Helping to Develop Successful Policy Outcomes in the Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands Law Reform Commission (SILRC) has successfully conducted a two day Legal Policy Development Course training for its officers and other officers of the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs (8 – 9 June 2015). The Legal Policy Development Course was developed by the Australian Attorney General’s Department (AGD) in 2013, and since then AGD has delivered the Course to more than 150 public officials in the Pacific.

In 2014, the AGD decided to train local trainers to deliver the Course. In May 2015, a staff of the SILRC was among the first of eight Pacific island public officials invited to participate in AGD’s “Pacific Legal Policy Champions Training Program” in Canberra, Australia. Under the Program officials are encouraged to become role models and advocates for good policy development practices and required to teach the Legal Policy Course in their own countries. This enables the authorised local trainers to reach a wide audience of officials across government – both who deal with legal and public policy development on a daily basis, and those who would like to know more about policy.

The Course helps participants to better understand: What policy is. The role of public servants and government ministers in legal policy development, and it also provides participants with a helpful framework to develop more successful policy outcomes. Developing good outcomes is a central feature of the Course, which uses the acronym ‘OUTCOME’ to set out the seven steps for successful policy development: 1) Obtain information about the problem; 2) Uncover and understand stakeholders; 3) Think ahead and plan; 4) Create options; 5) Outreach to stakeholders and decision makers; 6) Make it happen: and 7) Evaluate and monitor.

The Course also provides participants with a range of handy tools to analyse and develop options to address legal and public policy issues more generally.

The Chairperson of the SILRC Mr. Frank Bollen Paulsen thanked the Australian Government through AGD for engaging the SILRC in this training initiative. He firmly believes that the knowledge of legal policy development is very crucial for those who are involved in policy development. He urged the participants to put into practice the knowledge they have acquired from the Course.

Please contact Philip Kanairara at the SILRC (+677 38773) if you wish to find out more about the course or have it delivered to your agency. The SILRC can run the course over one or two days, and can tailor it to your agency’s needs.

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