New architecture for service delivery in Solomon Islands
World Bank proposes new structure for rural service delivery in Solomon Islands.
The World Bank has proposed a new way of getting government services to people in Solomon Islands' rural areas.
A report launched by the bank's Honiara office says from 2008 to 2012, 60 percent of more than US$130 million spent on rural service delivery went directly through members of parliament with little or no accountability for their constituency spending.
The Operations Manager of the World Bank in Solomon Islands, Erik Johnson, told Koroi Hawkins most services are being delivered via the weakest channels with no transparency on how funds are being used and whether they're effective.
ERIK JOHNSON: So the report is looking at funding sources, funding programs for rural community infrastructure and service delivery in Solomon Islands. So we are mainly looking at the four largest programmes supporting this kind of activity. Funds that are either going directly to communities for them to manage on their own. Through constituency accounts which are associated with members of parliament constituencies as well as funds going through provincial government for activities within their provinces.
KOROI HAWKINS: And what are the findings from the report?
EJ: The main finding really is that after one generation of support into three different types of modalities, it's time for a coordinated approach where the distinct funding and types of activities need to be better defined to eliminate heavy amounts of duplication. And also to really enhance the integrity of each of these systems so that they are delivering more effective development assistance to rural communities.
KH: Is there any indication from government that your recommendations will be taken up?
EJ: Well yes, this work was initiated under the previous government and there was a lot of interest in the outcomes under the previous governments. But this will be sort of the beginning of dialogue with the new government on the findings of this report. And just some formal discussions because the government is still formulating its policy directions. We are positive that this is something of interest to them but we will see as the results, the recommendations are disseminated. You know what their interest is and if this is something they want to devote some significant attention to under the current administration.
KH: Finally maybe pulling out a bit of Solomon Islands and looking at the region, is this something that is being done elsewhere in the region?
EJ: We haven't done a study of this kind in, the World Bank hasn't within the Pacific but there is certainly similar in other countries, where there is this mixture of funds with community-driven development approaches. Constituency funds as well as local governments whether its province or even further down in local governments. The Philippines has so-called constituency funds. Papua New Guinea has constituency funds. So I think the findings will be relevant and perhaps stimulate some interest and debate within those countries about how to manage these different modalities.
To embed this content on your own webpage, cut and paste the following: