The Solomon Islands working professionals and academics in Fiji has been consulted on the first ever Solomon Islands Constituency Development (SICD) Policy, an important reform undertaking spearheaded by the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) towards reforming and decentralizing developments in the rural Solomon Islands.
Held at the USP Faculty of Business and Economics (FBC) Lecture Theatre on Sunday 13th November, 2022, the consultation enables Solomon Islands working class people and students residing in Fiji to put forward their invaluable ideas, views and recommendations about the policy concept before a final paper is put through to cabinet for further deliberation.
The consultation was graced by the Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Fiji His Excellency Joseph Ma’ahanua who attended and make contributions in his capacity as an ordinary citizen of Solomon Islands.
Presentations focused mainly on the Administration of CDF as presented by Director of Rural Development Division (RDD), Milfred Delemani and MRD Financial Controller, Timothy Paoka while the draft policy was presented by Director Governance, Hickson George and Deputy Secretary Technical, Hugo Hebala made presentation on the proceedings from provincial consultations.
It was a successful consultation as the professionals and academics contributed constructively to the concept policy with invaluable ideas and recommendations on approaches to improve the CDF mechanism toward advancing rural development in our rural areas to improve livelihoods of every Solomon Islanders.
Contributors acknowledged MRD for undertaking this important policy reform that will lead towards reforming the constituency developments and decentralizing government services in the rural areas.
They emphasized the need to streamline the linkages between constituency development supports with the provincial government systems like the Ward Development Committees and other existing mechanisms.
The consultations identified issues and problems under the current constituency development practices through the CDF and recommendations to improve or include in the new SICD Policy, 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 remarks, SI High Commissioner to Fiji H.E Ma’ahanua thanked the MRD team under the leadership of Honourable Minister Duddley Kopu and Permanent Secretary Dr. Samson Viulu to include the Solomon Islands community in Fiji in the consultations to develop this important Policy, through which their voices and ideas can also be included and considered in the development of the policy framework.
He highlighted that the outcome of the SICD Policy 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 existing development mechanisms.
Meanwhile, Minister Kopu who lead the MRD delegation on official engagements in Fiji recognized everyone for their participation and invaluable contributions.
He said the views and suggestions are important as it will help the policy task force in the development of the policy framework.
Minister Kopu also emphasized 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.
He said 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.
Both the working professionals and students 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.
– MRD Press