NEWS RELEASE | Suva, Fiji | 16 November 2018

A platform aimed at supporting capacity development and resource-sharing among Pacific civil society groups was launched today by the European Union’s Head of Cooperation, Mr Christoph Wagner.

PasifikaRising.org is a production of the Raising Pacific Voices (RPV) programme, a regional European Union (EU) funded project implemented by Oxfam in the Pacific in partnership with Pacific Disability Forum (as focal point for the Pacific Regional NGO Alliance). RPV is aimed at strengthening civil society organisations in the Pacific, with activities being piloted in each of the three sub-regions of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.

“The Pacific is at the front lines of issues such as oceans governance, the impacts of climate change and contested political spaces, so it is vital as ever that civil society groups are supported to be able to credibly take their issues from their constituencies to the national, regional and global arena,” said Mr Wagner.

Raijeli Nicole, Oxfam in the Pacific’s Regional Director said: “PasifikaRising is aimed at supporting regional solidarity through promoting collective action among civil society groups and sharing experiential learnings and resources in the capacity development process.

“PasifikaRising’s tagline, Pacific perspectives for a global future, signals the recognition that Pacific countries are Large Ocean States, proud of our common heritage and determined to protect and preserve our region for future generations – and that our voices matter in the global discourse on issues affecting us,” Ms Nicole said.

PasifikaRising includes a mix of original contributions of articles and other media, complemented with relevant news and opinion posts around four thematic areas: Pacific civil society, Pacific resilience, Large Ocean States and Pacific identities.

Alongside the website, Mr Wagner launched a guide aimed at helping civil society groups determine what their own development priorities are and how to address them.

The Organisational Capacity Assessment Guide is part of a package of capacity development activities developed by the Raising Pacific Voices programme, in collaboration with the RPV’s sub-regional partner organisations in Marshall Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu and the Pacific Regional NGO Alliance (PRNGO Alliance).

This tool provides a framework for assessing what stage a CSO has reached in key areas of organisational functions that are critical for CSOs to become inclusive, transparent, accountable and effective.

“A ‘one size fits all’ approach to capacity development would be entirely inappropriate, given the diversity of organisations. For this reason, RPV has developed and tested its collaborative approach with different types of CSOs in each of the sub-regions; in the Marshall Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu,” Ms Nicole said.

“The approach that has emerged from this process recognises various dimensions of CSO capacity and the fact that CSOs are likely to be at different stages along a spectrum of change and growth.”

The launch took place at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) in Suva in conjunction with an event to mark the end of the former instalment of the EU’s funding program to Pacific civil society organisations through the Non-State Actors Programme at the PIFS.

For further information please contact Raising Pacific Voices Communications Officer Ricardo Morris on rmorris@oxfampacific.org or call +679 7666483