UNDP launches national graduate initiative through UN Volunteers

September 17, 2021

Honiara, Solomon Islands - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme have launched a new graduate initiative, with funding support provided by the Government of Australia, to support the Solomon Islands Electoral Office and the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties.

Taking place under the ‘Strengthening the Electoral Cycle in the Solomon Islands Project’, (SECSIP), the graduate programme will see eight young Solomon Islands nationals participating in a hands-on training and learning program through volunteer assignments, which are the core values of the graduate initiative.

The Electoral Office, and the Office of the Registrar of the Political Parties in the Solomon Islands acknowledged and welcomed the scheme as a mechanism, which will contribute to enhancing the capacities and sustainability of these institutions. It will also provide a professional opportunity for Solomon Islands young graduates through volunteering who are considering a career in the civil service. The Government of Australia is the main partner and donor of this graduate initiative.

“The graduate programme reflects an important commitment to these governance institutions and aims to empower and build capacities of our young people to support them with an important role in the consolidation of democracy in Solomon Islands,” said Ms. Jane Waetara, Electoral Commissioner and Chief Electoral Officer.

The SECSIP is directly implemented by the UNDP in close partnership with the Electoral Commission (SIEC) and its secretariat, the Electoral Office. It also supports the Political Parties Commission and its Office of the Registrar. 

“Engaging in volunteer activity and working with the Electoral Office and the Office of the Registrar of the Political Parties will provide an opportunity for young graduates to enhance their understanding of the work of these institutions in the areas of awareness, legal and operational support and contribute to continuous promotion of democratic values in the Solomon Islands,” said Berdi Berdiyev, UNDP Country Manager for the Solomon Islands.

Olga Rabade, Chief Technical Advisor/Project Manager of SECSIP in the Solomon Islands, confirmed that the selected graduates will be engaged for an initial period of six months (with the possibility of extension) through the United Nations Youth Volunteers programme.

“A first graduate programme was conducted in 2018 to support the Electoral Office and the Office of the Registrar in the lead up to the 2019 elections. It was a very positive experience that provided valuable staff input for the institutional strengthening of the organizations concerned and a career path opportunity for young graduates. It is now very pleasing to launch this second graduate programme and to do so through the UN Volunteer programme," Rabade said.

UNV Country Coordinator Ruci Mafi Botei said the UNV platform and the graduate programme was informed by consultations through a four-month period and to see it take shape is quite humbling.

“We would like to encourage Solomon Islands graduates to explore these opportunities and register on our talent pool on the UNV website,” Botei said.

For more details on opportunities on the UNV site, you can find it on the UNV site https://www.unv.org/opportunities?f%5B0%5D=country%3A1942

The Strengthening the Electoral Cycle in the Solomon Islands Project supports the national authorities to conduct credible and inclusive electoral processes. It focuses on SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) and SDG 5 (Gender Equality). The overarching objective is to strengthen the link between electoral and other key governance processes and institutions to contribute to social cohesion and the development of a pluralistic society. SECSIP receives funding from the Government of Australia and UNDP.

For more information or media interviews, please contact:

Emily Moli, Knowledge Communications Analyst - UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji;
email: emily.moli@undp.org;  on mobile: (679) 722 5301