Friday, 28 September 2007 9:50 AM

People's Survey Open and Transparent: Schaefer

The launch of the "People's Survey 2007" paves a way for RAMSI, the Solomon Islands Government and RAMSI contributing countries to measure how RAMSI is performing against its objectives.

RAMSI Development Coordinator, Mr. Stuart Schaefer, at the launch yesterday said the survey is open and transparent, and also the key to other stakeholders in Solomon Islands.

Independently conducted by Australian National University according to internationally accepted procedures, the People's Survey 2007 provides nationwide community feedback on RAMSI's work in Solomon Islands.

RAMSI's Development Coordinator said that the results of the survey are a challenge to Solomon Islands and the Regional Assistance Mission (RAMSI) to keep moving the nation forward.

"We should see this as a challenge to us all to continue the good work that has made a real difference to the lives of Solomon Islanders since RAMSI arrived in 2003," Mr. Schaefer said. "These findings are the result of Solomon Islanders talking to Solomon Islanders about their lives, and their hopes and fears about the future of their nation."

This independent annual survey vests upon finding out public perceptions and attitudes on key development and social issues related to RAMSI's work.

Mr. Schaefer stated that the information obtained through the people's survey is closely linked to Medium Term Targets of the Solomon Islands government and the RAMSI partnerships.

The survey shows that while people's lives are improving, but delivery of services to the community is still very poor in rural areas.

Other key findings include:
. 62 per cent expected services to improve in the next two years
. 57 per cent said there was less general crime in their community compared with a year ago
. 56 per cent there was dishonest behaviour and/or misuse of power among senior people in their community
. 49 per cent health services had improved in the past two years
. 64 per cent said primary schools had improved
. 44 per cent said SIPF treats people fairly and with respect

Six questions out of the 77 questions in the survey asked directly about RAMSI's role in the country. 90 per cent of those asked said they supported the presence of RAMSI's in Solomon Islands.

The optimism of Solomon Islanders revealed in the survey was important feedback for all RAMSI stakeholders including the 15 countries that are working in the Regional Assistance Mission.

The areas of focus are: household economy, access to basic services, law and order, the Solomon Islands Police Force, public accountability, representation and civic awareness and access to justice.

The joint effort involved the Solomon Islands National Statistics Office in three distinct phases: design, implementation and data collection, and data analysis and reporting. All phases were completed by 16 July 2007.