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ADRA - South Pacific (ADRA SP)

By Harwood Lockton

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Harwood Lockton, M.A. (University of Newcastle, Australia) taught geography in state high schools in his native England for a decade before moving to Avondale University College, Australia, to lecture in human geography. He established Avondale’s Poverty and International Development major and overseas service trips. He also spent four years leading the international development program for ADRA Australia. In retirement he has been a guest lecturer at Avondale College of Higher Education, Australia, and Pacific Adventist University, PNG, and volunteers at a local foodbank.

The administrative structure of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) comprises three levels: ADRA International (ADRA I) headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A., seven regional offices covering most of the world, and some 130 country offices.1

ADRA South Pacific (ADRA SP) is the regional office of ADRA in the territory of the South Pacific Division (SPD) of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA Church) and is located in the SPD office in Sydney, Australia. As a regional office it provides administrative and programmatic support to the seven ADRA offices in the SPD and also acts as a department of the SPD interfacing between the country offices and church administration. It does not implement or fund projects: that is the role of the country offices.2 Staffing comprises an executive director, a regional humanitarian coordinator, and a technical assistant, and is currently funded by the country offices and the SPD.3

History of ADRA SP

Globally, ADRA was established in 1983 by the SDA Church from various predecessors.4 The regional offices were established over time as the need arose. ADRA SP is a recent office that emerged in the late 1990s.

In 1998 David Syme was appointed as the executive director of ADRA Australia. Because of the ongoing regionalization of the ADRA network by ADRA I, the title of regional vice president for the South Pacific was attached to Syme’s position. The distinction in roles was not clear as ADRA in the South Pacific basically comprised the operations of ADRA Australia (ADRA Aus) and the much smaller ADRA New Zealand (ADRA NZ). However, the regional role included representing local ADRA matters to ADRA I.5

In 2000 ADRA Aus received full accreditation with the Australian government, and the need for a formal, separate ADRA South Pacific became more pressing.6 David Jack succeeded David Syme as ADRA Aus CEO in July 2004, but within five months was asked to take on the formal role of executive director for ADRA SP. The dual roles presented a conflict of interest, as the dominant donor ADRA office in the SPD also represented the interests of the implementing partner offices, and ADRA NZ was effectively downgraded to a subsidiary of ADRA Aus. There was also a parallel conflict of interest with the chair of ADRA-Aus also being the chair of ADRA SP.7

Jack worked assiduously between 2004 and 2007 for the separation of the two roles so that each entity would have its own board and separate physical spaces within the large SPD office building. He prepared a number of proposals to this end.8 These were followed by a long iterative process of SPD administrative actions9 culminating in the reorganization of the various ADRAs in the SPD territory in 2008: ADRA Aus governance being shifted to the relatively new Australian Union Conference,10 with the SPD retaining ADRA SP and its governance.11

Greg Young was appointed in 200812 as the first ADRA SP director as such and was able to take a disinterested view of all seven ADRA partners within the SPD. Thus “the obvious conflict of interest” issue was eliminated.13

Role and Place of ADRA SP in the South Pacific Region and ADRA Network

The seven ADRA entities under the ADRA SP umbrella are ADRA Aus, ADRA NZ (both supporting offices) and ADRA Fiji, ADRA PNG, ADRA Samoa, ADRA Solomon Islands, and ADRA Vanuatu (implementing offices).14 In 2018 ADRA in the South Pacific ran some 126 projects with a budget of US$10.38 million and reached more than 110,000 beneficiaries.15

The functions of the ADRA SP are wide and varied16 but may be grouped under four broad headings.

The ADRA Network

These include managing the licensing and accreditation of the ADRA entities in the SPD on behalf of ADRA-I and to streamline and maintain standards for and obligations of these offices.

Supporting ADRA Offices in the SPD

This includes many facets such as, governance oversight to ensure local ADRA boards comply with their constitutions; providing strategic direction in planning and execution by the boards; capacity building of key local ADRA personnel; promoting the sustainability of administrative operations in the ADRA offices; and providing technical advice and support.

