CDF has no positive impact on people’s livelihood according to households in the Solomon Islands

Sep 26, 2023 | Census, Social Statistics

The Constituency Development Fund, CDF, established in the country since 2013 has no positive impact, according to 64.2% of the households in Solomon Islands.

Of all the households that were aware of the CDF, the majority said there was no positive impact while a third (35.8%) of them stated that the CDF assistance had a positive impact (direct or indirect) on their livelihoods.

These findings were captured in the recently released 2019 Census report, and suggests that more work needs to be done in changing perceptions and attitudes of the people about the positive contributions of the CDF.

The main issues of negative perceptions of the CDF was the unfair distribution of resources (36%), followed closely with issues categorized under other/none (no negative impact) (34.7%).

Other key negative perceptions included the lack of good governance (12.8%), abuse of funds (5.9%), and dependency mentality/culture (4.8%). 

Table 15.3: Number and percentage of households’ perceptions on main areas of CDF development assistance with negative impact by province and urban-rural area, Solomon Islands: 2019

Nearly all households (98.9%) in Solomon Islands were aware of the CDF. This was evident among all provinces with the majority of households concentrated in Malaita (22.7%) and Guadalcanal (21.6%) – and comprising the majority of rural households (69.0%) compared to urban households (31.0%).

However, within urban and rural areas respectively, a higher proportion (78.7%) of urban households were of the view that the CDF did not have a positive impact on them compared to 59.3% of rural households.

Figure 15.1: Number and percentage of households and awareness of CDF by province and urban-rural area, Solomon Islands: 2019

The main areas of positive CDF development assistance on households were highest in assistance for housing materials (19%), followed by supply of energy/solar (12%).

Malaita, Guadalcanal, and Western province were impacted more from both the supply of housing materials and energy/solar supplies.

Both Malaita and Guadalcanal households were impacted more by all main areas of CDF assistance except for water/sanitation that had more impact amongst Western households and education support amongst households in Honiara.

Figure 15.2: Percentage of household perceptions of main areas of CDF assistance with positive impact, Solomon Islands: 2019

It was also evident that of all the households that were aware of the CDF, the majority (85%) in rural areas had a positive view of the impact of CDF assistance.

When asked about how households viewed the future management and use of CDF, the majority (32.7%) stated that improvement of good governance (e.g., accountability, transparency, free of abuse and corruption, etc) was a concern that should be considered as part of the management process of future CDF assistances. This view was supported by the majority of households from Western (23.0%), Malaita (19.2%), Guadalcanal (18.3%) and Honiara (13.3%).

The second important concern related to prosecuting of corrupt officials (21.1%) and improving coordination (15.2%) of CDF assistances.

The former perception was mainly supported by households from Malaita (51.6%), Makira-Ulawa (15.8%) and Guadalcanal (12.0%). Improving coordination of CDF support was most popular amongst the Honiara households (44.5%).

In all the views for future management and use of CDF assistance, rural households have expressed the majority of all views. 

The overall impact (positive and negative) of the CDF development assistance on household livelihoods revealed key findings that should be able to inform decision making, planning and policy formulation especially in relation to the delivery of the CDF development assistance in rural areas.

Table 15.4: Number and percentage of household suggestions on future management and use of CDF by province and urban-rural area, Solomon Islands: 2019