Risk Informing Development Programmes to Improve Food Security in Provincial Areas

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August 2021 (Honiara, Solomon Islands) –The Government of Solomon Islands through the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) hosted a one-day workshop with key government stakeholders on 25 August 2021, to discuss the inclusion of climate change and disaster risks into the National Food Security Programme Proposal for the 2022 development budget.

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The workshop brought together representatives from MAL, Ministry of National Planning and Development Coordination (MNPDC), Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MoFT) and Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM) to exchange knowledge and experiences of risk informing development. This included understanding budgeting to address various risks associated with climate change, disaster, the COVID-19 pandemic and gender and social inclusion.

During the workshop, the collective expertise of participants identified that it was critical for risk management to be embedded into development policy, planning, programming, budgeting and monitoring and evaluation. 

MAL, through the Extension Division is responsible for implementing agricultural and food security programmes across Solomon Islands.

“It is crucial to ensure that [these] food and nutrition projects are properly screened to address potential social and environmental risks and mitigation measures are taken into account in the project design and implementation,” said Andrew Melanolu, Director Extension Division, MAL.

Mr. Melanolu added “we need the support from all relevant ministries including MNPDC, MoFT, MECDM and other stakeholders to ensure a food and nutrition secure Solomon Islands”.

Mathew Walekoro, Chief Planning Officer, MNPDC said, “MNPDC had a similar training in 2014 and 2015 for the Risk Screening Toolkit which was facilitated by UNDP to integrate risk management in project appraisals. Based on that, MNPDC has made it mandatory to screen all Central Agencies projects using the risk tools being developed during the training”.

From the finance and budget perspective, Marcellina Loe Iro, Deputy Director, Budget Unit, MoFT said, “conducting training for proper risk assessments for government projects is significant to making sound decisions on whether to recommend or not recommend certain projects for funding. We want to avoid wastage of secured revenue annually, through funding projects that do not add value to citizens or contribute to growth”.

Practical outcomes from the workshop include a draft risk assessment for the model farm component of the National Food Security Enhancement programme. Following the completion of the workshop, the MAL team will finalise this and incorporate specific risk issues into the proposal template for submission to national planning. This exercise will also be an opportunity for other sectors to learn and build from.  

This workshop is supported by the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji through the Governance for Resilient Development in the Pacific (Gov4Res) Project and the UNDP Solomon Islands Office in Honiara.

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