A small team from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is in Tarawa, Kiribati this week to develop a new joint country strategy (JCS) between SPC and the Government of Kiribati. JCSs are multi-year plans that align the priorities of SPC member countries with the services that SPC can provide. The first SPC–Kiribati JCS has been completed and it is now time to develop a new strategy for 2013–2015.
The team is holding discussions with government ministries on the design of the strategy. These involve identifying the country’s key development priorities and matching these with the expertise SPC can provide in sectors ranging from fisheries to statistics.
The mission follows a review of the first JCS (2008–2011) carried out in October 2012, which found that SPC in close collaboration with the Government of Kiribati had effectively implemented activities and services in line with Kiribati’s development priorities.
David Teaabo, Pacific Plan Desk Officer with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, commented that the JCS approach is very much a joint approach and relies on full engagement by the government. According to Mr Teaabo, the collaborative approach promoted by the JCS makes it possible to improve coordination and collaboration efforts at national level to enable Kiribati to pursue its development priorities.
The mission team was led by Mike Batty, (Director of SPC’s Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems Division) and included representatives of SPC’s Strategic Engagement, Policy and Planning Facility as well as its Statistics for Development Division. The SPC team’s Kiribati counterparts included Mr Teaabo as well as representatives of the National Economic Planning Office.
Mr Batty said that cooperation between the government and SPC had been excellent, which was a testimony to the commitment by both parties to ensuring that Kiribati’s development priorities are translated into concrete actions.