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FEATURE STORY

Country Partnership Strategy for Solomon Islands 2013-2017

July 24, 2013

New partnership strategy for the period of 2013-2017 will help support the country strengthen its economic resilience and improve services across the country.

The Solomon Islands and World Bank Group Country Partnership Strategy ( 2013-2017) is the first full country strategy prepared for Solomon Islands, following an Interim Strategy Note in 2010. The strategy focuses on two broad themes: strengthening economic resiliency and improving service delivery.

Strengthening economic resiliency

As the scope for growth in the forestry sector declines, the country needs to maximize the return from other sources to provide revenues for public services and development and opportunities for its growing population. These new economic opportunities need to be promoted in a way that gives local communities a stake in natural resource development so as not to exacerbate social tensions and conflicts. Toward this end, the World Bank Group will focus on programs that support job creation through agriculture, fisheries and the private sector. The partnership strategy will also support efforts to ehance the regulatory framework, public sector capacity and community benefits in the mining sector; improve the resilience of rural communities to the impacts of climate change and natural disasters; and help provide more reliable, lower-cost electricity from cleaner energy sources.

Improving service delivery

Solomon Islands faces a range of challenges in delivering effective local governance and services to its widely dispersed population. The reach of formal state institutions remains limited and provincial governments have few resources and low capacity. A persistent driver of conflict has been a sense of inequity between different provinces, central government, and different interest groups. To help address this, the strategy focuses on institutions, systems and programs that can support the equitable delivery of basic services across the country, including to rural communities; increased investments in service delivery sectors; support efforts to build functioning local justice mechanisms; and improve access to services for survivors of gender-based violence.  

Cross-cutting policy areas

The World Bank Group engagement across the two main themes will be underpinned by two cross-cutting policy areas: embedding institutional resilience and addressing gender inequalities. The Bank will support the government and its development partners to embed the institutional gains achieved to date into the overall development effort, which include reforms in the telecommunication sector, and our work addressing urban unemployment and improving rural infrastructure.

The partnership strategy will also ensure that gender is mainstreamed with a view to one hundred percent gender-informed operations. Efforts will be undertaken to strengthen economic opportunities for women, while reducing negative impacts and harm for women in Solomon Islands. This is part of a wider Bank effort across the Pacific to enhance women's economic empowerment, reduce gender-based violence, and build a stronger voice for women in business.