Only six out of the country’s nine provinces have met the seven minimum conditions allowing them access to 30-million dollars of Provincial Capacity Development Fund, PCDF, under the Provincial Governance Strengthening Programme, PGSP.
They are Choiseul, Western, Isabel, Makira Ulawa, Temotu and Central Islands provinces.
This is a programme administered by the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening, MPGIS.
A government statement says the six provinces qualified after they have satisfactorily met all the minimum criteria in the annual performance assessment conducted by three independent consultants in 2013 for access to PCDF in 2014.
The project steering committee chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Provincial Government Ministry, Stanley Dick Pirione, released the final results of the assessment on 28 February 2014 after the completion of the re-assessment for Makira Ulawa and Temotu Provinces, whom all qualified in the second round of assessment.
Malaita, Rennell and Bellona and Guadalcanal Provinces could not meet all the seven minimum conditions in their 2013 annual performance assessment.
Appeals presented to the project board from the three provinces were not accepted because of certain serious issues.
Meanwhile, in 2013 annual performance assessment, provincial governments were assessed on seven minimum conditions and eight performance measures with 100 indicators.
The government statement says for a province to qualify for a PCDF, it has to meet all seven minimum conditions.
For Malaita, Guadalcanal and Rennell and Bellona Provinces who could not meet the minimum conditions in 2013, the Ministry had ensured that support is provided to them in the form of capacity building in order to improve their financial management capabilities through on the job training and mentoring by Provincial Advisors of PGSP.
Choiseul Province has been leading the nine Provinces in performance since the process started in 2009.
The Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening started the PCDF in 2008 through PGSP with contributions from donors like the European Union, RAMSI, UNDP and UNCDF and the Solomon Islands Government at 10-point-8 million dollars per annum.
With the practical successes of the grant on the ground and the improvements it has made to the lives of the people in rural Solomon Islands, the SIG up-scaled its annual contribution from 5.4 million to 30 million dollars in 2014-15.
The PCDF which started as a piloted performance based grant on a small scale has now attracted the attention of not only the SIG, but also other organisations who wish to see services delivered effectively at a lower cost in the communities by strengthening and using the existing provincial government systems that guarantees sustainability in the long run.