Apia, Samoa - More Samoan citizens living outside of urban communities will soon have better access to government, legal and women’s services through a new mobile service delivery initiative launched today.
Samoa is adapting the successful mobile service delivery model implemented in Fiji, called Rights, Empowerment and Cohesion (REACH), led by the Government of Samoa with support from UN Women and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Through the pilot initiative, government staff and other service providers will deliver their services to people’s doorsteps - enhancing access to justice, government, family and women’s services for people living in remote and marginalised communities in Samoa.
Today’s launch is being convened by Samoa’s Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development and the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration, inviting Fijian counterpart, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Dr Josefa Koroivueta, to join the event and help design a Samoan version of the mobile service delivery model.
Samoa Minister for Justice and Courts Administration Honourable Faaolesa Katopau Ainu’u said, “We are committed to ensuring people in remote and maritime communities have access to justice and services. It is important that victims and people who face difficulty in accessing government services are prioritized in our service provision. Through the REACH mobile service delivery model, we aim to address the challenges including remoteness and geographic isolation, increase knowledge and awareness among citizens on their rights, and make the government services more accessible to them.”
Sharing his insight from overseeing the multi-sectoral mobile service delivery model implemented in Fiji, Dr Koroivueta said, “Overall, the REACH model has proven highly effective in Fiji. Its success demonstrates an innovative, integrated awareness raising and service delivery platform that is proving extremely effective to bring services to the most remote and marginalised communities.”
“We are most willing to share our experience in operating the model with our Samoan counterparts to redesign the delivery model highly relevant to Samoan context,” he added.
The launch event being held at the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration is being followed by a three-day training workshop ending 25 January, provided by UN Women, UNDP and the Fiji REACH team member to ensure integration of gender equality in all aspects of design, delivery and transfer of the REACH methodology including quantitative and qualitative data collection.
Dr. Simona Marinescu, UN Resident Coordinator for Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau said “We are encouraged by the results of the REACH project in other parts of the Pacific and stand ready to support the Government of Samoa to designing its REACH service delivery in alignment with people’s needs in this country. I am confident that through raising awareness and making services available to geographically, socially and economically marginalized people, the pilot initiative will help build the standard practice to leave no one behind in access to justice and relevant services, a prerequisite for inclusive sustainable development in Samoa.”
"As one of the participating UN agencies for REACH in Samoa, UN Women will help enhance access to information and services that meet the unique needs of women and families across the country. As a result, women, men and children living in remote communities will have better access to essential services as one of their fundamental human rights,” she added.
The REACH mobile service delivery aims to enhance citizen access to justice and government services for rural, maritime and otherwise remote citizens in Samoa through integration of services and remote delivery by service providers with the focus to reach the furthest behind first. The REACH mobile service delivery will also be piloted in Tonga.
Through the REACH pilot initiative, UNDP and UN Women support people and their government in Samoa to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with focus on the Goal 5, which is commitment to achieving gender equality and empower all women and girls; and Goal 16, which is commitment to promoting just, peaceful and inclusive societies.
Tomoko Kashiwazaki, REACH Communications and Advocacy Specialist, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, tel: 679 331 2500, email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Jacqui Berrell, UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office, tel. +679 330 1178, ext. 125, email: email@example.com