This project, initiated by Associate Graham Hassall, director of Pacific island programmes at the School of Government at the Victoria University of Wellington, focuses on improving policy practices through dialogue with a range of partners in the academic, public and private sectors, and civil society, within both New Zealand and the small island states of the Pacific.
PiPP has actively supported the development and implementation of this project, attending the case-study meeting on public policy leadership (1-2 November 2012) which brought together together leaders of policy practice from Pacific states to engage with a set of core questions about current practices and constraints on leadership. Many issues were canvassed, some relating to to the operation of institutions (parliamentary practice, public sector scope, size and performance) and the scope of local government and mechanisms for intergovernmental relations). Others focused on fostering economic growth (policy articulation in agriculture, tourism, fishing, mining, etc.), trade relations essential to improving access to regional and global markets. A myriad other issues demand the attention of Pacific governments: water supply and waste management options; mechanisms to enhance accountability and transparency; infrastructural development, land tenure, titling and leasing arrangements; options for regional integration; and urbanization issues, including forward planning, managing migration, and raising revenue. Despite limited resources and capability, governments have to provide the total range of services across sparsely populated islands. The Pacific islands public policy project seeks to focus on the policy practices that can address such issues.
The project is primarily delivered through a series of e-seminars and in doing so seeks to exploit the advances in technology to bridge geographical, costs and information gaps. PiPP has also contributed to the development of the project to maximise technology advances and knowledge management for policy practitioners.