The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) 2023 all-embracing priorities are all set for implementation.
Honourable Minister Duddley Kopu revealed in Parliament last week.
These priorities include;
Topping the priorities is the implementation of the new SICD Policy which Minister Kopu informed Parliament that his ministry has already produced the first draft and will soon go to Caucus and then Cabinet for approval.
He highlighted that this policy is the first ever policy on constituency development since the country gained its political independence in 1978 and since the establishment of the CDF programme in the 90s under different names.
Work on the new policy started in early July this year with the formation of a policy taskforce and drafting of a concept note. Consultation on the policy concept were conducted in seven provinces except for Choiseul and Makira Provinces due to financial constraints. On 6th December 2022, a validation workshop on the new policy involving all line ministries, donor agencies, bilateral and multilateral partners and Civil Society Organisations CSOs) including the private sector was held with overwhelming support from everyone in attendance.
Overwhelming support was given to the CDF program to continue as obvious from feedbacks and recommendations from rural dwellers and stakeholders but with improved delivery mechanisms and a stronger governance that is aligned to the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act 2013.
Minister Kopu said the new policy will prioritize an integrated approach, good governance, improve delivery mechanisms through effective partnerships, decentralization through establishment of constituency development growth centres (CDGC) and posting of seconded officers to all 50 constituencies to be based in these centres, promote value adding, retain ownership of properties and moveable assets, encourage constituencies to establish viable business entities that can provide proper services to our people and streamline resources to be focused more on the productive and resource sectors but not forgetting the essential services.
“The policy will pave the way for strengthening compliance through the amended CDF Act so that all constituencies shall ensure to comply with requirements before funds can be released,” he stressed.
On the Review of the CDF Act 2013 and development of the CDF Regulations, Minister Kopu said that his ministry already has the draft regulations in place and aiming to incorporate the changes by June/July 2023.
With regards to the establishment of Constituency Development Growth Centres, he said the priority will be for constituencies that already have registered land available for development and those that have already established such initiative in their constituencies adding “these include Gao/Bugotu Constituency, East Choiseul, East Malaita and South Guadalcanal to name a few.”
On the Constituency Development Profiling, Minister Kopu said this will involve the rolling out of constituency planning tools and processes, capacity building for constituency officers on specific skills and knowledge such as planning, project management, research, data collection and analysis and, monitoring and evaluation.
He added that establishing new partnerships with donors is another top priority his ministry will be executing in 2023.
“…we cannot achieve this overnight and alone but we should value the importance of partnership and collaborations. We believe that we can achieve more by working together and coordinate better with all our key partners and stakeholders. My ministry has received strong indication from other donor agencies to continue providing support to our reforms and that we are looking forward to working closely with our key partners next year to deliver services toward improving social and economic livelihoods of our people in the rural areas.”
– MRD Press