Combining efforts for Tuvalu’s transparent public finance management

May 26, 2023

Meeting with the EU Ambassador H.E. Sujiro Seam (the fourth from the right) and CSO representatives.

Photo: UNDP

Funafuti, Tuvalu – Strategic entry points to public finances oversight in Tuvalu were identified during a recent mission to the country by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji through the Vaka Pasifika project team. This mission fostered collaboration and cooperation among key stakeholders, including the Supreme Audit Institution, civil society organizations (CSOs), and media organizations. The UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji hosted insightful discussions under the EU funded project, "Accountable Public Finances to Serve Pacific People – Vaka Pasifika," to ensure stronger public finance oversight.

During the discussions held in Funafuti from 18 to 25 May, the focus was on enhancing public finance accountability by working closely with the key partners on technical skills, tailored tools and capacity of their institutions. The Office of the Auditor General of Tuvalu received technical support in areas such as tracking audit recommendations, conducting Citizens Audits, performing audits to evaluate performance, and engaging stakeholders. Concurrently, the project team also engaged with civil society organizations and the media to explore opportunities for collaboration and to enhance their role in promoting transparency and accountability in public finance management.

Mrs Imase Kaunatu, Auditor General for Tuvalu said, "We are pleased to have collaborated with UNDP under the Vaka Pasifika project. The discussions held this week were strategic but they also focused on practical tools such as Citizen Audit Guides and engagement with CSOs. This partnership has been instrumental in strengthening our capacity to effectively oversee public finance management in Tuvalu.”

Meeting with the Head of Budget Planning Division of the Ministry of Finance, Tuvalu. (Photo: UNDP)

Meeting with the Tuvalu Broadcasting Corporation. (Photo: UNDP)

“By working closely with CSOs and the media, we aim to enhance transparency, accountability, and citizen engagement in the management of public funds. We look forward to continued collaboration with UNDP and other stakeholders to achieve our shared objectives," added Mrs. Kaunatu.

Productive discussions with the Tuvalu Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (TANGO), a prominent CSO network in the country, provided valuable insights for the collaborative efforts in advancing sustainable development and inclusive governance in Tuvalu.

Mr Faiatea Fab Latasi, Director of TANGO said "We’ve achieved so much in the past two years, including a Citizen Budget Guide and engagement with the Parliament and Auditor General. The next phase of our partnership with the Pacific Islands Association of Non-governmental Organisations (PIANGO) and through them the European Union and UNDP will focus on building strategically upon these relationships and tools. We want to shift the mindset from public finance for and by experts to public finance for and by Tuvaluans.”

Ms Marine Destrez, UNDP Vaka Pasifika Project Manager said, “Tuvalu is a country where every dollar counts and can go a long way. Our partnerships in Funafuti are linked to the broader web of collaboration and exchange that have been nurtured by the PIANGO network. Our focus is to ensure decisions linked to public money, where to find it, how to use it, contribute to the creation of a future which is appealing to Tuvaluans.”

The UNDP Vaka Pasifika project, funded by the European Union, aims to ensure public finance contributes to enhanced service delivery and enable the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in Pacific Islands Countries.

For more information, please contact: 
Marine Destrez, Project Manager, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji | Email: