The Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination in the Pacific (Forum Compact) (download PDF 25KB) is an initiative of the Pacific Islands Forum. It is a development compact which was agreed by Leaders and endorsed by key development partners at the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ meeting in Cairns, August 2009.
The Forum Compact sets out collective actions designed to strengthen coordination and use of all development resources in the Pacific, in line with international best-practice as expressed in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the Accra Action Agenda and Pacific Principles on Aid Effectiveness.
The Compact is based on principles which reflect the shared commitment of Forum Island Countries and development partners to lifting the economic and development performance of the region.
The Compact responds to Leaders’ concerns that, despite continued high levels of development assistance over many years, the Pacific region remains off-track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
The Compact aims to drive more effective coordination of development resources from Forum Island countries and development partners, to improve development outcomes in the Pacific and accelerate progress against the MDGs.
Who is involved?
Pacific Islands Forum Leaders gave the Forum Secretariat primary responsibility for taking forward implementation of the Forum Compact. The Secretariat is working with Forum member countries, development partners, regional organisations, and a range of other stakeholders to progress this work.
Leaders will collectively review progress under the Forum Compact at the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ meeting and through other Forum processes.
Key features of the Forum Compact
The Forum Compact establishes a series of review and reporting processes for Forum Island Countries and development partners to undertake. These processes include:
- peer reviews of Forum Island Countries’ national development plan processes (click here for more information)
- Forum Island Country reporting on national development plans
- development partner reporting on development coordination against the principles of the Paris Declaration, Accra Agenda for Action and Pacific Principles on Aid Effectiveness
- tracking progress towards the MDGs and development effectiveness in the region. Click here to access the 2010 Pacific Regional MDGs Tracking Report.
- a high level dialogue with the private sector, to encourage private sector growth and employment generation
- developing a 'road map' to strengthen Forum Island Countries’ public expenditure management, procurement, accountability and monitoring systems
- improving Forum Island Countries’ development data to guide better decision making, and monitoring and evaluation
The Compact sets out key principles to guide these processes, including acknowledgment that country leadership, mutual accountability and mutual responsibility are fundamental to successful development outcomes; and recognition of the importance of the private sector, governance and infrastructure to development in the Pacific. The Compact reinforces the close alignment of regional aid efforts with regional priorities, such as through the Pacific Plan and other initiatives.
The information generated by Forum Compact processes will enable Forum Island Countries and development partners to promote best practice in key sectors, and to better direct all available resources – from national budgets and from partners – towards agreed national priorities.
They will also allow Leaders and partners to collectively assess progress in strengthening development coordination in the region, at annual reviews held as part of the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ meeting.
How long will the Forum Compact take to implement?
The Forum Compact is a long term endeavour, and one whose success depends on the sustained commitment and participation of Forum Island Countries, development partners and other stakeholders.
The Compact is an important step in assisting Forum Island Countries drive improvements in national development outcomes. It gives clear guidance on how development partners should engage with FICs in achieving development outcomes. However the benefits of better development coordination – more effective use of development resources, reduced administrative burden for countries, improved information to guide decision-making – will only be fully realised over time.