Learning4Peace/Solomon Islands/Report

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Final Report

Commonwealth of Learning
Isabel Youth Learning Network
Ref: COL-09-420
June 19th 2009
David Leeming
Leeming International Consulting
Email: david AT leeming-consulting DOT com
Tel: +677 76396

Download report as PDF

1. Background

This project is intended to strengthen Youth and women’s networking on Isabel Province and build on existing rural communications facilities. The ultimate purpose is to empower (especially) youth and women to network together and collaborate to create open educational resources (OERs) around certain themes of interest to them, related to peace building under the banner “Learning4Peace”.

The lead partners are Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and Isabel Provincial Government (IPG), with People First Network (PFnet), Solomon Islands Development Trust (SIDT), Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) and Ministry of Women, Youth and Children Affairs (MWYCA) as secondary partners. Other NGOs were invited to participate in the expanded community of practice that has been created by the project.

The project is implemented as part of COL’s Learning4Peace programme, and has run between January and June 2009, in two phases. The first phase, participatory planning, was completed by the end of March. This reported on in the project Wikieducator pages, plus an internal report to COL (ref COL-09-241).

In the second phase, which ran from May to end June 2009, the IPG and Youth networks on Isabel worked together with the expanded community of practice to (a) facilitate networking to discuss important Youth-related themes, and (b) to create community learning content and for community radio, based on four themes of (1) Natural resource and environment; (2) Reviving our culture and customs; (3) Urban drift and (2) Drug and substance abuse.

In order the facilitate digital content development, an application was made to Ausaid’s Community Sector Programme (CSP) for digital recording equipment to supplement the existing community radio stations equipment on Isabel, and for essential maintenance and repair needed by some of the email and radio stations to allow the project to proceed.

The project has strengthened the sustainability of the FM and email facilities on Isabel through increased appropriation of the facilities by both the host communities and the Province.

The intended long term outcomes are:

  • Strengthened women and youth networking
  • Improved awareness and knowledge in the project theme Learning4Peace
  • Youth Policy objectives advanced
  • More utilised and sustainable ICT networks
  • Demonstration of ICT networking contributing to an improved Provincial Communications Policy

1.2 Problem to be addressed

With the country recovering from the severe ethnic conflict, it is now firmly engaged in confidence and peace building measures. Agricultural, health, education, communication services and infrastructure are being restored and improved. More children are going to school and more people are engaged in learning and capacity building activities.

The major issues facing the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) are addressing the root causes of the ethnic conflict, capacity building in government and the private sector (including non-state actors), commitment to the reform process, the urgent need to improve living standards in rural areas and addressing the issue of federalisation.

Young people have always been at the forefront during periods of civil unrest, including the ethnic tension and several riots between 1989 and 2006. They are caught up in the unrest and are often manipulated to serve the agendas of political opportunists, and become both the unwitting protagonists and the victims. However, they are also our greatest asset, the future of the nation and they can be at the heart of the solution, too. For instance, anthropologist Christine Jourdan wrote in 1995 that amongst the younger generation of Solomon Islanders, especially in the urban areas, there is a new sense of national consciousness in the making. She identifies three factors - (i) the education system, (ii) pijin (pidgin) as a common language, and (iii) popular culture.

We may there conclude that a strategy of intervention to address the underlying social tensions and the causes of the ethnic conflict must involve the participation of Youth.

2. Work completed during previous phases of the project

The first phase of the project has been completed and reported on separately. The first phase has been conducted to plot a forward map of concrete activities for generation and implementation of youth-developed content for Learning4Peace initiative in Isabel. In Phase 1 of the project the following has been achieved.

Partners identified

The lead partners are Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and Isabel Provincial Government (IPG), with People First Network (PFnet), Solomon Islands Development Trust (SIDT), Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) and Ministry of Women, Youth and Children Affairs (MWYCA) as secondary partners. Other NGOs will be invited to participate in the expanded community of practice that will be created by the project.

Identification of key youth with roles and responsibilities to take a lead in the work

  1. Youth Coordinators (YCs). There are 16 YCs in Isabel, one in each Ward.
  2. Isabel Youth Council
  3. Isabel Provincial Government Youth Programme. The planning and workshop of this phase have been conducted with close collaboration of the Ministry of Community Affairs, especially with Ysabel Province Youth Coordinator (IPGYC) Ellison Gito and Minister Hon. Rhoda Sikilabu, both of whom attended the full 4-day workshop.
  4. National Youth Stakeholders. The Youth Development Officer of the national Ministry for Youth (MWYCA), Andre Tipoke, will coordinate the linkage of the project to the national Youth Stakeholders and national Youth programmes.
  5. NGO Youth officers and networks. Save the Children and the Diocese of Ysabel have specific Youth programmes in Isabel. The Mother's Union also has programmes for their young members.

