31 Mar 2016

New Tongan think tank to advance fact-based dialogue

9:46 am on 31 March 2016

An independent Tongan think-tank is soon to be formally established in Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa.

The Royal Oceania Institute's (ROI) goals are to support and pursue Pacific-centered, ethical, fact-based research and analysis.

It will also facilitate open dialogue on topics relevant to community, sustainable development, and regional relations.

The Patron is His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Tupouto'a 'Ulukalala.

The Chair, Lord Fakafanua said stakeholders involved in Tonga need independent and verifiable, fact-based research and one of its goals is to empower people with unbiased information.

The director, Tevita Motulalo, said the think-tank will work with government, private sector, faith groups, and other stakeholders, to help build broad-based, resilient and sustainable solutions.

The ROI grew out of an identifiable need for a non-partisan, accessible and reputable platform for building confidence and cooperation, and encouraging broad information sharing and understanding.

It's hoped that through better research and open dialogue, investments in development have a better chance of reaching their full potential, at the same time as minimizing unnecessary loss.

The ROI is finalizing official registration, appointing a Board of Directors, and selecting an Advisory of Eminent Persons to help guide the Institution.

The ROI has not yet started accepting funding, and will pursue a policy of independence. It said funding will not influence the direction or quality of its research.