The Gov4Res
Small Grants Initiative

Promoting Risk-Informed
Community Development in the Pacific

Good Development is Everyone's Business

Across the Pacific, community members, civil society organizations (CSOs), local businesses, religious organizations and local governments are working every day to build resilient communities. Stakeholders working at the community level are critical partners to ensure that development is more sustainable. They have a vantage point that can ensure voices of diverse groups are heard in all development decision making. Furthermore, there is local and contextually appropriate knowledge on the risks from climate change and disasters, direct experience of the impacts and ideas on the best way to mitigate these.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the Governance for Resilient Development in the Pacific (Gov4Res) project has launched a Small Grants Initiative (SGI) to engage stakeholders involved in community development to systematically consider and integrate risks in the design, implementation and budget of their community development projects. Launched in August 2021, Phase 1 of the Gov4Res SGI has provided small grants, ranging in value from US$5,000 to US$30,000, to 44 CSOs across 7 Pacific Island Countries, Tonga, Fiji, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, to embed risk-informed practices into their projects.

The Gov4Res SGI - Fast Facts

As part of Phase 1, the Gov4Res SGI has:

  • Provided grant funding for 49 projects with high development impact to 44 CSOs
  • Supported the integration of climate change and disaster risks in the design, implementation and budget of each project
  • Disbursed a total of US$1,187,946 in grants across 7 countries
  • Provided grant funding for 19 agriculture and food security projects; 15 water resource management projects; 8 small-scale infrastructure projects; 4 efficient and sustainable energy projects and 3 public health and sanitation projects

Phase 1 implementation is ongoing until June 2023

Beneficiary's quote

"Risk informing activities and projects is important. The extra cost now will save us, more in terms of coming back to repair and maintain projects in the future."
SGI Grantee, Fiji Islands

The Four Principles of the SGI

Principle 1. Risk-informed Development

A central tenet of the UNDP Gov4Res project and SGI requires consideration of risks to and risks from the project and mitigation measures for these identified risks being incorporated into the project design, implementation and budget.

Snapshot: FWC Women in Development Group, Tonga

"The location of our vegetable gardens is really important."
FWC Women in Development project beneficiary.

The FWC Women in Development Group is supporting the development of home gardens in Navutoka village in Tongatapu, Tonga. Through application of a risk-informed approach, the project team identified that due to the location of the village and the households within this village, there were risks to the gardens from saltwater inundation as a result of flooding and king tide events and longer-term sea level rise. All the project participants have been supported to consider the location of their gardens, before they start construction. Some have located their garden further inland as a risk mitigation measure. Similarly, the project has supported materials to help raise the garden beds, to prevent impacts from flooding and king tide events. The project started with 16 participants and 22 gardens have now been built. The project has brought together women, men and youth in the design and implementation and to share the project benefits of fresh homegrown produce!

Principle 2. Community Participation and Leadership

The SGI emphasises active engagement and leadership of community members, with bottom-up and participatory approaches to project planning that are gender sensitive and socially inclusive and incorporate local and traditional knowledge.

Snapshot: Natewa Village Development Committee, Fiji Islands

The water problems in Natewa Village, located on Fiji's second largest island, Vanua Levu, has been an ongoing challenge for years. The water supply to the village and the surrounding areas has not been sufficient to cater for the growing population and community needs. The solution required a whole of village approach to ensure safe drinking water for all. This was carried out through Solesolevaki. Solesolevaki is a traditional governance system that binds people and all available resources together to make work easier and attainable for local communities.

The community involvement has culminated in the successful completion of the Natewa Village Water Project that caters for the water needs of thirty- seven (37) households in the village, three (3) households from the Natewa Health Center and four (4) households at the Natewa District School. The Natewa Youth Association led in the construction of the new water dam, laying new water pipes and collection of sand and stones for construction. Young and old alike loaded construction materials and transported to the new water source site. The Natewa Women's Association volunteered to provide maintenance, upkeep and beautification of the new dam area.

Through the Gov4Res SGI project and Solesolevaki, the Natewa water project is now providing clean, safe and sufficient water for all.

Principle 3. Partnerships

Emphazises fostering greater linkage with local government and other local organizations, supporting the sustainability of the initiative past the small grant funding timeframes. 

Snapshot: Kiribati Association of Non-governmental Organisations (KANGO)

The SGI encourages partnerships between civil society organizations, local government and other partners in the management and implementation of the community projects. KANGO has stepped forward to provide assistance for (5) projects being implemented by community-based organizations in Kiribati. This partnership ensures that KANGO works with UNDP and the SGI project team to undertake the financial agreement and fund management for the organisations. This partnership with KANGO has enabled these CSOs to receive a grant, providing the organizations with essential experience in working with donor organizations and managing community development projects at a larger scale. KANGO can also support the adoption of a risk-informed approach through other organizations they partner with.

Principle 4. Communities of Practice and Learning from Doing

Sharing information and supporting other grantee organisations through the establishment of communities-of-practice. Pivotal to generating lessons and best practice from demonstration projects, for mainstreaming risk-informed development into national, sub-national and organizational planning, budgeting and financing systems.

Snapshot: SGI Peer Learning and Phase 2

SGI Peer Learning Sessions are held in each of the seven (7) SGI countries, bringing together grantee organizations to discuss challenges, successes and lessons learned. Based on initial lessons learnt from early reporting, site visits and grantee feedback, a Phase 2 of the SGI could be focused on opportunities for replication and/or upscaling of current projects. This will enable organizations to refine their risk-informed approach, as understanding and learning has progressed throughout the different SGI stages. This will also ensure other priority communities can participate and the reach across partners and communities can be extended. 

"We are identifying challenges and hurdles that could potentially turn into risk and derail the outcomes and successes of this project. This strengthens our resilience and the sustainability of the project."
SGI grantee, Solomon Islands

The Governance for Resilient Development in the Pacific (Gov4Res) Project, is implemented by the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji and partners with the Australian Government, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

Mr Jean-Paul Penrose from the United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Development in Fiji, visits the Community Gardens by the FWC Women in Development Group, in Navutoka, Nukualofa, Tonga

Mr Jean-Paul Penrose from the United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Development in Fiji, visits the Community Gardens by the FWC Women in Development Group, in Navutoka, Nukualofa, Tonga

Contact Us
Phone: +679 331 2500
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