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Solomon Islands

Overview of Australia’s aid program to Solomon Islands

2013/14 Estimated Outcome: $166.7 million

2014/15 Budget Estimate: $168.1 million

Australia is Solomon Islands’ major economic, development and security partner. Australia’s development assistance is focused on building a stable nation underpinned by viable institutions and economic growth. We are the largest donor in Solomon Islands, providing around seventy per cent of Solomon Islands’ aid. Since 2003, Australia has, through our bilateral program and the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), restored law and order, rebuilt national institutions and stabilised the economy.

Australia’s assistance through the bilateral program has increased since the transition of RAMSI in mid-2013. There is an enhanced focus on public sector governance, economic management and law and justice. This complements the existing focus on essential services (health and education) and broad based economic growth (transport and rural development). Together, these are important areas of assistance to support Solomon Island’s long term recovery and a positive development trajectory for the people of Solomon Islands.

Solomon Islands is ranked 143rd out of 186 countries on the 2013 UN Human Development Index. Its GDP per capita, among the lowest in the region, has only now recovered to income levels before the Tensions in 1998-2003. Around 23 per cent of the population lives below the basic needs poverty line. Solomon Islands remains one of the most aid dependent countries in the world and lags behind other Pacific countries on most development indicators.

Solomon Islands’ population is highly dispersed—about 550,000 people live across 92 islands, the vast majority in rural areas. The majority of the population has limited access to basic services such as health, education, water, sanitation and infrastructure. Unemployment is a major concern, with a population growth of 2 per cent per annum and a limited labour market of 55,000 jobs. Only 15 per cent of school leavers find paid employment. Ongoing internal migration to the capital in search of jobs and the cash economy increases the pressure on services in Honiara.

In Solomon Islands, gender inequality is evident in all parts of daily life. Women are under-represented in political and government institutions at national and provincial levels. Violence against women is pervasive; an estimated two-thirds of women aged 15-49 have experienced physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner.

Education

Australia supports better quality education and skills development to ensure young people have the knowledge and skills they need to be job-ready and contribute positively to society.

Australia Awards scholarships support emerging leaders to contribute to economic and social development.

Education assistance in Solomon Islands

Health

Australia is working closely with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to ensure all Solomon Islanders have access to good quality basic health care. Our support is helping to improve medicine supply, combat malaria, provide access to clean water and safe sanitation as well as strengthen the public health system.

Health assistance in Solomon Islands

Governance

Improving the quality of governance in Solomon Islands is central to maintaining macroeconomic and social stability, delivering sustainable and equitable services including health, education and infrastructure and improving private sector confidence. The governance program aims to improve government’s ability to manage the economy and create an enabling environment for private sector investment. Australia works in partnership with the Solomon Islands Government to improve the professionalism and accountability of public servants to provide necessary public services that support economic growth.

Governance assistance in Solomon Islands

Justice

The effective delivery of justice services and maintenance of the rule of law are necessary conditions for economic growth and poverty reduction. The Solomon Islands Justice Program aims to improve the delivery of justice services by assisting the state’s justice agencies to perform their core functions, by strengthening laws and services that focus on violence against women, and by increasing access to justice for people in remote locations.

Justice assistance in Solomon Islands

Infrastructure and livelihoods

Australia is assisting the Solomon Islands Government to improve transport infrastructure, including maintaining and building roads and wharves, and the delivery and cost of utilities. Australia is working with Solomon Islands Government to improve and create long-term opportunities for economic livelihoods and food security for Solomon Islanders, particularly those living in rural areas.

Infrastructure and livelihoods assistance in Solomon Islands

Gender equality

Australia is helping to build the capacity of Solomon Islands government agencies and community organisations to prevent family violence, improve economic livelihoods for women and promote leadership opportunities at a formal and community level.

Gender equality in Solomon Islands

Our results

  • The incidence of malaria has fallen from 199 cases per 1,000 people in 2003, to 45 cases per 1,000 in 2013.
  • In 2013 Australia provided grants which allowed 145,000 children to go school and supported an increase in trained primary teachers - from 60 to 70 per cent.
  • In 2013 Australian assisted the Solomon Islands Government to maintain or rehabilitate 417 km of roads.
  • Australian-supported road and other infrastructure works have created 157,622 person days of employment, 42 per cent of this employment was for women.
  • As a result of Australian support, the average proportion of Solomon Water samples that pass WHO bacteria standards increased from less than half in 2011 to 90 per cent in 2014.
  • Australia has support the completion of 157 village infrastructure projects, including village water supply systems, wharves, village roads, community halls and staff houses for nurses and teachers.
  • An additional 62,046 people accessed banking services by the end of 2013 from 2010. Of these new customers, 31,915 were added in 2013, of which 10,133 were female customers.
  • Australia has supported the development and implementation of key policies and legislation, including implementing the new Public Financial Management Act 2013.
  • With Australian support, the Solomon Islands Family Protection Act was passed in August 2014.

