Ten Pacific Island countries which are members of the World Bank have a population of about 3.4 million people, scattered across an area equivalent to 15 percent of the globe’s surface, with a development trajectory that will be shaped by their economic geography.
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The Praxis discussion series is made up of regular panel sessions focusing on different development topics relevant in the Pacific and globally. Events have a live audience in our Sydney, Solomo... Show More +n Islands, Timor-Leste, and PNG offices and are recorded and shared with television networks and posted on YouTube.________________________________________________________________________To attend and be updated about future Praxis discussions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.To see previous Praxis discussions, visit our YouTube page.Follow us on Twitter (@WorldBankAsia) #PacificPraxis Show Less -
HONIARA, November 28, 2013 - Yesterday, officials from the national government and eight provincial governments that are implementing activities under the Solomon Islands Rural Development Program (RD... Show More +P) concluded a two day workshop to review the program.RDP was launched in early 2008, and has three main components: (a) investments in small-scale, community infrastructure in more than 90% of the wards in the country; (b) agricultural and livestock support services to farmers; and (c) access to finance for rural businesses. The workshop focused mainly on the community infrastructure component, in particular, the community-driven development (CDD) approach which is being used to implement the component.Community-driven development (CDD) puts the responsibility for project identification, implementation and sustainability in the hands of the beneficiary communities themselves. Communities get together to identify their highest priorities, design projects to meet their needs, manage project funds, construct infrastructure, and plan for the operations and maintenance of their new rural services.The benefits of the CDD approach include: enhanced accountability as communities manage their own funds; stimulating demand for better government services; more cost-effective due to leveraging community resources; etc. In the long run, the aim is to move communities away from a hand-out mentality and towards an approach where services and assets are well cared for, and used as a basis for further improving the living standards in rural communities.The workshop provided the opportunity for government line ministries that are involved with the implementation of RDP, the provincial governments, project staff and development partners supporting the Program to share perspectives based on their experience with the CDD approach that the RDP is using.The workshop generated discussions around lessons learnt, successes, and challenges relating to implementation of RDP from donors, the Project Management Unit, right down to the community and village levels. Participants were able to identify key solutions that can be used to address those challenges.Findings of a recent evaluation of the RDP that was conducted across 87 communities in four provinces were shared. Whilst the findings identify specific challenges the Program is facing and highlights areas for improvement, it shows an overall increase in satisfaction with access to health, education, water and electricity services in RDP communities of more than 90%, and a reduction in travel time to water sources of more than 10%.Women who have participated in RDP, in particular members of the Subproject Implementation Committees that manage the subprojects, have significantly benefitted by gaining increases stature in their communities and becoming more active in their communities, and outside.The World Bank, the donor which is supporting RDP implementation, shared at the workshop international lessons in the evolution of Community-driven Development Programs that it is involved with in other countries including Indonesia, Timor-Leste and the Philippines.It identified challenges that are similar to issues that RDP has, and highlighted international best practice solutions that can be applied to those problems.The two-day workshop was organized to help Government and its development partners in the RDP to plan and design the next phase of the Program, being proposed to allow RDP to continue operating when phase one comes to a close at the beginning of 2015.Speaking at the close of the workshop on Wednesday, Permanent Secretary for MDPAC, Jeremiah Manele acknowledged the support of development partners in the last six years towards rural development in Solomon Islands.Mr Manele said the geographical disparity in Solomon Islands is a huge challenge, which means that development approaches like the CDD is relevant to the country. He encouraged continued dialogue on how best to approach development in this context.Temotu Premier, Father Brown Beu who was among other premiers and provincial secretaries at the workshop said he now has a complete view of the RDP arrangement, and challenges it had experienced over the years. He said issues of ownership, maintenance and the political will is important.“I will return to my provincial executive and look at what we need to do to support community projects that are funded by RDP and other donors, because there is need for the province to take ownership of these sub-projects to be able to support communities to manage and sustain them”, he said.Senior Operations Officer for the World Bank in Solomon Islands, Erik Johnson said the workshop really helps the government and the Bank with ideas that will be considered for design of the next phase of RDP.“The workshop identified issues of inclusion, better awareness and information about the project, coordination at the ward level, better training and capacity building for project staff in the field, issues with technical design, transport, procurement, co-financing, and how much to bring the RDP into the provincial governments. These are important for when we consider the second phase of RDP.”The RDP is a US$ 37 million program supported by the Australia Government, World Bank, European Union, International Fund for Agriculture Development IFAD, the Solomon Islands Government, with co-financing and contributions from members of Parliament, Members of the provincial Assembly and local communities.Over the course of four funding cycles in eight of the country’s nine provinces except Renbel, about 300,000 people - more than half the population - will have benefitted from program investments including in water supply, classrooms and health aid posts. Show Less -
