Strengthening Citizen Engagement in Fiji Initiative (SCEFI)

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2013-2017, Fiji
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
01/2013
Completion Date:
12/2016
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
19,714

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Title Strengthening Citizen Engagement in Fiji Initiative (SCEFI)
Atlas Project Number: 00044786
Evaluation Plan: 2013-2017, Fiji
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2016
Planned End Date: 01/2013
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Democratic Governance
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 2.4. Frameworks and dialogue processes engaged for effective and transparent engagement of civil society in national development
Evaluation Budget(US $): 19,714
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 20,714
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Civic Society Organisations, Fiji Provincial Councils, Fiji Citizens
Countries: FIJI
Comments:

This report presents the findings of the Final Evaluation of the Strengthening Citizen Engagement in

Fiji Initiative (SCEFI) – project.

Strengthening Citizen Engagement in Fiji Initiative (SCEFI) is a 3.5 year project with a budget of

EUR 2,600,000 Euro, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and

funded by the European Union (EU) and UNDP. Its objective is to contribute to a peaceful transition

to democracy and the rule of law in Fiji after 8 years of military rule

Lessons
Findings
1.

4. SCEFI Achievements and Contribution to Outcome

This chapter analyses achievements and contribution to outcome for the two SCEFI components: Grants (A) and Dialogue (B). The support to the National Strategy of the iTaukei Affairs Board has a special position in the SCEFI project and is described under a separate heading. Similarly, the SCEFI support to post-cyclone relief actions has a different position within the SCEFI action and is treated separately

A. Support to 44 Fijian CSOs: achievements, assessment The first SCEFI component was: Support to CSOs: Small Grants, and Capacity Development of CSOs or CSO coalitions to effectively engage Parliament. The SCEFI project has supported 56 projects implemented by 44 organisations in 4 rounds of grants.


Tag: Efficiency Human rights Local Governance Parliament Project and Programme management Financial Inclusion Capacity Building Civil Societies and NGOs

2.

Quantitative and qualitative assessment of the SCEFI CSO grants (continuation)

The establishment of a panel of facilitators enabled the project - The management of the grant portfolio is highly labour intensive, in particular as a result of the small scale funding and the large proportion of inexperienced grantees. SCEFI established a panel of initially 11 and finally 2 qualified local facilitators to manage the project. The establishment of a panel of facilitators enabled the project to reach out to all 14 provinces, reach out to informal and inexperienced CSOs, reach out to both iTaukei and Indo-Fijian communities, and address sensitive issues. The panel of facilitators has been critically conducive to successful outcome of the grant scheme. - In addition to grant management the facilitators provide tailored support to the beneficiaries – skill building, capacity building - in every stage of the project cycle, including induction workshops, skills enhancement and information around key thematic areas, capacity development, project design, participatory needs assessments, proposal writing, report writing, final evaluation writing, financial management advise, financial reporting, help with acquittals and tailored back-up support.

The current team of two local SCEFI facilitators is highly efficient. The facilitators are also the “eyes and ears” of the SCEFI project, actively pursuing feedback from stakeholders on the SCEFI project. - The grants scheme was implemented in line with planning and without delay. By December 2016 (the end of SCEFI’s implementation period), 100 % of all projects in round 1,2,3 and 4 have been completed and accounted for. The delivery rate is 98 %. - The SCEFI project included a Capacity Building component, which delivered beyond expectations. Feedback from trainees on the Capacity Development support and written evaluations confirm that the quality of capacity development is perceived as good. - The quality of outputs for the majority of the projects is good. This evaluation mission undertook a rapid assessment of the 56 CSO grants with the help of key informants (including the 2 facilitators in charge of project monitoring). This rapid assessment concludes that for the far majority of the projects (80%), the quality of outputs is perceived as good to very good, whereas for 9 projects key informants have doubts about the quality of outputs. For the remaining projects insufficient data were available. - Evaluation interviews and observations during field visits, give evidence that the grants are well implemented. The grants have enabled a wide variety of highly relevant, and in the context of Fiji innovative civil society support actions in accordance with the SCEFI thematic and quality criteria. - The overall good quality of the outputs is also confirmed by external key informants including government authorities; as well as by the grant tracker system, implementation reports, media reports, video’s, booklets, project outputs provided to the evaluation mission, and the draft TAB curriculum. - Several of the 56 projects have gained extensive media coverage via TV, Newspapers and Internet. - The projects resulted in a wealth of lessons learned and best practices which were partly documented in a series of small booklets, “Emblematic Stories”, which enabled sharing with a wider public


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Human and Financial resources Monitoring and Evaluation Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Financial Inclusion Capacity Building Civil Societies and NGOs

3.

Viseisei Sai Health Centre (VSHC): Empowerment of Single Teenage Mothers

Relevance: 10% of all women giving birth in Fiji are teenagers and in Viseisei Sai there has been an increase of teenage mothers from 7 in 2001 7 to 33 in 2015. Teenage single mothers are vulnerable to poverty, stigmatization, ostracizing and social exclusion. The project addresses a burning issue and as such its relevance is evident. Sensitive reproductive health issues are rarely discussed in Fiji. The village did not have a mechanism to deal with this; the village council was dominated by men. In 2014 with help of SCEFI, community workers from the Viseisei Sau Health Centre, a registered charity, initiated a project to empower single mothers with information and skill building. The project uses a bottom up approach to developing public policies on sexual and reproductive health of young vulnerable women, to bring about empowerment and change. Project activities: The project identified 33 mothers and with their permission conducted an in-depth assessment. VSHC organized a meeting with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Women, Social  Welfare and Poverty Alleviation, CSOs. VSHC then developed intervention strategies including: Counseling and referral services; Financial literacy programme; skills training, life skills programme, a micro finance effort, and three workshops to discuss issues such as responsibilities, dealing with family conflict and conflict resolution; 16 mothers attended; of which 8 attended all workshops. There was support from the paramount chief.