Venues established for discussions including Google, Wikieducator and other tools

The venues selected for the project networking and resource development include:

  • A Google Group http://groups.google.com/group/isabel-youth-learning-network
  • The DLCP's Moodle learning management system (www.schoolnet.net.sb) with a special course area created for the project and containing chat and forums
  • The Wikieducator, pages to be developed under the project page http://wikieducator.org/Learning4Peace/Solomon_Islands
  • A Ning social network
  • Solomon Islands (national) Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) will be involved in Phase 2.
  • SIDT's FM radio station (Honiara)
  • The Isabel FM community radio stations, email stations and Guguha DLC (see below)
  • Audacity: this is not a venue but a content tool. However, it should be mentioned here that this will play an important role as evidenced during the workshop, when the participants made trial recordings.

Map forward plotting activities, developed with stakeholder input

  1. Action plan showing time-lines, outputs and partners
  2. Approaches and activities identified to ensure broad and interactive involvement of Isabel community in implementation.
  3. Identification of next steps for Phase 2

At least 4 themes identified with target learners

The March workshop participants have identified four themes concerning Isabel Youth to be used for the project in Phase 2. The workshop report has details; a summary is given below.

  1. Reviving our culture and customs. This can be connected with SIDT and ICP's programmes working with traditional leaders in Isabel. The objectives could include learning about what is causing cultural change and ways of recording, reaffirming and celebrating Isabel culture. The media will naturally include the creating of web-based resources, archiving of interviews with elders, recorded story-telling and debates.
  2. Environmental (and Natural Resource) Management. This is an important issue affecting youth and women. For instance mining and logging activities on Isabel can create tensions between the male leaders who negotiate with the companies, and women who hold the traditional land rights. There is also the issue of resource depletion and resulting reduced opportunities for rural Youth (rural youth are a priority target group of the Youth Policy).
  3. Urbanisation/Urban Drift. Many issues affecting Youth are contained within this theme. This links also to the issue of rural development and the need to create livelihood opportunities for rural youth.
  4. Drugs and Substance Abuse. This topic could connect with SIDT's Youth and Mental Health programme, and one tool that could be used is “Youth Success Stories”.

Participatory Planning Workshop

The above outcomes were achieved with the aid of a 4-day workshop held in Buala between March 23 and 26, 2009. Two days were practical sessions designed to illustrate the techniques using community media technology. Nine Youth Coordinators, the MWYCA Youth Development Officer, the IPG Minister for Community Affairs and IPG Youth Coordinator attended. The objectives of the workshop were:

  • Bring together youth coordinators and supporting organisations to plan an effective learning programme for community radio with the theme “Learning4Peace”
  • Plan how to coordinate existing youth (human) networks to use the ICT facilities on Isabel enable effective collaboration and development of educational resources, and to support the implementation of the Isabel Youth Policy Action Plan.
  • To demonstrate and raise awareness of ICT tools and techniques to improve networking, collaboration and educational resource development
  • To develop an action plan to 1) build an ICT-enabled Youth network and learning community, 2) develop educational resources to support Youth (and Women) priorities on Isabel, and in particular leadership skills, human rights, conflict resolution 3) engage with local and national partners who share a focus on the project themes, so that they might participate and strengthen the networking and resource development
  • To agree roles and responsibilities, and develop strategy for financial sustainability

Outcomes of the workshop also included action plans for phase 2. Details these, and of the workshop are available at the project Wikieducator page, as given above.

Community Media Workshop

A second workshop was held by COL in partnership with, and based at, SIDT, between 1st and 3rd April 2009. This workshop brought in Isabel email and FM operators and provided participatory training in community media techniques. Participants learned how to involve their communities in programming, and practiced with the development of storyboards and then recording the component parts. This was designed to be complementary and supportive of to the Isabel Youth networking, and also developed the role of SIDT and linkage between the partner’s programmes, and widened the community of practice. It has identified key skills (script writers, dramatists, musicians, etc).

