Facilitating Collaboration to Strengthen Resilience

Highlights from the Gov4Res Regional Financing Convening for Risk-Informed Development

August 10, 2023

Participants of the workshop during group discussions.

Photo: UNDP

The Governance for Resilience Development in the Pacific (Gov4Res) Regional Community Financing Convening, took place from 26-30 June 2023 with a primary focus on the theme of "Financing Risk-Informed Development with Pacific Communities" The five-day gathering was organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the Governance for Resilient Development in the Pacific (Gov4Res) project. Distinguished participants from diverse  Pacific Island countries such as Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia, were in attendance.

The primary objective of the event was to  promote cooperation, foster collaboration and exchange of knowledge sharing among government partners, civil society grantees of the Gov4Res Small Grants Initiative, regional organizations, and donor partners. Centred around community financing for sustainable development, the convening provided a platform to explore innovative approaches and discuss practical solutions to development challenges faced by Pacific Island communities within the framework of climate change.

Throughout the week-long event, participants actively engaged in a series of interactive and contemplative  sessions. The programme commenced with a dedicated focus on Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI), effectively involving participants in critical reflections on the tangible integration of gender equality and social inclusion activities within their respective projects and government processes. The session’s well-structured framework facilitated a deeper understanding of these pivotal aspects concerning the implementation of risk informed development projects. 

In the ensuing days, representatives from civil society , government, and regional partners shared their valuable experiences and insights. The topics explored encompassed various dimensions, including project implementation strategic partnerships, co-financing arrangements, adaptive learning methodologies,  and advocacy for sustainability. The diverse perspectives contributed by participants significantly enriched the discourse,  fostering a more profound appreciation  of the challenges and opportunities entailing  community financing for enhancing resilience.

The convening served as an opportune platform to showcase the remarkable progress achieved through the Gov4Res Small Grants Initiative. During its Phase 1, this initiative offered valuable support to 49 community development projects across seven countries, meticulously aligning  them with national priorities while seamlessly integrating  considerations for climate change and disaster risk. The initiative effectively empowered local organizations to incorporate prudent risk management practices into their project design, implementation, and budgeting, thereby fostering a comprehensive and integrated approach to development.

The convening highlighted the significant progress made though the Gov4Res Small Grants Initiative. Phase 1 of the initiative supported 49 community development projects across seven countries, aligning them with national priorities and incorporating climate change and disaster risk considerations. The initiative empowered local organizations to integrate risk management into their project design, implementation, and budgeting, ensuring a holistic approach to development.

Workshop participants listen to group presentations

Photo: UNDP

In addition to reflecting on achievements, the convening provided a vital space for participants to discuss the way forward. It aimed to identify strategies for strengthening partnerships, leveraging development and climate financing, and scaling up locally-led initiatives. These discussions paved the way for a Pacific-led risk-informed development community of practice, emphasizing ongoing collaboration and knowledge exchange within individual countries and across the region, with many participants emphasizing the importance of learning about what other countries were doing.

Gov4Res government partners from Fiji, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tuvalu and FSM also convened to discuss the integration of risk-informed development approaches into national and sector policies and plans, government processes and standard operating procedures and through demonstration community development projects. Representatives from Fiji and FSM also outlined processes for costing risk mitigation measures and connecting with national budget and finance processes as well as the synergies with financing funds such as the Green Climate Fund. All participants agree that processes to ingrain risk-informed approaches into the fabric of Government decision-making will be key to long-term success. Furthermore, opportunities for greater collaboration and alignment with civil society were identified as an important focus. 

As the event drew to a close, participants convened to develop key recommendations. These recommendations will inform the Gov4Res project's redesign process, guide Phase 2 of the Small Grants Initiative and help to identify new entry points and opportunities for partnership in Gov4Res partner governments. The ultimate goal is to ensure that financing models for community resilience are effectively implemented in the Pacific region.

The Gov4Res Regional Community Financing Convening marked a significant milestone in the journey toward sustainable development in the Pacific. By fostering collaboration, sharing experiences, and exploring financing opportunities, the event empowered participants to make tangible contributions to risk-informed development. The collective efforts of all involved promise a brighter and more resilient future for Pacific Island communities.