The People’s Survey: a tool for developing Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo says his Government is committed to using the People’s Survey 2011 to inform its work in shaping the country’s development.

Launching the results of the 2011 survey, Mr Lilo Darcy said the People’s Survey was a very important tool for government and its donor partners.

“The results reflect what has been achieved so far. More importantly, it tells us what areas need further commitment and hard work.”

Mr Lilo Darcy also urged all stakeholders to pay attention to the findings of this and previous surveys.

“Let’s work together to make the work count, and use it to make sure that the people’s desires for our country are achieved.”

The 2011 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 2011 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; and dispute resolution.

RAMSI Acting Special Coordinator, Justine Braithwaite said this year’s survey, which is the fifth since a pilot survey was conducted in 2006, includes a new series of questions on issues related to plans for RAMSI’s transition and the implications these have for Solomon Islands, its government, police force and people.

While 86%of people surveyed support RAMSI’s presence in the country, 65%thought Solomon Islands was not ready for RAMSI to leave; with 58%suggesting it will be at least another five years before that time has come.

“The results of the survey show that most people concerned about RAMSI’s departure are uncertain about the capacity of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force to step into the space that’s been occupied by RAMSI for so long,” Ms Braithwaite said.

RSIPF officers interviewed for the Survey’s focus group discussions provided details of their disappointment at how a lack of resources affected their ability to deliver the level of policing they would like to.

Key results from the People’s Survey 2011 include:

  • 24% said the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force had improved in the last five years
  • 75% said they had access to a mobile phone, compared with 23% in 2009.
  • 61%use transport to access markets
  • 65%said one of the main cause of conflict and problems in Solomon Islands is ‘land disputes’
  • 86% said they support RAMSI.
  • 65% said the country was not ready for RAMSI to leave

The complete People’s Survey 2011 and previous surveys are available on www.ramsi.org.