Tag: Relevance Sustainability Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Human rights Justice system Rule of law Knowledge management Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Capacity Building Women and gilrs Youth

4.

Youth Champs for Mental Health (YC4MH): Youth empowerment

Relevance: Youth in Fiji are a vulnerable group. Rates of youth unemployment are high in Fiji, there is a lot of ‘hidden’ domestic violence, and youth suicide rates in the Pacific including Fiji are among the highest in the world. Youth facing mental health problems are a marginalized and stigmatized group in Fiji. In 2014, assistance from SCEFI enabled YC4MH to mount nation-wide initiatives including 2 workshops on mental health awareness on the two main islands Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, and a ‘travelling’ advocacy campaign where volunteers went to remote areas to create safe spaces for discussion for young people to discuss their problems and create positive change. A follow-up project, “Rise”, involved an advocacy campaign where YC4MH volunteers travelled all across the country, organizing discussions in communities and schools, and workshops, for example for sex workers in Lautoka. YC4MH produced a ‘soundtrack’ for the Rise project where a famous music artist sang a song about the struggle of Fiji youth, with dancers performing a choreography visualizing their despair and hope

Outcome18: breaking the culture of silence around youth suicide and factors leading to suicide attempts; Some 20 youth helped in preventing suicide; empowerment of youth; Outreach to remote areas, including remote schools and communities; A network of support (peer-to-peer support) amongst youth facing mental health problems, with an annual come-together and refresher training for all; capacities have been built; “now they are leaders in their community using their real life experience in empowering young people”; “they already work in their own field, referring people back to us when needed”; Through advocacy and lobby an entry (a position)19 was created in the Ministry of Health, directed to prevention and support to youth facing depression; YC4MH was invited by the Government to facilitate a Training of Trainers for 30 Government employees and NGO peer educators; contribution to a review of the national peer educators’ manual on mental health. Through a rights based approach, workshop participants learned (often for the first time) about their rights, and about the health services they are entitle to receive and available to them. The 2010 Mental Health Decree decentralized services so that all major hospitals around Fiji have Stress Wards in place; Collaboration with other (nascent) CSOs.


Tag: Relevance Sustainability Resource mobilization Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Communication Donor relations Knowledge management Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Capacity Building Vulnerable Youth

5.

Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding (PCP) - Post Cyclone support Taveuni

Through SCEFI support, the Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding (PCP) implemented a project “Building Peaceful and Multicultural Communities” in 12 communities in Vanua Levu. The project included a baseline survey, scoping visits, curriculum development and training, community government dialogue, community meetings, government stakeholder meetings, facilitator training, and dialogue training, to help developing contextualised peace building curricula.

There is a wide range of Outcomes, as evidenced by reports, publications and interviews. A contextualized training curriculum on root causes of conflict and conflict resolution; Contextualized community training enable communities to better understand and address root causes of conflict and find solutions. Traditional leaders started to use an inclusive approach; transformative leadership. This contributed to inclusive decision making in the village; As a result of the training, all communities were able to make plans with respect to their development needs, and they know where to get assistance; The training strengthened local level governance; PCP’s collaborative rather than adversarial approach strengthened community-government engagement, e.g. with TAB; Linking up with service providers, NGOs and private sector;


Tag: Disaster Risk Reduction Local Governance Communication Knowledge management Policies & Procedures Conflict resolution Peace Building Promotion of dialogue Education Capacity Building

6.

Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding (PCP) - Post Cyclone support Taveuni (continuation)

Response to Cyclone Winston In response to the devastation caused by Cyclone Winston, PCP re-adjusted its activities in Taveuni island, with ‘resilience building’ interventions using PCP’s trauma relief curricula to support trauma relief to the thirteen affected communities in Cakaudrove Province: PCP conducted community workshops on stress, trauma healing and ‘mindful communication’ in 4 villages in Taveuni including one in English for Indo-Fijian and other non-iTaukei communities.

Outcomes of PCP’s cyclone response action, as communicated and observed during field visit: According to government records, the village where PCP worked on post-cyclone relief was at the top of ‘good governance in relief distribution’. There are several “contributing factors” to this success, in other words, it can be attributed to several factors. The role of the archbishop of Suva, the role of the village head and his wife, the parish priest here, ECREA, PCP, Transcend, Habitat, the fact that there is only one faith denomination (no religious divides). Cyclone survivors joined in sharing traumatic experiences (with over 50% women participation – an unintended effect due to the fact that heads of households were all lining up for distribution of relief items); survivors “shared the unsharable”, sharing has helped in reducing fear and have faith; and helped them to stand on their feet again.


Tag: Disaster risk management Effectiveness Gender-Based Violence Women's Empowerment Local Governance Communication Knowledge management Partnership Service delivery Capacity Building Vulnerable

7.

Fiji’s Disabled Peoples Federation (FDPF). SCEFI supported the Federation for Disabled People in Fiji. The project contributed to a number of very concrete outcomes, at various levels, as reported by FDPF chairperson Ms. Lanieta Tuimabu. In Nausori, the evaluation mission observed how the newly built market had been made fully accessible for persons with disabilities thanks to FDPF advocacy to Nausori Town Council. FDPF is advocating for ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) - Fiji signed the UNCPRD and its Protocol in 2010, but is still to ratify and become a party to the Convention.


Tag: Effectiveness Human rights Parliament Rule of law Service delivery Disabilities Advocacy Awareness raising Capacity Building

8.

