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Workshop on Emerging Global and Regional Trade Issues for the Commonwealth Pacific Island Countries

Venue: Scenic Hotel

Hosted by: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Date: 12-13 November 2015

A two-day’ workshop on Emerging Global and Regional Trade Issues for the Commonwealth Pacific Region began at the Scenic Hotel, Pelehake, Tongatapu on the 12-13 November 2015. His Excellency, the Crown Prince, Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala was the Guest of Honor at the opening ceremony. The opening remarks by the Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni followed by Commonwealth Secretariat. In his opening remarks, Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni said that recent global developments have provided “a widow of opportunity to improve our trade and development efforts.”A question that I want to post to you. How can we ensure that all our Pacific people actually benefit from this window of opportunity?"

He also reminded participants that International Trade and Investment "are the engine for an inclusive economic growth, and poverty reduction."

At the workshop are Senior Trade Policy Officials from across the Commonwealth Pacific countries and policy-makers from across the region and the commonwealth to build a greater understanding of emerging trade-related developments facing the Pacific and to discuss policy options on how to address them.

Here are the following sessions that schedule to be covered each day:

12th November 2015

  1. Session 1:Overview of some trade and development issues for Pacific island countries (Delivered by: Rashid S.Kaukab, Executive director, Cuts International, Geneva)
  2. Session 2:  Fisheries – Sustainable Management and Enforcement – FFA (Delivered by: Mike Batty, Director – Fisheries Development)
  3. Session 3: Services Negotiations in the Post-Bali Context (Options and Opportunities for Commonwealth Pacific Countries)
  4. Session 4: Pacific Region Integration (PRI) Process (Delivered by: Dr. Scott with assistance Tesi)

13th November 2015

  1. Session 5: Trade Facilitation Agreement– Issues for the Pacific (Delivered by: Alex Kerangpuna, PIFS Geneva Office)
  2. Session 6:  Value Chains and Connectivity in the Pacific (Delivered by: Ben Shepherd, Principal Developing Consultants)
  3. Session 7:  Climate Change: Linkage to Trade and Development Pacific Region Preparation for the COP21 (Delivered by: Dr. Netatua Pelesikoti, Climate Change Division, SPREP)

For the second day of the workshop, I was able to sit in on 2 of the sessions… Session 5 & Session 6.. This is just a bit of information I was able to get out of the presentations as I had only attended a part of the presentations scheduled for the day…..

Session 5: Trade Facilitation: This session mainly highlights the issues with trade in the Pacific which were mainly environmental issues as well as talking about Value Chain – how we could add value to each step and processes of activities

  1. Issues for the Pacific
  • Environmental Issues such as Climate Change, Overfishing and emissions – affects Trade

      Some of the main concerns were the costs to trade associated with these issues

  1. Value Chain
  • A value chain is the whole series of activities that create and build “value” at every step ( e.g. Importing and Exporting)

Session 6: Regional Integration in the Pacific

  • Regional Integration is crucial for growth. A representative of ADB discussed some of ADB’s investments in Tonga such as ADB’s investment in a Submarine Fibre Optic Cable for Tonga.



Public Policy Monitoring and Evaluation Training (27th – 30th October 2015)

Conducted by: Mata’afa Dr. Desmond Amosa, Regional Advisor, Pacific Island Center of Public Administration (PICPA)

Policy Monitoring and Evaluation in the main, is about accountability and learning. The workshop in essence was a step by step guide on how to evaluate a policy within a government ministry for accountability and learning purposes.

Some common problems with evaluation processes across the Region were identified at the very beginning of the workshop, which are:

  1. Rarely any practice of policy evaluation with respect to policy outcomes (effects/benefits)
  2. Most focus of the evaluation process is on activities and outputs
  3. Where it is done – it is poorly conducted
  • Emphasis was made on the failure to evaluate outcomes of each policy (its effects/benefits to society)
  • Distinction between output and outcome:

      Output: represents the amount of work done, are the immediate results of activities, are products and services, and reflect a change in the supply of these products and services e.g. number of schools built, number of new curricula adopted…

      Outcome: represents the use or application of outputs. Outcomes reflect a program’s benefits e.g. improved learning among students….

