Peer learning boosts progress on risk-informed projects in the Solomon Islands

November 8, 2022

Participants had the opportunity to learn about the Citizen’s budget and the roles and opportunities for CBOs, CSOs and NGOs in promoting transparency and accountability.

Photo: UNDP

A three day peer-to-peer learning workshop organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was held recently in Honiara, Solomon Islands. The sessions were designed to meet local demand for peer-to-peer learning on individual project impacts, challenges and lessons taken from implementing risk-informed development (RID) projects with a Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) perspective.

The workshop was organized by UNDP through the Governance for Resilient Development in the Pacific (Gov4Res) Project’s Small Grants Initiative (SGI) in partnership with the UNDP GEF Small Grant Programme (SGP), UNDP Integrated Disaster Risk Management (IDRM) project, the UNDP Country office Integrated Results Management Unit (IRMU) and the Australia Pacific Climate Partnership (APCP).

During the workshop, 30 participants consisting of 16 women and 14 men had the opportunity to learn about the Citizen’s budget and the roles and opportunities for Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in promoting transparency and accountability in the development and implementation of the government's budget cycle.

Throughout the learning sessions, it was noted that attitudes towards risk appear differently for sectors such as agriculture, health and infrastructure.

Ms. Kristina Fidali, a representative from Coalition of Youths for Environmental Sustainability (COYES), pointed out that ”Better risk-informed development requires broader accountability and ownership beyond community borders. The requirement is due to the complexity of risks within various sectors and government levels, which needs collective ownership by all stakeholders”.

By the end of the learning workshop, the participants identified partnership opportunities and proposed a Community of Practice to ensure a sustainable knowledge management platform for existing grantees and partners.

“This workshop and experience-sharing sessions cement our commitment to creating a platform to discuss and learn from each other. It allows us to put all the good practices and challenges together and work on a way forward to systemic risk-informing all development,” said Ms. Joanne Aihunu, UNDP Solomon Islands Resilience and Sustainable Development Programme Team Leader.

Participating Gov4Res SGI grantees included the Sirubai Voko Tribe Association (SVTA), Gizo Women in Business Development Incorporation (GWIBDI), Save the Children Solomon Islands, Coalition of Youth for Environmental Sustainability (COYES), Ahetaha Water Conservation Association (AWCA) and World Vision Solomon Islands. Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and Isi Akson a Community Base Organization  also participated as two of the grantees under the IDRM project.

The UNDP Gov4Res Small Grants Initiative provides funding and technical support for NGOs, CSOs and CBOs in the Solomon Islands to design and implement resilient community projects. It ensures that considering risks, including climate change and disasters and gender and social inclusion are core components of the design and budget of all projects.

The workshop was held from 18-20 October 2022.