Building on the work carried out since the project was initiated, in late 2004, CLGF and the Commonwealth Secretariat, with the Government of Fiji, co-sponsored a Regional Symposium on Local Governance in the Pacific, held in Suva. This event, the first of its type in the region focusing exclusively on local government, was attended by 90 representatives of 14 Pacific countries and development partners.
Emerging from this symposium and its 14 recommendations, was a scaled up five-year regional local government capacity building project with the goal to improve quality of life for communities in the Pacific region through strengthened local democracy and good governance.
Over 100 separate activities are included in the annual workplans to meet these objectives, including: research, professional development, civic awareness, intergovernmental/civil society dialogues, gender and human rights in local governance, legislation review, local elected leadership development, financial management, strategic planning and exchange programmes.
The project was founded on relationships, involving a range of international and regional partners with collective values and beliefs in the institution of local government and the desire to see it improved in the Pacific region. It links closely to regional strategies, in particular the Pacific Plan. Training of counterparts and local capacity development are key focus areas.
This project was implemented by CLGF and its partners with funding and other support from New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAID), Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), UN Agencies, Commonwealth Secretariat and regional partners in including the University of the South Pacific (Pacific Institute of Advanced Studies in Development and Governance), Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Local Government New Zealand, Australian Local Government Association and others.
The Project Phase ended in 2010 followed by a Regional Symposium held in Port Vila Vanuatu. Outcomes, Achievements and Future Plans can be found in the Port Vila Declaration.pdf