The Pacific is uniquely, outside of Europe, characterised by extensive regional governance arrangements and institutions. Pacific Island countries share common strengths and oceanic, climatic, geophysical and socio-cultural heritage and experience that give rise to common governance challenges when it comes to climate change. These factors call for approaches that are innovative, regional and trans-boundary. The practice of democracy has yet to provide full agency and autonomy for every woman, girl, man and boy in the Pacific to have control over their own lives, with many challenges to inclusive governance standing in the way of people fully practicing their rights and being able to make their own choices. This chosen focus stems from the fact that we can’t achieve a 1.5°C world without every community member of the Pacific being able to have control over their lives, resources and the oceans they will leave to the next generation.
Sandra is Rwandan-American and has 10+ of experience in natural disaster response and humanitarian work across the Caribbean, Pacific Islands, West Africa and Southeast Asia, including in microfinance, the UN and INGOs. She is currently the creator and lead of Oxfam’s award-winning UnBlocked Cash Project, the world’s first crypto-enabled digital cash assistance programme, involving and 19 organisations serving over 16,000 people across 3 countries. Sandra is also a panel expert for the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum and a Regional Ambassador to the Pacific for the Global Blockchain Business Council. She is also the co-founder of Emerging Impact, a blockchain for social impact advisory firm.
Nicola Barnes Is the project manager for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Business Resilience Council in Vanuatu. She is a Vanuatu citizen with a passion for developing business skills and demonstrating the role that businesses play in supporting communities and economies. Nicola lead the team that implemented the network of 350+ vendors for the Vanuatu UnBlocked Cash response.
Elizabeth Genia’s professional career spans nearly 40 years with the Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG), PNG’s central bank. In her current role, Assistant Governor of Corporate Affairs Group, Elizabeth oversees all aspects of the Bank’s information technology, corporate services and human resources functions.
Her broad business experience has equipped her with sound knowledge of finance, auditing, corporate governance, risk management, strategic planning, customer service, administration, banking, human resources, corporate services and information technology. Over the past several years she has been driving BPNG’s focus on developing and implementing financial technology, as part of the Bank’s approach to financial inclusion.
A member of BPNG’s Executive Team, reporting directly to the Governor, Elizabeth is a member and chairperson of internal Committees including the Tender Committee, IT Governance Committee and Gender Equity and Social Inclusion Steering Committee.
Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Commerce (UPNG), a Graduate Award Certificate in Management and Organisational Change (ANU, Canberra Australia), and a Master of Business Administration (UQ, Brisbane Australia). In 2020 she completed the Fintech Program conducted by Oxford University’s Said Business School.
She is on the Board of the Business Coalition for Women.
Her professional association memberships include the PNG Institute of Directors, the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the PNG Institute of Accountants, the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) and the Australian Institute of Internal Auditors.
Oxfam is a global movement of people who are fighting inequality to end poverty and injustice. We are working across regions in about 70 countries, with thousands of partners, and allies, supporting communities to build better lives for themselves, grow resilience and protect lives and livelihoods also in times of crisis.
Because we want lasting solutions, we fight the inequalities that keep people locked in poverty and injustice, we tackle not the symptoms but the systems, and we campaign for genuine, durable change.
Towards a just and sustainable world
We have a vision of a just and sustainable world. A world where people and the planet are at the center of our economy. Where women and girls live free from violence and discrimination. Where the climate crisis is contained. And where governance systems are inclusive and allow for those in power to be held to account.
Our ambition is lasting impact. We make a difference by being part of a global movement for social justice.