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The Ministry of Public Service has acknowledged the contribution of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) volunteers in the country saying their public service delivery is unique.
This was the remarks by the Permanent Secretary Nego Sisiolo during a press tour yesterday.
The tour was to provide local journalists the basic knowledge about Japan Official Development Assistance (ODA) especially on the JOCV in Solomon Islands.
Mr Sisiolo said, JICA significantly contributes to the overall effort of delivering an effective and efficient service to the public.
“Your contribution to the public service delivery is unique simply because of the unique sets of talents and skills your volunteers offered in the respective field of responsibilities,” he said.
Mr Sisiolo said, the impact of JICA volunteer program has been positively felt as being contributing to the greater good of the public service.
He said, that the country is shortage of skills and talents on specialized areas such as civil and structural engineers, agro forestry, environmental health, mental health, occupational therapist, water quality analyst and so on.
“Of course one of the approaches to deliver such highly specialised services is through outsourcing to the private sector but that is becoming very expensive because of the lack of competition in the labour market.
“It is because of the acute shortage of needed specialized talents in the Public Service that directs the Public Service to look for help from the JICA’s volunteer programme,” he added.
Mr Sisiolo said, that through the volunteers working in various services such as in the Ministry of Infrastructures, Health, Education, Agriculture is certainly a sustainable strategy that fills these skill gaps.
Japanese Ambassador Kenichi Kimiya said, that since the establishment of the programme more than 350 Japanese volunteers have been dispatched to Solomon Islands in various technical fields up to now.
He said, this demonstrates Japanese government strong commitment to Solomon Islands in providing volunteers who have contributed to the economic and social development of the country.
Currently, 18 JOCV members are working in various sectors which includes health and medical, education, environment, disaster management, industrial promotion and sport.
To provide a clear understanding of the contributions of JICA volunteers in the country local journalists had an audience with five JICA volunteers engaged at Rove Police, rehabilitation division at the National Referral Hospital, National Medical store, Honiara City Council and the National Disaster Management Office.
By CHARLES KADAMANA