RPV programme aims to strengthen civil society organisations

From left: Alanieta Vakatale, Raising Pacific Voices Team Leader; European Union Delegation to the Pacific Head of Cooperation Christoph Wagner; Oxfam in the Pacific Regional Director Raijeli Nicole; Siale Ilolahia, Acting Executive Director of Pacific Islands Association of NGOs (PIANGO), Caroline Valette, Governance and Human Rights Adviser at the EU Delegation to the Pacific at the launch of the EU-funded Raising Pacific Voices program website called PasifikaRising.org. Picture: SUPPLIED

A PLATFORM aimed at supporting capacity development and resource-sharing among Pacific civil society groups was launched by the European Union’s Head of Cooperation, Christoph Wagner, in Suva today.

PasifikaRising.org is a production of the Raising Pacific Voices (RPV) programme, a regional European Union (EU)-funded project implemented by Oxfam in the Pacific, in partnership with Pacific Disability Forum – as focal point for the Pacific Regional NGO Alliance.

RPV aims to strengthen civil society organisations in the Pacific, with activities being piloted in each of the three sub-regions of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.

“The Pacific is at the front lines of issues such as oceans governance, the impacts of climate change and contested political spaces, so it is vital as ever that civil society groups are supported to be able to credibly take their issues from their constituencies to the national, regional and global arena,” Mr Wagner said.

Oxfam in the Pacific’s regional director Raijeli Nicole said PasifikaRising aimed to support regional solidarity through promoting collective action among civil society groups and sharing experiential learnings and resources in the capacity development process.

“PasifikaRising’s tagline, ‘Pacific perspectives for a global future’, signals the recognition that Pacific countries are Large Ocean States, proud of our common heritage and determined to protect and preserve our region for future generations – and that our voices matter in the global discourse on issues affecting us,” Ms Nicole said.

PasifikaRising includes a mix of original contributions of articles and other media, complemented with relevant news and opinion posts around four thematic areas: Pacific civil society, Pacific resilience, Large Ocean States and Pacific identities.

Mr Wagner also launched the Organisational Capacity Assessment Guide to help civil society groups determine what their own development priorities are and how to address them.

The guide is part of a package of capacity development activities developed by the Raising Pacific Voices programme, in collaboration with the RPV’s sub-regional partner organisations in Marshall Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu and the Pacific Regional NGO Alliance (PRNGO Alliance).

This tool provides a framework for assessing what stage a CSO has reached in key areas of organisational functions that are critical for CSOs to become inclusive, transparent, accountable and effective.

The launch took place at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) in Suva in conjunction with an event to mark the end of the former instalment of the EU’s funding program to Pacific civil society organisations through the Non-State Actors Programme at the PIFS.

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