Kiribati Australia Nursing Initiative (KANI)

  • Country of destination: Australia
  • Country of origin: Kiribati
  • Sectors: Healthcare
  • Skill level: Mid-Skill
  • Timeline: 2006 - 2014
  • Number of beneficiaries: 90


The Kiribati Australia Nursing Initiative (KANI) is a pilot program designed to educate and train young people in Kiribati to work in the nursing sector in Australia or elsewhere overseas. Its main goal is to reduce Kiribati’s youth unemployment and diversify the country’s remittance base.

Why was it started?

The government of Kiribati identified youth unemployment as a key constraint to poverty reduction. The Australia government is committed to building skilled workforces to meet domestic needs and participate in international labor markets. Australian development assistance programs work closely to promote skills development in Kiribati. The Kiribati Australia Nursing Initiative fit within the strategic approach to skill and human development

How does it work?

Sponsored by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), KANI was a four-year scholarship program the led to Australian nursing qualifications up to a bachelor’s of nursing. Participants took an academic course and a nursing preparation course (16 weeks each) before beginning a two-year bachelor’s of nursing program. All courses were given at Griffith University, in Brisbane.

What impact has it had?

An independent assessment conducted in 2013 revealed that the program had had a positive impact, with 81 percent of students earning a bachelor’s degree. Most of the first wave of participants (who graduated in 2011) were employed full-time in 2013. At least 68 were working in Australia or New Zealand and spoke good English. Nurses who returned to Kiribati were undertaking further study at Kiribati School of Nursing (KSON) or working in the Kiribati health system, using the knowledge and skills gained through KANI.