Related documents

Education assistance in Solomon Islands

Overview

Australia is working with the Solomon Islands Government, New Zealand and other donors to improve quality and access to education for all Solomon Islanders. Australia supports the priorities of the Solomon Islands national education action plan to deliver quality education throughout the country.

The three areas of focus for Australian support for education in Solomon Islands:

  • Foundation skills in basic education—improving learning outcomes, especially early literacy and numeracy for all students
  • Skills for economic growth—increasing the number of Solomon Islanders with technical and vocational skills in areas of demand
  • Australia Awards—enabling students to undertake tertiary study in Australia and the region, enhancing cross-cultural understanding through people-to-people links and building the capacity of people to contribute to economic and social development.

Australia is working on the design of a new program for education support for Solomon Islands from 2015 that will focus on implementation of the systems and policies that will deliver better education results.

Performance Assessment Framework and Implementation Schedule—Priority Outcome 1: Improved Service Delivery—Education

Related initiatives

Education Sector Support Program

$24 million, 2011-2014

The Education Support Program builds on high primary education enrolment rates to improve the literacy and numeracy of primary school students. Australia supported a Solomon Islands Government initiative to remove school fees and provide grants to schools, which is helping over 145,000 young Solomon Islanders get an education.

Australia will support skills training so that young Solomon Islanders will be better placed to get jobs.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Education Support Program Quality of Entry (QAE) Report 2010 QAE report
Education Support Program Design Document 2010 Design document
Education Support Program Concept Note 2010 Concept note
Education Support Program—Partnership for Development Implementation Strategy 2011 Implementation strategy

Gender equality in Solomon Islands

Overview

We are improving the gender equality outcomes across our development programs in Solomon Islands, as well as supporting dedicated initiatives to target specific issues of inequality between men and women. We are helping to build the capacity of Solomon Islands Government agencies and community organisations to advocate for and implement activities that prevent family violence against women and girls, improve economic livelihoods for women and promote leadership opportunities at a national and community level.

Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development Solomon Islands Country Plan Summary

Related initiatives

Addressing Gender Equality

$7.8 million, 2012-2016

The program is the Solomon Islands specific part of Australia’s 10 year regional Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women) initiative. Activities funded through that program’s regional funding (particularly support to UN Women’s Markets for Change project and political leadership training opportunities for potential election candidates) complement this Solomon Islands-specific program. Activities include support to Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs ; improving the gender equality outcomes of the all parts of the Australian aid program in Solomon Islands; dedicated program to work with communities to prevent family violence; targeted research; and support to other relevant activities such as core funding for the Solomon Islands Women in Business Association.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Let’s Make Our Families Safe 2014 Design document
Solomon Islands Markets for Change Proposed Project Document 2013 Design document

Governance assistance in Solomon Islands

Overview

Australia supports effective governance by helping the Solomon Islands Government to strengthen the national budget, public financial management, public sector reform, transparency and accountability across the public service. In supporting better functioning central agencies and service delivery agencies, Australia is helping Solomon Islands to deliver more efficient and effective services to all Solomon Islanders.

Australia is assisting the conduct of independent and impartial elections by supporting the development of a new voter roll and the conduct of the 2014 national election. Australia is also supporting the development of national statistics—providing data for evidence based policy and planning.

Performance Assessment Framework and Implementation Schedule—Priority Outcome 4: Improved Governance

Related initiatives

Solomon Islands Economic and Public Sector Governance Program

$68 million, 2013-2017

The Solomon Islands Economic and Public Sector Governance Program (SIGOV) commenced in July 2013 following transition of RAMSI programs into the bilateral program. It is the first phase of a 30 year partnership with Solomon Islands. Our assistance is focused on maintaining macroeconomic stability and the government’s fiscal position, ensuring the Solomon Islands Government allocates and spends resources in line with its own National Development Strategy and ensuring effective and accountable public administration. Improving the quality of governance in Solomon Islands is also central to private sector confidence, facilitates growth, service delivery and stability.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Solomon Islands Governance Program Delivery Strategy 2013 Delivery strategy

Health assistance in Solomon Islands

Overview

As the largest donor to the health sector, Australia works closely with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to ensure all Solomon Islanders have access to good quality basic health care. Our support aims to strengthen health services, especially in rural areas; improve maternal and child health; combat malaria and other diseases; and expand access to medicines, clean water and safe sanitation. Underpinning these priorities is a commitment to strengthening and empowering the health system and its workforce.

Australia’s support to the health sector over the last decade has helped to save lives, reduce disease burden and improve productive capital in the Solomon Islands economy. Malaria rates have decreased by 75 per cent since 2003 and malaria mortality rates reduced by 80 per cent, the number of child and maternal deaths continue to decline each year, and the availability of essential medicines at the national level has doubled from just 47 per cent in 2007 to 93 per cent in 2014.

