The Pacific Community (SPC) – Government of Australia (GoA) Partnership for Pacific Regionalism and Enhanced Development 2014-2023

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The Pacific Community (SPC) – Government of Australia (GoA) Partnership for Pacific Regionalism and Enhanced Development 2014-2023 [PDF 1,309 KB]

1. PREAMBLE

1.1. This Partnership between the Government of Australia (GOA) and the Pacific Community (SPC) establishes our shared vision to work in close cooperation to achieve improved development outcomes and sustainable improvements in the quality of life of all Pacific islanders.

1.2. This Partnership brings together the comparative advantages of GOA as a key financing partner with access to a broad range of Australian-based knowledge and expertise, and SPC as a Pacific-owned specialist technical and scientific organisation with acknowledged expertise in advancing regional development in the Pacific.

1.3. This Partnership is focused on how GOA can support SPC to fulfil the mandate given to it by all SPC members;

1.4. This Partnership is not governed by international law and does not constitute or create (and is not intended to create) obligations under international or domestic law and will not give rise to legal processes and will not be deemed to constitute or create legally binding or enforceable obligations (express or implied).

2. PRINCIPLES

2.1. This Partnership applies to all cooperative activities between GOA and SPC

2.2. The following principles will underpin all aspects of the Partnership between GOA and SPC:

    • Mutual respect and responsibility, including openness to working together and exploring new opportunities together, and resolving through open discussion any issues that emerge;
    • Enhanced donor harmonisation, including to simplify procedures, reduce the reporting and administration burden, and to avoid duplication;
    • A focus on improving results and understanding impact through joint evaluation and learning; and
    • Visibility and transparency to maximise communication and awareness of the Partnership within SPC and GOA and amongst other stakeholders.

3. OBJECTIVES

3.1. The objectives for 2018-2020 are:

a. Effective and efficient regional service delivery, characterised by:

    • Prioritised and consolidated SPC programmes focused on SPC’s comparative advantage in the provision of scientific and technical expertise; and
    • A coordinated and coherent approach with other CROP agencies, UN partners and other donors.

b. Enhanced SPC capabilities (people, systems and processes), characterised by:

    • Transparent financial budgeting and reporting including implementation of full cost recovery practices and improved planning at all levels of SPC;
    • Improved practices to support SPC's people, systems and processes, including monitoring, evaluation, learning and innovation; and
    • Mainstreaming of gender equality and social inclusion principles and practices at SPC’s organisational and operational levels.

c. A stronger relationship between GOA and SPC, characterised by:

    • Predictable, multi-year GOA funding;
    • Close collaboration on mutual priorities, supported by flexible GOA funding; and
    • Effective and efficient communication and management arrangements.

4. COMMITMENTS

4.1. GOA hereby confirms its commitment to:

  • Provide SPC with effective, efficient and predictable financial and technical assistance that supports SPC achieving its mandate and corporate reform objectives;
  • Support SPC to enhance its capacity and authority amongst members and partners; and
  • Align GOA monitoring and assessment of SPC performance as closely as possible with SPC’s own performance measures and assessment systems.

4.2. SPC hereby confirms its commitment to:

  • Further strengthen SPC’s reporting and monitoring processes, including results based reporting and financial reporting of the use of GOA funds;
  • Strengthen an integrated regional response to common challenges through stronger CROP coordination and cooperation;
  • Disburse all funds provided by GOA in accordance with the principles, terms and conditions of this Partnership and to take all reasonable steps to achieve and demonstrate value for money, in accordance with sound financial and administrative practice.

4.3. Both partners resolve to:

  • Advance regional integration, economic growth and sustainable development in accordance with the decisions and directions set by SPC members;
  • Work together to support SPC’s prioritisation and corporate reform agenda, including its plans for consolidation;
  • Promote a full cost recovery approach to programme and project funding;
  • Meet regularly, including on an informal basis, to share all relevant information, discuss any performance concerns as early as possible, and resolve any concerns through dialogue; and
  • Participate, as appropriate in reviews of each other’s programs to gain a better understanding of work undertaken and lessons learned.

