Forum Leaders agreed through the Forum Compact in August 2009 that the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) should, among other things, establish and report annually to the Pacific Islands Forum on a process of regular peer review of Forum Island Countries’ (FICs’) national development planning and budget processes to:
a. promote international best practice in key sectors,
b. improve effective budget allocations and implementation to achieve national development priorities; and
c. guide support from development partners.
The objective of the peer review process is to guide improvements in development coordination, including by informing discussions at the Pacific Islands Forum and Post Forum Dialogue, through reviews of coordination at a country level.
Peer reviews are intended to be an opportunity for mutual learning between FICs on the one hand and their peers from other FICs and development partners on the other about how best to address development challenges. The peer review process is intended to contribute to reinforcing country leadership in the establishment of national priorities, and enhance the capacity of countries to guide the use of development resources. It specifically does not include a review of the policy direction of national and sector development plans, but concentrates on the process by which they are developed and by which the intentions of the plans are translated into action through annual planning, budgeting and the use of external support.
The process and ground rules for carrying out peer reviews were agreed at a workshop for Forum Island Countries hosted by PIFS in Nadi in November 2009. It was agreed then that the peer review should be carried out by up to four representatives of Forum Island Countries, development partners and other stakeholders.