Achievement at a glance
For development to be sustainable it needs to be risk informed. New partners are now more substantively understanding and addressing the threats of disasters and climate change, by mainstreaming these risks into development at national, sectoral and local levels. These include finance, sectors, private sector, women and social welfare and local government. This has been possible through the strengthening of core ‘risk governance’ elements (people, mechanisms and processes). This approach is increasingly being recognised in the region as the foundation for addressing the resilient development agenda and is being replicated in other areas within the programme countries.
Challenges faced in implementation
Disasters and climate change are clearly recognised as a development issue in the Pacific. Not only do these affect development but ‘unchecked’ development itself can increase risks to disasters and climate change. These issues need to be mainstreamed into all levels and require a multi-stakeholder
partnership approach in order to transform approaches to development. For mainstreaming to be ‘transformative’ it not only requires risk to be integrated
into policies and plans but also into practice. The main challenge, however, has been to shift mind-sets and institutional arrangements to enable the implementation of ‘risk-informed’ plans.
Key factors that have helped to overcome this challenge include: strong political leadership and champions that help to engage other actors and raising the profile of the agenda; building human capacity from within key development agencies; forging connections across multiple stakeholders both across sectors (horizontally), linking community level risk with national level programmes and resources (vertically) and integrating risk into existing planning, financing and implementation mechanisms.
Over the last two years new partners are engaging more substantively on the resilient development agenda in the programme countries (Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga) and these include: finance and national planning; key development sectors; local government; women and social welfare organisations; and private sector. The next step for the programme countries is to replicate this approach to other sectors in their countries but also to other
countries in the region. This will take place through informal and formal networks led by countries who will share and inform regional and global discussions around resilient development. The programme countries have already formulated a network around gender and protection issues relating to
disasters and climate change in the region (known as the ‘ProPa’ network). This has allowed Ministries of Women and Social Welfare more substantively
engage in climate change and disaster risk management policy and practice in the region.
National and sub-national government; women and social welfare agencies; and the private sector
PRRP has focused on building the capacity of a wide range of stakeholders ‘from within’ governance systems. These include planning and finance functions, key development sectors (e.g. agriculture), communities, local government and private sector partners to integrate disaster and climate risks
and its management into development. A notable example has been the integration of risk into the Tonga Agriculture Sector Plan (TASP) which is now
being used to mobilise resources from IFAD. This is also being delivered through a partnership platform known as the Agriculture Growth Committee which features private sector, government and development partners.
These stakeholders have been provided with the ‘building blocks’ for risk governance which includes support for people, mechanisms and processes to be more risk-informed. This has led to the creation of new government functions to better understand and manage risks faced by communities to disasters and climate change (people) e.g. the institutionalisation of a Risk Resilience Unit for food security and agriculture in Vanuatu; budget screening approaches (mechanism) e.g. risk is now a criteria for the mid-term development planning mechanism in Solomon Islands; and risk-informed development plans, policies and strategies (processes) e.g. community development plans in the Western Division of Fiji incorporate risk management activities.