People's survey documents progress in Solomon Islands

Results of the 2010 People’s Survey show Solomon Islands as a nation is undergoing a period of significant change, making progress in some areas but continuing to face considerable challenges in others. The 2010 People’s Survey documents the opinions of nearly 5000 Solomon Islanders on issues facing their nation, and is the largest annual survey of its kind conducted in Solomon Islands.

Independently conducted by ANU Enterprise, the commercial arm of the Australian National University, the 2010 People’s Survey documents Solomon Islanders’ opinions on areas such as access to services and information, safety, household and business finances; support for RAMSI; leadership and accountability; dispute resolution and experiences of the Solomon Islands national election in 2010.

Launching the results of the 2010 survey, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Danny Philip said the results of the People’s Survey were encouraging and provided an insight into the changing perceptions of Solomon Islanders about the progress of their nation.

“This is very useful information for the Government as we identify our policy priorities and helpful as we plan for RAMSI’s transition.”

Since it was first conducted as a pilot study in 2006, followed by the full-scale surveys in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, the People’s Survey has become an important part of measuring progress in Solomon Islands.

“The survey is one of the instruments used by the Solomon Islands Government to monitor progress against the goals identified in the Partnership Framework, the key work plan that guides RAMSI’s work in Solomon Islands,”Prime Minister Philip said.

RAMSI Special Coordinator, Nicholas Coppel, said one of the key aspects of the People’s Survey was its independence.

“While the survey was commissioned by the Solomon Islands Government and RAMSI, neither RAMSI nor the Government had any influence on the actual survey results.”

“This really is the whole point of an exercise such as the People Survey. Not to tell us what we want to hear but what we need to know.”

Key results from the People’s Survey 2010 include:

  • 66% of Solomon Islanders surveyed said their main source of income was selling at markets.
  • Less than 50% had clean water available every day.
  • 38% said that the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force treats people fairly and with respect, a seven per cent increase from 2009.
  • 84% said they support RAMSI.
  • 86% thought records of MPís expenditure should be made public.
  • 85% said there should be women in Parliament, and 85% of these respondents supported the idea of reserved Parliamentary seats for women.
  • 87% believed their vote during the 2010 election was secret, and 9% did not.