The Connecting Business Initiative in the Pacific Region

The Connecting Business initiative is supporting strengthened private sector engagement in disaster risk reduction, emergency preparedness, response and recovery in the Pacific region.

In 2016, the Connecting Business initiative supported the establishment of the Fiji Business Disaster Resilience Council as part of the Fiji Commerce & Employers Federation. For more information on our work in Fiji visit the network page. The Connecting Business initiative is proposing to expand its support to other Pacific countries in 2017. A Pacific regional private sector network for resilience is also being established.

Support to national private sector networks in the Pacific region

The Connecting Business initiative plans to expand its work in the Pacific region in 2017 and 2018, with support tentatively provided to Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands in 2017, followed by Tonga and Samoa in 2018. Feasibility assessments of implementing the Connecting Business program in these locations are underway. This support will build on the work already undertaken in Fiji and will replicate regional best practice.

The Connecting Business initiative supports national level member networks in the Pacific region to:

  • build local structures to coordinate business engagement with Governments, NGOs, UN organizations and other actors before, during and after emergencies;
  • strengthen the resilience of businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises, to withstand and recover from emergencies through training programs on business continuity, first responders, weather pattern, etc.;
  • integrate the private sector into national disaster management planning and processes, as well as resilience and disaster risk management programs operated by the UN, NGOs and others;
  • engage with Governments on priority policy issues;
  • identify and engage private sector capacities and resources to respond to emergencies, pre-position agreements in preparation for emergencies and match those capacities to humanitarian needs before, during and after emergencies;
  • coordinate the national, regional and global private sector response to emergencies in-country by acting as a local entry point for the private sector supporting the Government-led and UN-supported response; and
  • build a local information database and monitoring mechanism, linked to the Connecting Business global portal.

Pacific regional private sector network for resilience

The Connecting Business initaitive is partnering with the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) to establish a Pacific regional private sector network for for disaster risk reduction, emergency preparedness, response and recovery.

Strengthened engagement by the private sector throughout the Pacific will be achieved through this regional private sector network. The Pacific regional private sector network will:

  • strengthen and support the creation of national private sector networks in the Pacific;
  • work with other actors to strengthen the capacity of governments, the UN, NGOs, CSOs and others to engage with the private sector in disaster risk management;
  • support the integration of the private sector into regional disaster risk management programs;
  • support the programs implemented by national private sector networks in the Pacific;
  • undertake programs at the national level in Pacific countries where a stand-alone national private sector network is not feasible;
  • provide information on disaster risk management in the Pacific to the private sector;
  • facilitate the sharing of information between national networks in the Pacific, including best practice;
  • convene regular regional private sector forums on disaster risk management;
  • facilitate a coordinated regional private sector response to emergencies when national capacities are exceeded;
  • map and monitor private sector engagement in disaster risk management in the Pacific region; and
  • mobilize and facilitate a coordinated global private sector response to emergencies in the region.

PIPSO is the regional organisation that is responsible for building capacity of the National Private Sector Organisations (NPSOs), improving private public sector dialogue and partnerships, promoting regional competitiveness, and advocating on behalf of the private sector at regional and international fora. The members of PIPSO are the national private sector organisations (NPSOs), affiliates and associates, and development partners such as the local Chambers of Commerce and industry associations in the 14 Forum Pacific Island countries; Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and American Samoa. Its Head Office is based in Suva, Fiji.

Disaster-Ready Business Toolkit 

The Pacific Region is at risk of many hazards that can become disasters. If you are prepared this will help keep your business open after disaster strikes while also making sure your staff and their families are safe.

Find out how you can reduce risk, be ready, respond accordingly and recover quickly from any disaster as a business through the new Disaster-Ready Business Toolkit available here. Resources include videos, fact sheets and templates.

Contact details

To join the Pacific network or express your interest, contact connectingbusiness@un.org