A five- member team from the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) has successfully conducted two-days consultations on the first ever Solomon Islands Constituency Development (SICD) Policy concept, at the Tulagi Island Lodge in Central Province (CIP) from 6th – 7th September, 2022.
The team was led by MRD Director Governance Hickson George and include Deputy Director of Rural Development Division (RDD) Danny Lehe, Principal Rural Development Officer and Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Agnes Bopi Tanihorara, Legal Intern Angelina Nunumae and MRD Data Officer Anneth Rianafaka.
The team began the consultation by paying a courtesy visit to the Premier of Central Province Government (CPG), Hon. Polycarp Galaigu on the afternoon of Monday 6th September, 2022.
Provincial Secretary Alan Chris Siale chaired the brief Courtesy Visit at the Premier’s Office.
Premier Galaigu praised MRD for undertaking this important policy reform that will lead towards reforming the constituency developments.
He emphasized the need to streamline the linkages between constituency development supports with the provincial government systems like the Ward Development Committees and others.
20 participants from wide sections of both public and private sectors including chiefs, women & youth reps representing communities of Central Islands Province attended the 2 days consultations.
The consultations identified issues and problems under the current constituency development practices through the Constituency Development Funds (CDFs) and recommendations to improve or include in the new SICD Policy, in the following areas: Guidelines & Regulations, Governance, Planning, Implementation, Management, Monitoring & Evaluation, Reporting, Constituency Development Centers and Committee and, the General Recommendations on the CDF Reform Act.
In his opening remarks on Tuesday 6th September to officially open the consultation, PS Siale thanked the MRD team to include Central Islands Province in the consultations to develop this important SICD Policy, through which their voices and ideas can also be included and considered in the development of the policy.
PS Siale also highlighted that the end product of the SICD Policy framework will be interesting to note how best the policy will serve the people in rural areas through CDF and how the policy can link to the other development mechanisms such as the PGSP/ PCDF under the Ministry of Provincial Government & Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS) and the Provincial Governments.
Team leader of the Consultations Mr. George highlighted that the SICD Policy key goals are to support and provide a policy framework to review the 2013 CDF Act; and it will enhance and contribute towards empowering all Solomon Islanders to participate meaningfully in constituency development activities to improving their livelihoods. In doing so, the SICD Policy shall focus on the following key thematic areas: socio-economic infrastructures, livelihoods income generating projects, essential services such as health, education and police- security, and downstream processing and value adding.
The participants were really happy to participate in the 2 days consultations as CDF has been a major issue of development concern in their respective communities.
Both women and men’s representatives thanked MRD for giving them that vital opportunity to participate in the consultation discussions, where they can share their ideas and views on the current CDF practices and recommendations to be included in the first ever SICD Policy.