| || || Lenga, Brian.|
| || || Aid and post-conflict development in the Solomon Islands|
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Call No.: pac In Process
Copyright:Under 10% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: Countries emerging from violent and disruptive conflicts are over burdened with complex socio-economic and political problems. The delivery of aid for the development of postconflict societies is never easy. The causes and consequences of the violent conflicts in the Solomon Islands (1999 - 2003) present an ongoing challenge for stakeholders internally and abroad in search for solutions. This study examines the role of aid in the development of post-conflict societies. It is important to explore how aid is administered and its impact at the local level in post-conflict societies. Its focus is on the Solomon Islands, in particular on the AusAID-funded Community Peace and Restoration Fund (CPRF) projects. It examines the delivery and assessment methods used in the administration of the CPRF. The study uses the New Institutional Economics framework and Principal/Agent theory to assess the effectiveness of CPRF aid projects. Through the NIE and Principal/Agent approaches, the study examines the structure of incentives ("institutions") established within the projects that determine the behaviour of participants in the projects. In assessing institutional arrangements, it is important to identify whether or not the arrangements, in this case in the projects, are "incentive-compatible". Incentivecompatible rules encourage people to fully perform the duties assigned to them and reveal all information to other stakeholders. The following frameworks are used to support the NIE: (i) Social Capital; (ii) the Community Driven Reconstruction approach; and (iii) the Conflict Analysis framework. Methodologically, this study adopts a qualitative approach for data collection and analysis. After primary and secondary data were collected and analyzed, the following findings emerged from the income generating projects: (i) they are inconsistent with the needs of the women in the villages and with local cultural norms; (ii) institutional arrangements do not encourage people's participation in the projects; (iii) women do not have sufficient funds to use skills; there are no credit facilities for women in the Solomon Islands; (iv) there were no clear descriptions of organizational functions and decision making arrangements; and (v) there are misconceptions about communalism and the communal nature of wealth making. Income generating projects were not effective. However, services projects were (i) consistent with needs; (ii) their design provided appropriate incentives for the participation of villagers and government departments; and (iii) perceived individual benefits motivated people to participate. This study concludes that income-generating projects were not effective, while service projects were effective. To enhance aid effectiveness at the village level, the study argues that: (i) comprehensive needs assessment is important; (ii) that needs should be prioritised and arrangements put in place to address short and long term needs; (iii) that micro-finance and skills training be provided for women in villages; (iv) that a multisourced trust fund be created; (v) that the aid coordination role of key government agencies be strengthened; and (vi) that an effective service delivery arrangement between aid donors, provincial government and churches be established. Overall, it is important to be conscious of the potential for Principal/Agent problems in project design, and design rewards and sanctions to minimize these problems.