Pacific Islands Forum provides ongoing support to Pacific development

In the wake of 13 Pacific Forum Island Countries (FICs) completing peer reviews of their country development systems over the last four years, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) is continuing to review progress made on implementing the review Recommendations.

The Forum Secretariat is also continuing to discuss with countries their Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) progress and the post 2015 development agenda.
As part of this ongoing support, a review team from the Forum Secretariat is visiting and meeting with government, development partners, NGOs and private sector representatives in both Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu in order to gauge progress against the peer review recommendations and the MDGs.

“It is a long term endeavor, and success depends on the sustained commitment and participation of Forum Island Countries, development partners and other stakeholders,” says Charmina Saili, Regional Planning Adviser at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. “We are here this week to continue our support, to discuss progress, challenges and how we and the rest of the region can help.”

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat is focused on supporting this crucial follow-up process and where needed helping countries mobilize additional resources to support the implementation of their peer review recommendations.

“Over time the real benefits of better development coordination – such as more effective use of development resources, reduced administrative burden for countries, improved information to guide decision-making and ultimately more effective delivery of health, education, energy, water and sanitation services to Pacific citizens – will be fully realized.”

The Forum’s Regional MDGs Adviser, Resina Katafono, is part of the delegation and will be discussing with government and their stakeholders progress and actions taken to achieve the MDGs by 2015.
“Papua New Guinea developed its own set of targets and indicators associated with each of the MDGs,” says Ms Katafono. “They did this in order to better reflect the realities in the country.”

The ‘2013 Tracking the Effectiveness of Development Efforts in the Pacific’ Report notes that there has been good progress over the past year in strengthening country systems and processes for planning, budgeting, public financial and aid management. Peer reviews of country systems have revealed that FICs are paying more attention to setting medium term costed priorities and establishing frameworks and systems to underpin and ensure effective progress in implementing national development plans.

There are strong signs of good progress at the country level to strengthen country systems and processes. As a result, more FICs are exerting stronger leadership over their development agenda and engaging more effectively with development partners.

“The challenge now is for FICs to sustain this momentum with the collective support of their development partners.”

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat will also be conducting follow-up missions this year to Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Kiribati, Nauru and Solomon Islands.

ENDS

To arrange an interview with the Pacific Islands Forum team or an official involved in the peer review processes please email Diane Abad-Vergara, Communications Adviser dianeav@forumsec.org

Background:

The Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination in the Pacific (Forum Compact).

The Peer Review process is an activity that stems from the Forum Compact. The Compact was adopted by Pacific Island Leaders in 2009, and is an important step in assisting Forum Island Countries to drive improvements in national institutions and policies to accelerate achievement of development outcomes and MDGs. It gives clear guidance on how development partners should engage more effectively with Forum Island Countries in achieving progress in development.

The Peer Review process involved counterparts from other FICs visiting with a country to evaluate systems and processes of planning, budgeting, public financial and aid management. The teams comprised government officials and development partners, supported by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
“In country” for two weeks, the teams met and interviewed key representatives from the country’s government, private and NGO sectors and development partners. Each country received a report with a series of recommendations to improve their development coordination effectiveness as well as highlights of good development coordination practices for regional and global learning.

Papua New Guinea
• Papua New Guinea completed its Peer Review in 2012.
• The Peer Review team comprised representatives from Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Samoa and New Zealand.
• The team visited the two provinces of East New Britain and Madang, as well as the capital.
• 12 recommendations were made in three key areas – planning and monitoring (need for more robust monitoring); aid management (need for aid policies to be developed); and public financial management systems (need to strengthen to increase confidence and use by donors)
Papua New Guinea Peer Review Report

Vanuatu
• Vanuatu completed its Peer Review in 2011
• The team comprised representatives from Papua New Guinea, Samoa and New Zealand
• Recommendations for Vanuatu focussed on improved linking of plans and budgets for best monitoring results, and the need to strengthen financial management systems to increase confidence and use by donors
Vanuatu Peer Review Report