Emergency Response

This includes all countries within the SPD territory, including those without a local ADRA office. It involves assistance in finding source funding and facilitating deployment of the surge capacity of personnel.

Advocacy

ADRA-SP represents the interests of the ADRAs in the South Pacific to the broader ADRA network, and works to secure funding opportunities beyond ADRA Aus and ADRA NZ. It also advocates to the SDA Church for a broader view of its mission in the South Pacific.

In a region with a very high frequency of severe natural disasters, such as cyclones, floods, earthquakes and climate change impacts, the emergency response coordination function is critical.

List of Directors

David R. Syme (1998–2004); David Jack (2004–2008); Gregory Young (2009– ).

Office Address

148 Fox Valley Road
Wahroonga
New South Wales 2076
Australia

Sources

ADRA [Australia]. ADRA in the South Pacific Division, updated. November 18, 2004.

———. ADRA South Pacific, updated. November 1, 2007.

———. ADRA SPD Leadership. March 29, 2007.

———. Proposal for the Development of ADRASPD as a Separate Office. Attachment to 2005–2010 Seventh-day Adventist Church Pacific) Ltd. Board of Directors, May 7, 2008. Minute 28.3, ADRA Restructure Proposal.

ADRA International. Annual Report 2018. Available at https://adra.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Annual-Report-2018.pdf.

ADRA International website. Accessed January 21, 2020. https://adra.org.

ADRA South Pacific Facebook page. Accessed January 21, 2020. https://www.facebook.com/ADRAsouthpacific/.

ADRA South Pacific Region. ADRA Annual Reports 1997 [covers only ADRA Australia and ADRA New Zealand]. http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Periodicals/AAR/AAR19980530-V103-20.pdf.

ADRA UK website. Accessed January 21, 2020. https://adrau.org.

Lockton, Harwood A. Christians and the Alleviation of Third World Poverty: A Case Study of ADRA. Unpublished master’s degree research paper, Deakin University, 1996.

2005-2010 SDA Church (Pacific) Ltd. Board of Directors, May 7, 2008. Minute 28.3, ADRA Restructure Proposal. This action authorized the separation of roles and personnel.

2005-2010 SPD Adgroup minutes, November 1, 2007. Minute 54.10, ADRA SPD Organizational Structure.

2005-2010 SPD Adgroup minutes, October 30, 2007. Minute 53.1, ADRA SPD Structure.

2005-2010 SPD Adgroup minutes, October 24, 2007. Minute 52.3, ADRA SPD Structure.

2005-2010 SPD Adgroup minutes, September 4, 2007. Minute 49.1, ADRA SPD Structure.

2005-2010 SPD Executive Committee minutes, August 13, 2007. Minute 47.2, ADRA South Pacific Division.

2005-2010 SPD Executive Committee minutes, June 26, 2008. Minute 22.3, Appointment—Director, ADRA SPD.

2005-2010 SPD Executive Committee minutes, November 14, 2006. Minute 12.19, Incorporation of ADRA Entities in the Pacific.

2000-2005 SPD Executive Committee minutes, November 17, 2004. Minute 45.2, Proposed

ADRA SPD Structure.

Notes

  1. ADRA International website, accessed January 21, 2020, https://adra.org/our-impact/adra-around-the-world/; ADRA UK website, accessed January 21, 2020, https://adrauk.org/our-network.

  2. ADRA SP Facebook page, accessed January 21, 2020, https://www.facebook.com/ADRAsouthpacific/.

  3. Greg Young, email to author, January 21, 2020.

  4. Harwood Lockton, Christians and the Alleviation of Third World Poverty: A Case Study of ADRA (unpublished master’s degree research paper, Deakin University, 1996).

