The Foundation for the People of the South Pacific International (FSPI) is a regional agency based in Suva. FSPI’s project V&C: Gardening Good Governance and Democracy in the Pacific (V&C) is the subject of this review. The main objective of V&C is to address threats to peace and sustainable development by fostering or ‘gardening’ civil society, democracy, and good governance in Fiji, Kiribati, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. V&C is completing its three-year pilot phase and the review assesses the strengths and weaknesses of that process and makes recommendations for the future.
V&C operates at the community, national and regional level. At community level it aims to assist communities in promoting a more Pacific oriented consensual form of good governance that is both responsive and accountable. At the national level, it aims to build capacity through formal and non-formal education in the areas of civil rights and civil society in order to increase civil representation, engagement, and social justice. At the regional level, it seeks to establish a regional network to strengthen good governance procedures, promote greater accountability and transparency, and promote increased participation by civil society.
The project is jointly funded by DFID, NZAID and ADB. The project has been running since 2001 with participating countries entering at different times. In the proposed next phase, FSPI affiliates in Tonga, Tuvalu and Samoa have requested to join the project.