• Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility (PRIF) is a multi-partner infrastructure coordination and financing mechanism that coordinates development partner assistance to develop and maintain critical economic infrastructure in Pacific Island Countries (PICs).
  • Current PRIF Members are: Asian Development Bank (ADB), Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), European Commission and European Investment Bank (EC/EIB), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (NZMFAT), World Bank Group.
  • PRIF is a collaboration of development agencies with common goals.  This is not a legal agreement but a stated commitment to principles (see 3. below) and processes to better align activities and make the best use of combined resources to deliver infrastructure development in the Pacific. 
  • PRIF aims to achieve improved access, affordability and overall performance of infrastructure and development in the Pacific.
  • PRIF facilitates better development partner coordination which is important in realising more effective infrastructure and development outcomes. Better coordination makes the best use of the available resources of all development partners.
  • PRIF acknowledges that cooperation and coordination of development partners is important for improving aid effectiveness and development outcomes in the Pacific region.
  • PRIF is a practical application of the commitment of government and agency leaders to improve infrastructure services and development coordination as prescribed in the Paris Declaration, Accra Agenda for Action, the Pacific Plan, The Port Moresby Declaration, and the Cairns Compact for Strengthening Development Coordination in the Pacific.
  • PRIF has specialist working groups covering infrastructure sub-sectors: water and sanitation, energy, transport (including roads, aviation, and shipping), waste management and telecommunications.
  • PRIF covers 13 PICs, all of which are members of the Pacific Islands Forum. The current PRIF partner countries are the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

PRIF is based on an outcomes framework with the following goal and outcomes:

  • Goal:  Broad-based growth and improved living standards.
  • Long-term Outcome: Increased quality and quantity of infrastructure for the people of the Pacific
  • Intermediate Outcomes: 
    1. Streamlined partner country access to technical and capacity building assistance and infrastructure funding
    2. Sustained long-term increase in net resources available to partner countries (all sources) to finance capital and recurrent infrastructure costs
    3. Greater partner country capacity to plan and manage infrastructure for improved delivery of services.

PRIF support for infrastructure programs will be delivered within (or help create) the following conditions:

  1. Long-term engagement with Pacific island countries that provide access to consistent technical expertise and funding for sustained improvements in infrastructure services. Long-term funding of infrastructure services from all sources (user charges, PIC governments, the PRIF partners, other financiers) must be based on the ‘life-cycle’ costs of sustainable service provision at appropriate standards and efficient balances between public, private and development partner financing. 
  2. Country responsive prioritisation of infrastructure investments based on local capacity through country led planning and priority setting. PRIF support for PIC infrastructure programs through grants should be negotiated with regard to the capacities of individual Pacific island countries to fund up-front and sustain recurrent expenditure on infrastructure services to appropriate standards from user charges and/or their domestic budgetary resources. 
  3. Whole-of-sector based approaches to infrastructure planning, budgeting and priority setting led by the Pacific island countries, with a strong focus on the recurrent costs implications of maintenance requirements and the institutional capacities for investing in and maintaining infrastructure; and with facilitatory TA from the PRIF as necessary. 
  4. Institutional and regulatory structures that: clearly distinguish between the interests of infrastructure service providers and consumers; transparently fund the costs of infrastructure provision that cannot be recovered through user charges; and enforce management accountability for performance. 
  5. A strengthened role for the private sector in infrastructure financing and service delivery and, where appropriate, encouraging local employment. 
  6. Use of appropriate technology that considers whole of life costing and sustainability, and accords with the need for building climate change resilient assets. 
  7. Harmonisation amongst development partners to increase the effectiveness of aid, and increasing harmonisation with Pacific island country government systems. 
  8. Achievement by service providers of agreed performance benchmarks, as the basis for subsidies for provision of infrastructure services, whether funded by PICs or the PRIF partners; and establishment of performance incentive arrangements to improve infrastructure service outcomes.
  • Infrastructure is a vital contributor to economic growth and improved standards of living in every society.  Its quality and quantity are substantial determinants of an economy’s productivity and competitiveness and of living standards such as access to water supply and sanitation, electricity, transportation and communication services.
  • Infrastructure, economic development and social services are intrinsically linked. Infrastructure helps ensure people can access basic needs and services such as water, food sources, employment, schools and hospitals. It also provides the platform for most economic activities including, access to resources, markets and trade opportunities. 
  • The need for basic infrastructure is high in many PICs.  In some Pacific countries, up to 60 per cent of the population has no access to safe drinking water; up to 70 per cent has no sanitation services and up to 85 per cent has no access to electricity. 
  • Access to basic infrastructure and services can significantly benefit poor and low income families.  For example, access to electricity means that children can study at home in the evenings and teachers can prepare the next day’s class; reliable roads mean that people can access employment, education and health services, and farmers can take their produce to market.
  • Investments in infrastructure improvements will contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
  • Long-term infrastructure projects can ensure local employment and a consistent and reliable flow of work for the local private sector.  Good infrastructure is also attractive to foreign investors whose investment in countries can provide further opportunities for employment and economic growth.