B. Leadership Dialogue and CSO dialogue with high level stakeholders

The second SCEFI component is on high-level leadership dialogue, and facilitating CSO engagement in dialogue with high level stakeholders. Under this component SCEFI has supported and organized 35 events, dialogues, workshops, consultations and related actions. In the last phase SCEFI has in particular focused on four major areas:

1. Coalition building and networking activities amongst SCEFI grantees, building up advocacy skills in relation to Legislative and Executive to influence policy change, and CSO-Government relation building. a. Sustainable Development Goals b. CSO Coalition building c. Youth visioning workshop d. CSO-Parliament engagement: Legislative advocacy e. Youth Advocacy workshop; 2. Peace/social cohesion support: Support to harmonious inter-ethnic relations and multiculturalism a. Leadership Training and Dialogue for Chiefs, Community Leaders and Youth in Rotuma b. Multicultural Youth Dialogues c. Inter-ethnic dialogue in Rewa d. Pacific Peace Conference; 3. Post cyclone support a. Documenting Lessons learned (FRIEND) b. Youth Cash for Work in Koro islandc. Youth accountability in a humanitarian emergency ; 4. Building up a body of lessons learnt, documenting grantees activities, knowledge management: Emblematic stories, press conferences, visibility, videos, and a documentary on SCEFI. This evaluation undertook an outcome assessment of the major dialogue events. See below.


Tag: Effectiveness Civic Engagement Communication Knowledge management Partnership Country Government Peace Building Promotion of dialogue Agenda 2030 SDG Integration SDG monitoring and reporting

9.

Strengthening CSO Coalitions in Fiji SCEFI convened a workshop for CSO’s to share strategies of effective CSO coalition building in Fiji, attended by 32 participants. The purpose of the workshop was to strengthen the networking of national NGOs with community-based organisations, and strengthen advocacy of grassroots organisations toward the Executive and the Legislature on key policy issues. A second objective was to strengthen advocacy for existing coalitions around Governance and Gender-based violence, with disability and LGBT as crosscutting issues. Fiji has a few CSO led coalitions whose experiences were shared during the workshop - largely on human rights and women’s empowerment. Reported Outcome: Participants gained insights into coalition building, including in the practical aspects of coalition building. Participants identified shared principles and common visions. During the workshop it became apparent that the participants were not “ready” yet to engage in formal coalition making. The facilitator recommended to SCEFI to further support lose coalitions and networks and to do more capacity building for CSOs to see the benefits of coalitions for advocacy and to build a constituency for their work. The workshop report recommended to continue to support a youth coalition, which SCEFI has followed up by supporting the visioning exercise for the youth council which is a lose coalition of different youth organizations across the country. See below.


Tag: Effectiveness Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Gender-Based Violence Women's Empowerment Civic Engagement Partnership Advocacy Awareness raising Capacity Building Civil Societies and NGOs Women and gilrs Youth

10.

Civil Society - Parliament outreach SCEFI supported a 2-day Parliament briefing for 30 CSO representatives, in partnership with the Parliament of the Republic of Fiji, and the UNDP Fiji Parliament Support Project. The objective was to facilitate a refresher session on how Parliament works, and advocacy skills training on how NGO’s can organise themselves to present to a Parliament Standing Committee. An element of the training was a session on how CSO’s can effectively engage Parliament in its law-making, oversight, and representation role. The briefing included presentations from Members of Parliament; this session was also an opportunity for participants to network with the MPs and gain entry points for future engagement. The Parliament Outreach team leader from the Indian NGO PRS Legislative Research was invited by SCEFI to share lessons from India. Outcome: 30 NGO representatives gained insights on how to better engage with the Parliament and Parliament Standing Committees; NGO-MP engagement. 

Youth Advocacy workshop SCEFI organized a youth advocacy workshop on SDG 16: “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”. Outcome: Youth (male and female) built capacities and skills on advocacy for Sustainable Development. 


Tag: Effectiveness Civic Engagement Human rights Justice system Parliament Partnership Conflict resolution Peace Building Social cohesion Advocacy Awareness raising Institutional Strengthening SDG Integration Civil Societies and NGOs National Institutions Youth

11.

2. Peace and social cohesion support - Rotuma: Leadership Training and Dialogue for Chiefs, Community Leaders and Youth (continuation)

Outcome: The Rotuma may be considered a showcase of outcome oriented action through a focused intervention resulting in a wide variety of transformational outcomes. The action led to the first inter-generational, inter-clan, cross-gender dialogue in Rotuma, possibly the first in its kind in Fiji’s recent history. It transformed the existing decision making model. It contributed to reconciliation and conflict resolution engaging all elements of reconciliation. It contributed to empowerment at various levels (personal, relational, cultural, structural, documented in detail in the ‘Rotuma booklet’), with several instances of empowerment, such as that it was the first time that the wives of chiefs were invited to a training course. It applied a peace building approach bringing it down to the communities.

A conflict mapping analyses root causes of conflict in the social fabric. Crossgenerational dialogue proved an opportunity for conflict resolution. The project mobilized the communities in Rotuma in an inclusive and participatory way. The project reached a considerable level of press coverage. The project documented ‘lessons learned’ including on the need for participation of women and young people and inclusivity in patriarchal communities.


Tag: Effectiveness Relevance Sustainability Civic Engagement Human rights Communication Knowledge management Conflict resolution Peace Building Promotion of dialogue Social cohesion Capacity Building National Institutions Youth

12.

Inter-ethnic dialogue in Rewa SCEFI supported a peace building initiative organized by FRIEND on bringing together the two ethnic groups, iTaukei and Indo Fijians. The action was a response to the fact that the paramount Chief of Rewa province and paramount head of the Burebasaga Confederacy had declared all descendants of Girmitiya as belonging to the province of Rewa and re-establishing their links to the Vanua – which meant that for the first time since the arrival of the first indentured labour ship in 1879, the descendants of Girmitiya have an identity with the Vanua and its people as much as the iTaukei would. FRIEND responded by bringing the two ethnic groups together, enabling them to get to know each other, eat and laugh together, visit each other’s houses, and learn about each other’s history: in short, bridging the divides that feature Fijian society. Good press coverage was arranged. The project itself was limited in scope, budget (3,000 FJD) and time frame but it is being sustained in various ways, demonstrating that a limited project may contribute to a much wider outcome and possibly impact. The Rewa approach may be a ‘model’ for multi-cultural peacebuilding that may be replicated on a wider scale.