5. GOVERNANCE, MANAGEMENT AND REVIEW

5.1. Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) will have responsibility for the overall management of the Partnership on behalf of GOA. In consultation with DFAT and SPC, other Australian Government agencies may enter into agreements with SPC under this Partnership for the purposes of providing funds for specific international development assistance programs.

5.2. High Level Consultations (HLCs) will take place at least annually between senior officials of GOA and SPC in Canberra, Australia or in the Pacific region. The HLCs in general will:

(a) provide an opportunity to discuss current and emerging Pacific regional issues;
(b) focus on how both partners can utilise their convening power and technical expertise to address complex current and emerging development challenges in the region;
(c) review progress towards SPC’s corporate reform objectives, and GOA support for those objectives;
(d) confirm conversion to programme funding of project funding that has met the agreed criteria (see 6.8);
(e) review, as necessary, any major risks associated with SPC programmes and projects funded by GOA; and
(f) review the performance and ongoing value of this Partnership.

5.3. GOA and SPC will schedule other meetings to discuss the Partnership and other issues at mutually agreed times.

5.4. GOA and SPC will make written records of HLC decisions and the meeting records be made available to any SPC member on request.

5.5. GOA designates Consul/Vice Consul Noumea as focal point between SPC and GOA stakeholders. In SPC the focal point will be the Director of Strategy, Performance and Learning (SPL) or their delegate.  This approach will not inhibit appropriate and ongoing collegial exchanges amongst staff and consultants employed by either partner, or substitute for program management undertaken at appropriate levels.  The two focal points will facilitate consistency rather than to limit or “gate-keep” engagement.

5.6. GOA (or DFAT as the GOA representative) will facilitate greater information sharing with GOA stakeholders and consult on joint SPC-GOA priorities and objectives as required.  Consultation and feedback will inform the formal policy dialogue at HLC meetings. 

5.7. GOA and SPC will encourage collaboration between respective representatives in-country and at the design phase of new investments. 

5.8. Independent reviews of the Partnership will be undertaken based on jointly agreed timing and terms of reference.  Subject to confirmation at a HLC, both sides will plan to hold an evaluation in 2019.  Independent reviews of SPC’s work at Divisional level may also be undertaken by mutual agreement.

5.9. The partner intend that the scope of this Partnership will remain flexible over its life, and be able to incorporate new priority objectives. These may be included in the Partnership at any time by mutual agreement.

6. LEVELS AND FORMS OF DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE

6.1. GOA’s financial contribution to SPC will take the form of contributions to core funding, programme funding to divisions and project funding.  This Partnership agreement covers all of these forms of funding. GOA and SPC will further explore the possibility of GOA financial contributions to designated SPC outcomes.

6.2. Australian official development assistance provided to SPC under this Partnership will use the template provided at Schedule B.

6.3. In Funding Agreements, GOA will commit to provide financial contributions to SPC core and programme funding on a three-year basis.  GOA will confirm funding on an annual basis, subject to documented positive progress against the Partnership’s objectives and (in relation to program funding) Divisional objectives (see 7.3), and appropriation of required funding in Australia’s national budget.

6.4. SPC will provide all narrative and financial reporting on core and programme funding to GOA and other members through CRGA reporting, unless otherwise agreed by GOA and SPC.  Additional reporting requirements for programme funding can be negotiated separately if required.  Narrative and financial reporting on project funds will be determined by the terms of that Funding Agreement. 

6.5. SPC’s annual budget to CRGA will identify GOA’s contribution to core, programme funds and projects. 

6.6. SPC will identify any unspent GOA programme funds at the end of SPC financial year and as requested by GOA. 

6.7. Subject to confirmation by GOA, any unspent programme funds at the end of a calendar year and within the terms of the funding agreement can be utilised to support agreed activities in line with SPC Corporate Strategic Plan and/or Division Strategic Plans. 

