The Commonwealth Local Government Pacific Project: Seeking ‘most significant change’

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Graham Hassall


The origins of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum’s Pacific Project date to a 1997 roundtable in Papua New Guinea. Substantial activity, however, commenced more recently in 2005 with the launch of a 5-year project to enhance the quality of local government in the small states of the Pacific Islands. The project was well-conceived and managed to establish strong ‘buy-in’ by major stakeholders and partners. A mid-term review was undertaken in 2008 and was generally positive. The project is now in the final stages of implementation of what it hoped will be only its first phase. In 2009-2010 its central task is to ensure that the ‘key results’ envisaged at the outset are achieved: donors are looking for evidence of real impact in participating countries; project administrators are refining management practices on the basis of the mid-term review (as well as the regular feedback they receive from participating countries); participating countries are being asked to realistically plan, and to better integrate project activities into their ongoing work-plans as evidence of both genuine development outcomes and future sustainability of lessons learned.

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How to Cite
Hassall, G. (2010). The Commonwealth Local Government Pacific Project: Seeking ‘most significant change’. Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance, (5), 176-188.
Author Biography

Graham Hassall, Victoria University of Wellington

Associate Professor Graham has participated in a range of academic, professional and policy networks, including LAWASIA; Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand Electoral Administrators ( PIANZEA ); Asia Pacific Mediation Forum (APMF ); Global Project for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC Pacific); Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE); the UNDP’s Informal technical Conflict Prevention and Recovery Consultative Group (CPR CG) for the Pacific region; Forum Regional Security Committee (FRSC); Commonwealth Local Government Forum - Pacific Project (CLGF); and Emerging Pacific Leaders Dialogue (EPLD). Other engagements have included the Pacific Human Resources for Health Alliance (WHO, 2008-9); the Informal Settlements Reference Group (NZ Aid, 2007); the “Peace, Stability and Development Assessment Advisory Group” (Ministry of National Unity and Reconciliation, Fiji, 2006); the PIANZEA-BRIDGE Advisory Group (2006 – 2009); and the “Fiji Good Local Governance campaign” steering group (Ministry of Local Government and Commonwealth Local Government Forum, 2006). In recent years Graham has undertaken projects for the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, UNDESA, UNDP, Commonwealth Local Government Forum, Global Integrity, and the Commonwealth Secretariat; and has participated in public sector training programs for ANZSOG (PACE), the Fiji Public Service Commission, the Fiji Police, and the Australian Public Service Commission (Pacific Program). He currently serves on the advisory board of the Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance.