Strengthening Regional Dialogues for Deeper Pacific Regionalism

Pacific Islands News Association:

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Seven non-state actor (NSA) organisations, with a focus on a range of regional policy issues, have received grant assistance from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat to support their work across the Pacific Region.

The grants, which are funded through a partnership with the European Union, were announced by the Forum Secretariat’s Deputy Secretary General Cristelle Pratt and EU Ambassador Andrew Jacobs at an awards ceremony last night.

Reflecting on the high level of civil society engagement in the public policy process set out in the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, Deputy Secretary General Pratt said; “Civil society and the private sector have a central role in developing and deepening Pacific regionalism. Last year NSAs played an important part in generating and developing regional policy objectives. The Forum Secretariat has high regard for their work across the region and are very proud to be collaborating with such a vibrant and committed group.”

Recipients included: The Pacific Disability Forum, Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation, Oxfam in the Pacific, Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations, Fiji Women’s Rights Movement, FemLink Pacific, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

While launching the programme, the European Union Ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific, H.E Andrew Jacobs stressed the EU's commitment and support to civil society participation in regional policy making and the importance of civil society in EU's cooperation.

''The European Union recognises that civil society organisations are essential in promoting democratic governance: non-state actors advocate for change; mobilise communities and vulnerable groups. They increase involvement in policy processes and hold Governments to account. They complement actions of public administration, at central and local levels, in delivering services to the populations. Non-state actors also raise awareness about local and global development challenges and promote actions to respond to these,'' said Ambassador Jacobs.

The successful proposals were all aimed at supporting regional policy dialogue through research, strategy development, capacity building or alliance building.

Background information:

The “Strengthening Non-State Actors Engagement in Regional Policy Development and Implementation Programme” has an allocation of Euro 2.2 Million to be disbursed through a PIFS Non-State Actors (NSA) Grants Facility. The Grant Facility is targeted at regionally focused NSAs and national level representative organisations. Its purpose is to support NSAs translate their policy engagement into concrete mechanisms and actions, to reinforce their linkages with constituencies, and strengthen internal governance and coordination structures.

The Grant Facility was established in 2015 and the first call for grant applications was issued in November, the same year. 22 applications were received in the first call. An evaluation committee consisting of external and internal evaluators was established in December 2015 to conduct the evaluation of the applications received. The applications were evaluated through a set of technical and administrative criteria. The shortlisted applicants underwent a finance and management capacity assessment before being awarded the PIFS NSA grant.

Read story: Pacific Islands News Association


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