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RDP Hailed as Classical Partnership

RDP Hailed as Classical Partnership under Government’s New Aid Management Policy And Partnership Framework

OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATION UNIT

A Rural Development Programme (RDP) in Solomon Islands funded by International Donors and Agencies has been hailed as a classical partnership approach under the Government’s new Aid Management and Development Cooperation Policy and Partnership Framework for Effective Development Cooperation.

The RDP is funded by a consortium of resources from the World Bank, Australia, the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), European Union and the Solomon Islands Government in supporting improvement in the quality of life for Solomon Islanders.

Project Manager of the RDP, Mr Lottie Vaisekavea said under this approach, the Government works effectively with development partners, civil society, the private sector and the beneficiaries using all resources effectively and efficiently to achieve its objectives and to promote donor harmonization for aid effectiveness.

The RDP is hosted by the Ministry of Development Planning & Aid Coordination (MDPAC) while the World Bank administers and coordinates the partnership of the development partners in the execution of the Programme. RDP employs three long-term international consultants while the rest including the project manager are local nationals.

The overall objective and rationale of the RDP fully supports the policy objectives and priorities of the DCC Government, the national objectives of the National Development Strategy (NDS) and the Medium Term Development Strategy. The Programme has been framed within the spirit of the country and its national objectives and policy priorities.

Furthermore, the RDP is one of the most appropriate and relevant projects in the country whereby its implementation mode promotes ownership and sustainability. Its implementation has proven effective in reaching to the rural communities and recognizes the government systems.

“Such modality complements budget support approaches which work with government systems and procedures. Amongst other development partner programmes, Rural Water Sanitation and Hygiene Programme by the European Union is an example of a budget support programme targeting the rural population using government systems and procedures,” Vaisekavea said.

The current RDP is implementing its second phase which provides community level infrastructure and services and employs a Community Demand-Driven (CDD) approach through respective Provincial Governments and local communities to prioritize local community level needs.

Mr Vaisekavea acknowledged that there have been some challenges in the implementation of the first Component where a total of 370 community projects were implemented.

Of these, 77 were incomplete at the end of Phase 1 in February 2015. RDP, however, has continued to support the completion of these and as of December 2015, 7 have been completed while 41 have reached between 70% – 95% complete. The remaining projects are being supported and progressed.

A second component of the RDP is agriculture partnership and support which promotes public private partnerships to develop stronger and more profitable alliances between the private sector and smallholders along the whole value chain.

It provides access to grant funding for agribusinesses tied to a loan from the commercial banks, agriculture commercialization and agri-business industry coordination support.

This component is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock, the Commercial Banks, the private sector, the CBSI, farmers and other national entities. It is a first realization of public private partnership in Solomon Islands.

The RDP has been promoting the Solomon Islands in all its activities and in particular, it demonstrates a bottom-up approach, accountability, transparency, partnership and collaboration in practice.

Though stemmed and based on international best practices; it is a flexible paradigm that forges a sustainable rural development platform for Solomon Islands.

ENDS

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