Our Context

The University of the South Pacific (USP) is the premier dual sector University serving the Pacific region and only one of three regional universities of its kind in the world. Uniquely governed by its twelve member countries, USP is not only a higher education and research institution, but also a regional integration organisation that provides services within communally agreed structured regional mechanisms geared towards benefiting the lives of the Pacific people.

The Development Cooperation Unit is based under the Office of the Vice-Chancellor and President and its services are divided into two parts:

[1] Facilitation and Development of MoU/LoA, Project Management and M&E

Led by the Manager Development, the Unit is responsible for providing oversight on and management of all funded projects at USP and ensures that the University effectively meets its contractual obligations in a timely delivery of outcomes-based quality project reporting, monitoring, evaluation and financial acquittals. The Unit is USP’s focal point for all funded projects MoU’s/LoA’s and it’s negotiation and works closely with the Project Coordinators and Officers across USP to ensure that the outcomes/goals of the projects are effectively delivered as per the signed Contractual Agreements.

The Unit is responsible for developing, maintaining and implementing the University’s Monitoring and Evaluation Framework with relation to funded projects/LoA’s. Further to this, the Unit maintains an active register of all partnerships and donors and undertakes regular audits of the same.

The Unit works collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders to magnify USP’s positive impact-oriented reporting via bold programs, research and creative activities and strategic initiatives dedicated to sustainability, equity and global excellence and engagement – in general, supporting Research and Innovation activities across the University.

[2] Development Cooperation and Regional & International Engagement

Given the dual role of USP and as an organisation of regional integration and cooperation, USP serves all 18 Forum Member Countries. In this role, the Unit directly supports the Vice-Chancellor and President by providing high-level strategic advice and analysis on donor relations, regionalism and International Partnerships.

Led by Development Cooperation Coordinator (DCC), the Unit manages and provides oversight on the delivery of partnership agreements with the University’s largest donors and the only two non-member countries that contribute towards the University’ s core funding- Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. USP currently maintains a 10 year partnership with Aotearoa New Zealand  and a 5 year partnership with Australia. These partnership agreements are valued at approx US$160m. The Unit organises regular high-level consultations, mid-term reviews, bilateral, multilateral and trilateral meetings with respective development partners such as Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia and other donor agencies.

In addition to this, the Unit manages USP’s relationship with other Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific (CROP) agencies and ensures USP’s engagement with the region, internation­al agencies, and development partners. This includes coor­dinating USP’s participation and representation in regional and international meetings, (including Pacific Islands Forum Leaders, Ministerial and officials meetings organised by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and other CROP agencies), and providing feedback on relevant reports and poli­cy documents. The Unit provides support to Vice-Chancellor and Pres­ident with analytical briefs and reports on issues concerning the region, in particular the Framework for Pacific Region­alism, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and SAMOA Pathway and other global initiatives such as Oceans and Climate Change. The Unit is also the secretariat to the CROP ICT Working Group (WG) and coordinates University’s participation in other CROP WGs.

The University plays a key role in regional engagement through the CROP mechanism. It leads the ICT Working Group and Human Re­source Development (HRD) Working Group. It also participates in other Working Groups such as Sustainable Development Working Group, Marine Sector Working Group, Working Arm on Resilience Development (WARD), Pacific Energy Oversight Group (PEOG), and Gender Working Group amongst others. These also underpins USP’s commitment to the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ vision for the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. The Blue Pacific strategy has  7 thematic areas at its core, in which USP has strong technical expertise to support and USP is currently fully engaged in the implementation of the strategy together with all other CROP agencies.

Widely acknowledged to be one of the best examples for regional cooperation, the University continues to grow from strength to strength.
USP has, with the help of its development partners, invested heavily in enhancing and expanding its campuses, its membership, and its operations. USP’s research is as good as that carried out overseas, and more valuable to the Pacific Islands as it focuses on the Pacific and is designed to help the Pacific Islands, incorporating the most modern research tools and traditional knowledge and experience.

USP helps hold the Pacific people and nations together, is a true example of an institution for the Pacific, by the Pacific, and demonstrates that the Pacific can excel in whatever it chooses to excel.

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