The 4 days period training was a step by step guidance of the evaluation processes of a Policy which are as follow:

Policy Evaluation Steps

  1. Construct a Theory of Change
  • Theory of Change is a knowledge – based diagram of how an intervention intends to achieve results e.g. If we do X, we will get Y
  1. Transforming the theory of Change to a Logic Model
  • A Logic Model links planned work (inputs and activities) with intended results (outputs, outcomes and impacts), hence a Logic Model illustrates a policy’s design and specifies a theory of change
  • Constructing Logic Models

Impacts         Outcomes         Outputs          Activities         Inputs

      Start with the Desired Impacts and work back to define process through which they will be achieved

  1. Formulating Target Indicators
  • Logic Models identify the results we want to achieve and the means for doing so, Indicators, in contrast, tell us what to measure to determine whether we are achieving these results
  • Indicators of Policy Outcomes should answer 2 main questions
  1. How would we know success or achievement when we see it?
  2. Are we moving towards achieving our desired outcome?
  1. Formulating Evaluation Questions
  • When we do evaluation, we ask questions on what we want to know – hence the need for evaluation questions e.g. what is the total cost of resources needed for activities? What are the benefits that will be derived from the output?
  1. Decide on the Evaluation Design
  • Evaluation Design represents the overall strategy/plan of how to collect and analyze data to answer evaluation questions
  1. Select Information Collection Tools
  • Choice of which Data Collection Approach to use depends on the situation. Each technique is more appropriate in some situations than others, however, all techniques are subject to bias e.g. surveys and interviews
  1. Conduct Data Analysis
    1. Qualitative Analysis

      Best used for in – depth understanding of the intervention

  1. Quantitative Analysis

      Are numerical and analyzed with statistics

  1. Presenting the Findings
  • Analyzing and Reporting Performance findings are a critical step. It determines what is reported, when it is reported and to whom it is reported
  • Findings are mainly used for the purpose of: improving performance, accountability and learning

 “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results” – Milton Friedman

workshop attended : Ms Maile Tu'itavuki and Mr Pesalili Latu 

October 30 marked the last day of the 2015 Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign.
And local companies were joined by civil service offices in the special competition organised by the Tonga Breast Cancer Society.

The competition included 11 companies and government ministries and departments.

These were Tonga Broadcasting Commission (Office /Business), Value City Ltd ( Shop), Reload Bar ( Office/ Business), Tonga Prime Minister’s Office (Office), Ministry of Public Enterprise (Office), Women’s Affairs & Culture & Youth Division (Office), Lalita Store (Business), Fun Food (Business), Neeru’s Pharmacy (Business), DigicelHeadquaters (Office/Business) and Koti’s Professional Ltd. Shop N Save (Business).

The winners were announced and the Ministry of Public Enterprises won the first prize.

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Chief Executive Officer for Public Enterprises, Mr. Sione 'Akau'ola, attended the 24th Pacific Power Association Annual Conference at Majuro, Marshal Islands from the 13th to the 17th of July with the Hon Minister of Public Enterprises.  The PPA Conference is the largest energy conference in the region and the focus was on all aspects of electricity in the Pacific Islands.  This year, at the Conference, the Hon Minister for Public Enterprises, Poasi Tei presented at the conference to host the 25th Pacific Power Association Annual Conference to be held in Tonga 2016.  After the presentation to the Board, they all voted and a resolution was passed that Tonga will host the 25th PPA Conference 2016.  Following the conference, the CEO attended the Regional Workshop on Accelerating the Deployment of Feasible Renewable Energy Technologies in the Pacific Islands held in Honolulu, Hawaii from 21st to 23rd July, 2015.”


A comprehensive training session on the Companies Act and the Public Enterprises Act was held this Thursday at the Ministry of Revenue’s Conference room hosted by the Ministry of Public Enterprises. There were 30 participants comprising of company secretaries, legal advisors, CEO’s of the various Public Enterprises present. A public enterprise is a government owned business.

Read more: Companies Act and Public Enterprises Act Training

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