Thursday, 7 October 2010 10:00 AM

New Initiative to Exchange Solutions Across the Pacific Launched

Press Release - 6th October 2010 - Practitioners across the Pacific and abroad will now have the opportunity to connect with, share and learn from each other on how to better address development needs with the launch today of the Pacific Solution Exchange Development Effectiveness Community (PSE_DEC).

The PSE_DEC is a facilitated knowledge service initiated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the University of the South Pacific (USP).


"Through this partnership, the PSE_DEC aims to strengthen coordination and cooperation for improved development effectiveness and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the region,", said Mr Knut Ostby, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative.


He added: "The UN brings to the discussions global experience and expertise, however, we recognize that it is the people and the national institutions themselves who will lead the development process."


The knowledge service, launched today draws together a broad range of stakeholders from government, civil society, private sector, academia, regional organizations and development partners to share experiences and seek their views via a facilitated mail group on development topics specific to the Pacific, like climate change resourcing, addressing the needs of the poor and the vulnerable, and achieving the MDGs. The establishment of the PSE_DEC follows discussions at the Pacific Regional Aid Effectiveness Workshop and the Pacific Partners (PIC Partners) Meeting held in June 2010 in Nadi, Fiji.


Secretary General of the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade envisages that the facilitated community will become a mechanism for knowledge sharing and a coordination tool for sharing lessons and exchanging solutions.


"It could also be used to share findings from the Cairns Compact processes such as the peer review of countries' national plans. Forum Member countries that indicated interest at the meeting include the Marshall Islands, Palau, Nauru, Tonga, Tuvalu, Samoa and Vanuatu," said Mr Slade.


Offering further support for the initiative, ADB's Regional Director, Keith Leonard said: "This initiative has the potential to act as a cost-effective platform to improve the frequency and timeliness of knowledge sharing among Pacific practitioners."


The Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of the South Pacific, Professor Rajesh Chandra, further stated that the "Pacific Solution Exchange will enable development practitioners to discuss and debate substantive issues in an informative environment, outside the usual parameters of meetings and conferences. It should encourage a steady flow of ideas and solutions for the issues that are most timely in the Pacific."


Commencing with a six-month trial phase based on UNDP's proven methodology known as Solution Exchange, members will be engaged in e-discussions via email supported by a team of facilitators. The approach is hoped to initially help members to better share their views and opinions. Based on the feedback from the trial, the Community's services could then be extended to allow members to ask queries and help each other by sharing knowledge and experience around common development challenges.


UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Toily Kurbanov added, "There is a lot of knowledge in the Pacific as to what type of solutions to complex development issues work best in the island countries context. However that knowledge is diffused across islands, as well as across government agencies, civil society and development partners. Pacific Solutions Exchange will leverage new technologies to bring that knowledge together and to nurture communities of practice."


To join or find out more about the Pacific Solution Exchange Development Effectiveness Community, please go to www.solutionexchange-un.net/pacific.

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