Pacific Peace conference With support of SCEFI, the Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding organized a Pacific Peace Conference. The objectives of the Conference were to bring together peacebuilding practitioners to share their peacebuilding work and stories; and to work with government to see the value of peacebuilding for policy development. PCP is highly experienced in grassroot work with a conflict transformation approach. The target groups were NGOs and CSOs, Faith Based Organizations; Government Ministries and Departments; Educational Institutions; Regional and International Organizations; and Media. The concept note for the action was not specific and not clear on expected outcome. The theme of the conference is highly relevant in the context of Fiji. There was extensive media coverage (TV, You-tube, articles in Fiji Times). Outcome: participants mentioned that the conference was a ‘breath of fresh air’ because it was ‘a safe space for sharing’. One of the participants is quoted saying “we Fijians must celebrate the diversity of Fiji, but also not close our eyes for the fact that it presents us with difficulties”. As a result of the conference several faith-based leaders are now involved in follow-up peace building trainings within their communities.


Tag: Effectiveness Relevance Sustainability Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Human rights Local Governance Communication Knowledge management Ownership Conflict resolution Peace Building Promotion of dialogue Social cohesion Technology Vulnerable

13.

3. Post cyclone support(continuation)

The study concludes that “the primary damage that a disaster creates is beyond control of human beings; what is within our research is to prevent the secondary consequences that precipitate the human suffering – conflicts, post-traumatic stress disorders, malnutrition, loss of dignity, and hopelessness. Cyclone Winston has taught many lessons on needs, vulnerabilities and resilience. The efficiency and success of any intervention depends on the Local Resilience factors built upon at all levels” - the community, the stakeholders and on a national scale.

Outcome: 1. A document on Lessons Learned in disaster response, describing the Post Disaster Needs, Resilience and Vulnerability approach. 2. Documenting policy implications of participatory, inclusive, empowering approaches. 3. A video documentary on disaster response, 4. Partnership between CSO and government. Recommendation: SCEFI, FRIEND and other civil society organisations involved in disaster relief to analyse their experiences and approaches in particular where different or opposite approaches have been identified (as far as this is not yet coordinated by NDMO). Develop joint conclusions and future strategies. For example: FRIEND concludes that “monetary compensation given to community members for cleaning up their own surroundings …is detrimental to …local ownership and participation”, whereas one of the SCEFI projects was on providing monetary compensation to community members for cleaning up, and was highly appreciated by the communities (see below, on the Cash for Work project in Koro).


Tag: Disaster Risk Reduction Civic Engagement Communication Knowledge management Partnership Service delivery Country Government Vulnerable Youth

14.

4. Documenting Lessons learned, good practices

SCEFI has documented the wealth of lessons learned and good practices in an eminent way. Lessons learned are accessible for a wider public and can be used for a follow-up to SCEFI: - “Emblematic Stories”: SCEFI produced ten small publications, capturing the essence and good practices of grant projects. The Stories were launched by the Assistant Minister of Health and Medical Services. - SCEFI produced a booklet on the Rotuma intergenerational dialogue, which was launched by H.E. the President of Fiji, Jioji Konrote. - SCEFI produced videos on lessons learned (Post-cyclone lessons learned and a video on the Koro experience), and a Final SCEFI documentary. SCEFI maintained an excellent media strategy including press conferences, press visits and press reports. 

Other actions Finally, the SCEFI dialogue component involved some smaller dialogues, actions, and capacity building such as: “Rethinking and Reclaiming the Commons for our Common Home” (Environmental conservation and stewardship from a faith-based perspective) facilitated by ECREA; M&E support to TAB in rolling out the National Strategy; and SCEFI support to the LGBTIQ advocacy day celebration (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia - IDAHOT), together with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), USAID and LGBTIQ networks. Also, SCEFI gave technical support to a Fiji Practice Parliament session for Women leaders, implemented by the UNDP Fiji Parliament Support Project with the Parliament of the Republic of Fiji. 


Tag: Effectiveness Sustainability Civic Engagement Human rights Local Governance Rule of law Communication Knowledge management Conflict resolution Peace Building Social cohesion Capacity Building Technical Support

15.

iTaukei National Strategy(continuation)

The National Strategy included the production of a leadership training pack with 10 curriculum modules, piloted in at least two villages in each province, and ‘owned’ by a broad range of national stakeholders including communities and community organisations. Ownership was ensured  through a process of community profiling identifying information gaps and training needs.The curriculum was developed and validated with the 14 Roko Tuis and their Senior Assistants. The content was developed and contextualised in collaboration with the 10 thematic working groups made up by government and civil society counterparts each working on the ten modules of the curriculum. One of the SCEFI facilitators has been working closely with the iTaukei Affairs Board team to provide inputs from UNDP’s perspective, in “ensuring the principles of gender equality, multi-culturalism, rights based principles, and adherence to the 2013 Constitution Bill of Rights”. A ‘veracity check’ on consonance with UNDP standards led to modifications in the draft curriculum. Various stakeholders confirm that ‘mutual trust’ was developed over time and the final product is perceived as “owned” by TAB and “enabled” by SCEFI. TAB Trainers: “It reflects the core values of Fiji”. SCEFI coordinator Sonja Bachmann: “It is their product”. 


Tag: Effectiveness Sustainability Civic Engagement Human rights Local Governance Rule of law Communication Knowledge management Ownership Partnership Results-Based Management Country Government Capacity Building

16.

iTaukei National Strategy(continuation)

The TAB trainers mention that in their perception the project is relevant in the context of Fiji as the curriculum addresses urgent emerging issues. “We need to empower the iTaukei people with the right leadership tools”. The SCEFI project facilitator sees the main relevance of the project in the fact that “it helps the people understand that they have power in their hands.” The trainers mention the following indicators for contribution to outcome: The leadership training programme was received positively by the people; the trainings resulted in concrete plans; the iTaukei management incorporated the curriculum in its training plan; the project identified a yearning for more capacity building; there was increasing participation of women and youth; the project contributed to changing the notion that leadership is inherited and can not be changed; one concrete result was that the project identified a vacant leadership position which was then fulfilled.


