The Ministry of Provincial and Institutional Strengthening formally launches Ward Profiling and Strategic Planning formulation for nine provincial governments in Solomon Islands in the first week of April 2013. The six month long exercise which shall lead to the production of Ward Profiles for each of the 170 Wards and Strategic Plans for each Province is being funded by Provincial Governance Strengthening Programme (through UNDP/EU), Ministry of Development Planning and Aid Coordination and the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening.
This exercise is in response to Buala Premiers Conference Communique of 24th day of October 2010. On this day, Hon. Premiers adopted resolution 14 of Buala Communique for the Provincial Government Strengthening Programme to assist the provinces through the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening to compile a comprehensive Ward profile in each of the 170 Wards in the nine Provinces of Solomon Islands. Resolution 14 of Buala Communique reads:
''Ward Development Profiles are important mechanisms for the participatory planning process in Provincial Governments. These will help the Provincial Governments identify potential priority developments aspirations in the rural areas/wards as it would be seen to be strengthening the capacities and improving the livelihoods of Solomon Islands' rural populace. The Premiers acknowledge that UNDP's Provincial Governance Strengthening Project has already started work on Ward Development Profiles, therefore request Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening to ensure that this work continues''.
The implementation of this important resolution was stalled as a result of the decision by MPGIS to wait for the completion and official launching of the National Development Strategy of SIG. The Ministry with the support of PGSP supported the consultation processes in provinces for the formulation of National Development Strategy in 2011. The launching of NDS in 2011 has now paved the way for the implementation of Buala Resolution 14 as prescribed by Provincial Premiers.
It should be noted that formulation of long term strategies of provincial governments is the starting point of public expenditure management cycle of PGSP as designed by the Solomon Island Government in 2007. The implementation of this part of the PEM had to wait for the launching of NDS by SIG.
Objectives of the assignment
- The exercise shall lead to the production a five year rolling strategic plans for the nine provincial governments of Solomon Islands that is based on the development needs of the provincial governments but linked to the priorities set out in the National Development Strategy objectives of the National Government.
- Produce a comprehensive ward profile for each of the wards in each of the provinces in order to compile the most updated and realistic database of socio-economic activities in each ward that could be used as inputs to inform the overall strategic planning process of the provincial governments. The ward profiles would later be updated on annual basis by the provincial authorities.
The Ward Profiling would include climate change vulnerability analysis questionnaires with the objective of compiling a database that would hold record of the types of assistance that local communities think they need with climate change adaptation. It may identify types of action and priority locations.
The long term outcome of the strategic planning exercise is localisation of National Development Strategy at provincial and community levels. All the objectives of National Development Strategy that need the support of provincial governments particularly objective 8 shall be addressed in this five year rolling strategic plans.
This important activity shall be implemented by the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening by hiring two local consultants for a period of 100 days each to tour all the Wards in the nine Provinces for consultations and data collection to enable them to compile a comprehensive profile for each Ward that would inform provincial development strategies. The two consultants who have already signed their contracts with UNDP have had an initial briefing meeting with the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening.
In a separate agreement with Ministry of Development Planning and Aid Coordination, one additional Consultant would be funded through European Union to assist the two consultants to undertake the exercise. The MDPAC funded consultant, who may be available by May, shall be responsible for Malaita, Central and Rennell & Bellona Provinces. Hon. Premiers of these provinces shall be duly informed when the consultant is on board. The other two local consultants shall be responsible for Isabel, Temotu and Guadalcanal as one group, Western Province, Choiseul and Makira Ulawa in another group.
During the exercise in the field, the strategic planning consultants will:
Review the provincial profiles that had been compiled by the SIG-UNDP Solomon Island Development Administration and Participatory Programme (SIDAPP) in 1998, a former project of MPGIS.
Review the data collected by the Rural Development Program in each ward and synthesize the information collated by that organisation to see if the data could be made use of.
- Review any information that might have been gathered by each province in order to use them in the compilation of the ward profile and provincial profile.
- Make reference to the reports produced by the provincial governments such as the provincial annual work plan and budgets to determine the resource utilisation and mobilisation of each provincial governments.
- Hold consultations with the provincial authorities to formulate five year development strategic plans of the provincial governments based on the economic data collected and collated on each provincial government.
- Hold intensive consultations with the Ministry of Development Planning and Aid Coordination to appreciate the National Development Strategies and how it needs to be linked to the provincial government development strategies on a long term.
- Hold discussions with the line Ministries at provincial level such as Health, Education, Rural Development and Environment for a coordinated approach towards integrated planning processes at the provincial level.
- Consult with the key provincial actors such as international and local NGOs plus UN Agencies operating in the provinces.
- Consultant with the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster and Meteorology.
The main output expected from this exercise is a Ward profile for each ward and a five year comprehensive strategic plan based on National Development Strategy objectives aligned to provincial development aspirations. The five year strategic plan shall be a rolling plan that would be reviewed annually by the provincial governments in order to keep it up to date.
The Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening has agreed with Provincial Governments to contribute immensely to the exercise. Activities at the provincial and community level shall be coordinated and led by the provincial governments. Provincial government shall be mobilising both human and financial resources to ensure adequate logistic to the consultants.
By Stanley D. Pirione (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening)