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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

SI Government committed to involve rural people in development process

By George Herming

The Solomon Islands government is expected to deploy Constituency Development Officers to the country’s 50 constituencies by the end of February this year. A recruitment process to engage interested officers into the new scheme is now underway.

Chief of Staff in the Prime Minister’s Office Dr Judson Leafasia said the aim of the scheme is to bring the government closer to the bulk of people in rural constituencies.

He said the presence of these officers right in constituencies is aimed at ensuring the participation of rural people in the process of development under the government’s bottom-up-approach policy.

“The bottom-up-approach is not a new vocabulary but how it works and how results are achieved is what the current government wants to see happening,” he said.

Mr Leafasia said peoples’ participation is a useful element of the government’s rural development approach. He explained that successful applicants will undergo a series of trainings with NGO’s, the Public Service and the Office of the Prime Minister before being deployed to each respective constituency.

Mr Leafasia said officers engaged in this scheme are public officers and their performance is guided by all strict public service regulations. The officers’ task is to coordinate government activities between the provincial and central government by ensuring services and projects are fairly distributed to rural communities.

The government will fully fund the scheme which involves salaries and other office and logistical accessories. Officers will be based and conduct their duties right in constituencies.

Mr Leafasia said few constituencies in the country have already prepared bases for officers to coordinate their duties.

Source: Government Communications Unit

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