Tag: Effectiveness Impact Relevance Sustainability Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Civic Engagement Human rights Local Governance Rule of law Communication Donor relations Knowledge management Partnership Country Government Capacity Building Civil Societies and NGOs Women and gilrs Youth

17.

Civil Society involvement in cyclone response

Cyclone Winston hit Fiji on February 21th, 2016. It was the second strongest cyclone in human history and the strongest in the southern hemisphere ever recorded. The ROM monitoring mission had recommended allocating part of the remaining SCEFI budget for post-cyclone actions. SCEFI post-cyclone support included grants (re-focusing actions from ongoing grantees such as CCF, and PCP in Taveuni island) and ‘dialogue’ actions (see previous paragraph: Support to FRIEND on video documenting lessons learned; the Koro Cash-for-Work project with the Ministry of Youth and Sport; the Koro documentary; and the post-cyclone youth workshop on accountability in humanitarian emergency, with Transparency International). SCEFI’s post-cyclone support included action on some of the outer islands in line with the Government motto of “leaving nobody behind”. As demonstrated in the previous paragraphs, the cyclone response actions involved were very much adjusted to the particular context. They involved collaboration and partnerships with community groups and humanitarian actors on the ground. However, as highlighted before, different approaches are also evident. An important lesson learned is that in some SCEFI cyclone response projects, collaboration between iTaukei and Indo Fijian communities was articulated.


Tag: Disaster Risk Reduction Civic Engagement Change Management Knowledge management Monitoring and Evaluation Capacity Building Vulnerable

18.

5. Summarizing SCEFI’s Contribution to Outcome

The previous chapter undertook a systematic outcome assessment of 1. the 56 civil society projects supported through SCEFI grants, 2. twelve main national level dialogues supported under the SCEFI dialogue component, 3. the support to the iTaukei National Strategy supported by SCEFI and 4. the SCEFI cyclone response support. As has been demonstrated in the previous chapter, there is significant evidence that the SCEFI project has contributed to a wide range of outcomes. 

Levels and layers of outcome Outcome of the SCEFI projects is evidenced at 4 levels: - individual level (individual skills and empowerment); - organizational level (organizational capacities); - community level (needs assessments, dialogues, conflict resolution, capacity building) and - national level (coalition building, government-civil society engagement, legislation supporting inclusion and rights, initiating national level dialogues).


Tag: Effectiveness Impact Sustainability National Regional Civic Engagement Human rights Local Governance Rule of law Results-Based Management Conflict resolution Promotion of dialogue Disabilities Capacity Building Vulnerable Women and gilrs Youth

19.

5. Summarizing SCEFI’s Contribution to Outcome (continuation)

Outcome for established as well as nascent CSOs SCEFI outcome has benefited established, experienced NGOs as well as inexperienced, nascent CSOs.

Outcome for all communities – iTaukei, Indo-Fijian and others SCEFI outcome has benefitted all communities, both iTaukei, Indo-Fijian communities, and others; and all religious groups. SCEFI also reached out to communities on outer islands who hardly have access to funding (e.g. Rotuma). 

Outcome for innovative issues SCEFI has supported a range of innovative actions and SCEFI actions managed to address and mainstream sensitive issues.


Tag: Disaster Risk Reduction Effectiveness Efficiency Impact Sustainability Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Civic Engagement Human rights Results-Based Management Theory of Change Capacity Building Women and gilrs Youth

20.

2. Peace and social cohesion support - Rotuma: Leadership Training and Dialogue for Chiefs, Community Leaders and Youth (continuation from Finding 11)

Multicultural Youth Dialogues SCEFI organised a series of 4 multicultural youth workshops, followed by a synthesis workshop, with the aim to provide an opportunity for inter-ethnic dialogue, gain a deeper understanding about cultural differences among the different ethnic communities, discussion of stereotypes, discussion of ‘diversity and connectedness’ and cross-cultural engagement. Participants represented the two major ethnic communities. Outcomes:

1. Participants positively engaging in multiculturalism; 2. Engagement of government stakeholders 3. Roko Tui commitment to replicate the workshop at provincial level;  4. Joint declaration from workshop participants, affirming “that we are all Fijians united by common and equal citizenry”, that “the vision of equal citizenry is work in progress for most young Fijians”, that the “implementation of multicultural principles is an on-going, inter-generational process” that cuts across social norms, community interventions and policy and legislation reform; recommending to “promote training on ethnic, cultural and religious diversity in Fiji through the school curriculum in order to promote interethnic, inter-religious and cultural friendship and solidarity”, “collaboration between Ministries and the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission”, “develop training on multiculturalism that recognizes the full diversity of life experiences of all people in Fiji” “(including women and girls, people living with disabilities, and diverse gender identities)”, “ parallel workshops for influential elders in communities …to build Fiji where no-one is left behind”.


Tag: Effectiveness Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Civic Engagement Human rights Conflict resolution Peace Building Social cohesion Capacity Building Institutional Strengthening National Institutions Vulnerable Youth

21.

iTaukei National Strategy (continuation from Finding 16)

An important feature of the National Strategy is the consistent emphasis on contextualization, in two ways: in the first place in anchoring the process with the main stakeholders, being the iTaukei Affairs Board, the traditional leaders and the communities, and the CSOs; and secondly in contextualizing the content of the National Strategy with those who are expected to benefit. The approach was rooted in UNDPs longstanding experience in dealing with processes of change in fragile environments: “if the approach is not contextualized there will never be change” – a process approach aiming at step-by-step incremental change. The National Strategy is likely to be more effective and meaningful if Civil Society expert organisations collaborate in its implementation. A missed opportunity in the process is the fact that a gender approach is not yet integrated in the curriculum. Despite efforts by the SCEFI team, a focused gender perspective is absent both in the curriculum and in the participant handouts. The minimal references to gender don’t provide a perspective, neither to trainers nor to trainees. SCEFI has recommended follow up action such as a gender training for all Roko Tuis linking it to the Gender Policy introduced by the Ministry of Women. A human rights based approach (HRBA) – one of the UN principles - is to a limited extent integrated in the National Strategy. As per the assessment undertaken by SCEFI, young people and women are not yet empowered to contribute to village meetings and there is a lack of space for them to participate in dialogue or decision making processes. Inclusive approaches for implementation taking into account women and youth perspectives and concerns will be critical for implementation.

