UNDP Project Management Workshop focuses on building for people

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  • Mr Jorn Sorensen (UNDP Resident Representative) with Yvette Kerslake UNDP Assistant Resident Representative-Environment.
    Mr Jorn Sorensen (UNDP Resident Representative) with Yvette Kerslake UNDP Assistant Resident Representative-Environment.

The United Nations Development Projects (UNDP) is currently holding a three day Project Management Workshop which focuses mainly on encouraging more meaningful and resilient projects to help benefit people included under the UNDP Multi-country office in Samoa.

The countries included in the workshop are Niue, Cook Islands, Tokelau and Samoa currently striving with assistance from UNDP.

UNDP Resident Representative, Mr Jorn Sorensen spoke to Newsline Samoa about the importance of the workshop which not only helps the four countries share experiences that might benefit one another in resolving the various issues that uniforms all four countries in the region.

"The reason why this workshop is important is because we are sharing information and best practices and lessons learned from theprojects that have been implemented over the last few years we ask each of the project managers to give presentations over the next 2 and a half days in terms of where they have the challenges, where they have the achievements what were the lessons learned as part of the planning process but particularly as part of the implementation process. This has helped us to do better in the future because we better understand where are the pitfalls, where are the challenges, challenges can be multitools it can be able to implement, in terms of relations with stakeholders, it can be in terms maybe countries change their outlook and strategies and therefore we have to readapt the projects."

"(These projects) its all about people. if you dont do it for people we always have to remind ourselves whether we do in terms of development, its for the betterment of people. But when we hear that the majority of our portfolio is on of course we know climate change has negative effects on people's lives in particular in pacific region, so therefore it is very important that we look at climate change issues and we help mitigate the impacts on people's lives. i was very encouraged to visit Niue for example that after the cyclone (in) 2014, they started rebuilding, they stopped building on coastal line, they started building inland. So the hospital was built inland, the government and offices are built inland instead of continuing old practices, building right on coastlines. It is not a question whether there will be another cyclone, the question is when will be another cyclone? We all pray there will be many years before they have another one, but there will be more so let's learn from the experience and let's rebuild and mitigate the best way we can and so that (these projects) are for the people, that's the key."

According to Sorensen, part of UNDP role in the pacific is to support climate resilience projects for Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) across the globe, on integrated climate change strategies, advance cross-sectoral climate-resilient livelihoods, foster food security, promote clima-smart energy and infrastructure, and reduces risks with the effective deployment of early warning systems.

Other projects include ridge-to-reef approachs  that help build ecosystem-based adaptation and improved coastal and water management approaches that are already seen in Samoa with villages of Fagali'i in Samoa and similar projects across the region as well.

"This is your chance to take to us and among one another about the challenges you're facing in implementing the projects you're working with. I urge you to make the most of this opportunity to dialogue and come up with constructive and actionable solutions that will help the projects achieve their objectives, with the ultimate goal of benefitting people! 

"I also urge yout o continue to learn from one another and share your valuable insights and knowledge within this group. 

"It is our hope that you will make lasting friendships and establish professional networks that will support your work and quality of services in the months and years ahead." Sorensen urged the group involved in the workshop.

The UNDP Project Management Workshop is hosted every two to three years, the last time Samoa hosted was in 2016. 

The UNDP works in partnership with Governments, donor agencies such as GEF, GCF, DFAT and MFAT-civil society, the private sector and stakeholders. 

The workshop covers the main elements of UNDP project management cycle and focus on the key thematic areas of: project design, implementation modalities, monitoring and evaluation (project inception, MTR and TE), Social and Environmental Screening Procedure and risk management, gender analysis and mainstreaming, communications, work planning/budgeting and adaptive management.

The workshop is held at Sheraton Hotel at Matautu and will end today.