Peer Review underway in the Marshall Islands

[Majuro, Marshall Islands] A team of Pacific planning, budgeting and development officials are in the Marshall Islands this week to take part in a Peer Review of development coordination on the small island nation.

The Peer Reviewers are in the capital of Majuro at the invitation of the Government of the Marshall Islands.

The expert group includes senior Government representatives from the Cook Islands, Vanuatu and a representative of the United Nations System based in Suva, Fiji. They are Ms Dallas Young, Director of International Affairs of the Cook Islands, Mr Colin Tavi, Head of the Government Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of Vanuatu, and Mr Mosese Qasinevalu, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager from the United Nations system based in Fiji. The Peer Reviewers are supported by a team from the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat.

“I would like to congratulate the Republic of Marshall Islands on this excellent initiative and I wish them a fruitful and informative exercise,” said the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade.

Other Pacific island nations Nauru and Kiribati were the first to undergo Peer Reviews in 2010, followed by Vanuatu, Tuvalu and Niue in 2011, with positive early gains reported by countries.

Peer Reviews are 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.

The ultimate purpose of the Peer Review process is to assist peer review host 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).

“The Peer Review exercise is premised around the fact that within our own region there is good expertise and knowledge to share in areas of national and sector planning, budgeting and aid delivery,” explained Secretary General Slade.

“Bringing together a group of such experts is an opportunity for shared learning and understanding of the similar challenges we may face, in the truest spirit of regionalism and camaraderie.

“The Peer Review team will seek to come up with simple and practical actions tailored to local circumstances and based on regional experience, which can be implemented in the short to medium-term to improve development coordination in a country.”

The Peer Review team will consult over the next two weeks with Marshallese ministers and officials in central planning and financial management agencies and key service delivery agencies (e.g. education and health), representatives of key development partners, representatives of non-government organisations and the private sector, among others. Their advice will be submitted to the Government of the Marshall Islands and development partners for consideration and reported to Pacific Islands Forum Leaders at their annual meeting this year.

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For more information and interview requests please contact the Forum Secretariat’s Communications Officer Mue Bentley Fisher via email mueb@forumsec.org.fj or mobile (692) 4554500 (in the Marshall Islands).