Solomon Islands' Road to Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic: Key Findings of Public Opinion Research   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Introduction: "Solomon Islands has a recent history of civil unrest, weak governance institutions, and dependence on international aid and foreign investment for development. Corruption and long-unaddressed grievances have led to a perception that the political elite is disconnected from local realities and people's everyday needs. [...] This public opinion research was conducted in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic. Similarly to other countries in the Pacific Islands, restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus have proven efficient, but studies show that in many countries, corruption has become even more of an issue during the pandemic and a lack of political integrity and emergencies have fed off each other, creating a vicious cycle of mismanagement that has deepened the crisis. Additionally, countries that perform poorly in controlling corruption have tended to breach human rights and democratic norms in their management of the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, some have been concerned that the Solomon Islands Government may want to curtail freedom of speech, a fear that almost became reality in November 2020, when the government announced its intention to ban Facebook under the guise of preventing the spread of misinformation. [...] In the absence of public, independent, and statistically representative data, it has been difficult to quantify the timeline and intensity of changes in public opinion related to the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Solomon Islanders' top-of-mind concerns, corruption, and social cohesion. This study thus aims to fill that gap by anchoring qualitative information in objective numbers to provide a baseline upon which future research into public opinion in Solomon Islands can build."

National Democratic Institute
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