6.8. Subject to confirmation by GOA and SPC at a HLC, project funding can convert to programme funding under the following criteria:

  • The service is in high demand from members or represents a clear regional public good;
  • There is a recognised ongoing need for assistance in the Pacific and it is unlikely to be met nationally;
  • The work is priority for SPC (as agreed by CRGA and Conference);
  • There is a high quality, division or programme business plan in place, with an associated budget and results framework;
  • It is consistent with GOA’s long term agenda in the Pacific; and
  • SPC is the most appropriate development partner to deliver the program.

6.9. Conversion of project to programme funding will take place in a timeframe agreed by the GOA and SPC and the necessary amendment(s) shall be made to the Core Funding Grant Agreement.

6.10. Full cost recovery will be applied to all GOA programme and project funding. 

7. PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT AND REPORTING

7.1. GOA and SPC will work to ensure that reporting provided to GOA aligns with and supports SPC systems and processes.

7.2. SPC will provide all narrative and financial reporting on core and programme funding to GOA and other members through CRGA reporting, unless otherwise agreed by GOA and SPC.  Narrative and financial reporting on project fund will be determined by the terms of that grant agreement.

7.3. SPC will provide business plans, annual results reports and mid –year reflection reports in line with SPC’s performance management system to GOA from divisions that receive programme funding.  These will be used to assess progress as per clause 6.3. 

7.4. The GOA and SPC will use the Performance Assessment Framework at Schedule A to monitor performance and progress against the objectives of the Partnership.  Performance assessment of the Partnership will be evidence-based and informed by reporting set out in 7.2 and reviews undertaken during the Partnership (at activity, sector, corporate, country/territory or regional levels), as well as relevant independent research or other studies.

7.5. GOA’s investment in SPC will also be assessed and reported periodically as required by the Australian aid program’s quality processes.  The reports will be shared with and consulted on by SPC and form part of the HLC’s annual performance review of the Partnership.

8. AMENDMENTS AND DOCUMENTATION

8.1. This Partnership may be revised at any time by an amendment in writing signed by GOA and SPC.

8.2. This Partnership complements the commitments of GOA under relevant decisions of SPC’s CRGA and Conference, in particular those that relate to the core funding of SPC.

 

Signed on  ......................... day of .......................... 2017

For the Government of Australia

 

The Hon Julie Bishop MP
Minister for Foreign Affairs

For the Pacific Community

 

Colin Tukuitonga
Director-General

 

SCHEDULE A

The Pacific Community (SPC) – Government of Australia (GOA) Partnership 2014-2023: Performance Assessment Framework (PAF)

The purpose of this Performance Assessment Framework (PAF) is to enable an annual assessment of overall progress against Partnership objectives to inform and support strategic HLC discussions. This assessment will also be used to inform annual DFAT Aid Quality Checks (AQCs), SPC Reflection reports and other reporting, and to that end the questions are aligned with the evidence required. SPC will provide performance information from its internal systems to contribute to the evidence base for reporting against the first two outcomes. DFAT and SPC will work together to provide evidence for reporting against the third outcome. DFAT and SPC will test these judgements and narrative in the HLC process. Reporting will focus on the outcomes (and their indicators) in the PAF that are most relevant to progress during each reporting period.

Summary Narrative and Key Results

Effective and efficient regional service delivery
What are the key outcomes from GOA’s investment in the SPC over the past year?
Are we achieving the outputs and outcomes that we expected?
How will the benefits last?

Enhanced SPC capabilities
What progress have we made to improve SPC as an organisation?
Does SPC’s M&E system generate credible information that is being used for management decision-making, learning and accountability purposes?
Are our investments making a difference to gender equality and social inclusion?

Stronger relationship between GOA and SPC
What are the key risks to meeting the objectives of the partnership and are they adequately treated?
Are there further opportunities for collaboration and support?

