Video October 16, 2018

Building Better Connections to Government and Justice in in Solomon Islands (Roy's Story)

Roy Panio-Sao’matangi is a Community Officer for the remote Bellona Island in the far south of the Solomon Islands. Roy sees the trust and information that Community Officers build with the community as vital in his small community: “[we have earned] strong community support, because previously no one was playing this role,” Roy said. This hard-earned trust has wider flow on effects than improved order in the community. People in Solomon Islands are aware that when trust between citizens and the state collapses, violence and state breakdown can follow, as happened when the Solomons went through the period of civil conflict between 1998 and 2003 known locally as ‘the Tensions.’ Roy’s work is part of the Community Governance and Grievance Management Program, which is helping to ease the burden on stretched police personnel in the Solomon Islands, and building powerful community-level partnerships in the process.