With almost 1,000 islands spread over tens of thousands of square kilometres and over 80 per cent of people living in remote and rural communities, delivery of law and order has been challenging in the Solomon Islands. Police presence on some islands is limited or even non-existent, breeding mistrust around governance. With support from the World Bank and the Australian government, the Solomon Islands Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening has established Community Officers and Village Peace Wardens to connect remote islanders to the state, gain local trust with authorities using a tailored community-based approach. Reach Alliance researchers are examining how this community-led project has seen a significant improvement in grievance management systems (over 77 per cent) and linkages to the government (over 68 per cent).
This research was made possible through the Reach Alliance, a partnership between the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. Research was also funded by the Roz and Ralph Halbert Professorship of Innovation at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. We express our gratitude and appreciation to those we met and interviewed, notably: Virginia Horscraft, Ali Tuhanuku, Peter Mae, Ruby Awa, Mark Rowe, Tom Sloan, David Diosi and Robert Kaua. We are also grateful to Professor Paola Salardi for her mentorship.
This research received approval from the Ethics Review Board at the University of Toronto. Research was conducted virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic in compliance with local public health measures.