Democracy and Governance

Speeches Shim

Democracy and Governance

Relatively new democratic institutions, challenges in the rule of law, and nascent civil society undermine the Pacific Islands’ capacity to become self-reliant. USAID reinforces the foundations of good governance by encouraging all citizens — inclusive of women, youth and other marginalized groups — to participate in democratic processes more equitably. USAID also promotes government accountability and transparency by encouraging citizen engagement and implementation of effective policies.


Strengthening Democratic Governance in the Pacific Islands
The Strengthening Democratic Governance in the Pacific Islands project advances citizen-responsive democratic governance in Pacific island countries by focusing on four key areas: 1) Promoting meaningful participation of all citizens in their political systems, including women, youth, and other traditionally marginalized groups; 2) Harnessing the comparative advantages of media and technology to promote citizen understanding and engagement and transparent political competition; 3) Promoting the integrity of elections as a sustainable vehicle for peacefully and democratically choosing leaders; and 4) facilitating the ability of elected political actors to fulfill their responsibilities to citizens through better governance practices. Project activities will empower traditionally marginalized stakeholders, promote transparency and accountability in elections and government, and, where appropriate, promote regional cooperation and strengthen regional networks to share best practices across the region.

The project provided critical assistance to ensure the conduct of a free, fair, peaceful and credible referendum in Bougainville in November 2019. For example, the project supported the Bougainville Referendum Commission to successfully complete a three-phased enrolment process for the first time in PNG. As a result, 17,000 new and first-time voters were enrolled. The project also increased political empowerment of persons with disabilities and women from 10 Pacific Island countries in FY 2019 through various training activities. This included working with a local partner, Pacific Disability Forum, to train women with disabilities on advocacy-related skills to better influence public policy, and a political leadership training for youth with disabilities in Bougainville. This activity is also working throughout the region to address disinformation and protect human rights related to the pandemic and ensure that marginalized groups receive critical information and resources related to COVID-19. The activity will assist government agencies and civil society organizations (CSOs) to provide capacity building and support upcoming elections.

Promoting Just, Engaged, Civic-minded, and Transparent (PROJECT) Governance in the Pacific
PROJECT Governance will strengthen sound, just, and responsive governance in the Pacific Islands region by building the capacity of governments, civil society, marginalized groups, the private sector, and citizens along the following key thematic areas: a) promoting the integrity of electoral processes; b) supporting the independence of media and information integrity; c) protecting human rights, including civil and political rights; d) fostering accountability and transparency, including fighting corruption; e) strengthening the rule of law; and f) strengthening civil society.

Pacific Regional Initiative and Support for More Effective Counter Trafficking in Persons (Pacific RISE-CTIP)
The Pacific RISE-CTIP project will address trafficking in persons (TIP) through a holistic, multi-sectoral approach. The project will engage government, civil society, and the private sector partners to strengthen TIP prevention, protection, and prosecution. It will support mutually reinforcing interventions to achieve the following results: improved prevention through enhanced local and community-based mechanisms and strategies to prevent TIP; strengthened protection and sustainable durable solutions and services for TIP victims; and improved capacities to prosecute traffickers and increased access to legal services by TIP victims; strengthened partnerships at the community and institutional levels to improve protection, prevention and prosecution.

Last updated: July 26, 2022

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