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Development assistance in Solomon Islands

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Pillar 3 – Economic Recovery in Solomon Islands


This page provides an overview of how Australia is working in partnership against the Economic Recovery pillar of Partnerships for Recovery. It outlines key related initiatives and summaries of programming and related documents.

Australia will support efforts to promote economic response and recovery, private sector resilience, open markets and supply chains, improved livelihoods and inclusive growth. In response to COVID-19, the Solomon Islands Government announced an economic stimulus package to help cushion the already fragile economy from the impact of the downturn. Australia is supporting that response through a $13 million package of direct budget support, with $8 million allocated to health and $5 million to economic stimulus.

Related initiatives

Governance Program

Up to $30 million, 2017-2021

The Governance Program builds on the public financial management (PFM) and public sector reform gains achieved through the Solomon Islands Economic and Public Sector Governance Program (SIGOV). The Governance Program supports Australia's long-term national interests in Solomon Islands by supporting stability, enabling economic growth, and enhancing human development.

The budget for the Governance Program is approximately 7.5 million per annum. The program includes four components encompassing a number of individual activities:

  • Component 1 – Fiscally and socially responsible budgeting and borrowing policies
  • Component 2 – A professional public financial management cadre that facilitates improved service delivery
  • Component 3 – A more accountable and responsive public service, and
  • Component 4 – Strengthening coalitions for reform.

Consultations with the Government of Solomon Islands on the next phase of Australian engagement in the governance sector have commenced.

Related documents

Name of document Year published
Solomon Islands Governance Program Design 2017
Solomon Islands Governance Program: Independent Review of Ombudsman Twinning Support and management response 2021

Health Sector Support Program – Phase 3

Up to $99 million, 2016-2021

Australia's Health Sector Support Program (HSSP3) is a five-year, $99 million initiative to support the Solomon Islands Government to deliver health services across the country that meet the needs of communities. Guided by the National Health Strategic Plan and its priorities, HSSP3 funds malaria and other disease control, maternal and child health activities, essential medicine supply as well as access to clean water, basic sanitation and hygiene awareness. Through targeted financing and advisory assistance, HSSP3 is helping increase management capacity and the financial sustainability of the public health system. A key aspect to HSSP3 is funding linked to the achievement of performance benchmarks, which provides strong financial incentives for better health outcomes and health system management. In 2020, HSSP3's established budget support mechanism enabled Australia to quickly pivot support to the Government's efforts in COVID-19 preparedness and response activities, through existing and additional funding. This included the upgrade of the molecular laboratory, and procurement of equipment and consumables to enable in-country COVID-19 testing, and the transfer of COVID-19 grants to all provincial health services.

Related documents

Name of document Year published
HSSP Partnership Arrangement 2008
Solomon Islands Nutrition - November 2013 2013
Impact of health investments on regional security and stability 2013
Taxation for NCD Prevention in the Pacific 2014
Economic case for investing in health systems 2014
Independent Completion Report to the Solomon Islands Health Sector Support Program 2015
Management Response Independent Completion Report Recommendation 2015
Solomon Islands Health Sector Support Program: Independent performance assessment and management response 2017
Solomon Islands Health Sector Support Program: Independent performance assessment and management response 2018
Solomon Islands Health Sector Support Program: Independent performance assessment and management response 2019

Education Sector Support Program

Up to $64 million, 2020-2023

The Education Sector Support Program is a four-year $64 million ($41.5 million Australian contribution) initiative supporting the Solomon Islands Government to implement its Education Strategic Framework 2016-2030, and National Education Action Plan. The program is delivered in partnership with the Solomon Islands Government and jointly funded by the Governments of Australia and New Zealand. The Program's goal is to improve the quality of basic education which is accessible to all Solomon Islands children. Support is provided through direct budget support to the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, technical advisers and grants to NGOs. The program is also supporting the Ministry's Learning Continuity plan to provide learning material and improved water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities to schools across Solomon Islands during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Related documents

Name of document Year published
Review and Analysis of the Demand for Skills in the Solomon Islands Labour Market 2013
Education Support Program Concept Note 2013
Investment Design: Solomon Islands Education Sector Program 2 2014
Evaluation of the Youth at Work Program Solomon Islands 2012 – 2015 and management response 2015
Solomon Islands Education Sector Program 2: Independent assessment report and management response 2017 2017
Solomon Islands Education Sector Program 2: Independent assessment report and management response 2018 2018
Solomon Islands Education Sector Program 2 Basic Education Component Independent Mid-Term Review and management response 2018
Solomon Islands Education Sector Program 2: Independent assessment report and management response 2019 2019
Independent Review of the Solomon Islands Skills for Economic Growth (S4EG) Program 2019
Australia and New Zealand Joint Solomon Islands Education Sector Support Program 2020-2023 design 2020

Strongim Bisnis – Phase 2

Up to $25.8 million, 2017-2022 (Stand-alone investment since 1 January 2020; $14 million for Phase I managed under the Solomon Islands Growth Program)

Strongim Bisnis works with the private sector and Solomon Islands Government to make a strong, positive and lasting impact through business growth. Tackling the nation's trade and investment challenges, Strongim Bisnis works to provide solutions for businesses and investors in the coconut, cocoa, tourism, horticulture, financial services, timber and waste management industries, while empowering women and youth.

