Accountable Public Finances to Serve Pacific People- Launch of the Vaka Pasifika Project

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji, through the funding support of the European Union (EU) has launched the Vaka Pasifika Project (Accountable Public Finances to Serve Pacific People) which will be implemented over a three-year period.

The Vaka Pasifika Project aims to assist Pacific countries to strengthen their governance structures to deliver public services that are better attuned to the needs of citizens. The project builds on the results of the ‘Strengthening Public Finance Management and Governance in the Pacific’ (PFM) project, which was implemented between 2018 and 2022.

While launching the project, the Ambassador of the European Union for the Pacific, H.E Sujiro Seam said, “With the Vaka Pasifika Project, the European Union continues its investment in public finance management in the Pacific. Learning from past experience, this project promotes “the Pacific way” to ensure that public finance management remains at the heart of good governance and efficient resource management. This project continues to benefit from the successful partnership between Pacific Island Countries, international organizations and the civil society.

The project’s implementing partner, Pacific Islands Association of NGOs (PIANGO) will work with its National Liaison Units in the 15 Pacific Island Countries to develop public finance accountability and effectiveness. A second implementing partner, the University of La Trobe, Australia, will deliver political economy analysis of the accountability sector of six Pacific Islands Countries to inform the project’s activities.

One of the Project’s flagship initiative is the Vaka Pasifika Fellowship program which focuses on re-imagining public financial management for a resilient Pacific. The pilot which took place a week ago discussed Pacific perspectives and proposals on how public finance can tackle critical issues such as climate change.

The UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Resident Representative a.i., Ms. Dawn Del Rio said that “like its flagship fellowship, the project does not intend to propose a prescriptive action plan but rather to provide an opportunity for partners to consider the bigger picture and guide the UNDP team on how best to support them in building a more resilient future for Pacific Islanders”.

The Executive Director of PIANGO, Ms. Siale Ilolahia said that “we are thrilled to be part of the Vaka Pasifika because the designing and the architecture of the Vaka was built on the experiences and learning of our PIANGO network of National Liaison Units across the Pacific.  While we are strengthening our oversight role and participation in public finance, we are reflecting and self-assessing our own CSO accountability mechanism as development actors. We look forward to contributing to a people-centred Public Finance Management that serves the wellbeing of our Pacific people”.

Through the Vaka Pasifika Project, UNDP and its partners aim to contribute to the sustainable development goals.

The launch took place on Monday 20 March 2023 at the PIANGO office in Suva, Fiji.


Marine Destrez, Project Manager | UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji; | Email