Voluntary National Review 2019

Nauru is the smallest Republic in the world with land area of about 8 square miles and population of 12,500. Nauru faces challenges associated with its small size, remote location and narrow production base.

Despite these challenges, the Government is committed in ensuring a sustainable quality of life for all Nauruans. Since 2014 progress have been made in some areas including improvements in the energy and economic sector. Recent economic growth has enabled investments in major capital works with the establishment of a new learning village and refurbishment of the hospital. Recently the Government was able to provide Banking and Financial Services and established the Intergenerational Trust Fund, which will generate future investment earnings. These developments would not have been possible without the assistance of development partners.

Review Process

Nauru has demonstrated its commitment to achieving the sustainable development goals through the review of its National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS). The VNR is aligned to coincide with the review process to avoid duplicating efforts. The Division of Planning and Aid Division under the Ministry for Finance spearheaded the review process with the guidance of a technical working group which was created to advise and guide the Ministry in the review process.

The consultation was an inclusive and transparent process which engaged diverse groups of stakeholders, through a series of stakeholder consultations including sector specific consultations, district open forums and questionnaire distributions. A good coverage of participation of elders, youth, and people with special challenges was recorded.

The Government recognizes the synergies between the NSDS and international frameworks, it has ensured that the 2030 agenda and the SAMOA Pathway are taken into account in the revised NSDS, providing a roadmap for the implementation of the SDG’s.


Findings of the review indicated that only 26% of the NSDS milestones had been implemented. Factors affecting implementation included inter alia the lack of funding, staff capacity, weak coordination, land issues and unclear goals.

Nauru’s health challenges are severe with the significant burden of NCD’s. Government spends a substantive proportion of its budget on curative measures, however health standards remain poor. In the Education Sector enrolment numbers have improved however the level of truancy, retention and pass rates are still a concern.

Nauru continues to be affected by challenges, triggered by its vulnerabilities and external factors, including global environmental challenges, external economic shocks, and climate change. Climate Change has the potential to impact revenue sources received from fisheries further exacerbating economic vulnerability.

One of the main findings of the review was the need to mobilize access to, and management of, land. Projected sea level rise poses risks to Nauru’s communities and key infrastructure, concentrated mainly in the coastal areas. Therefore, relocation to higher ground is imperative and a top priority of the Government. However, relocation will not be possible without the restoration of the higher grounds. Restoration of the higher grounds and relocation process will continue to be long term initiative and will require significant donor support to succeed.

Implementing the SAMOA pathway, 2030 agenda and other internationally agreed frameworks with limited resources and capacity remains a challenge. Accessing new sources of financing will be paramount.

Next Steps

Following the review, a selection of indicators with baseline benchmarks and quantifiable indicators will be identified by implementing line agencies to measure progress. Further consultations will be undertaken with the Ministry of Finance to design the M&E systems for each priority area. Implementation will be monitored through a Three-year Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MSTF), linked to a multi-year budget.

A National Planning and Development Committee (NPDC) was established to provide a mechanism for improved coordination and consultation for monitoring and evaluating policy, and program implementation of the NSDS. The Committee is Chaired by the Minister for Finance and comprises of key heads of departments. The Planning and Aid Division with the National Bureau of Statistics provides the technical support to the Committee.

Accelerating SDG’s implementation will require focus on the implementation of National Priorities identified in the Medium Strategic Framework 2019-2023, improving national statistical systems, strengthening institutions, improving the M&E Framework, and building national capacities of Finance Ministry to support line agencies in these regards. Continued support from development partners is an important component in helping us achieve the SDGs.

Focal point
Ms. Margo Deiye
Third Secretary/Sustainable Development Advisor
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Nauru

Partnerships & Commitments
The below is a listing of all partnership initiatives and voluntary commitments where Nauru is listed as a partner in the Partnerships for SDGs online platform.
United Nations