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NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation

18 November 2014

New Zealand invites Pacific peers to review its development cooperation in the Region

New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight into how effectively its policies and programmes support Pacific countries’ development.

The process, coordinated by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), will be the first Development Partner Peer Review undertaken as part of the Forum Compact.

“Building on the results of peer reviews of 13 Pacific island developing countries undertaken over the last four years, a peer review of development partners in the Pacific was a logical next step,” says Cristelle Pratt, Acting Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. “The peer reviews of development partners will seek to complement the country peer reviews, which focused on how to strengthen country systems in development planning, budgeting, and public financial and aid management. This is crucial given that the overall effectiveness of development efforts is reliant upon the contributions of both the donor and the recipient country.”

The development partner reviews will also cater to the region’s growing appetite for evidence based policy and decision making. The reviews will build on the principles of knowledge sharing, learning and assessment.

The New Zealand review team will meet in Wellington from 17th to 23rd November 2014 with relevant government agencies and civil society. The team will then travel to Tarawa from 24th to 29th November 2014 for consultations with the Government of Kiribati as part of a case study of the New Zealand Aid Programme in action.

A key output of this review will be a set of recommendations on how New Zealand’s development cooperation with Pacific island countries could be improved, supported by an agreed implementation plan.

Background Information
Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in 2009 expressed deep concern that, despite continued high levels of development assistance over many years, the Pacific region remained off-track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. They agreed there was an urgent need to address these concerns and adopted the Cairns Compact for Strengthening Development Coordination in the Pacific (Forum Compact). The key objective of the Forum Compact was to drive more effective coordination of available development resources, to achieve real progress against the MDGs.

One of its key deliverables was to conduct peer reviews of country systems, including processes for development planning & budgeting, public financial management and aid management systems. To date, thirteen Forum Island Countries have completed peer reviews of country systems.

The idea of a peer review process for development partners in the Pacific emerged from the 2012 Pacific Regional Aid Effectiveness Workshop (PRAEW). In recognising the value added from the results of eight (8) country peer reviews at the time on how to strengthen country systems in Forum Island Countries, the PRAEW suggested that peer reviews of development partners would be an appropriate next step. The 2012 PIC/Development Partners meeting affirmed the recommendations of the PRAEW and tasked the Forum Secretariat to prepare a Terms of Reference for the peer review of development partners.

ENDS

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