farmers with essential service providers. This sharing of information, raising awareness, and networking opportunities have the potential to improve the livelihoods of market vendors and their families.

The Markets for Change Project contributes to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the M4C project directly contributes to multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It supports SDG 5 on Gender Equality, SDG 8 on decent work and economic growth, SDG 10 on reducing inequalities, and SDG 11 on sustainable cities and communities. The project ensures equality and economic empowerment for all, including men, women, youth, people with disabilities, and marginalized minority groups.

The M4C project is implemented by UN Women in partnership with UNDP and with support from the Government of Australia.

For more information, please contact: 

Vilisi Veibataki, Markets for Change Project Manager, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji | | +679 3227701