Speaking during the formal closing of the Integrated Economic Development and Community Resilience (IEDCR) and Provincial Officers Eight-day Workshop at HP Hotel on 2nd August 2023, Minister for MPGIS Hon. Rollen Seleso informed participants particularly Provincial Secretaries and their officers that they have the opportunity to maximize what their Province could secure annually from the PCDF.
“I must emphasize that your performance is now linked to the annual performance assessment where funding for your province is determined. Therefore you are reminded once again to strive to ensure your provinces are qualified and not missing out in any assessment”, he stated. He urged participants to keep revising the materials prepared and delivered in the workshop, as their ability to apply the knowledge gained can only be demonstrated through the performance of their province in the annual performance assessment that is conducted annually.
The Minister made the remarks in the light of the increase in SIG and donor funding gradually channelled through PCDF modality prompting changes in the way the projects are delivered in terms of assessment, procurement, and screening. He added that because of the training there would now be lot of risk-informed planning and mainstreaming of climate change adaptation and risk mitigation efforts at the provincial level.
Minister Seleso informed participants that the Ministry and the donor partners who organized and contributed to the cost of the workshop have higher expectations that the resources spent in the training would add great value to their work in provincial service delivery. He was pleased to learn that the workshop went as originally designed with maximum participation and interactions on issues presented and discussed.
The Minister expressed sincere appreciation to the World Bank, UNDP and UNCDF for supporting the SIG in organising the workshop, and acknowledged the technical support provided by all those who facilitated the workshop. He further thanked the participants, IEDCR, PGSP, MPGIS and MECDM officers for their technical and logistic support in overcoming all the challenges thereby making the workshop a success. Provincial Secretary for Western Province, Patrick Toiraena spoke on behalf of the Provincial Secretaries echoing appropriations. So was the Director for Health in Makira Ulawa Province.
Over hundred participants attended the workshop that began on 24th July, aimed at improving understanding and building capacities of the participants to support service delivery effectively for the people in the respective provinces. The training covered modules in environment and social safeguard, climate change adaptation and risk-informed planning, social accountability, PCDF processes and procedures including the revised Minimum Conditions that shall be assessed later this year.
Coinciding with the formal closing of the workshop was the signing of the Letter of Agreement (LoA) between MPGIS and UNDP Governance for Resilient Development in the Pacific (Gov4Res) Project based in Suva, Fiji. UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Solomon Islands Country Office, Mr. Patrick Pee, made the signing with Gov4Res Risk Informed Development Specialist, Ms. Lisa Buggy and National Technical Specialist, Ms Lynelle Popot, and PS Pirione on behalf of the Ministry. This LOA signing is for a sum of USD196, 100 for the MPGIS to recruit 2 Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Resilient Officers (CCARROs) for a period of two years. Within the amount agreed, the operation and equipment required the two officers are covered.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary for the MPGIS, Mr. Stanley Dick Pirione, appreciated and acknowledged the support of Ministries including MECDM, MoFT and the Health and Education sectors in the delivery of the workshop and coming together to achieve better development outcomes in the communities. He stated that the interest shown by donors in the PCDF mechanism and support through the provision of resources is testament to the dedicated work of the Ministry and the Provincial Governments resulting in the successes achieved to date.
“We recognize the support of all our current donor partners, UNDP, UNCDF, World Bank, New Zealand High Commission, UNICEF, the European Union and their willingness to work together and coordinate their activities and support, and we appreciate their presence during the training this week”, PS Pirione stated.
He reiterated the importance of embedding environment, social frame works and risks resilience processes and mechanisms within the PCDF as very important to addressing climate change and disaster influences, including understanding and reduction of community vulnerability. The Gov4Res team will continue to support systems strengthening for incorporating consideration of risk, including climate change, disaster and social risks and risk mitigation measures in project designs and provincial government processes in this regard. The Ministry is working together with Provinces to enhance community resilience aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and the National Development Strategy.
PS Pirione stated that the signing of the LoA recognizes and formalizes the ongoing partnership and coordination between the UNDP Gov4Res, Ministries and Provincial Governments for the recruitment of two CCARRO Officers in Choiseul and Isabel Provinces. This compliments the support World Bank is providing for 5 CCARRO officers and UNCDF for the final 2 CCARRO officers. This capacity support compliments financing already provided for demonstration projects, through the PCDF mechanism.
The Permanent Secretary thanked UNDP for the support and acknowledged donor partners of the Gov4Res Project, the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Korea International Cooperation Agency, the New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.
The Gov4Res Project is working together with Pacific Island governments to ensure that countries adapt their decision making and governance systems towards more risk-informed development. In 2022, the Gov4Res project signed an UN-to-UN Partnership Agreement with UNCDF and UNDP to disburse USD550, 000 through the Solomon Islands Provincial Capacity Development Fund (PCDF) mechanism to support community development projects across Nine Provinces.
The funding has been allocated by MPGIS for “demonstration of risk informed (resilient) community infrastructure” through local government mechanisms. The allocation of US400, 000 supports existing or new community infrastructure by using the PCDF funding mechanism. This would be top-up (10% – 20%) support towards development initiatives to cover the risk informed measures.
Gov4Res funding also supports small grants initiative for Ward Development Committees (WDCs). The objective is to “support the development of community-based development projects that have high development impact and are aligned to government priorities. An integral component of this is to ensure that projects are ‘risk informed’ by addressing climate change and disaster risks and having gender and social inclusion considerations at their core”. A total of USD150, 000 has been given under this grant to support WDCs under high performing PCDF Provincial Governments.
Under the signed LoA with MPGIS, Gov4Res has committed to supporting two Provincial Officers, as part of the larger WB project support, provision of capacity strengthening and implementation support.
The Gov4Res project implemented by the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji. The project is collaborating with a range of partners including the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO).