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The ‘Women in Leadership in Samoa’ (WILS) Project is a DFAT (Australian Government) funded, UNDP-UN Women joint project implemented in partnership with the Government of Samoa, under the overall leadership of the WILS Steering Committee. The Steering Committee comprises of representatives of the Samoa government’s (Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development (MWCSD), Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT)), community (SUNGO), DFAT), and UN agencies (UNDP and UN Women).

WILS seeks to build and reinforce progress already made on gender equality and women’s leadership in Samoa. It aims to strengthen women’s leadership targeting women in the community, younger (emerging) women leaders, and potential candidates for the upcoming elections. Through partnerships, networks, advocacy, outreach, civic awareness and capacity building initiatives, the Project hopes for an increased civic awareness of the need for inclusive and effective women’s participation and representation. Women should be able to learn new skills, have more confidence and feel motivated to exercise leadership in their communities and be willing to engage with gender equality and development issues. Further, Parliamentarians will be encouraged to operationalize the Sustainable Development Agenda in Samoa, noting that without strengthening gender equality the SDGs cannot be achieved. The Project will partner with existing regional programmes for Parliamentarians and women’s participation. Evidence from this Project will be a national and regional source of knowledge through continued research and analysis, and with South-South exchanges for experiences and lessons sharing with counterparts and other actors.

WILS recognises that despite significant advances made in promoting and addressing gender equality in Samoa, there remain, enduring systemic, institutional, cultural, attitudinal and financial barriers that continue to prevent women from engaging effectively in decision making roles at the community, village and national parliament levels, and including boards of public enterprises. Women’s leadership contribution at all levels of society need encouragement, support and acknowledgement. A key lesson from the Increasing Political Participation of Women in Samoa (IPPWS, Phase 1 of WILS) and other initiatives is that the work to increase the number of women representation needs sustained and long term investment and support. The reality is that getting more women into political decision-making levels is a complex undertaking. It requires a multi-faceted long-term approach to building leadership pathways for current and emerging women through village and national governance mechanisms, national policy, legislative and institutional arrangements, and awareness about the significant role that capable women can play in decision making.


WILS’s initiatives and activities aimed at enhancing the leadership capacity of women in their community, younger women, as well as supporting potential women candidates willing to run in the upcoming elections in 2021. Other activities support Parliamentarians in operationalizing the Sustainable Development Agenda – noting that given all the SDGs are mutually reinforcing, the goal of strong, accountable and inclusive institutions, in particular, cannot be achieved without a strong emphasis on achieving gender equality under SDG 5. WILS’s other activities seek to strengthen civic education and awareness and knowledge sharing about the different but interrelated components of the Project. Supporting the leadership capacity of women needs to be considered within Samoa’s political, social and economic development and other complementary initiatives in Samoa and the region. 

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Key Figures
Funding Status
Participating Organizations are required to submit final year-end expenditures by April 30 in the following year; Interim expenditure figures are submitted on a voluntary basis and therefore current year figures are not final until the year-end expenditures have been submitted.
Total as of
Values in US$
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Funds with Administrative Agent
Contributions from Donors 2,234,550  
Interest and Investment Income (from Fund) 61,435  
Interest (from Participating Organizations) 0  
Total source of funds   2,295,985
Transferred to Participating Organizations 2,265,367  
Refunds from Participating Organizations 0  
Administrative Agent Fee 22,346  
Direct Cost 0  
Bank Charges 108  
Total use of funds   2,287,820
Balance with Administrative Agent   8,165
As a percentage of deposits   0.4%
Funds with Participating Organizations
Transfers to Participation Organizations 2,265,367  
Total resources   2,265,367
Participating Organizations' Expenditure 1,910,205  
Refunds from Participating Organizations 0  
Total expenses     1,910,205
Balance with Participating Organizations   355,162
As a percentage of transfers   15.7%
Total Balance of Funds   363,328
As a percentage of deposits   16.3%
Delivery Analysis
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