Our support to health is delivered through a sector wide partnership, led by the Solomon Islands Government, and supported by other donors, including the World Health Organization, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank, European Union, Japan, and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

Performance Assessment Framework and Implementation Schedule—Priority Outcome 1: Improved Service Delivery—Health

Related initiatives

Health Sector Support Program—Phase 2

$90 million, 2012-2016

Australia’s Health Sector Support Program (HSSP) supports the Solomon Islands Government to deliver health services across the country that meet the needs of communities. Guided by the National Health Strategic Plan and its priorities, HSSP funds malaria and other disease control, maternal and child health activities, essential medicine supply as well access to clean water, basic sanitation and hygiene awareness. Through targeted financing and advisory assistance, HSSP is helping increase management capacity and the financial sustainability of the public health system. A key aspect to HSSP is funding linked to the achievement of performance benchmarks which provides strong financial incentives for better health outcomes and health system management.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
HSSP Partnership Arrangement 2008 Partnership agreement
HSSP Quality at Entry (QAE) Report 2008 QAE report
HSSP Implementation Plan 2007 Implementation plan

Infrastructure and livelihoods assistance in Solomon Islands

Overview

Improving and maintaining infrastructure is essential to economic growth and service delivery. Australia is supporting Solomon Islands to increase its economic and trade potential through increased access to reliable transport, urban water, energy and telecommunications services. Australia is funding the maintenance and rehabilitation of roads and other transport infrastructure. Australia is contributing to cleaner and more reliable water supply in urban areas. Australian funds are also supporting more effective regulation of telecommunications and the development of renewable energy to replace expensive diesel power.

With 84 per cent of Solomon Islanders living in rural areas, supporting communities to improve food security and livelihood opportunities is critical to sustainable economic development. Australia is working with Solomon Islands Government to improve and create long-term opportunities for economic growth and food security for Solomon Islanders, particularly those living in rural areas.

Performance Assessment Framework and Implementation Schedule—Priority Outcome 3: Broad-based Economic Growth—Infrastructure

Performance Assessment Framework and Implementation Schedule—Priority Outcome 3: Broad-based Economic Growth—Livelihoods

Related initiatives

Transport Sector-Based Approach

$37 million, 2010-2015

Australia is providing funding over five years to the National Transport Fund to directly support the Solomon Islands Government to maintain and improve transport infrastructure, including roads, bridges and wharves. Priorities are set out in the Solomon Islands Government’s National Transport Plan. Australia’s funding is delivered in partnership with the Asian Development Bank’s Transport Sector Development Project which is helping to build the skills and systems of the Ministry of Infrastructure. Maintenance and rehabilitation works are contracted out to the private sector, generating business and employment opportunities in Solomon Islands.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Transport Sector Development Project Design 2011 Design document

Urban Water Supply

$13 million, 2011-2015

Australia is funding the Solomon Islands Water Authority (Solomon Water) to implement its Development Plan 2013-2015. Solomon Water is reforming its organisation and improving its infrastructure to provide greater access to cleaner and more reliable water to people and businesses in Honiara and other urban centres. This builds on the success of Australian funding for Solomon Water’s earlier Short-Term Recovery Strategy and Action Plan (2011-2014).

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Solomon Islands Urban Water Supply Short Term Recovery and Action Plan 2011 Design
Solomon Water Development Plan 2013-2015 2013 Design

Solomon Islands Rural Development Program

$10.5 million, 2007-2015

The Rural Development Program is a joint program with the World Bank (lead donor), Australia, the European Union and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. Managed by the Ministry of Development Planning and Aid Coordination, it has three components: build small-scale village infrastructure, build capacity in the Agriculture Ministry and assist rural businesses with training and finance. The program is raising the living standards of rural households by improving economic and social infrastructure and services, as well as helping the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to deliver advice and services to farmers.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Rural Development Program project documents Various Various documents
Rural Development Quality at Entry (QAE) Report 2008 QAE report
Related links

Justice assistance in Solomon Islands

Overview

The effective delivery of justice services and maintenance of the rule of law are necessary conditions for economic growth and poverty reduction.

The Solomon Islands Justice Program seeks to influence five long-term outcomes towards the overarching Program goal of improved delivery of justice services:

  1. Courts and justice agencies are better able to deliver their core functions
  2. Courts and justice agencies are better able to manage their financial and human resources
  3. The delivery of a range of justice services to rural communities is expanded
  4. Strengthened laws, increased services and focus on violence against women and gender equality in the workplace
  5. Improved correctional centre management and sustained focus on rehabilitation.

Performance Assessment Framework and Implementation Schedule—Priority Outcome 3: Improved Justice Services

Delivery Strategy: Solomon Islands Justice Program July 2013 to June 2017

Workplan 2014-15

Related initiatives

Solomon Islands Justice Program

$43 million, 2013-2017

The Solomon Islands Justice Program works with the sector to improve planning, management and budgeting in order to support the delivery of justice services. The program delivers support through: technical assistance to support institutional and individual capacity development (e.g. legal advisers, human resource and finance advisers); earmarked budget support for infrastructure maintenance and salaries; provision of infrastructure for justice agencies; and support for complementary small value activities like training.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Justice Delivered Locally: Systems, Challenges and Innovations in Solomon Islands 2013 Research report
Solomon Islands Case Study: Evaluation of Australian law and justice assistance 2012 Evaluation

Last reviewed: 16 December, 2014