Strongim Bisnis uses a market systems development approach to address poverty through inclusive economic growth, the first of its kind in Solomon Islands. It works with businesses and government to address market constraints for businesses and finds innovative approaches that focus on creation of business opportunities, ‘value-add' and diversification of supply chains and promotes systemic changes to markets so that more people benefit.

Related documents

Name of document Year published
Solomon Islands Growth Program Design 2017
Strongim Bisnis Independent Evaluation Report and management response 2020

Tina River Hydropower Development Project

Up to $29.1m, 2009 – 2024 ($18.7 million contribution initially managed through Solomon Islands Growth Program)

The Tina River Hydropower Development Project (TRHDP) will build a 15 MW hydropower facility southeast of Honiara on the Tina River. It is Solomon Islands' first large-scale public-private partnership (PPP) and Australia's largest climate finance investment in the Pacific. The project aims to shift the energy landscape in Solomon Islands to a more reliable, accessible and affordable footprint, providing about 70 per cent of Honiara's electricity needs.

Tina Hydro Limited will build, own operate and maintain the hydropower facility for the first 30 years, before transferring ownership to the Solomon Islands Electricity Authority (SIEA). The construction phase is expected to take place during 2021–24, and peak construction is expected to provide approximately 350 job opportunities.

Several bilateral and multilateral partners support the project. Australia provided $10.4 million to support the project's preparation phase and has provided $18.7 million to support construction of the access road to the dam site and powerhouse, and to support the Tina River Project Office. The Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP) is also negotiating additional support for the TRHDP.

Solomon Islands Transport Sector-Based Approach – Phase 2

Up to $21m, 2016 – 2021

The second phase of the Solomon Islands Transport Sector-Based Approach supports the Solomon Islands Government to implement its transport infrastructure priorities under the National Transport Plan. With this investment, $12.5 million has been provided to the Government's National Transport Fund (NTF), along with technical assistance to support the Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) to manage NTF governance arrangements and strengthen financial management and procurement procedures.

Complementing this, Australia will provide $8.5 million to the Asian Development Bank for its Sustainable Transport Infrastructure Improvement Program (STIIP), which is delivering new and improved transport infrastructure projects around the country in partnership with MID and through the NTF.

Addressing Gender Equality

Through Pacific Women (2012-22) Australia has committed $34.8 million over ten years to advance gender equality and support women's empowerment in the Solomon Islands.

The Solomon Islands Gender Equality program ($4 million per annum) works with the government, international and local NGOs, and the private sector to improve the political, economic and social opportunities of Solomon Islands women and girls to end violence against women and girls. The program aims to reduce violence against women and girls and ensure:

  • survivors of violence have access to support services and to justice
  • women have expanded economic opportunities to earn an income and accumulate economic assets
  • women, and women's interests are increasingly and effectively represented and visible through leadership at all levels of decision-making, and
  • women have a stronger sense of their own agency, supported by a changing legal and social environment and through increased access to the services they need.

The program works in partnership with the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family affairs to support institutional strengthening, it provides funding and support to targeted service providers and violence prevention activities including supporting the national rollout of the SAFENET Response and Referral Network.  Over the next two years the program will continue to focus on eliminating violence against women and girls (EVAWG) and expand activities focused on women economic empowerment to address the impact of COVID-19 on women and increase support to women's organisations.

Consultations with the Solomon Islands Government on the next phase of Australian engagement will be undertaken in early 2022.

Related documents

Name of document Year published
Solomon Islands Markets for Change Proposed Project Document 2013
Let's Make Our Families Safe 2014
Scoping Study on Women in Leadership and Decision-making and Management Response 2017
Review of the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women) Solomon Islands Country Plan 2013-2017 2018

Rural Development Program - Phase 2

Up to $32 million, 2007 ‑ 2022

The Rural Development Program (RDP) Phase 2 (2015-2021) is a joint program with the World Bank, Australia, the European Union, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Solomon Islands Government.

The program is raising the living standards of rural households by improving rural infrastructure and services and helping the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to improve its support to farmers. Phase two provides small scale village infrastructure projects in every rural ward of Solomon Islands, supporting productive alliances between private sector and smallholder farmers, and stimulating agribusiness activity in rural areas.

The World Bank has recently undertaken a virtual scoping mission to initiate the design process for phase three of the RDP scheduled to commence in 2022. The next phase will seek to build on emerging commercial partnerships to strengthen rural industries and promote sustainable livelihoods.

Related documents

Name of document Year published
Evaluation of the Solomon Islands Rural Development Program 2013
Solomon Islands Rural Development Program – Project Performance Assessment Report [PDF] 2016
Project Completion Report Validation [PDF] 2016

Solomon Islands Growth Program

Up to $50 million, 2016-2021 (included Strongim Bisnis Phase I and Tina River access road support)

The Solomon Islands Growth Program (SIGP) was established as Australia's flagship economic growth umbrella investment in 2016. SIGP's goal was to see increased private sector investment in a more inclusive economy. It focused on providing increased cash incomes for men and women and a more productive environment for the private sector. It undertook catalytic activities addressing economy-wide constraints to growth, promoting growth in selected sectors and influencing change in the business environment. It is due to conclude in mid-2021.

SIGP supported the Gizo Market Redevelopment, the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and small-scale transport infrastructure. It was also used to support the first phase of the Strongim Bisnis project, which is now a standalone investment, and part of Australia's contribution to the Tina River Hydropower Development Project.

Related documents

Name of document Year published
SIGP Concept Note 2015
SIGP Design 2017
SIGP Mid-Term Review and management response 2018 - 2019
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