A recent evaluation of our work in the Solomon Islands found that our partnership with an indigenous NGO is driving long-term change.
For the last six years, we’ve partnered with the Solomon Islands Development Trust (SIDT), which is based in Honiara. Together, we work on the Bridging the Gap (BTG) project, which empowers communities to advocate for their own development needs.
BTG helps villagers create action plans, form advocacy groups and hold village forums so they can lobby their governments for essential services such as clean water, schools and health care.
A voice for change
In West Guadalcanal Province, three communities combined their advocacy efforts to lobby for a new health clinic.
Using skills learned from BTG, they worked with the Provincial Health Authority to secure a new clinic. The clinic will have solar power, a delivery ward, two in-patient wards, an out-patient area, and housing for two nurses.
The village advocacy committee is very proud of this achievement, and says that their new clinic comes from both the practical skills and the increased self-determination they gained through the BTG project.
The power of partnership
An independent evaluation found that our relationship with SIDT was key to the project’s success. We build the capacity of local NGOs, so long-term change comes from the grassroots level.
“The partnership between AOP and SIDT enables an indigenous NGO to develop and strengthen Solomon Island civil society in the face of the increasing influence of foreign donor objectives via international NGOs,” said Dr John Donnelly, author of the evaluation.
“The Bridging the Gap program has been very successful in helping to empower communities to become more able to engage with the systems of the modern nation state . . . while maintaining their local identity and priorities.”
Sustainable Development Goals
This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).