On the 25th of March 2020, the Solomon Islands Government has declared the Solomon Islands as in the State of Public Health Emergency (SOPE) pursuant to section 16(2) of the Constitution by the Governor General.
In the absence of the country not having any specific arrangement to coordinate and manage pandemic, the Government has set provision under Part 2 section 18 of the SOPE and given the powers for the use of the National Disaster Management Arrangements (NDC Arrangements) of the National Disaster Operations Committee (N-DOC) and the Provincial Disaster Operations Committee (P-DOC) as the Solomon Islands Arrangement to coordinate and manage the country’s whole of Government and community response to COVID-19.
The COVID-19 operation is by far the most complex and longest disaster operations ever being executed using the NDC arrangement. For twenty-seven (27) months, the practicality of the arrangement has been tested to its limit.
The pandemic has placed the country in an unpreceded situation and have caused the government to invest more of its resources in strengthening its capacity to ensure its citizens are protected at all levels whilst allowing the social, economic and development aspirations of the country continue to strive and deliver on the Government policies.
It is undeniable that there have been challenges and constrains during the whole response, thus, it is customary that a LLW is held as a way of evaluating the whole operation to inform better responses to pandemic in the future.
When the SOPE ceased on the 24th of July 2022, the NDC Arrangement of the N-DOC and P-DOC has been stood-down as the NDC operational Arrangement was stood-down.
As tradition to the NDC’s aspiration to learn past disaster response and improve on future responses, the NDC through the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) is currently conducting the Solomon Islands Government and National Disaster Council After Action Review – Lessons Learnt Workshops in the Provinces.
The purpose of the After Action Review – Lessons Learnt Workshop is to bring together the various government, private sectors, stakeholders, partners, P-DOC Sector Committees, front-line responders and communities involved in the COVID-19 response operations at the provincial level to critically reflect on what happened during the provincial level response, what was supposed to have happened, why did it happen or not happen, what can be learned, what should change or remain as good practice, how will changes take place and what key recommendations for improvements are identified to improve the NDC arrangement to support the country’s future responses on pandemic. Additionally, the After Action Review – Lessons Learnt process is an important process that also identifies important drivers that would potentially influence or inform changes to the appropriate Government and NDC policies related to Disaster Management Responses.
The NDMO this week undertook the After Action Review – Lessons Learnt Workshops in Buala, Isabel Province, Tulagi, Central Province, whilst the same undertaking has already been conducted for Makira-Ulawa, Rennell and Bellona, and Choiseul Provinces.
The NDC through the NDMO acknowledges participation of the various government, private sectors, stakeholders, partners, P-DOC Sector Committees, front-line responders and communities involved in the very important COVID-19 After-Action Review – Lessons Learnt process.