Two development studies academics at New Zealand's Massey University have won funding to look into the role of the private sector in community development in the Pacific.
The planned three-year study, looking at the mining industry in Papua New Guinea and tourism in Fiji, has got financial support of about 730,000 US dollars from New Zealand's Marsden Fund.
"Professor Regina Scheyvens (pron SKAY VINS ) says corporates are increasingly working in an area once filled by governments, aid donors and NGOs."
She says mining and tourism companies are now developing a range of initiatives aimed at the local communities - from scholarships to supporting health clinics to developing infrastructure such as water supplies.
So they're doing community development and we are interested in - what difference does it make that they are the private sector doing community development. Can the private sector do effective community development and how do communities perceive that. Is it effective in their minds?