3. Other Baseline Data

Good communications and better community networking are a vital part of rebuilding peace and promoting development and capacity building. ICT offers great potential in many areas such as in improving government service delivery, citizen participation, programme implementation, support for economic development in rural areas, and in monitoring, accountability and transparency in all of these areas.

Isabel Province has been identified (by COL) for a Learning4Peace pilot project that will initially focus on Youth (but involve women, too), because of the strong and existing:

  • Youth and women networks
  • Isabel Province Youth Policy and Action Plan
  • Existing rural community ICT networks including community FM radio
  • These elements coordinated in past years through the UNDP’s IPDP


The UNDP Isabel Province Development Planning Project (IPDP, 2003-2007) noted in a situation analysis in 2006 that studies of media and communication systems in Solomon Islands indicate that most people, and in particular the 85% living in rural locations, are information poor , and that this is manifest in different ways, such as lack of access to market information for rural producers; lack of access to information to assert human rights; lack of information to empower and enhance the role of women in society and the absence of an information environment to complement and reinforce the education system.

With IPDP assistance, Isabel Province, the government began a program of touring to rural areas in 2004 in recognition of the need for better communication with rural communities, and highlighted this need in the Isabel Province Development Plan 2004-2007. The IPDP noted that communication infrastructure remained a critical limiting factor in linking improved local governance processes to rural populations, particularly those in the most isolated Highlands areas. Small improvements in access to technology have been promising, but communities have remained isolated from their representatives and planning processes for too many decades for equipment alone to establish improved governance.

The IPDP attempted to support Isabel Province in effectively support the growing governance institutions by creating a linkage between the modes of communication in order to allow two-way information flows, extending the reach of two-way communication to Highlands areas, adding programming initiatives to build local capacity and address identified communications needs, and a communication system that can widely distribute local content and information “since access to HF radios is limited and the province and communities do not have easy access to national programming avenues”.

The concept that was employed was built around the established network of PFNet email stations. This would be augmented by community radio systems at the remote locations, allowing for consolidated information to be dispersed to a broad cross-section of listeners, as well as local content developed by the host communities. The concept was that as well as disseminating information to remote village communities, the system would carry information into the offices of government agencies, commercial establishments and civil society including the media, and even linked to the planning cycle.

Isabel Youth Policy and Action Plan

Isabel Province has launched a Youth Policy and Action Plan in February 2009. This is the first Province to have achieved such a policy development. Isabel also held a "Youth Parliament" in 2007, and have established a Youth Council.

Isabel ICT networks

Isabel has province-wide, community-based ICT networks. These include:

  • Eight “email stations” of the People First Network (PFNet). These use HF radio email (Wavemail / Pactor 3) and can send and receive text emails and short text-based documents to/from a shared community email account with very low operating costs. These are located in rural communities.
  • Nine community FM radio stations, using Wantok Enterprises equipment. Seven of these are located in the same locations as the email stations and designed to co-operate. One is in an additional rural community and one in the Provincial Capital, Buala.
  • A distance learning centre (DLC) of the EU Distance Learning Centres Project, equipped with broadband (VSAT) Internet, 24hr solar power, seven laptop computers, projector, scanner, microphones, and other diverse equipment and resources, and a highly trained full time supervisor.

CSP linkages

As a national Youth development stakeholder, CSP was a partner of Isabel Province in the development of the Isabel Province Youth Policy and Action Plan, and Youth Council. It has supported SIDT to strengthen their community media unit, and the PFnet to revive and strengthen their national email network. All of these inputs create a foundation for the current activity.

4. Progress during Phase 2 of the project

Ongoing progress is documented on the Wikieducator project pages. The home page can be found at:


