UNDP in the Pacific
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.
In the Pacific, UNDP provides regional and country support to 10 countries (Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu) and regional support to five countries (Cook Islands, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, and Tokelau), together with a total population of 2.4 million. There are three focus areas of which gender and human rights are mainstreamed:
- Effective Governance
- Inclusive Growth
- Resilience and Sustainable Development
What do we want to accomplish?
UNDP is guided by a Sub-regional Programme Document for the Pacific Island Countries and Territories 2018-2022, which in turn contributes to the achievement of an overaching UN system-wide Pacific Strategy. The Programme is shaped to assist countries to advance the global 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda tailored to each country's priorities, through focus on data, policy prioritisation, participatory planning, and budgeting and monitoring - and with accelerated action to meet the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
UNDP seeks to target the most vulnerable i.e. people experiencing hardship, the marginalised living in remote rural areas, those who are vulnerable to climate and disaster risks, as well as women and youth excluded from socio-political and economic participation. UNDP adheres to an inclusive, pro-poor and human rights-based approaches that leverage cross-practice, multi-disciplinary expertise of UNDP.
What are our results?
UNDP is committed to the Pacific Island countries it serves and its people. The following examples provide a snapshot of recent achievements.
With UNDP’s assistance, all 10 Pacific Island countries have produced a national Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Report. Fiji, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu have also mainstreamed the MDGs into national policies. Fiji, Tonga and Tuvalu have also improved and strengthened data systems and Tuvalu has included monitoring of vulnerable groups at the community level while the Solomon Islands has established a Development Assistance Database for improved information collection, tracking, analysis and planning services for development funds.
Through UNDP’s policy work in Vanuatu, a National Trade Policy was established to target the development of rural communities and their integration into regional and global trade. The Solomon Islands has also made progress through a Trade Integration Study and Action Matrix for trade-related policy reforms and in Kiribati, the results of a Trade Integration Study were presented for Parliamentary debates. Nauru has seen the emergence of private sector partnerships through a new micro-credit facility and the provision of entrepreneurial courses to 16 small business enterprises, 14 of which are owned by women.
UNDP supported the Solomon Islands elections through technical assistance and coordinated a deployment of international observers; strengthening the capacity of the Parliament’s Secretariat to serve committee hearings through improved library services and establishment of a legislative databases. In Nauru, UNDP supported its Constitutional Review Committee with 67% of the population educated on civic responsibilities and the constitutional reform. And in Fiji, UNDP trained 13% of the adult population on human and civic rights, with emphasis on women, youth and people with special needs. Training of 400 community leaders in rural and peri-urban areas contributed to increased awareness of leaders’ and citizens’ roles in a democracy.
UNDP engaged in extensive capacity building of sub-national authorities, through training, awareness raising and technical assistance, which contributed to the establishment of the Provincial Capacity Development Fund supported by a long-term policy development on decentralization in the Solomon Islands. As a result, efficiency of public expenditure management systems has improved and became more transparent and results-oriented. In Tuvalu, Island Kaupules (councils) are better able to manage community resources after community leaders were trained on linkages between community planning and budgeting.
Resilience and Sustainable Development
In disaster risk reduction, national governance systems were strengthened in the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Tonga. UNDP support the National Disaster Management Office in the Solomon Islands to better coordinate early recovery efforts and donor response to extensive floods. After flooding and cyclones in Fiji in 2012in 2009-2010 and the tsunami that hit Tonga in 2009, UNDP identified essential capacity development priorities for building back better and pioneered the cash for work programme with the affected Tonga and Fiji communities.
Environmental sustainability has been effectively mainstreamed in the governance systems of Tonga due to the preparation and implementation of strategic policy instruments. This resulted in the launch of a Joint National Action Plan on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management, and adoption of the National Biodiversity Action Plan, Sustainable Land Management Action Plan and National Capacity Self-Assessment Plan. Palau also completed its National Capacity Self-Assessment Action Plan while also adopting the National Energy and Policy Action Plan and the Renewable Energy Funding Window (the latter two policy measures were supported by UNDP).
With UNDP’s support, Pacific Island countries are making strong progress in improving effective and sustainable management of environmental and natural resources. In Fiji, there has been a substantial increase in ratio of the area protected for biological diversity (marine and terrestrial) to surface area and community-based marine protected areas in FSM, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Tuvalu.
Nauru has seen the emergence of private sector partnerships through a new micro-credit facility and the provision of entrepreneurial courses to 16 small business enterprises, 14 of which are owned by women. After 2012 floods in West Division of Fiji, the UNDP Cash for Work programme assisted 1269 workers, of which 74% were women. 168 participants (68% women) received agriculture training, while 177 participants (84% women) received financial literacy training. After the programme, 24 women started small scale enterprises.
10 Pacific countries
Regional & country support
5 Pacific countries
GNI per capita (PPP $) for Fiji: highest in the Pacific
GNI per capita (PPP $) for PNG: lowest in the Pacific
Pacific women in parliament (10 countries)
Average years of schooling
Gender Inequality Index Rank for Fiji: highest in the Pacific
Gender Inequality Index Rank for PNG: lowest in the Pacific
Formal sector labour force participation - approx. an average of 20% higher for males than females
Source: 2019 Human Development Report