DSPPAC convenes first NGOs Technical Development Cooperation Partnership Meeting for 2020

The Department of Strategic Policy Planning and Aid Coordination (DSPPAC) through its Aid Coordination and Negotiation Unit (ACNU) hosted a Non-Government Organisation Technical Development Cooperation Meeting last week on June 19, at the Melanesian Hotel in Port Vila.

The two key objectives of the NGOs Technical Development Partnership Cooperation meeting were to; (1) inform Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on the latest developments on the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) and development of the Recovery Plan for TC Harold and COVID-19, and (2) inform NGOs about the Vanuatu Civil Society Organizations Support and Technical Cooperation Facility (CSOTCF) which is being funded by the European Union (EU).

The NGO Technical Development Partnership Cooperation meeting is part of a renewed commitment by the National Recovery Committee (NRC), through DSPPAC, to strengthen collaboration with development partners, including NGOs and CSOs, who play a fundamental role in humanitarian development in Vanuatu.

Improved coordination by Government would enable effective oversight of recovery programs and funding, consistent with DSPPAC’s role to coordinate and support the alignment and implementation of policies and programs with the National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP) and to manage and coordinate new and on-going recovery operations.

It is therefore imperative for NGOs and CSOs other development partners including line ministries to report recovery program funding to the ACNU, which is responsible for negotiating and coordinating recovery funding with donor partners.

In his opening remarks at the meeting, Director-General of the Office of the Prime Minister, Dr. Gregoire Nimbtik acknowledged the valuable contribution of NGOs and CSOs to humanitarian development in Vanuatu and towards achieving the National Sustainable Development Goals. He also called for greater working partnership between CSOs and NGOs and the Government of Vanuatu.

The call for improved coordination is reinforced by the Council of Ministers (COM) Decision 037/2020 which mandated lines ministries and sectors to ensure recovery programs for TC Harold and COVID-19 are aligned to a National Recovery Strategy.

The NGOs Technical Development Cooperation Partnership meeting also outlined ways in which NGOs and CSOs can input into recovery planning processes, that is through clusters by way of input into the Sector Report Templates, and input into the draft of the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) and the National Recovery Strategy. NGOs and CSOs are also encouraged to participate in national and provincial recovery coordination meetings.

The Vanuatu Civil Society Organizations Support and Technical Cooperation Facility (CSOTCF)

On 12 June 2020, the financial agreement for the EU funding facility was signed by Vanuatu National Authorizing Officer (NAO) and the Ambassador and Head of the European Union Delegation for the Pacific.

The CSOTCF project is financed from the 11{sup}th{/sup}European Development Fund (EDF) through the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement. The total estimate cost of the facility is EUR 340 million, and is to be implemented over a five year period.

The specific objectives of CSOTCF project are to:

1) Strengthen capacities of local civil society organizations to contribute to the attainment of Vanuatu’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2, 5, 6 and 13;

2) Facilitate the effective and efficient implementation of the 11th EDF National Indicative Programme in Vanuatu.

The signed Financing Agreement supports three (3) main priority areas;

Output 1:Institutional Capacity Building of Civil Society Organizations

A strong institutional capacity building focus, facilitate skills transfers (Small CSOs are encouraged to work in partnership with larger CSOs in delivering community-based services)

Output 2: Measures to strengthen food security and the economic empowerment of women

Strengthen the capacities of CSOs to promote the sustainable and climate-smart production of safe and nutritious foods in isolated rural areas (which are not effectively covered by MALBFF extension workers), economic empowerment of women, the effects of climate change, natural disasters and other livelihood stresses.

Output 3: Measures to strengthen the government’s capacity to oversee and coordinate EU development cooperation in Vanuatu

Strengthen the coordination of development stakeholders, in line with the new Aid Management Policy and the overall National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP)

The CSTOCF funding will be made available later this year for all registered CSOs to apply for. The EU Delegation, in close consultation with the NAO office team, will launch a call for proposals targeting CSOs registered in Vanuatu.

The CSTOCF facility will be manage and coordinated by the ACNU through the Vanuatu National Authorizing Office (NAO).