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Tracking development and governance in the Pacific
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Achieving effective and accountable governance is essential for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This report addresses development and governance in the Pacific region where development partners have injected significant assistance. However, most Pacific governments are not managing the aid well enough. The report shows resources are not sufficiently prioritized in effective plans and strategies.
The report observes that:
Some countries in the Pacific have made good progress towards achieving MDG targets although there is concern about the slow pace of progress towards reducing poverty and hunger.
Despite investments in human development, achieving effective and accountable governance remains a challenge in the region. Expenditure is poorly targeted and services do not reach the poor because of weak procurement, payroll controls and audit processes.
The Pacific has received substantial Official Development Assistance (ODA) from development partners but aid fragmentation is prevalent and aid flows are volatile and unpredictable. The countries have difficulty keeping track of aid flows and coordinating requests for assistance as per the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.
The report highlights the following key messages:
Urgent action is required to ensure resources are applied more effectively to make faster progress towards the MDGs in the region.
Improvements in the quality of service delivery and policy formulation are important elements of government effectiveness, higher growth and greater progress towards the MDGs.
Putting in place a new development framework for the region to ensure it keeps pace with better international development practice to enable all development resources to be more effectively directed towards the highest priority development challenges.
Resources need to be better integrated within sound national plans and public expenditure systems and applied to the highest priority programs.
Clear national sector plans should be prioritized for more flexible and predictable aid. Pacific countries should control the proliferation of aid activities and ask development partners to streamline their assistance.
Development partners should reduce aid fragmentation and ease the administrative burden on Pacific island countries by annually monitoring key indicators based on the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and working together with the states to improve statistics because tracking of MDG progress in the region requires better and more timely data.