Cook Islands Peer Review launched

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 Peer Review launched

21 October, 2013, Rarotonga, Cook Islands - Over the next two weeks, a Peer Review team of Pacific development officials will be in the Cook Islands to undertake a review of how the Cook Islands government, development partners and other stakeholders plan, budget, deliver and monitor development programmes and services to the people of the Cook Islands.  The peer review team will meet with a wide range of political and traditional leaders, parliamentarians, senior government officials, private sector, civil society representatives, the general public and development partners including with the communities in Mangaia and Aitutaki.

The Cook Islands is the 12th Forum Island Country to undertake this process and like other Pacific Island countries, is committing to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of national planning, budgeting, delivery and monitoring of development programmes. The ultimate aim is to improve development outcomes and accelerate progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Selected and invited by the government of the Cook Islands, the Peer Review team includes Mr Collin Tavi (Monitoring and Evaluation Manager from Vanuatu Office of the Prime Minister), Mr Henry Ah Ching (Assistant Chief Executive Officer Economic Planning and Policy, Ministry of Finance from Samoa), Ms Solistice Middleby (Regional Counsellor from Australia).

Through review and comparison of development coordination practices at country level, the peer review processes are an opportunity for mutual learning between Forum Island Countries (FICs).

It is also the basis for lessons learning with development partners on how best to address and coordinate development efforts in country and the Pacific region.

The peer review process presents an opportunity for the Cook Islands government to reinforce country leadership in establishing national priorities and monitoring progress in implementing and achieving those priorities. It can also offer good practices on enhancing capacity to guide the use of both Government and external development resources.

As part of the Pacific’s south-south and twinning arrangement to further build Pacific capacities in development coordination, the Cook Islands has invited Mr Richard Hipa (Secretary of Government from Niue), Ms Kayo Kotton (Assistant CEO, Budget, Procurement and Office of International Development and Assistance from Republic of the Marshall Islands) and Ms Dahlia Koneko (Manager Head of the Performance, Evaluation and Monitoring Division, Economic Planning Policy and Statistics Office from RMI to observe the peer review process.

The Government of the Cook Islands also invited the Government of the Peoples Republic of China represented by Counsellor Zhang, PROC Embassy in New Zealand to join the team to observe the peer review process for mutual learning with development partners and the FICs.

The Peer Review Team and Observers are supported by staff from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

For more information on the Peer Review please visit http://www.mfem.gov.ck/development-partners/80