The goal of the Social Impact Fund (SIF) is improved wellbeing of vulnerable peoples and villages through the contribution of Civil Society. 

This is linked to Priority Area 4 of the National Sustainable Development Plan – Social Development and

Goal 4 – opportunity for all people who reside in the Cook Islands resulting in ‘A Cook Islands where all people who reside in our islands can enjoy opportunities to fulfil their potential, prosper and participate in the social, economic, political and cultural life of our communities and nation’ 

Priority Areas 

The SIF is targeted at services and projects focused on the following areas.


Priority Area: Gender Equality 

Definition: Activity that supports economic and political opportunities for women and girls. 

Rationale: Despite improvements in access of women to health and education, disadvantages remain in terms of Cook Island women’s relative access to economic and political participation, and subtle forms of gender bias

Priority Area: Children and Youth 

Definition: Activity targeted at people between 10 and 25 years of age 

Rationale: Youth make up approximately 38% of the total population are a significant social grouping facing diverse difficulties that require attention to enable their contribution to the development of the Cook Islands 

Priority Area: The Elderly

Definition: Activity targeted at people aged 60 years and over 

Rationale: the ageing population is relatively inactive in the work force, face comparably higher health issues and likely to require specialist care

Priority Area: Domestic Violence

Definition: Activity targeted at survivors of domestic violence and /or perpetrators of domestic violence

Rationale: Incidents of domestic violence in the Cook Islands are increasing. Domestic violence is a very sensitive community issue. It involves different solutions for survivors and perpetrators, particularly in the outer islands

Priorty Area: Disabilities 

Definition: Activity targeted at people with intellectual or physical disabilities

Rationale: Cook Islanders with disabilities do not have the relative social, economic and educational opportunities, or access to the services they need to fully participate in Cook Islands society

Priority Area: Mental Health

Definition: Activity targeted at people with mental disorders

Rationale: Mental health issues are emerging within Cook Islands communities that lack information and support services. The various forms of mental disorders have implications for social, educational and health sectors


The following key outcomes are sought for each priority area:

Priority Area                            Outcomes

Gender Equality                     Outcomes                   

  • Participation of women in economic development
  • Equitable participation of women and men in decision making and governance systems

(Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment policy)

Children and Youth                Outcomes

  • Participation of youth in decision-making and governance systems
  • Increased social cohesion amongst children and youth, and within Cook Islands society
  • Improved living conditions, health and welfare of children

(National Youth Policy 2007 – 2010) 

 Elderly                                   Outcomes

  • Participation of older persons to educational, employment, cultural, spiritual, and recreation, health and welfare of older persons
  • Improved living conditions, health and welfare of older persons

(Draft Policy on Aging)

 Domestic Violence                  Outcomes

  • Elimination of violence against women and children
  • Awareness amongst Cook Islanders of human rights and domestic Rights issues

(Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment Policy) 

Disabilities                              Outcomes

  • Participation of people with disabilities in all levels of family, community, island and national life
  • Awareness amongst Cook Islanders of human rights and disability issues

(National Policy on Disability) 

Mental Health                         Outcomes

  • Participation of people with mental disorders in all levels of family, community, island and national life
  • Awareness amongst Cook Islanders of human rights and mental health issues

(National Policy on Disability) 

Selection Principles

Selection will be made based on the merit of proposals received. Assessments will be made against the principles of the Paris Declaration

Principle                                              Explanation

Ownership                                           Proposals reflect the organisations strategies for addressing the needs of the vulnerable people

Alignment                                            Proposals align with the purpose and criteria of the Social Impact Fund

Harmonisation                                     Proposals show collaboration with other groups where possible in an effort to reduce duplication

Results                                                 Proposals reflect results based planning and reporting

Mutual Accountability                         Proposals indicate that CSO’s are accountable for results



Measuring Success

The success of the Social Impact Fund will be measured against the criteria of the Organisation for Economic

Cooperation and Developments’ (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (the DAC criteria):


Criteria                                               Explanation

Relevance                                            The extent to which SIF-funded activities have been suited to the priorities and policies of the Cook Island Government.


Effectiveness                                       The extent to which the SIF has achieved its intended results (outcomes and outputs) and any unintended results (both positive and negative).



Efficiency                                            How well (in quantitative and qualitative terms) the Social

Impact Funds has used resources in order to achieve results.



Sustainability                                       The extent to which the benefits of SIF-funded activities are likely to continue after donor funding has been withdrawn


Impact                                                 The long term positive and negative changes produced by the Social Impact fund (at societal level), directly or indirectly, intended or unintended