To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Survey reveals that majority of respondents want RAMSI to remain in Solomon Islands

An independent nationwide survey of Solomon Islanders’ opinions has revealed strong support for RAMSI’s continued presence in the country.

Key findings of the People Survey 2007, to be released on Thursday, found that 90 per cent of Solomon Islanders want RAMSI to stay and 80 per cent feared a return of violence if RAMSI was to leave soon.

Conducted by the Australian National University and assisted by the National Statistics Office, the People’s Survey is now an annual part of the Solomon Island Government and RAMSI’s review process.

RAMSI Special Coordinator, Tim George said the results of the survey were very encouraging for all members of the RAMSI mission.

“People from 15 countries have come with a commitment to working together with Solomon Islanders to help them build a better future. It is good to have such strong feedback from the community saying, yes, please continue to help us rebuild Solomon Islands.” Mr George said.

Of the 5154 Solomon Islanders questioned:
• 90 per cent said they support the presence in RAMSI.
• 53 per cent said that violence ‘would’ return to Solomon Islands if RAMSI left soon
• 27 per cent said ‘maybe’ violence would return if RAMSI left soon.

The People’s Survey is a way for RAMSI, the Solomon Islands Government and RAMSI contributing countries to measure how RAMSI is performing against its objectives.

Mr George said RAMSI placed a high priority on making sure Solomon Islands, RAMSI and the mission’s contributing countries had access to reliable information on how Solomon Islanders viewed its work.

“We will now be able to use the information from this independent survey to help us in our ongoing review of RAMSI’s operation and effectiveness in Solomon Islands,” Mr George said.

Mr George said that RAMSI was keen to sit down with the government and other key stakeholders to explore how the survey information could be used to ensure maximum benefit of RAMSI’s work to Solomon Islands.

The survey is based on a set of questions that form a questionnaire. The questions cover key development and social issues such as access to services, law and order, corruption and accountability that come under RAMSI’s mandate.

More than 80 Solomon Islanders were trained to ask these questions and record the answers of their fellow countrymen.

More than 5000 people in eight provinces volunteered to answer these questions. This represents a significant portion of the population.

Source: RAMSI

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