Solomon Islands Church Partners Strengthen Capacity in disaster preparedness and Response.

The Church Agencies Network for Disaster Operations (CAN-DO) partners in the Solomon Islands are now better equipped with a shared understanding about Foundational Monitoring,, Evaluation and Learning concepts in Disaster READY program. They recently completed a weeklong training on how to use Monitoring and Evaluation tool to gather accurate and quality data and use them to improve their work in Humanitarian space before, during and after a disaster.

The training took place from August 21st – 25th August 2023, in Munda, Western Province. Representatives from Solomon Islands church partners attended, including the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACoM), United Church Solomon Islands (UCSI), ADRA for Seventh Day Adventist (SDA), South Seas Evangelical Church (SSEC), Caritas for Catholic Church (CC), and Solomon Islands Christian Association (SICA) along with People with Disabilities Solomon Islands (PWDSI).

This training was made possible by funding from the Australian Government through the Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP) Disaster READY program to support local humanitarian capacity of church partners within the Church Agencies Network Disaster Operations (CANDO) consortium in the Solomon Islands.

The primary objective of the training is to develop a shared understanding about foundational MEL concept in Disaster READY to adapt and contextualise this concept into Solomon Islands context on the processes and appropriate ways of undertaking data collection when working across Solomon Islands communities.

Ms Anna Szava, an expert in this field, explained that the training will enable church partners to use monitoring and evaluation tools to monitor and evaluate their work when helping local communities before, during and after disaster. The information gathered is important to inform, educate and advocate for gaps identified during the monitoring and evaluation process with in the project and program.

Mr Lionel Dau, who coordinates the projects for the Church Agencies Network for Disaster Operations (CAN-DO) consortium, emphasised that the training helps adapt and contextualise the concept of monitoring tools and methods use in the Solomon Islands context.

During the training, participants learned about data collection methods and the importance of gathering accurate data. They also learned how to use monitoring tools for collecting data consistently to ensure Disability and Gender Inclusion and all vulnerable people are included and represented in our Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning activities,” he added.

Mrs Naomi Tai, who works on disaster risk reduction for people with disabilities Solomon Islands (PWDSI), said the training was valuable. It taught her how to collect accurate and good information, especially about the inclusion of people with disabilities, to improve disaster preparedness and response effort in their work.

The training covered key areas on understanding about the foundational MEL concept in Disaster READY program, review of Disaster READY 2.0 MEL Plan data collection methods and indicators, the importance and purpose of data collection, the use of Kobo tool template for data collection; and how to standardise data and data collection for every CAN- DO partners (organisation).

The various M&E methods used and identified during the training are Key Stakeholders Interviews, Focus Group Discussion (FGD), selection of data sources (survey, case study, interview and focus group participants).

The training concluded with practical field assessments in two communities, where participants applied what they learned. This helps ensure that everyone, including vulnerable groups like children, the elderly, and people living with disabilities, is considered in disaster preparedness planning and response.

The program called Disaster READY, aims to make sure everyone in the community, including women, children and people living with disabilities, is prepared well for disasters. It is supported by the Australian Government and carried out by church partners in the Solomon Islands under the Solomon Islands Christian Association (SICA).

By Raymond Hulanga

CAN DO Press.


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