A perspective on climate change and disaster preparedness has been included in the curriculum at the request of Fiji Provincial Authorities, through the participation of UNDP’s Pacific Risk Resilience Program (PRRP). PRRP staff contributed two modules to the curriculum. Altogether, the relevance of the National Strategy is beyond doubt. The significance of the collaboration and synergy between the Government and Civil Society towards the National Strategy reaches beyond the goal itself as this successful process may strengthen confidence in similar collaboration processes involving other fields and other Ministries and Civil Society Organisations, as such contributing to a more substantive democracy in Fiji. These synergies are highly valuable and the momentum should not be lost – which underlines the relevance of funding for a follow-up action. This is one of the most significant outcomes of the SCEFI project.


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Disaster Risk Reduction Effectiveness Impact Sustainability Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Civic Engagement Human rights Local Governance Rule of law Partnership Policies & Procedures Capacity Building Civil Societies and NGOs Women and gilrs Youth

Recommendations
1

Contribute support to democratic transition process in particular focus on women and youth, civil society engagement, inclusive dialogue spaces on national and local level

2

Design a follow up to SCEFI deepening lessons learnt and replicating good practices

3

Focus on replicating actions that have contributed to social cohesion, multiculturalism, peacebuilding and human security, non- violence and rights based approach

4

If funds limited, prioritise technical and capacity building support

5

Continue strengthening the CSO sector

6

Integrate gender perspectives in all UNDP programmes, create a pool of gender experts for engagement in traditional contexts. Build on what worked and what did not of SCEFI

7

Share lessons learned on the grant scheme experience of SCEFI. Design mechanism for supporting small nascent CSOs feasible from a management perspective (sub grants, facilitators)

8

Proactively share the SCEFI model and lessons learnt with wider public and donors

9

Bring together SCEFI supported CSOs involved in post cyclone relief to analyse lesosns learned on disaster management from their perspective

10

7. Recommendations

1. To UNDP and EU: Continue support to the democratic transition process in Fiji through encouraging the active and collaborative participation of Fiji's citizens, in particular women and youth, with a focus on civil society engagement, inclusive dialogue spaces on national and local development issues ‘leaving nobody behind’.

2. To UNDP: Design a follow up to the SCEFI project: a. Deepening the outcomes from SCEFI (social cohesion, multiculturalism, youth and gender, ‘leaving nobody behind’), b. Deepening Lessons Learned from SCEFI, c. Replicating Good Practices.

3. To UNDP: Key components of a follow-up to SCEFI may be: a. Building on best practices from the present implementation modalities - parallel engagement with government, iTaukei Affairs Board, civil society, b. Building on transformational approaches (such as the Rotuma model, the multicultural youth dialogues), c. Replicating on a wider scale actions that have contributed to social cohesion, multiculturalism, peace building, youth & women engagement, ‘leaving nobody behind’. d. Support to CSO-Government-Grassroot collaboration, e. High level dialogues, including with the security sector, on key issues, including Fijian identity, human security and peace building, non-violence, rights based approach, f. Focus on Coalition Building, platform building, g. Support to the 2018 democratic election process (civil society support, dialogue spaces) h. Cross cutting issues: rights based approach, multiculturalism, gender, vulnerable groups, disaster preparedness.

11

Recommendations (continuation)

4. To UNDP: If funds are limited or not available, prioritise technical & capacity building support.

5. To UNDP: Continue strengthening the CSO sector: Strategic support to Civil Society Organisations and the CSO sector. 1. Internal: capacity building including on organizational development, democratization, multiculturalism, diversity, gender, 2. CSO Platform building: how to use democratic space, code of conduct, rights holders’ and the duty bearer’s perspective; Issues of transparency, accountability within the NGO sector, 3. External: strengthening the legal and political CSO framework, accountability.

6. To UNDP: Integrate a gender perspective in all aspects of the programme. Create a pool of gender experts for engagement in traditional contexts. Build on what worked and what did not work in SCEFI in terms of gender mainstreaming. Include sex-disaggregated planning, monitoring, reporting, communicating.

7. To UNDP: In case of a grant scheme: more focus, core themes, exclusively for initiatives that include coalition building. Maintain a mixed grant portfolio that includes reaching out to 1) small and inexperienced CSOs, 2) remote areas, 3) both iTaukei and Indo-Fijian communities, 4) marginalized groups, and 5) people addressing sensitive issues; in line with the government’s commitment to ‘leave nobody behind’. Design a mechanism for supporting small nascent CSOs which is feasible from a management perspective (e.g., sub-grants, facilitators).

8. To UNDP: Continue supporting the National Strategy. In particular: Capacity Building of the iTaukei staff and trainers, M&E framework, Training of Trainers, support to engaging CSO expert trainers, support to mixed (iTaukei and non-iTaukei) trainings.To UNDP, TAB: Support the collaboration with Civil Society expert organisations in implementing the trainings, developing curriculum content and handouts to be relevant to emerging issues in Fiji society, in particular for vulnerable groups. Effectively consider the National Strategy as a ‘living strategy’. Develop a mechanism to monitor implementation and trainer / trainee / stakeholder feedback. Integrate a gender perspective in curriculum, module updates and handouts. Involve gender expertise (gender experts) and improve gender balance in terms of staff. Training on gender equality for TAB staff. Trainers to integrate a gender perspective throughout the training (not just adding as a subject). Handouts to be developed. Set a target for women participation in trainings (50%, or justify if different percentage) and create an enabling environment for reaching those targets. Include a rights based approach in the implementation of the National Strategy.

