| || || Nanau, Gordon Leua.|
| || || Decentralisation, development and popular participation in the Solomon Islands : a study of the provincial government system |
Author:Nanau, Gordon Leua.
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Subject: Decentralization in government -- Solomon Islands, Central-local government relations -- Solomon Islands
Call No.: pac JS 8470 .3 .A3 N36
Copyright:Over 80% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: This study of decentralisation focuses on the role of the provincial government system in the political and economic development of the Solomon Islands. Important components of the study include a theoretical discussion of the rationales for decentralisation, especially in the form of the provincial government system. It looks specifically at the following aspects of the provincial government system in the Solomon Islands: (I) the historical evolution of the system, (2) the structure, tasks and functions of the system, (3) the contributions of the provincial government system to the economic development of provinces and rural areas, and (4) the provincial governments and popular participation in rural development and general government. The study critically analyses the notion of decentralisation as a uniting force and as a way to facilitate development 'from below'. An important rationale of decentralisation is that such systems would bring the government machinery closer to the people, giving autonomy to distinct groups, giving people the feeling of being part of the nation and thus preventing political fragmentation. This study highlights the major problems of decentralisation in the Solomon Islands and examines why the provincial government system is not working as envisaged by its framers. It highlights the lack of popular participation in rural development and in the provincial governments, and the fragmented (geographic, cultural and linguistic) nature of the country, tensions between the central government and the provincial governments, the inability of the central government and provincial governments to facilitate and encourage popular participation in the Provincial Development Unit (PDU) funds, Small Islands Communities Projects Scheme (SICOPSA) funds, and the Constituency Development Funds (CDF), In addition, the government is unable to monitor and evaluate development plans and the progress of projects under the aforementioned rural development funds. A decentralised system and structure of government in the Solomon Islands can only be viewed as achieving its aims if living standards in the rural areas and the provision of services are improved. This study explores why such dreams for a better life are not forthcoming in the Solomon Islands under the present decentralised provincial government system.