The Representative of the Vanua Lalagavesi, Tui Cakau

Tui Rabi

Senior government officers

Facilitators for the workshop from Public and Private Sectors Representatives

Ladies and Gentlemen

I am pleased to be given the opportunity to speak at this Start to Finish (S2F) Tracker workshop and REACH awareness raising and service delivery for the people of Taveuni, as the representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji).

UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji is forever thankful to the Government of Fiji and the people of Taveuni for taking advantage of the opportunity to partner with UNDP in introducing an innovative way of ensuring that crucial social protection services reach the most vulnerable Fijians in timely fashion and we as relevant partners accountable to the people of Fiji.

The Fiji Rights Empowerment and Cohesion (REACH) for rural and urban Fijians project began in 2015 where an agreement was initially reached with the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation and Legal Aid Commission. Several agencies from both the public and private sector also participated in covering 956 communities in all the provinces around the country providing awareness raising sessions to 22, 233 people and services to 37, 807. Part of the REACH project funded by the Government of Japan ended last December, but we continue with UNDP funding.

We are thankful that through the REACH project we were able to introduce the ‘Start to Finish’ [S2F] service tracker to allow citizens to use a mobile application and web portal platform to collaborate with public sector agencies which was partly supported by the Japanese government and now supported by the UNDP funding.

The Start to Finish tracker has now been piloted and taken to the four divisions of our country and Taveuni is one of them.

Fiji REACH Start to Finish (or better known by S2F) Tracker Initiative in Taveuni:

The objectives of the S2F Tracker Taveuni Workshop that you have just completed and the outreach activity is three-fold:

  1. To carry out S2F Tracker outreach missions in pilot sites in Taveuni.
  2. To undertake a digital workshop for digital advocators and digital entrepreneurs.
  3. To carry out REACH awareness and services to the communities in the pilot sites.

UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji is thankful to the Government of Japan for the financial support in allowing the S2F Tracker to kick off in Fiji, the UNDP Bangladesh Office for their technical support and knowledge sharing on innovative ways of using technology to better deliver human development programmes.

The REACH Project Start to Finish Tracker was first rolled-out in Fiji by UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji in partnership with the UNDP Bangladesh Office through a South-South Cooperation arrangement, including a private sector vendor in Bangladesh. Since its inception in 2017, Fiji REACH S2F has provided awareness raising and capacity building workshop to 15 communities in 5 districts in the central, eastern and northern division, including Taveuni. The last pilot site will be in the Western part of Fiji.

Through capacity building and awareness raising workshops and campaigns for women, youth and digital entrepreneurs we have been able to train 176 women, youth leaders and community leaders and empowered them for community development.

It should be noted that to implement an effective Fiji REACH S2F tracker there are four key activities:

  1. Effective awareness raising on the usage of the web-based application for tracking the application of the Poverty Benefit Scheme (PBS); 
  2. The proper training of end users on how to fully maximize the utilization of the web-based application;
  3. The proper training of staff on how to use the web-based portal thus increasing public accountability of Government services; and
  4. Research and development on the S2F tracker.

While the above activities are part of the S2F Tracker initiation phase, the collaboration and support of the key stakeholders that facilitate rural development in Fiji is needed in close partnership with the Ministry of Women Children and Poverty Alleviation. This will forge a strong partnership and timely and sustainable implementation of the S2F tracker pilot initiative.

In conclusion I would like to acknowledge the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation in partnering with the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji to promote the REACH S2F Tracker in Fiji;

I would especially like to encourage stronger collaboration between the many stakeholders working together to facilitate human rights-based programmes of awareness raising and services delivery at the door steps of Fijians living in Savusavu and Taveuni.

I hope that this will inspire other Ministries, departments and CSO/NGOs to follow the lead of the UNDP Pacific Office Fiji and the Ministry of Women Children and Poverty Alleviation in this regard.

I wish the Ministry of Women Children and Poverty Alleviation and all project partners for the full roll-out of the S2F service tracker platform in the future.

Thank you and vinaka vakalevu.

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