Sourcing Solutions through Networking in the Pacific Islands
In the Pacific environment, characterized by multiple regional bodies, donors, and relatively small-size country governments spread across a huge geographic area, the form of interaction provided by the UNDP Solution Exchange network lends itself well to improving development effectiveness. “...Communication is limited in Nauru, so email is great way of communicating; We are so isolated so this forum is good for project coordination and sourcing information. We are using the information and we wouldn’t have had all this information without it.” said Mavis Depaune of the Department of Commerce, Industries and Environment, Government of Nauru, Yaren, Nauru.
- Solution Exchange in the Pacific has effectively connected development practitioners in island countries through email based communication
- “The network has pulled together international expertise and made it locally relevant, and has provided not just ideas, but contacts and practical outputs.”
- The Government of Nauru has sought advice of the Climate Change and Development community to inform its policy formulation
UNDP first established a facilitated service for a Community of Practice (CoP) to connect island countries in the Pacific as a pilot, which brought together national, regional and global initiatives and information relevant to Pacific practitioners. The Climate Change and Development (CCD) community addresses the impact of Climate Change on the environment, the economy and on social development in the region.
The Solution Exchange approach, adapted to the Pacific context, has helped individuals and organisations to better share practical experiences and to seek the views of others when they face challenges or are seeking solutions to a problem, or have innovative ideas to help solve problems related to climate change in the region. The community has also provided a real opportunity for policy makers and practitioners to work together to solve problems and identify climate change solutions that best meet the needs of Pacific Island countries. The Government of Nauru for example has reached out to practitioners on the CCD community looking for examples, innovative tools, lessons learned, and best practices that others have applied to improve management of their Water sector and in particular how climate change issues have been addressed. This will help the Nauru Government departments implement the provisions of their new policy and by extension benefit the people.
“[The network] has pulled together international expertise and made it locally relevant, and has provided not just ideas, but contacts and practical outputs. It has been extremely useful in my work and has opened many doors for positive development work and outcomes in the Pacific.” says Dr. Adam Bumpus, University of Melbourne, Australia. The Government of Palau also recognises the benefits of the knowledge sharing platform:“The network provides more insight and other relevant information that I incorporate in the coordination of my work with other agencies, community groups and organizations.”
Given the positive findings of evaluation and the wealth of topics to discuss, the pilot resulted in a full- fledged Community of Practice funded by key donor AusAid.