avatar for Vani Catanasiga

Vani Catanasiga

Executive Director of the Fiji Council of Social Services
Vani Catanasiga is the first female executive director of the Fiji Council of Social Services. FCOSS is a national CSO platform that was established in the 1960s to represent CSO voices to government on social development issues.

Vani has 18 years of combined experience in volunteer youth work, mainstream journalism, public relations and youth and sports policy, program and development in various settings – government, NGO and private sector. In these efforts, she has worked at all levels from grassroots communities to policy level, first as a volunteer youth worker, an award winning journalist and later as a civil servant in the Fiji Government's Ministry of Youth specialising in media liaison, advocacy, research and policy development. Vani re-joined the NGO sector in 2011.

She has managed national projects including the revival and establishment of the National Youth Council of Fiji, regional projects on Women's Peacebuilding and Leadership programme while at the Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding and prior to her appointment as head of FCOSS , she was employed with the Pacific Islands Association of NGOs ( PIANGO) working on Pacific regional policymaking, development effectiveness and the SDGs. During her time there, Vani helped developed a tool called the SDG Barometer to help the 24 affiliates of PIANGO to monitor enabling spaces by examining governmental processes on SDGs, levels of access created for CSOs in government SDG processes and the nature of CSO participation.  

 Her past voluntary role as the coordinator of the 11- years old Bua Urban Youth Network is perhaps her most prolific. BUY Network is a volunteer network of young professionals that have consistently advocated in Fiji and the region on the Right to Information through the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent or FPIC as a tool for rural communities dealing with the impacts of large scale extraction, mining  and development projects.