The Mainstreaming of Rural Development Innovations (MORDI) Programme is aimed at supporting innovative, sustainable livelihood opportunities for the poor, vulnerable and isolated rural communities in the eight Pacific Island member countries of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
MORDI aims to contribute to the halving of poverty in the Pacific by 2015, in line with the Millennium Development Goals. Particular attention is paid to the most vulnerable sector of the community in Pacific Island countries – women and youth. MORDI works to support their innovative ideas that in turn will help these groups lift themselves out of poverty.
MORDI also supports initiatives to give voice to rural populations so they are heard by policymakers and other public service providers.
The programme was developed in late 2004 with support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development as the major donor, and FSPI as the executing agency overseen by a project steering committee made up of major regional NGOs.
MORDI currently operates projects in Fiji, Tonga and Kiribati and will extend operations to the Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste towards the end of phase two.
The programme is currently in its second phase (2009-2011), having successfully completed the first phase which ran from 2006-2008
The Mainstreaming of Rural Development Innovations (MORDI) Programme is one of FSPI’s core programmes. It supports sustainable livelihoods in poor, isolated, upland and vulnerable communities in the Pacific Island Countries. The MORDI Programme is currently implemented in 31 communities in Fiji, 22 in Tonga and in 13 in Kiribati.
The MORDI model and approach have specific key mechanisms and in-built structures which makes it a strong, key programme in FSPI. These key features include: the Programme Implementation Guidelines; the Learning, Sharing and Up-scaling Unit; the host NGOs, the MORDI communities and the presence of community facilitators in these MORDI Communities. Furthermore there exist at the regional level a Project Advisory Committee; and at the national level a National Advisory Committee and an independent Project Review and Approval Committee.
Learning, Sharing and Upscaling Unit documents and shares good/best practices and lessons learnt from the field to all stakeholders which include Government, NGOs, Civil Society Organisations, Donors, Private Sector, Communities and other programmes in FSPI. The sharing of these good practices and lessons learnt provide a platform for other FSPI programmes to develop and improve them with the emphasis of working together to benefit communities.
The MORDI Programme has developed its Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) System and allows the programme to monitor and evaluate the progress of the activities, outputs, outcomes and impacts of the programme at Regional, National and Community levels. This M&E system will be shared to all FSPI Programmes to assist them develop and strengthen their M&E systems.
INSTITUTIONAL STRENGTHENING AND NETWORK DEVELOPMENT
MORDI works closely with the other four FSPI Programmes in delivering development work into communities. This is normally achieved though joint planning meeting where resources (both technical and finance) are committed and shared with the objective of establishing an integrated approach into community development work. This approach takes place at both Regional and National Levels.
The Learning, Sharing and Up-scaling Unit provides key capacity building activities which enables the institutions at the regional, national and community levels to have capabilities and capacities not only to deliver community development work but also to make communities able to stand on their own feet and address their development issues and problems. The emphasis of the MORDI Programme is to empower communities in terms of their capacities, institutions, economic opportunities and allowing them to link up with decision makers at both local and national government levels.
MORDI also works together with FSPI’s Independent Network Partners and other Non Government Organizations and Civil Society Organisations partners. In Fiji, the MORDI Programme is hosted by Partners in Community Development Fiji; the Tonga MORDI Programme is housed under three Programme Partners namely Catholic Women’s League, Tonga National Youth Congress and Civil Society Forum of Tonga; and in Kiribati the National MORDI Programme works under the umbrella of FSPKiribati.
COMMUNICATION AND ADVOCACY FOR CHANGE
MORDI work in partnerships with other FSPI Programme in promoting FSPI to Government, Donors, other Non Government Organisations and the Private Sector.
The MORDI approach empowers communities to stand up on their own and link up with policy makers, decision making bodies at all levels (community, local government and national government) with the intention for these entities to work in partnership with them to solve development problems identified in their community development plans. The MORDI approach provides a mechanism through a roundtable meeting where communities come face to face and engage with Government, donors, private sector and other Non Government organizations with the main objective of fostering partnerships to address communities’ development problems.
The Learning, Sharing and Up-scaling unit documents and share all the significant stories from MORDI communities to all stakeholders. The documentation is in a narrative form and also audio and visual, where actual video shots and interviews are documented and shared. These stories normally are shared and published in FSPI’s newsletter “Stories From the Mat”. The audio and visual reporting is part of the monitoring and evaluation system of the MORDI programme and is also available through the you tube website – http://www.YouTube.com/Mordi Pacific.
Partnerships with donors, multilateral funding institutions, governments, local government, private sector and other non-governmental organizations is key in bringing positive development changes to the communities.
FSPI SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY: TRUSTED NETWORK ORGANIZATION AND RELATIONSHIPS
The Mainstreaming of Rural Development Innovations Programme is funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). For the MORDI Programme Phase One which had a lifetime from 2005 to 2008, IFAD provided USD$2million dollars and a further USD$1.5million dollars have been approved by IFAD to fund the MORDI Programme Phase 2 which runs from 2009 to 2010. The Agreement between IFAD and FSPI provides the main document that guides the approach, operation and implementation of the MORDI Programme.
For the sustainability of the MORDI Programme, FSPI, the Regional MORDI Programme and all the MORDI national programmes work together to secure partnerships and additional funding from donors, governments and private sector to further support the MORDI Programme and most importantly to provide more opportunities for communities to seek assistance from.
The MORDI Programme has a well set up and secured prudent financial system which allows the smooth disbursement of funds from IFAD and the proper utilization of funds at regional, national MORDI programme and right down to the communities and their facilitators.
The Partnership between the MORDI Programme and development partners is needed for the sustainability of the programme at all levels and more importantly at the community level (being) the priority of this MORDI programme.