WASHINGTON, November 22, 2013—Today the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a new Development Policy Operation for the island nation of Tuvalu to help it rebuild its financial reserves ... Show More +and deliver more effective health and education services for its population of 11,000 people.Tuvalu, the World Bank’s smallest member country, faces unique economic and environmental challenges. High vulnerability to external economic shocks, drought and natural disasters have contributed to greater hardship over recent years, especially in the remote Outer Islands.The country was particularly hard hit by the Global Financial Crisis in 2009, as remittances from overseas workers – mostly its many seafarers – more than halved from 2008 to 2012, and returns on financial assets held in the Tuvalu Trust Fund fell sharply.“This support is designed to help strengthen fiscal sustainability and deliver quality health and education services that meet the needs of Tuvalu’s people,” said Franz Drees-Gross, Country Director for the World Bank in the Pacific Islands. “The country’s vision is one of a healthy, educated and prosperous nation and the World Bank is committed to helping Tuvalu meet these goals.”The operation will encourage greater investment in primary and secondary education, as well as basic and preventative healthcare, which benefit the majority of Tuvaluans, especially poorer households. It will also support ongoing efforts to strengthen medical treatment and scholarship programs, with a focus on improving patient management processes and course completion rates.Reforms supported under the operation will also help the Government of Tuvalu strengthen accounting, revenue management and budget execution, as well as improve project management in ‘Kaupules’ (local councils) to enable the timely provision of public services in the Outer Islands.The policy support is being funded with a grant for US$3 million from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA). Show Less -
Tuvalu - First Development Policy OperationIDA Grant: US$ 3 millionProject ID: P145488Project Description: The objective of the project is to support reforms that strengthen public financial managemen... Show More +t and improve the delivery of social services, while providing critical financing to enable the rebuilding of fiscal buffers. Show Less -
PORT VILA, Vanuatu, November 21, 2013 – The Vanuatu National Warning Centre was officially opened today in Port Vila, to help the Pacific Islands nations assess the threats posed by natural haza... Show More +rds like volcanoes, cyclones and tsunamis. The official opening was attended by H.E. Moana Carcasses Kalosil, Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Franz Drees-Gross, Country Director for the World Bank in Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific Islands, and Tsutomu Moriya, Resident Representative of JICA Vanuatu.Featuring state of the art equipment, the centre will form an integral part of Vanuatu’s fight against the elements and paves the way for sharing critical early warning information regionally. Running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the National Warning Centre will house meteorological and geohazards scientists who will monitor and analyse information on volcanic and seismic activity, extreme weather events and tsunamis.“The government is committed to saving lives and mitigating the risks Vanuatu faces from natural disasters,” said Moana Carcasses Kalosil, Prime Minister of Vanuatu. “This warning centre will help us analyse all available scientific data around the clock, in real-time, and to be as prepared as possible when disaster strikes. This is a critical step in building resilience and reducing the human and economic impact of natural disasters.”“Being prepared in the face of a disaster saves lives,” said Franz Drees-Gross, Country Director for the World Bank in the Pacific Islands. “The World Bank is proud to be a partner with Vanuatu in strengthening its national response systems by developing this early warning capability.The Pacific Island nation is the sixth most vulnerable nation in the world to natural hazards, including cyclones and earthquakes, with an average of 7 percent of GDP lost every year due to the impacts of these disasters.The National Warning Centre has been created under the Vanuatu national action plan for disaster risk management. It provides faster and more accurate assessments of possible threats and the data collected can also be shared regionally and with neighbouring countries. It was set up as a part of the World Bank’s ‘Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction’ (MDRR) project in Vanuatu, which is funded by the Government of Japan through the Policy and Human Development Trust Fund (PHRD) in the amount of US$2.7 million.“Japan experienced a catastrophe called ‘the Great East Japan Earthquake’ in March 2011. Based upon this experience, Japan recognized the importance of having a warning system to evacuate people from natural disasters effectively,’’ said Tsutomu Moriya, JICA Vanuatu. “The Japanese Government has decided to support countries vulnerable to natural disasters by starting two projects, ‘Disaster Risk Reduction’ and ‘Disaster Risk Management,’ in Vanuatu.”The MDRR has refurbished the building housing the warning centre and purchased the software and IT equipment. The project is also working on the design of a Tsunami warning system that will be installed in Port Vila and Luganville Show Less -