THE final set of a series of three weeks training for the Solomon Islands Demography and Health Survey (DHS) kicked off on Monday.
The training organised by the Solomon Islands National Statistics Office (SINSO) within the Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MOFT) is being held at the Red Manson Inn in Honiara.
More than one hundred enumerators from all the provinces in the Solomon Islands gathered at Red Manson inn for the three weeks of training in final preparation for second demography and health survey field enumeration which is due to start in April according to SINSO work plan.
The training will cover topics such as child and maternal heath, family planning, child labour, disability, nutrition, HIV Aids, Malaria including anthropometric measurements and anemia training.
Some official guests and senior SINSO presented during the opening ceremony werethe Under Secretary (Economic) of Ministry of Finance (MoFT) Mr McKinnie Dentana; Statistics Advisor (DFAT/SIPF) Dr Willie Lahari; Government Statistician Douglas Kimi, Secretary of the Pacific Community (SPC), Demography and Health Survey Technical Officer KaobariMatikarai; Chief of UNICEF Solomon Islands, Dr. Yun Jong Kang; Director of SIDHS Ms Irene Kalauma and SINSO/ SIDHS staff.
In his official remarks during the officialopening of the main training Government Statistician (GS) Mr Kimisaid that the SINSO within the Ministry of Finance & Treasury (MoFT) has been very busy since 2013 in the preparations for the SIDHS.
As part of the preparation three sets of training were planned and the first two trainings were completed including the training of trainers(TOT) and the Pre-test training.
Those trainings were part of the training plans to ensure that this important survey is implemented according to the project work plans and with the right instruments. This is the final training that we have officially looked forward to convene today.
Speaking on behalf of the Solomon Islands Governmentand MOFT,Under Secretary, McKinnie Dentanahighlightedthat the Government is committed tothe country’s health sector.
He said government spending has generated economic activity in the health sector amounting to between 15-20% of the GDP and this shows the importance of the SIG’s support for the Demographic and Health Survey project.
He assured the participants of the government’s support for quality data that will inform government policy and strategies in this sector.
The opening remarks from the Government of Australia through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) were presented through a DFAT statement read by Dr Willie Lahari.
DAFT stated that it was committed to strengthening the data collection capacity of the National Statistics Office through funding for key national surveys. DFAT is contributing 72% (or AUD2.92 million) for the implementation of the DHS and an arrangement with a local accounting firm to provide financial/audit oversight for the funding.
DFAT stated that the DHS will provide critical information needed by the Solomon Islands Government to inform its policies and make informed decisions particularly in the health sector and that the training will help enumerators understand and perform their work well in the field.
DFAT encouraged the participants to make the most out of the training as the quality of the DHS data will depend very much on how well enumerators performed and conducted their work on the field.
Dr Kang from UNICEF also took the opportunity to convey UNICEF’s support of US$100,000 to the DHS project including supporting the training through technical experts who will be presenting on specialized topics during the training program. UNICEF sees the importance of the DHS in providing vital data for policy and planning in the country.
Similar comments were raised by SPC through Ms Matikarai who assured the participant of SPC’s support to the DHS project and thanked the government of the Solomon Islands for its continued collaboration with SPC.
The NSO through the MOFTwas privileged to enter into a formal agreement with the Government of Australia (GOA) under an Accountable Cash Grant to the value of AUD 2.71 million for the execution of the DHS under the Solomon Islands-Australia Partnership for Development efforts. This amount excludes DFAT’s additional audit support for the DHS. The GOA support component comprises 72 percent of the total project budget. SINSO also appreciate the financial support from SI Government of about SBD$7.04 million and the United Nation through UNICEF (US$100,000) in assisting with the implementation of the DHS.
Communication and Advocacy team