Best practice’ identified in Tonga Energy Roadmap (TERM)

[Nuku’alofa, Tonga] The Tonga Energy Roadmap – commonly known as TERM – takes a bold step in turning the development paradigm on its head.

Where traditionally aid donors drove development coordination in-country, developing states are now taking charge.

In Tonga’s case, the Tonga Energy Roadmap (TERM) places Government in the lead in managing multiple donors in a coherent manner around its national priorities in energy.

“This new development paradigm, not just new for the Tonga and the Pacific, but for the world, involves a developing state working with all its development partners with direct interest in the sector, in this case energy,” said Tonga’s Prime Minister, Lord Tu’ivakano.

“This is an excellent and significant advancement for Tonga, and an opportunity for the region to learn from this example of best practice in development coordination,” said the Manager of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Pacific Centre in Fiji, Mr Garry Wiseman.

Although challenges remain, Mr Wiseman welcomed Tonga’s dedication to advancing public sector reforms in pursuit of, among other things, more streamlined systems of planning, budgeting and development coordination.

“This demonstrates a level of maturity in Tonga that should be most welcomed by their development partners.”

The TERM, adopted in 2010, is acknowledged as a good development practice across the region and globally. It sets out a single plan for all donors to align their assistance towards, rather than Government realigning its priorities based on development partner interests.

The Prime Minister was addressing the Peer Review team currently in Nuku’alofa, of which Mr Wiseman is the development partner member. Forum Island Country members of the Peer Review team are Mr Colin Tavi, Manager of Vanuatu’s Monitoring and Evaluation Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister and Mr Oscar Malielegaoi, Assistant CEO Budget of Samoa’s Ministry of Finance. The team of Pacific experts is currently in Nuku’alofa to carry out a Peer Review of Tonga’s systems of planning, budgeting and delivery of development programmes.

The purpose of the Peer Review process is to assist countries to improve the planning, budgeting and delivery of development programmes, consequently improving development outcomes and accelerating the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It is an initiative under the 2009 Cairns Compact for Strengthening Development Coordination (Forum Compact), which is a commitment by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders to support the implementation of Pacific Plan priorities, providing the principles and processes for coordinated delivery.

(Ends)

For more information please contact Mue Bentley Fisher at the Forum Secretariat via mueb@forumsec.org.fj or +679 9998677.