Participants from the Pacific’s three sub-regions, representing 25 of OiP’s key stakeholder and partner CSOs took part in the workshop which discussed RPV programme results and outcomes, highlighted key learnings and explored lessons for future and prospective work in CSO capacity strengthening, organisational development, good governance and strengthening CSO’s influencing roles regionally and globally.
Delivering the opening address, the Ambassador of the European Union for the Pacific, His Excellency Sujiro Seam said, “The European Union has a long track record of partnering with CSOs, recognizing their essential role in fostering good governance, human rights and the rule of law, with a focus on the most vulnerable in our communities. Programmes like RPV continue to enable us to build solid partnerships with CSOs and support democratic dynamics and institutional accountability.’’
“The RPV project has recognised that its civil society partners throughout the region reflect the sheer diversity of the Pacific – and this has been at the heart of the “Raising Pacific Voices” programme. One size does not fit all, which is why the models that have been produced by RPV have been well adapted to suit different contextual realities in the Pacific’s three sub-regions,’’ Ambassador Seam added.
Raijeli Nicole, OXFAM in the Pacific Regional Director said, “Supporting the work of our national and regional partners and the practise of good governance and accountability in the civil society sector has been paramount to the objectives of the “Raising Pacific Voices” programme.
“We have continued to build new and innovative ways to support our partners based on our experiences, knowledge and learning, and we thank the European Union for their support which has enabled us to do this important work in the Pacific region.”
At the end of the workshop, key outcomes focused on recognition that the RPV project managed to create places at the discussion and decision-making tables for Pacific groups that normally do not get represented.
The workshop also agreed that there is a need to continuing raising and amplifying Pacific island voices, on a wider range of issues affecting the Pacific.
Another key outcome in terms of moving forward was that Oxfam and other stakeholders take on lessons learned in the next project design phase – should the RPV project advance to a next phase. Consideration must also be given to the inclusion of project partners in terms of project design, partnerships, ways of working, and other important issues.
More information on the “Raising Pacific Voices” project can be found on the “Pasifika Rising” website here.
‘Raising Pacific Voices: Reinforcing Pacific Civil Society’ (RPV) is a three-year 2.56 million euro regional civil society capacity-building project. Partnering with the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF), Oxfam in the Pacific is implementing the project with civil society partner organisations in three sub-regional pilot countries: Marshall Islands, Vanuatu and Tonga. By the end of the project, it is expected civil society organisations in 10 Pacific countries would have been reached, including through the Pacific Regional Non-Governmental Organisation Alliance (PRNGO Alliance) network, which PDF currently coordinates.
The overall objective of RPV project is to strengthen the capacity of CSOs to influence the development and maintenance of inclusive and accountable government in the Pacific region.
Specifically RPV seeks to bring diverse voices of Pacific peoples, especially the poor and marginalised, into national and regional policy making processes, and contribute to policies that are more responsive to realities on the ground by:
• Supporting an enabling environment
• Strengthening public understanding of the roles and responsibilities of CSOs
• Influencing change (towards inclusive and accountable governance)
• Building the media and communications capacity of CSO partners
Filipo Masaurua, OXFAM in the Pacific. Email: [email protected]