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Technical assistance and enabling support mechanism (smaller Pacific countries)

Summary briefing for business

Australia is committed to stepped-up engagement for a more resilient Pacific. This is reinforced by our commitment, in Partnerships for Recovery, to support the Pacific to respond to COVID-19. Smaller Pacific countries face particular structural barriers to respond to development challenges, and are particularly vulnerable to external shocks. In many of these smaller countries, COVID-19 has increased isolation, limited international connectivity, and exacerbated risks to health, economic and governance prospects.

The provision of technical assistance is important in smaller Pacific countries to progress development priorities with partner governments. Australia has invested in technical advisers (TA) in the Pacific for decades, to work in-line with partners, and build the capacity of counterparts, in a wide range of sectors. Australia's development programs in smaller Pacific countries currently use the Pacific Technical Assistance Mechanism Phase 2 (PACTAM2) to deploy TA. PACTAM2 will finish on 30 June 2021.

The mechanism

DFAT is planning an investment to provide responsive, flexible support for Australia's governance and stability initiatives in smaller Pacific countries, and deliver on economic and health recovery in line with COVID-19 Development Response Plans. The mechanism will primarily provide TA and enabling support services supporting development outcomes in Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu. It could also provide limited ad hoc services, on request, to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Palau, Niue, Tokelau, the Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga.

Focused, fit-for-purpose implementation support will enhance the capacity of the Australian development program to respond to emerging needs in partner countries. The mechanism will strengthen economies of scale, facilitate learning across smaller country programs, and develop a deeper pool of personnel that can contribute to long-term development outcomes.

The mechanism will provide services on request to program areas and posts, in consultation with partner governments. In addition to flexible TA, services may include: Australia Awards administration; grants management; short term training mobilisation; project management; and retained technical support, such as monitoring and evaluation or governance. The final scope of services will be finalised during the design.

Design-Implement procurement

The mechanism concept note and a Request for Tender, a Design-Implement, are expected to be released in mid-December 2020 via the AusTender website for a contract start date of June 2021.

NOTE

This information is provided for planning purposes only and it does not represent solicitation or constitute a request for proposal, nor is it a commitment to tender for any services. The scale, scope and focus of any proposed program may change at any time and is subject to formal approval before any procurement process will commence. Should a procurement commence, implementation is expected to commence in June 2021. This information is subject to delays, revision or cancellations.

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