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Development Account Projects

Strengthening the capacity of small island developing States to assess progress in the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy to mitigate risks and reduce vulnerability

Background:

The 1994 Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States is the blueprint for addressing the vulnerabilities of small island developing States. The Barbados Programme of Action outlined a multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral programme detailing priority actions to respond to the special challenges faced by small island developing States. These commitments were reaffirmed through the 2005 Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action. In September 2010, the General Assembly, in its resolution 65/2, reviewed the progress made through the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for Implementation and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. These high-level reviews highlighted that the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in small island developing States would not be possible without adequately addressing their vulnerabilities and institutional constraints.

The 2010 review showed that while small island developing States in general have attempted to take an integrated approach in order to recognize the three pillars of sustainable development through their national sustainable development strategies, and through their efforts to mainstream sustainable development principles into sectoral strategies or reflect them in poverty reduction strategies, countries lack the tools to track progress. Hence, the specific institutional and administrative arrangements in place for the implementation of such country policies and strategies must be strengthened with appropriate monitoring and evaluation tools and systems for self‑monitoring and assessing progress in order to build resilient economies. In the same vein, small island developing States also face the challenges of complying with and fulfilling international reporting obligations.

During the preparatory process for the Five-Year Review of the Mauritius Strategy, the synthesis of national assessment reports at both the regional and global levels was faced with the challenge of a lack or absence of suitable indicators and criteria to comprehensively assess progress in addressing vulnerabilities and resilience of small island developing States through national efforts to implement the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy. Accordingly, the call emerged for renewed and coordinated work to be done on methodologies for the effective assessment of the vulnerabilities and resilience of small island developing States that integrates the three dimensions of sustainable development.

At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, one of the key concerns noted by small island developing States was the need for mechanisms to enforce and support the monitoring of commitments. Related to this is the importance of the adequate collection of data and statistics for making accurate assessments and effective decision-making. Again, the situation faced by small island developing States emphasized the need for practical ways of ensuring that such data and statistics were available for all small island developing States, regardless of the size of their populations, to enhance reporting while reducing related compliance burdens. The project will build on work done by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs on vulnerability assessments through a European Union-funded project that promotes the use of country vulnerability-resilience profiling for self-assessment of the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy. The European Union project is aimed at supporting six selected small island developing States in piloting the vulnerability-resilience country profile as a framework/methodology for self‑assessment of the implementation of commitments under the Mauritius Strategy. The project promotes the establishment of processes for assessment and the strengthening of national information systems with specific indicators on sustainable development for policy coordination and learning from experience gained, and facilitates the South-South transfer of knowledge among the small island developing States regions. The vulnerability-resilience country profile analytical framework consists of an assessment of a country’s vulnerabilities and its capacity to cope with these vulnerabilities in each of the thematic areas identified in the Barbados Programme of Action, as well as the cross-cutting issues that provide interlinkages between them. The vulnerability-resilience country profile also addresses the means of implementation set out in the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy, which would help to build the resilience of countries.

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Objective:

To strengthen the capacity of selected small island developing States in monitoring the progress of the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy and developing appropriate and practical responses to reduce vulnerability

Expected accomplishments:

  • Increased capacity of governmental and non-governmental institutions at the national level to collect and analyse data for key indicators measuring progress, including vulnerability-resilience country profiles, towards the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy and sustainable development
  • Enhanced capacity of Governments to apply the findings and analysis related to the monitoring of progress towards the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy in the formulation and implementation of national sustainable development strategies and plans, especially with regard to mitigating risks and reducing vulnerability
  • Increased awareness and opportunities for replication of the vulnerability-resilience country profile in other regions through the sharing of good practices and lessons learned

Implementation status:

In progress.