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May 10, 2000


A management development program for senior public sector executives is currently taking place in Suva, Fiji. The Program brings together 32 senior officials from 12 different countries. These include Cook Islands, East Timor, Fiji, FSM, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, PNG, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The officials include heads of departments of finance, planning and various sector ministries.

The ten-day Program has been organized by the Asian Development Bank and the Tokyo-based ADB Institute, in collaboration with the Colombo Plan Secretariat and UNDP. It provides key public service officials with practical tools to address the many challenges they face in the reform processes currently underway in their countries. These challenges include drafting new strategies and policies for government, interfacing effectively with politicians, motivating and managing staff, liaison with various stakeholders, particularly NGOs and the private sector, and keeping the public informed.

The Program is skills-focused with a strong practical orientation. It runs for two years, comprising four modules, with each l0-day module separated by six months. The period between each module is devoted to an Internet-based distance education process through an "inter-net-learning-lab" open to all participants. Through this ‘lab’, participants will not only have access to each other to share issues, ideas and assistance, but also to a roster of resource persons worldwide who will be available to offer online advice on applications of what participants have learned in the conference room and on the Internet. An important outcome of this process is expected to be the building of a community and network of senior Pacific Islands officials with capacity to cooperate in further developments.

To ensure their enhanced skills are put to work, each participant is required to undertake an identified and agreed ‘project’. This will be related to the participant’s regular responsibilities, and will be undertaken with the assistance of the pool of inter-net-linked resource persons. These ‘projects’ will form a set of Pacific Island case studies on public sector reform activities which have been developed by public sector managers themselves. The overall Program will help to strengthen capacity for indigenously-led reform initiatives in the Pacific.

For further information contact Cedric Saldanha, Manager Pacific Operations, ADB at Centra Suva Hotel, Ph: (679) 301600

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