Strategic Plan



Purpose of this document

This document presents PIANGO’s strategy for 2020-2030 and articulates the change agenda the organization and its network of national umbrella platforms across the Pacific region have committed to. It acknowledges the achievements PIANGO made under Strategic Plan 2017 – 2020, builds on current strengths, and looks squarely at the future.

Things that haven’t changed:

PIANGO’s belief in civil society’s role as independent development actors remains absolute. Our network of national umbrella organizations across the region continues to work toward supporting enabling environments and their membership at the national level. Our people, our communities however continue to front up in a world confronting varying social and ecological crises. The world is now more connected than ever and to be a catalyst for change PIANGO recognizes the need to strengthen itself, it’s Kainga (family) broaden its partnership base across the sector.

This strategy then looks to the next 10 years and articulates the pillars of work PIANGO will act on to help the Vanua (region) achieve resilient and sustainable development. Broadly these pillars are based on the theory of change that Governance and strengthened institutions, amplified Voice, local Approaches to development, and genuine Partnership is what PIANGO can contribute to resilient and sustainable development.

The Journey

Our journey began officially at the first-ever PIANGO Council in Pago Pago, American Samoa in August 1991. The move to establish PIANGO however came out of conversations in the late 70s that highlighted the need to strengthen regional networking of NGOs across the Pacific. During the 80s the conversations carried on and culminated in the drafting of a constitution for a Pacific Islands Association of NGOs. PIANGO is now a regional secretariat to a network of umbrella organizations or platforms that are registered in 24 countries, territories, and states across the Pacific region.

Political Economy/Context

Shrinking Space: the legitimacy and credibility of civil society continue to be challenged in many ways across the region. New forms of the corporate capture of development emerge and traditional development partners are exhibiting corporate behavior. At a local level NGOs, community, and faith-based groups feel like they are being crowded out by the larger more established, and often international organizations. With a global decline in ‘giving’, development partner systems becoming more stringent, and an increased emphasis on consortium approaches to delivery there is a lot more pressure on the local grant and implementation space. Compounding this are unequal partnerships that do not foster local systems and heavily contested political spaces that leave many of our local organizations with little to no leverage and grappling with institutional strengthening and programming issues.

The New Frontier: The Pacific region leads global efforts in the resilience agenda which recognizes the inextricable link between climate change and disaster risk reduction, the cumulative impact on people’s lives now and into the future, and the need to integrate efforts to prepare and protect our people. The Pacific is also on the frontline of emerging issues around extractive industry particularly with oceans, fisheries, and deep-sea mining. We recognize that as the Big Ocean States a whole of island approach that is supported by multi-stakeholder platforms or what we like to call Public Private People Partnerships.

A Connected Region: With communication technology and social media advances the people of the region now more than ever are talking, sharing, and learning from each other. In this context, the role of people-powered development or social movements increases with every connection made between people. Civil society organizations are the best placed to inform, facilitate and engage these conversations or social movements because they are already trusted platforms of people-powered development.

Call to Action

The Strategic Plan 2020-2030 resonates the call for a “Transformative Partnerships for a Resilient Sustainable Pacific. The call is aligned to Agenda 2030 and is rooted in the Pacific Principles of Development Effectiveness.

PIANGO Values & Principles

 PIANGO’s values are couched on the Pacific Development Effectiveness principles which emanated from a regional consultation convened by PIANGO with its NLUs. These include:

  1. People-centered, holistic, and sustainable development: Empowering people to improve their quality of life, to be free from violence, discrimination, and poverty, and to live with dignity. This includes community-oriented, integrated, bottom-up sustainable human development that upholds people’s dignity and recognizes them as partners, not victims, and which includes our healthy relationship with people and the whole of creation.
  2. Ownership: Development is grounded in the needs and issues of the people they are meant to benefit from for them to direct and have ownership of their development ensuring relevance and impact and accomplishment of their own development goals. Democratic participation that is culturally rooted and relevant at both macro and micro levels.
  3. Social justice and fairness: Promotion of equal opportunity. Equal and fair access to employment, health, education; equal distribution of wealth and Aid and equitable sharing of the benefits and power. Advocate for an enabling legal environment (independent judiciary) to administer justice for all.
  4. Mutual respect, diversity, and inclusiveness: inclusive representation of youth, women, disabled and marginalized groups in policy dialogue and high-level meetings. Embracing, appreciating, respecting, and nurturing cultural, religious, spiritual, gender diversity and fostering a culture of peace and security.
  5. Good governance, effective and accountable leadership: Visionary leadership with integrity, honesty, and truthfulness with strategic focus and plans ensuring accountability, transparency in financial management.

Context Relevant Implementation Mechanism

  1. Managing for results: Managing resources and improve decision-making for results. Monitoring and Evaluation to be done openly by CSOs with clear indicators and measures.

