Seventeen years ago the Solomon Islands Government issued its first ever Human Development Report giving a valuable insight as to how the nation had progressed since independence in 1978.
The Report focused primarily on measuring and analyzing the human development situation and needs within the Solomon Islands communities. It disclosed policy options for addressing the human development agenda for the 21st Century. It also provided a benchmark analysis of the human development situation of Solomon Islands that would be of considerable importance for the Government in its effort towards revamping and rebuilding the Solomon Islands nation. Thus the sub-title “Building a Nation” was a self-suggesting thematic area for the report, which emphasised the critical link between nation building and sustainable and equitable human development.
In the many intervening years since that SIG’s Human Development Report was published some have made the point of saying little development has taken place at home, and when the DCGA commenced its term in April, it called for a new approach to sustainable human development in initial policy plans.
The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce has cited the Solomon Islands as a place of opportunity waiting to be recognized and it hopes for greater public investment in the country, a position I fully endorse.
The UNDP, which had a hand in contributing to the 2002 Human Development Report, publishes annual reports which give information by way of provided prescriptive and challenging discussions on promoting sustainable and equitable development in the Pacific region, but fall short of detailing trends in the Solomon Islands, especially when it comes to progress with poverty alleviation and the impact of climate change.
In terms of my past reference for the need for ‘performance indicators’ on the Solomon Islands National Development Plan, I believe it is timely for the Solomon Islands Government to make available another updated Human Development Report to allow potential investors to consider the hidden opportunities that would await them, as alluded to by Mr. Bartlett of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce last week.