Pacific Financial Inclusion Program Mid-term review and management response
Summary of publication
This is a Management Response of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for the Mid-term Review on the second phase of the Pacific Financial Inclusion Program (PFIP II). The aim of PFIP II is to sustainably increase financial inclusion in the Pacific, especially for rural and low-income women, youth and micro-entrepreneurs. PFIP II which began in July 2014, builds on the achievements on PFIP I. PFIP II currently operates in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu. PFIP II is jointly implemented by United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The European Union and New Zealand also contribute to PFIP. As part of its program management cycle, an independent program evaluation was commissioned by the UNDP and lead by an independent consultant – Ms. Claudia Huber.
The mid-term review found the programme to be highly successful having achieved five out of its end of program targets, highlighting PFIP's collaborative and holistic approach as important in increasing financial inclusion for low-income populations. It acknowledged how the programme has evolved its work streams and approach to ensure relevance and the ability to meet the expectations of policy makers, regulators and financial institutions. Pleasingly, the review has also identified opportunities to improve the program moving forward. Overall, PFIP II aligns well with Australia's stepped up in engagement with the Pacific and DFAT's proposed Pacific Development Strategy particularly around increasing access to financial services including low cost remittances.