12

Recommendations (continuation)

9. To UNDP: Pro-actively share the SCEFI model and lessons learned (documented in emblematic stories, video’s). Make them accessible for a wider public, potential donors and a follow-up action.

10. To UNDP: In a follow-up SCEFI, at the start of the programme, provide capacity building on community baseline surveys, to develop a deeper understanding of needs and concerns of people and contextualise strategies towards development and change.

11. To UNDP: In a follow-up SCEFI, include a SCEFI-wide monitoring system allowing for a rigorous outcome assessment, and build capacity on Monitoring and Evaluation and result oriented practices.

12. To UNDP: Bring together SCEFI supported CSOs involved in post-cyclone relief to analyse lessons learned on disaster management (in addition to the evaluation organized by NDMO).

13. To all donors involved in Fiji Civil Society support: engage in effective donor coordination.

14. To the Government of Fiji: The Rotuma inter-generational action was nominated best practice by the EU, the President of Fiji and the Ministry of Youth. Recommendation: Provide sustained support to this social cohesion approach, replicate the “Rotuma approach”.

15. To the Government of Fiji: in view of the successful contribution of the Strengthening Citizen Engagement in Fiji Initiative (SCEFI) to strengthening the transition to democracy and the rule of law in Fiji ‘leaving nobody behind’, explore sustained collaboration with a follow-up SCEFI initiative. 

1. Recommendation:

Contribute support to democratic transition process in particular focus on women and youth, civil society engagement, inclusive dialogue spaces on national and local level

Management Response: [Added: 2017/02/05] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Effective Governance Unit to develop a regional civil society focused capacity building programme focused on women and youth empowerment, based on SCEFI lessons learned and best practices
[Added: 2017/02/05] [Last Updated: 2018/04/29]
Effective Governance Unit to develop a regional capacity building programme focused on youth empowerment, based on sCEFI lessons learnt and best practices 2018/07 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The Project is closed ]
Youth empowerment for Sustainable human development – Initiation Plan (YESDev IP) Project 00106057 being implemented under EG and IG since July 2017 for 12 months. Full project document for a 4-year youth empowerment project will be developed as an outcome of IP. History
2. Recommendation:

Design a follow up to SCEFI deepening lessons learnt and replicating good practices

Management Response: [Added: 2017/02/05] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Effective Governance Unit to develop a regional civil society focused capacity building programme focused on women and youth empowerment, based on SCEFI lessons learned and best practices
[Added: 2017/02/05] [Last Updated: 2018/04/29]
Effective Governance Unit to develop a regional capacity building programme focused on youth empowerment, based on sCEFI lessons learnt and best practices 2018/04 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The Project is closed ]
Conceptual stage of programme design Youth empowerment for Sustainable human development – Initiation Plan (YESDev IP) Project 00106057 being implemented under EG and IG since July 2017 for 12 months. Full project document for a 4-year youth empowerment project will be developed as an outcome of IP. History
3. Recommendation:

Focus on replicating actions that have contributed to social cohesion, multiculturalism, peacebuilding and human security, non- violence and rights based approach

Management Response: [Added: 2017/02/05] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
PDA/SCEFI coordinator will be disseminating peacebuilding approach and SCEFI lessons learned within relevant UNDP units and discuss how can be used in programming PDA working on these issues in collaboration with other UNDP team leaders in 2017 in particular in view of 2018 elections All knowledge products have been uploaded on UNDP Pacific office website
[Added: 2017/02/05] [Last Updated: 2017/09/10]
PDA unit together with other relevant units: effective governance, inclusive growth and resiience 2017/04 Completed Undertaken by Sonja Bachmann (Senior PDA) in 1st qtr particularly with EG, and IG TL’s History
4. Recommendation:

If funds limited, prioritise technical and capacity building support

Management Response: [Added: 2017/02/05] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
If funds limited, prioritise technical and capacity building support
[Added: 2017/02/05] [Last Updated: 2018/04/29]
PDA unit together with other relevant units: effective governance, inclusive growth and resiience 2018/07 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The Project is closed ]
Technical assistance and capacity building support to Pacific youth through YESDev IP History
5. Recommendation:

Continue strengthening the CSO sector

Management Response: [Added: 2017/02/05] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Agree

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue strengthening the CSO sector
[Added: 2017/02/05] [Last Updated: 2018/04/29]
All UNDP program managers, UNDP RR and CD 2018/04 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The Project is closed ]
A targeted approach to mainstream civil society in all programmatic activities, as feasible needs to be undertaken History
6. Recommendation:

Integrate gender perspectives in all UNDP programmes, create a pool of gender experts for engagement in traditional contexts. Build on what worked and what did not of SCEFI

Management Response: [Added: 2017/02/05] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Agreed. As feasible given resources, financial and HR. Need to partner with UN Women and other regional organizations, CROPS.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Ensure gender focal point can review draft documents, draft knowledge products, as part of corporate requirement.
[Added: 2017/02/05] [Last Updated: 2018/04/29]
Gender focal point together with all team leaders, RR and CD; 2018/04 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The Project is closed ]
History
7. Recommendation:

Share lessons learned on the grant scheme experience of SCEFI. Design mechanism for supporting small nascent CSOs feasible from a management perspective (sub grants, facilitators)

Management Response: [Added: 2017/02/05] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Agreed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
PDA/SCEFI coordinator to undertake sharing of lessons learned on mixed grant scheme/networking approach with all team leaders in February 2017.
[Added: 2017/02/05] [Last Updated: 2018/04/29]
PDA/SCEFI coordinator 2017/04 Completed An initial assessment/note to file has been already done with finance/operations. History
8. Recommendation:

Proactively share the SCEFI model and lessons learnt with wider public and donors