  5. David Syme, emails to Greg Young, November 13 and 14, 2019, and personal knowledge as a board member (2000–2006) and staff member (2006–2010) with ADRA Aus. The first ADRA South Pacific Region Annual Reports for 1997 only briefly itemize these two offices.

  6. David Syme, emails to Greg Young, November 13 and 14, 2014.

  7. ADRA [Australia], Proposal for the Development of ADRASPD as a Separate Office, Attachment to 2005–2010 Seventh-day Adventist Church (Pacific) Ltd. Board of Directors, May 7, 2008, Minute 28.3, ADRA Restructure Proposal. In ADRA SP files, courtesy of Greg Young.

  8. ADRA [Australia], ADRA in the South Pacific Division, updated (November 18, 2004);

    ADRA [Australia], ADRA SPD Leadership (March 29, 2007). ADRA [Australia], ADRA South Pacific Organizational Structure (November 1, 2007); ADRA {Australia], Proposal for the Development of ADRASPD as a Separate Office. All in ADRA SP files, courtesy of Greg Young.

  9. 2000-2005 SPD Executive Committee minutes, November 17, 2004, Minute 45.2, Proposed ADRA SPD Structure; 2005-2010 South Pacific Division Executive Committee minutes, November 14, 2006, Minute 12.19, Incorporation of ADRA Entities in the Pacific; 2005-2010 South Pacific Division Executive Committee minutes, August 13, 2007, Minute 47.2, ADRA South Pacific Division; 2005-2010 South Pacific Division Adgroup minutes, September 4, 2007, Minute 49.1, ADRA SPD Structure; 2005-2010 South Pacific Division; Adgroup minutes, October 24, 2007, Minute 52.3, ADRA SPD Structure; 2005-2010 South Pacific Division Adgroup minutes, October30, 2007, Minute 53.1, ADRA SPD; 2005-2010 South Pacific Division Adgroup minutes, November 1, 2007, Minute 54.10, ADRA SPD Organizational Structure; 2005-2010 Seventh-day Adventist Church (Pacific) Ltd. Board of Directors, May 7, 2008, Minute 28.3, ADRA Restructure Proposal (this action authorized the separation of roles and personnel); 2005-2010 South Pacific Division Executive Committee minutes, June 26, 2008, Minute 22.3, Appointment—Director, ADRA SPD. All in ADRA SP files, courtesy of Greg Young.

  10. Because of the intricacies of the histories and geographies of the various union conferences within the SPD, ADRA Aus and ADRA NZ became agencies of the SPD in 1996. Though this situation was rationalized in 2000, the formal separation of the ADRA Aus and ADRA SP roles did not take effect until 2008.

  11. David Jack, email to Greg Young, November 24, 2019, and personal knowledge as a board member (2000-2006) and staff member (2006–2010) with ADRA Aus.

  12. Becauser of visa complications for a family member, Young was unable to take the position until late 2009. In the interim, Peter Truscott took a part-time consulting role for the SPD to deal with any significant matters.

  13. Peter Truscott, email to Greg Young, November 14, 2019.

  14. There are a further 12 microstates in SPD territory. SDA Yearbook: South Pacific Division, accessed January 21, 2020, https://www.adventistyearbook.org/entity?EntityID=13276. They are too small in SDA membership to support ADRA offices.

  15. ADRA International, Annual Report 2018, accessed January 21, 2020, https://adra.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Annual-Report-2018.pdf. This is the most current Annual Report available at time of writing.

  16. Greg Young, email to author, January 21, 2020.

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Lockton, Harwood. "ADRA - South Pacific (ADRA SP)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. October 15, 2020. Accessed October 21, 2020. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=AAWH.

Lockton, Harwood. "ADRA - South Pacific (ADRA SP)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. October 15, 2020. Date of access October 21, 2020, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=AAWH.

Lockton, Harwood (2020, October 15). ADRA - South Pacific (ADRA SP). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved October 21, 2020, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=AAWH.