6 November 2013: The Cook Islands Peer Review team has shared their preliminary findings with a wide range of stakeholders based on the team’s consultation in country.
At the invitation of the Government of the Cook Islands, the team had successful consultations and generated good discussions with a wide range of sector and interest groups including health, education, private sector, employers, climate change, culture, environment, youth, and island councils of Mangaia and Aitutaki.
The Peer Review team has been in the country for two weeks to undertake a review of how the government, development partners and other stakeholders plan, budget, deliver and monitor government and development programmes and services to the people of the Cook Islands.
“The government identifies monitoring and evaluation as a critical issue in our planning systems and we look forward to the Peer Review team’s recommendations on this aspect as well as other issues they have identified. As mentioned, this process helps strengthen government systems and harmonize aid development in the Cook Islands,” says Richard Neeves, Secretary of Ministry of Finance and Economic Management.
The Peer Review team presented an Aide Memoire of their findings to the Government of the Cook Islands today and a full draft report should be ready within four weeks time.
Next week, Samoa will be the 13th, and the last, Pacific Islands Forum Country to undertake the Forum Compact Peer Review process. The Government of Samoa will be opening up its national planning, budgeting, public and financial management systems for their Peer Review team to assess.
Since 2010, these countries have all undertaken reviews of their government systems: Nauru, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Federated States of Micronesia, Tuvalu, Niue, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Solomon Islands and the Cook Islands.
“The Forum Compact Peer Reviews have been embraced by Pacific countries as a process that is useful in supporting existing country and development partner efforts to strengthen national planning, budgeting, public financial and aid management systems,” says Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
The majority of Peer Review recommendations that have been made to date are directed at strengthening planning and aid management capacities, systems and institutions. Others focus on improving public financial management, performance management and private sector development.