Management Response: [Added: 2017/02/05] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Agreed and completed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
All publications/stories are available on UNDP website and events to be organized. Final SCEFI documentary was launched on 26 January 2016 by H.E. President Jioji Konrote and is available online/utube..
[Added: 2017/02/05]
PDA/SCEFI coordinator and PaO Communications Team 2017/01 Completed History
9. Recommendation:

Bring together SCEFI supported CSOs involved in post cyclone relief to analyse lesosns learned on disaster management from their perspective

Management Response: [Added: 2017/02/05] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Agreed and completed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
A meeting took place already in UNDP where FRIENDS shared their post disaster response lessons learned through their video titled: The Fijian Resilience – lessons learned from TC Winston, focused on Ra province. CSOs, UN agencies, Gov representatives attended.
[Added: 2017/02/05] [Last Updated: 2017/09/10]
PDA/SCEFI coordinator 2017/02 Completed History
10. Recommendation:

7. Recommendations

1. To UNDP and EU: Continue support to the democratic transition process in Fiji through encouraging the active and collaborative participation of Fiji's citizens, in particular women and youth, with a focus on civil society engagement, inclusive dialogue spaces on national and local development issues ‘leaving nobody behind’.

2. To UNDP: Design a follow up to the SCEFI project: a. Deepening the outcomes from SCEFI (social cohesion, multiculturalism, youth and gender, ‘leaving nobody behind’), b. Deepening Lessons Learned from SCEFI, c. Replicating Good Practices.

3. To UNDP: Key components of a follow-up to SCEFI may be: a. Building on best practices from the present implementation modalities - parallel engagement with government, iTaukei Affairs Board, civil society, b. Building on transformational approaches (such as the Rotuma model, the multicultural youth dialogues), c. Replicating on a wider scale actions that have contributed to social cohesion, multiculturalism, peace building, youth & women engagement, ‘leaving nobody behind’. d. Support to CSO-Government-Grassroot collaboration, e. High level dialogues, including with the security sector, on key issues, including Fijian identity, human security and peace building, non-violence, rights based approach, f. Focus on Coalition Building, platform building, g. Support to the 2018 democratic election process (civil society support, dialogue spaces) h. Cross cutting issues: rights based approach, multiculturalism, gender, vulnerable groups, disaster preparedness.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation:

Recommendations (continuation)

4. To UNDP: If funds are limited or not available, prioritise technical & capacity building support.

5. To UNDP: Continue strengthening the CSO sector: Strategic support to Civil Society Organisations and the CSO sector. 1. Internal: capacity building including on organizational development, democratization, multiculturalism, diversity, gender, 2. CSO Platform building: how to use democratic space, code of conduct, rights holders’ and the duty bearer’s perspective; Issues of transparency, accountability within the NGO sector, 3. External: strengthening the legal and political CSO framework, accountability.

6. To UNDP: Integrate a gender perspective in all aspects of the programme. Create a pool of gender experts for engagement in traditional contexts. Build on what worked and what did not work in SCEFI in terms of gender mainstreaming. Include sex-disaggregated planning, monitoring, reporting, communicating.

7. To UNDP: In case of a grant scheme: more focus, core themes, exclusively for initiatives that include coalition building. Maintain a mixed grant portfolio that includes reaching out to 1) small and inexperienced CSOs, 2) remote areas, 3) both iTaukei and Indo-Fijian communities, 4) marginalized groups, and 5) people addressing sensitive issues; in line with the government’s commitment to ‘leave nobody behind’. Design a mechanism for supporting small nascent CSOs which is feasible from a management perspective (e.g., sub-grants, facilitators).

8. To UNDP: Continue supporting the National Strategy. In particular: Capacity Building of the iTaukei staff and trainers, M&E framework, Training of Trainers, support to engaging CSO expert trainers, support to mixed (iTaukei and non-iTaukei) trainings.To UNDP, TAB: Support the collaboration with Civil Society expert organisations in implementing the trainings, developing curriculum content and handouts to be relevant to emerging issues in Fiji society, in particular for vulnerable groups. Effectively consider the National Strategy as a ‘living strategy’. Develop a mechanism to monitor implementation and trainer / trainee / stakeholder feedback. Integrate a gender perspective in curriculum, module updates and handouts. Involve gender expertise (gender experts) and improve gender balance in terms of staff. Training on gender equality for TAB staff. Trainers to integrate a gender perspective throughout the training (not just adding as a subject). Handouts to be developed. Set a target for women participation in trainings (50%, or justify if different percentage) and create an enabling environment for reaching those targets. Include a rights based approach in the implementation of the National Strategy.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Key Actions:

12. Recommendation:

Recommendations (continuation)

9. To UNDP: Pro-actively share the SCEFI model and lessons learned (documented in emblematic stories, video’s). Make them accessible for a wider public, potential donors and a follow-up action.

10. To UNDP: In a follow-up SCEFI, at the start of the programme, provide capacity building on community baseline surveys, to develop a deeper understanding of needs and concerns of people and contextualise strategies towards development and change.

11. To UNDP: In a follow-up SCEFI, include a SCEFI-wide monitoring system allowing for a rigorous outcome assessment, and build capacity on Monitoring and Evaluation and result oriented practices.

12. To UNDP: Bring together SCEFI supported CSOs involved in post-cyclone relief to analyse lessons learned on disaster management (in addition to the evaluation organized by NDMO).

13. To all donors involved in Fiji Civil Society support: engage in effective donor coordination.

14. To the Government of Fiji: The Rotuma inter-generational action was nominated best practice by the EU, the President of Fiji and the Ministry of Youth. Recommendation: Provide sustained support to this social cohesion approach, replicate the “Rotuma approach”.

15. To the Government of Fiji: in view of the successful contribution of the Strengthening Citizen Engagement in Fiji Initiative (SCEFI) to strengthening the transition to democracy and the rule of law in Fiji ‘leaving nobody behind’, explore sustained collaboration with a follow-up SCEFI initiative. 

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Key Actions:

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