 

Outcome

Verifiable Indicator

Means of Verification & Data Source

Effective and Efficient Regional Service Delivery

Prioritised and consolidated SPC programmes focused on SPC’s comparative advantage in the provision of scientific and technical expertise

  • SPC has defined clear, sensible priorities for the organisation
  • Predicted budgets compare well to expected expenditure

 

  • Report of the Prioritisation Committee
  • Report of CRGA and Conference
  • Annual Budget
  • Organisational evaluation reports
  • Divisional mid-year reflection reports
  • Divisional end-year results reporting
  • Organisation-wide evaluative and reflective activities including: Reflection workshops, MELNet workshops, Results workshops, Country Work Plan updates

A coordinated and coherent approach with other CROP agencies and other donors

  • SPC participates constructively in regular CROP Heads meetings to coordinate joint activities
  • SPC partners with CROP agencies to implement Leaders decisions
  • Minutes of CROP Executive meetings
  • Feedback from other CROP agencies
  • HLC meeting records
  • DG’s report to CRGA

Enhanced SPC capabilities

Transparent financial budgeting and reporting including implementation of full cost recovery practices and improved planning at all levels of SPC

  • The priorities in SPC’s Strategic Plan and identified by members are used to guide budgeting decisions
  • SPC’s annual budget is scrutinised by members to assess its efficiency and effectiveness
  • SPC budget is scrutinised by the Audit and Risk Committee to ensure integrity
  • SPC financial reporting accurately reflects GOA financial support and any underspends
  • SPC Strategic Plan
  • SPC annual budget
  • Report of the Audit and Risk Committee
  • GOA SPC Risk Register

Improved practices to support SPC’s people, systems and processes, including monitoring, evaluation, learning and innovation

  • Improved sharing of skills and experience among staff across SPC
  • SPC has the necessary staff with the necessary skills to implement the PEARL system 
  • Evidence on outputs and progress towards intermediate and longer term outcomes
  • Evidence of performance information used by SPC’s senior management to inform organisational priorities
  • Report of the Prioritisation Committee
  • Report of CRGA and Conference
  • Annual Pacific Community Results Report
  • Organisational evaluation reports
  • Divisional mid-year reflection reports
  • Divisional end-year results reporting
  • Organisation-wide evaluative and reflective activities including: Reflection workshops, MELNet workshops, Results workshops, Country Work Plan updates

Mainstreaming of gender equality and social inclusion principles and practices at SPC’s organisational and operational levels

  • Analysis of gender equality gaps and social inclusions substantially informs SPC activities
  • Risks to gender equality and social inclusion are identified and appropriately managed
  • Progress in implementing strategies to promote gender equality and social inclusion
  • Sufficient expertise and budget allocation to achieve gender equality and social inclusion targets
  • Minutes from Gender Mainstreaming Committee meetings
  • Annual Pacific Community Results Report
  • Organisation-wide evaluative and reflective activities including: Reflection workshops, MELNet workshops, Results workshops, Country Work Plan updates

Stronger relationship between GOA and SPC

Predictable, multi-year GOA funding

  • New Australian funding agreements to SPC utilise a standard agreement template
  • As appropriate, new agreements outline criteria to guide HLC decisions on converting project funding to program funding
  • Annual confirmation of GOA funding in a timely manner to allow for SPC budgeting process
  • IRIS Reporting
  • Partnership funding agreement and amendments
  • SPC annual budget to CRGA
  • Mid-year reflection report
  • Pacific Community Results Report
  • DFAT annual Partnership AQC Reports
  • Activity agreements

Close collaboration on mutual priorities, supported by flexible GOA funding

  • GOA participates actively as a member in developing SPC work plans
  • GOA support for division Business plans
  • Reports of GOA program managers and SPC division managers for those programmes under the partnership

Effective and efficient communication and management arrangements

  • Consistent use of the focal point mechanism
  • Australia and SPC schedule regular High Level Consultations to assess and learn lessons from the partnership
  • Australia and SPC agree the outcomes of the High Level Consultations
  • The SPC risk register and DFAT risk register for SPC have been renewed and updated as required
  • Actions are being taken to mitigate risks, and further actions identified as required
  • HLC meeting records
  • DFAT annual Partnership AQC Reports
  • Partnership Visibility Strategy reporting
  • GOA’s SPC risk register

 

 

 

Last Updated: 5 June 2017