PICs face special challenges in ensuring access of their citizens to adequate and sustainable infrastructure services.  These challenges include:

  • Small populations dispersed over wide areas, limiting the scope for economies of scale.
  • Extraordinary high costs associated with mobilizing contractors for public works in remote locations. Those costs become reflected in very high per capita donor funded allocations.
  • Vulnerability to natural disasters and environmental threats, which increases the cost of sustainable infrastructure.
  • Fiscal constraints that limit the ability of governments to fund capital and recurrent costs of infrastructure or to fund subsidies for the cost of infrastructure services.
  • Severe capacity constraints include scarce technical expertise and resources in both the public and private sectors.
  • Land ownership traditions can severely constrain access to land for public infrastructure.
  • The limited size and depth of the local private sector reduces its ability to contribute to infrastructure services in many of the countries.
  • The multiplicity of bilateral and multilateral development partners and their differing business practices, in relation to the scale of the economies and populations, impose high transactional costs on PICs in obtaining development support.

PRIF promotes a country-led approach where the priorities for infrastructure investment are set by each country and align with overall development goals and priorities.

  • PRIF has been assisting PICs to identify their infrastructure priorities through the preparation of national infrastructure investment plans.
  • Where requested, PRIF will assist countries to identify priorities for PRIF support and will help ensure these are part of a sector-wide infrastructure strategy.
  • The PRIF development partners will support countries to lead development and the coordination of development agencies and programs to achieve better infrastructure outcomes.
  • The best way for countries to engage with PRIF is by having:
    • A single government agency responsible for the coordination of other agencies and for contact with PRIF development partners.
    • A process to sort out infrastructure priorities and lead development partners.
    • A roadmap for future investment in economic infrastructure.
  • Countries can request PRIF to assist countries to develop these processes and priorities.
  • When requested, PRIF will assist PICs to develop sectoral strategies for infrastructure planning, management, and to identify country priorities.  This can be done through preparation of national infrastructure investment plans.
  • PRIF will take a whole-of-sector approach to the provision of appropriate improvements in infrastructure services.  Whole-of-sector approaches include consideration of institutional capacity, behavior change, pricing, maintenance and governance aspects as well as investment in infrastructure.
  • PRIF will also include opportunities for institutional capacity building, including use of local resources, strengthening local institutions and strengthening the private sector in PICs.
  • PRIF aims to reduce the transaction costs for countries in obtaining development assistance for infrastructure.
  • To assist in the coordination of PRIF partners and with the development of proposals for technical assistance and activity funding, a PRIF Coordination Office (PCO) has been established in Sydney. The PCO facilitates dialogue with countries and mobilises available technical expertise in the target areas. 
  • The PRIF Coordination Office conducts analytical work, project development, capacity building, and advisory and technical assistance to help PICs meet their development goals.
  • PRIF seeks to enhance the existing bilateral and multilateral arrangements in developing infrastructure to foster a more consistent and coordinated approach that leads to better infrastructure outcomes for PICs.
  • PRIF aims to pay specific attention to country capacity (both institutional and fiscal) to manage the recurrent cost implications of infrastructure investments. 
  • PRIF recognises that infrastructure development should draw on the full range of resources available for infrastructure development including government budgets, user charges, private sector investment and development funding. PRIF recognises and supports the significant role of the private sector in development including through investment, management and operations.  PRIF will support the sustainable development of local business and employment.
  • PRIF supports both new investments and maintenance of existing assets through assistance for long-term planning and budgeting that considers the impact of recurrent costs through whole-of-life costing.
  • Better development partner coordination improves infrastructure and development outcomes and makes the best use of the available resources of all development partners.
  • PRIF facilitates collaboration amongst the development partners and help achieves the above outcomes.
  • Partners are also expected to share information on their activities and priorities.  PRIF development partners are expected to report on progress of coordinated activities, including any changes to project cost and scope resulting from appraisal and approval processes as part of ongoing coordination of partner activities.
  • PRIF helps shift the cost of coordination from countries to donors and works to strengthen countries’ role in identifying and delivering their own priorities.
  • PRIF is able to provide flexible and appropriate support for technical assistance, investment, capacity building and budget support where agreed as part of a sector-wide infrastructure strategy.
  • In determining the provision of assistance through PRIF, development partners will assess country priorities in light of the PRIF principles.
  • PRIF encourages coordination and the mobilisation of all available funds including grants, concessional loans, user charges, country budget funding and private sector funds to improve infrastructure in PICs.  
  • PRIF aims to ensure there infrastructure services are managed in a sustainable manner, including a strong focus on maintenance of infrastructure and local capability for construction and maintenance.
  • The PRIF development partners will work together to coordinate their activities and investments in PICs.
  • PRIF processes will recognise the primacy of the bilateral relationship of the partner agencies with each country and will support and enhance these relationships.
  • The PRIF Coordination Office will work closely with development partners in PICs in identifying issues, options and priorities for PRIF.
  • PRIF seeks to enhance bilateral dialogue and priorities that the countries have agreed with development partners.  PRIF will help coordinate and strengthen bilateral programs where appropriate and enhance partner strategies and activities.
  • PRIF will draw on and acknowledge the direction and priorities of bilateral programs.
  • PRIF is not intended to replace the country strategies of each development partner but rather to help coordinate, integrate and enhance partner strategies and activities.
  • PRIF will inform and encourage participation from development partners, which are not currently PRIF members, as their activities can have a major impact on PIC’s ability to achieve good outcomes.
  • Information on PRIF priorities and activities will be available for other development partners.
  • Other interested development partners will have the opportunity, upon invitation, to attend PRIF meetings as observers as a first step in closer ties with PRIF.
  • More information is available under Support or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Should you have any further questions, please contact us via:

PRIF Coordination Office
Level 20, 45 Clarence Street, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Phone: +61 2 8270 9444 
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