The purpose of this booklet is to provide information on the regional governance system and share some ideas on how civil society can constructively engage to influence policy. Pacific Leaders have expressed their ambition to come together as a region to collaborate around regional solutions and move closer to regional integration.
This is the vision that drives the relatively new Framework for Pacific Regionalism (FPR), a high level commitment by Leaders through the Pacific Islands Forum. For purposes, the Framework importantly offers a regional public policy process which encourages civil society participation.
Let’s look at the benefits of engaging with regional institutions. Civil society, or more specifically citizens, is in a position to feel the impacts or benefits of policies and services that come from the regional level. Communicating your perspectives to government helps to inform responsive, relevant, effective and impactful policy, which in turn could make a difference in the lives of our people we work for.
Developing public policy involves several steps. One way to think about it is that it involves: priority setting, policy development, decision making, implementation and monitoring.
Policy influence refers to how we as civil society interact with these processes to inform or change approaches, behavior and policy positions. A wide range of actors, institutions and processes are involved in the different stages. Understanding the setup, and entry points available, can help civil society identify strategies; decide who to target, and how to approach advocacy at regional level.
When using this booklet, bear in mind that the regional agencies and the processes that make up the regional system are constantly in review and may change.