The Cook Islands Government is now working on its first Development Financing Assessment Report (DFA), a tool that will assist and support the government in shaping the inception phase of their Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF).
This comes after the inception workshop for this project was held in Rarotonga last week, under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Financing – Component 1 Joint Programme, funded by the Joint SDG Fund, and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Women and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) in collaboration with the Government of the Cook Islands.
The DFA process is based on national financing priorities. It is comprised of a comprehensive analysis of financing flows, policies, institutions, and capacities; and identifies gaps for improvement with recommendations for relevant reforms.
“The Cook Islands Government greatly appreciates the support provided by UNDP; this tool will provide support as we respond to COVID-19 and allows us to establish as necessary an integrated national financing framework to finance the agenda of building forward better with greater sustainability, resilience, and inclusivity,” said Garth Henderson, Financial Secretary for the Cook Islands Ministry of Finance and Economic Management.
The workshop was led by the Cook Islands Ministry of Finance & Economic Management (MFEM) in collaboration with UNDP, the DFA Team, and support from the SDG Financing Regional Team. It was well attended by a wide range of national stakeholders from government, private sector, civil society, development partners, and the participating UN agencies.
The workshop concluded with a consensus amongst the stakeholders to validate the implementation of the DFA Tool and Process, with the way forward and next steps being the DFA Comprehensive Analysis, and Financial Dialogues and Roadmap.
The Roadmap will identify strategic financing solutions for recovery that will inform and determine the operationalization of Cook Islands’ Integrated Financing Framework in the national context.
“UNDP is pleased to work with the Government of the Cook Islands on the development of its first DFA Report, as the primary stepping stone towards establishing their Integrated National Financing Framework. The implementation of this Joint Programme is a timely initiative, considering the financial impacts and shocks that the Cook Islands, like all our other islands, had endured due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. These unprecedented events have contributed to a paradigm shift not only on national priorities, but also the financing infrastructure and landscape of the Cook Islands that warrants a new, catalytic and optimized approach to financing management,” said Jorn Sorensen, UNDP Resident Representative.
The project supports countries to formulate and operationalize the INFFs as agreed to in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), and to empower countries to mobilize additional financing to accelerate SDG achievements and national development priorities.
The project focuses on developing financing strategies and operationalizing the INFFs for the Cook Islands, Niue, and Samoa to provide them with opportunities to enhance the management of financial flows and mobilize new, diverse, and innovative and catalytic financial instruments to accelerate the progress of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Linking budget allocations with national priorities and the SDGs will contribute towards performing evidence-based financial management, allowing the Government and its partners to make strategic investments that advance sustainable development at lower transaction costs.
In 2018, Samoa conducted its first DFA which produced a roadmap that recommended a way forward to include improved efficiency of public finance systems, raise domestic revenue, state-owned reforms, and private sector finance to promote private sector investments.
The current SDG Financing Project was birthed from this DFA.
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