Consultations on the National Disability Inclusive Development Policy 2022 -2026 have concluded with the final groups which include, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), Faith-Based Organizations (FBO), Private Sector and State Owned Enterprises, and government ministries. providing their feedback and inputs into the policy draft.
The development of the policy is to address the shortfalls identified with the draft disability policy 2013 -2018 and ensure that it caters for the new and emerging issues and priorities for disability-inclusive development in Solomon Islands.
The work on the Policy is being lead by the Disability Policy Development Working Group (DPDWG) comprising of Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAET) UN Branch, Ministry of Women, Youth Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA) and Disability People’s Association of Solomon Islands (DPASI) with the support of ARK Consulting
Chair of the working group Deputy Secretary Health Improvement Dr. Nemia Bainivalu expressed acknowledgment and appreciation to all the stakeholder representatives including government officials, provincial administrations, NGOs, FBOs, private sector, state-owned enterprises, disability groups, community reps for their contributions towards the final shape and form of the draft policy.
“As the chair of the Disability Policy Development Working Group, I wish to thank each and everyone of you for participating and contributing constructively during the consultations. Your validation feedback, comments, and inputs into the draft policy is greatly appreciated”
“The policy is now being finalized and will be presented to the Ministry of Health’s Senior Executive Management and with their endorsement, we will proceed to seek cabinet’s approval to commence with its implementation”, stated Dr. Bainivalu.
He explained that the policy serves as a guide toward the inclusion of people with disability in the development of Solomon Islands; mainstreaming disability and disability-specific approaches in the development of Solomon Islands; and creating an enabling environment for the protection, promotion, and fulfilment of the rights of persons with disabilities with the ultimate goal of an inclusive Solomon Islands.
“It embraces the interaction between impairments and barriers and considers disability as public health, human rights, and development priority. The translation and implementation of this policy require a whole government approach together with stakeholders. Thus, anticipates collaborative support from all stakeholders in its implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting once it is endorsed”, said Dr. Nemia.
Disability People’s Association of Solomon Islands (PDASI), Office Manager Casper Faásala thanked the government through the Ministry of Health and relevant ministries for their role as the main drivers for the development of the policy.
“I would like to applaud the government for being so positive in the entire process of reviewing the previous disability policy right up to its current updated version. Its implementation will truly provide opportunities for people with disability to participate meaningfully in the development aspirations of our beloved country”, said Mr. Faásala.
The consultation was funded under National Physiotherapy Rehabilitation Division, Annual Operation Plan with supplementary funding assistance from Women’s Rights Action Movement (WRAM) in their partnership support to Disability People’s Association of Solomon Islands (DPASI) in progressing this policy. Solomon Islands Plan Parent Association (SIPPA) through SPRINT Project also supported the process of the review to the final stage of the validation of this policy through the ARK Consulting service. In this regard, the Ministry acknowledges those support and will continue to maintain such collaboration.