Critical Elements of an Enabling Environment for CSO effectiveness (guidelines for enabling conditions)

  1. Promote democratic practice: Engaging the public, decision-makers, and political leaders for the protection of freedom of expression through an independent media, and an enabling legal environment through an independent judiciary.
  2. CSO Collaboration and capacity-strengthening: the enhanced capacity of CSOs to effectively engage and effectively assess the situation of Aid, to avoid dependency, and be self-reliant. Promoting exchanges and cooperation between CSO actors, national platforms (NLUs) to build capacity.
  3. Open and sustained dialogue between CSOs and government: Recognising that governments and CSOs are mutually accountable for development results; there needs to be an enabling environment for government and CSO engagement. Creating essential linkages between public, private, and CSO sectors. Maintaining an interface and staying engaged with governments. Alignment and linking to national development plans and taking action on existing policy commitments made at national, regional, and international levels. CSOs exercise effective leadership to partner with governments on development policies, strategies, and coordination of development actions for sustainability and an exit strategy for Aid.
  4. Genuine and responsible partnerships with donors: Ensure meaningful, sustained, and long-term commitments and strengthening partnerships between donors, governments, and between CSOs.

Vision: A United Pacific: Strengthening the Resilient Responsiveness of our Kainga for a Peaceful and Prosperous Vanua.


Mission: To support the creation of a secure enabling environment for strong, effective, accountable, and adaptive Institutions that provide an inclusive representation and common voice platforms and structured mechanisms for policy influencing which is rooted in our Pacific cultural practices and values; through sustainable equitable and genuine partnerships for resilient development.


(insert diagram of Strategic Plan)


Strategic Focus Area 1: Governance/Leadership

PIANGO will build a strong Kainga of resilient institutions within the network and across the sector that:  empowers communities, addresses leader deficits, and develops next generational leaders. PIANGO’s core focus is to strengthen its NLUs as an institution and platform to serve their constituents and support the sector at the local level. This requires enhancing the leadership role of NLUs as well as its leaders to be visionary and adapt to the changing CSO environment whilst ensuring inter-general learning and mentorship to support the next generational leaders.  Strengthening the accountability of its NLUs and its leadership is critical and aligned to the development effectiveness principles.

Key Objective/Results:

  • National Liaison Units strengthened to fulfill their coordination, influence, membership services, and sector support role at the local level;
  • PIANGO’s institutional strengthening work packaged for sharing where appropriate;
  • A PIANGO Leadership network established to foster mentorship, learning, and collaboration as well as address succession planning and next generational leadership;
  • Strong working relationships established between NLUs and national governments;
  • Umbrella coordination and support fully functional and recognized;


Strategic Focus Area 2: Voice

PIANGO will actively include, promote, facilitate and amplify the voice of communities, vulnerable groups, and civil society organizations at the local level. This includes advocating for enabling environments that link empowered communities with empathetic governments and development partners at the national, regional, and global levels.

Key Objectives/Results:

  • Local platforms established through National Liaison Units to coordinate and connect the voice and perspectives of communities with national policy-making;
  • Research-informed policy advice provided to national, regional, and global policymakers;
  • National liaison unit monitoring of civic space increased;
  • Social accountability platforms that engage on behalf of and close the feedback loop with communities developed and facilitated by National Liaison Units;
  • Support provided to national, regional, and global coalitions of civil society organizations to extend reach and amplify voice;
  • Technology and innovation utilized to build a community voicebank e.g. online community perspective surveys or interactive youth opinion polls;

Strategic Focus Area 3: Approaches

PIANGO will provide the development sector with thought leadership to promote localized, responsive, relevant, and forward-thinking approaches to development in the region. The approaches will be aligned to the Agenda 2030 whist at the same time grounded on Pacific practices and values. PIANGO and its NLUs will enhance its evidence-based approaches to development by strengthening its research capacity.

Key Objectives/Results:

  • Civil society led research on approaches to build and sustain resilient and sustainable development increased;
  • Civil society research capacity built;
  • Indigenous and traditional knowledge informed approaches identified, researched, applied, and promoted
  • Rethinking Development and Recovering the Resilient Pacific
  • The identities and development aspirations of the Pacific’s indigenous peoples and their communities engaged and promoted;
  • The convergence of philosophy, faith, governance, and community-supported to inform development practice;
  • Localization approaches in the humanitarian sector particularly and the development sector broadly researched, identified, promoted, and applied;

Strategic Focus Area 4: Partnership:

The CSO landscape is changing that CSOs cannot work in silos anymore. PIANGO will facilitate and support an enabling environment for strong, genuine, and sustained partnerships at the national, regional, and global level amongst CSOs, government, and development partners

Key Objective/Results

  • A PIANGO Plus approach in recognition of the different types of partnership implemented;
  • A code of accountability implemented by the PIANGO Kainga;
  • A code of accountability for the broader civil society sector developed and jointly agreed to;
  • Resource mobilization partnerships established successfully;
  • A Nerve Center developed to roll out innovative support to PIANGO and PIANGO Plus – START hub; PFM; GNDR; Build Run Transfer; Startup social movements etc;


Click here to download PIANGO Strategic plan 2013-2015