Vanuatu 2030 Consulation Summit Wraps Up

200 stakeholders reviews, polish 15-year 'People's' development plan

By Dan McGarry

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Nov. 18, 2016) – Nearly 200 attendees turned out Wednesday to witness Deputy Prime Minister Joe Natuman's address opening the Vanuatu 2030 validation summit.

Politicians, policy makers, planners, provincial authorities, chiefs, civil society representatives and religious leaders were all present at the National Convention Centre to review and put the final polish on the national sustainable development plan, known as Vanuatu 2030.

"Vanuatu 2030 will serve as the country’s highest level policy framework.

"It will inform all new policy discussions in every sector, and act as an overarching guide for government planning over the next 15 years," said the Deputy Prime Minister in his keynote address.

This is arguably the most ambitious attempt in the country's history to map out a coherent strategy for the nation, comprising cultural, social and environmental well-being as well as financial prosperity.

The document's 'triple bottom line' approach, which measures progress in terms of people, plant and profit—rather than money alone—marks a departure from past practice. 

The document was generally well-received. Henry Vira, a consultant working with the Department of Strategic Policy, Planning and Aid Coordination, or DSPPAC, stated, "There was general support for draft plan with minor adjustments".

The plan is 28 pages in length, and provides a high-level view of the country's priorities. "The document was short enough to attract attention and long enough to provide essential details," Mr Vira said. 

DSSPAC will be meeting in the coming days to assess the input received and then submit the final document for approval to the Council of Ministers. They expect it will be formally adopted before the year is out.

With such a broad collection of decision-makers present, Wednesday's meeting provided a rare and useful opportunity to discuss broader issues as well. In addition to discussion about the role of Directors General, reported in yesterday's newspaper, there were questions too concerning the relevance and usefulness of the six provinces. 

Vanuatu Daily Post
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