RAMSI Special Coordinator, Tim George, yesterday launched the third Annual People's Survey of the mission in Honiara.

The People's Survey 2008 is an independent way of measuring each year what people think about progress and development issues related to the Government-RAMSI partnership.

The voluntary survey involved interviewing around 5,000 men and women in five provinces and Honiara on the work of RAMSI in the country.

Questions were being asked about whether RAMSI was making progress against its objectives, that is, if work done by RAMSI was actually leading to positive change.

Among some of the interesting results include that eighty-nine percent of the Solomon Islanders being interviewed stated their support for the continued presence of RAMSI in the country.

Fifty-eight percent had a health centre in their community, or could reach one within an hour.

Seventy-one percent had a primary school in their community or could reach one within an hour.

Forty-four percent of all respondents said law and order in their community had improved in the past year.

Seventy-four percent of the locals interviewed thought violence would, or might, return to Solomon Islands if RAMSI left soon.

Eighty-five percent of all respondents said Parliament should have women MPs - but said the reason that only male candidates usually get elected is for "kastom" reasons or because male candidates bribe voters.

RAMSI head, Mr. George highlighted that the People's Survey provides RAMSI and the Solomon Islands Government with a means to consult directly with Solomon Islanders about issues that affect their lives.

He said the Survey results inform RAMSI management decisions and Government policy decisions alike.

Source: RAMSI Media