Deavina Ken is a national UN Volunteer Information Management and Reporting Assistant with UNRCO in Micronesia, based in Pohnpei.
Deavina Ken is a national UN Volunteer Information Management and Reporting Assistant with UNRCO in Micronesia, based in Pohnpei.

Tracking progress towards the Global Goals in small island developing states

Teenari Tekeraoi, Deavina Ken and Uong Jameson Yalap are the three UN Volunteers tracking the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals in small island developing states in the Pacific. Their assignments are funded through the UNV Special Voluntary Fund, which underpins the organization's role as the United Nations system-wide service for engaging UN Volunteers in peace and development worldwide.

When Teenari Tekeraoi (Kiribati) began her assignment in June 2023, she was the first international UN Youth Volunteer from the Small Island Developing States in the Pacific. She joined the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) as a Sustainable Development Monitoring Assistant, supporting Fiji, Kiribati and Tuvalu in reviewing and monitoring their national development progress. 

Teenari believes monitoring national development progress is a phenomenal opportunity that will have an impact on building the resilience of the region. "I review national issues through national development plans. This helps monitor and inform better decision-making towards achieving the SDGs," she says.

ESCAP values the contribution of UN Volunteers with local knowledge on the ground.

Having Teenari on board has been a great help to support countries in the Pacific review and further enhance their monitoring of national plans. Uong will be a vital part of the support ESCAP has planned for the Palau Voluntary National Review, in particular with data and statistics.-- Chris Ryan, Statistician with ESCAP Pacific Office

Teenari Tekeraoi (speaking), International UN Youth Volunteer, Sustainable Development Monitoring Assistant with UNESCAP speaks during the UNV Capacity Building Development Facility workshop in Suva, Fiji.
Teenari Tekeraoi (speaking), international UN Youth Volunteer Sustainable Development Monitoring Assistant during UNV Capacity Building Development Facility workshop in Suva, Fiji. @UNV, 2023.

Uong Jameson Yalap (Palau) serves as Sustainable Development Assistant for ESCAP’s Sub-regional Office of the Pacific. He is with the Bureau of Budget and Planning at the Ministry of Finance and is based in Koror. He contributes to mapping sectoral plans for Kiribati’s industrial policy. Uong oversees implementation, reviews trade policies and supports the development of a monitoring and evaluation framework.

Reflecting on his volunteer experience, Uong highlights, "Through collective action, we can bring about positive transformation that impacts our communities and contributes significantly to achieving the SDGs."

Uong Jameson Yalap, National UNV Specialist, Sustainable Development Assistant with UNESCAP Subregional Office for the Pacific based in Koror, Palau
Uong Jameson Yalap, national UN Volunteer Specialist Sustainable Development Assistant with ESCAP Sub-regional Office for the Pacific. @UNV, 2023

It was Mahatma Gandhi’s quote, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” that motivated Deavina Ken (Federated States of Micronesia) to become a volunteer. She is a national UN Volunteer Information Management and Reporting Assistant with the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office (UNRCO) since April 2023 and is based in Pohnpei.

Deavina focuses on reporting and analysis across UN entities, stakeholders and the governments of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Kiribati and Nauru. "By narrowing data gaps, we contribute to more targeted policymaking at both the state and national levels," she says

UN Volunteers are recognized for their service to local communities while helping the United Nations system understand how to best collaborate in small island developing states.

The UN Multi-Country Office Micronesia was established two years ago. We immediately recognized the need to reach out to communities and support them. We want young people become part of our joint development journey. Deavina proved the importance of this approach by supporting some of our most critical work. -- Kay Schwendinger, Head of the Multi-Country Resident Coordinator's Office in Micronesia