4.1 Networking and collaboration with the expanded community of practice

  • An active Google Group with 74 members has been established at the address below:http://groups.google.com/group/isabel-youth-learning-network
  • The Google Group has been quite active in the short period of this project, with to date 155 messages being posted concerning the four selected themes. The ideas developed through this networking have been directly used in the content development, as explained in the section on Content below.
  • A Ning social network site established at the address below, to share multimedia content including completed FM radio programmes, unfinished components and works-in-progress, and photos and video.http://isabel-youth.ning.com
  • Two one-day workshops were held in Honiara with members of the expanded community of practice. These Six people attended, from SIDT and MWYCA, and collaborated to strengthen the storyboards developed by the Isabel Youth members, and subsequently to add to the content development from those storyboards. This was in response to the special skills that people volunteered at the workshop in April.
  • Networking with the wider community was also discussed in the Isabel visit of May 23-30, and the participants noted the following possibilities for collaboration and thus obtaining support and assistance with content development. These points below also illustrate the synergy that is being observed already:
    • Youth stakeholders such as participating members of SIDT have capacities such as script writing, drama, etc (see bullet point above for how this is working in practice).
    • Rolley Bogese, Isabel musician, has volunteered to help develop musical content, i.e. by recording music for lyrics developed by communities about the issues. He is working with Buala FM station youth members already (for instance in the development of a theme song for the “Drug and Substance Abuse” storyboard that will adapt SIDT’s own theme song for their Youth and mental Health Programme)
    • Guguha DLC can aid communities by creating Wikieducator articles and uploading audio content that communities can share, although the PFnet stations do not allow full Internet access. For instance, they have researched Pacific-relevant information on issues around drug and substance abuse and emailed the results to the FM stations and expanded community.
    • One idea already very demonstrable was to share local community news between stations. For instance, Sigana FM is very active in producing local community news, and this could easily be emailed between FM stations to develop a sustainable pool of pan-Isabel grassroots news. SIBC may be interested in this aspect.
    • Text based ideas and content (storyboards, community news, lyrics, drama scripts, transcripts etc) can be shared by PFnet email. Audio content can be burned on CD and forwarded to other stations and to Guguha for uploading.
    • Collaboration with Isabel-based development programmes, in particular the UNDP Conservation project based in Buala. The coordinator Moses has joined the email group and has seen the obvious potential for using the FM stations and creating content for them, (for instance, in order to strengthen awareness and collaboration with communities concerning traditional approaches to marine conservation)
  • It was intended to make a presentation at the national Youth Stakeholder meeting organised by MWYCA. This has not been achieved due to a change in schedules for that meeting ; however, this can still go ahead with the lead taken by MWYCA. Likewise, further consultations with potential participating organisations including ICP, SCF, VBMS, MU and others as identified through the stakeholder meeting have also not taken place yet.

4.2 Supporting content development: Creation of Storyboards

This is also reported on in the project Wikieducator pages at:


The Phase 2 of the project started with the opening of the discussions on ideas via the Google Group. The Isabel FM radio communities are (except for Lelegia) linked by the PFnet email stations. Early ideas for content development were discussed (refer to the Google Group home page). Within the short time frame of the phase 2 of the project, some examples of completed content for Community FM radio (and Wikieducator) were required by end of June. Additionally, some face to face technical support and training is required to help the Youth coordinators and operators to learn how to use the networking and to organise their ideas via storyboarding.

With this short term aim in mind, it was decided to focus on two or three locations to demonstrate the process. Tataba and Sigana were selected, due to their proximity to Buala and their state of readiness following the attendance of key persons at the previous workshops. A visit consequently took place to Buala, Tataba, Sigana and Kolotubi communities between 23rd and 30th May, 2009. David Leeming, consultant, with Ellison Gito, Youth Coordinator IPG, Fraser Bako, FM operator for Buala, and Clifton Bazil, Commerce Officer IPG visited Tataba and Sigana (and briefly Kolotubi) between 23rd and 30th June 2009. One-day workshops were held at each village to develop storyboards for content development for the community radio, for the Phase 2 of the project.

Note: A Youtube video summary of these workshops can be viewed at the project Ning site

This process produced some concrete ideas building on the four themes selected during the March workshop.

4.2.1 Story Board workshops May 23-30 2009

The workshop activities included:

  1. In four groups, select and discuss one of the four themes chosen for content development at the March workshop. In terms of the local views and impacts, identify some specific topics to develop community programmes, which are of relevance interest to the local communities.
  2. Introduction to storyboards. Some of the attendees were already familiar with this, from the SIDT workshop.
  3. Introduction to the various types of content formats and modes available
  • Interviews
  • Discussion and debates, with talk back
  • Narratives
  • Storytelling
  • Drama
  • Music and song lyrics
  • Wikieducator articles
  1. Continuing in the groups, develop storyboards for at least one of the specific topics and present to the group.

4.2.2 List of participants

The list of participants is given on the Wikieducator page for the storyboards (see link above).

4.2.3 Follow up workshop with the expanded community

On Thursday 4th June, we held a very useful one day workshop in Honiara , to look at the storyboards that were developed in Tataba and Sigana, and to see how the expanded community can assist in their development. Jordy, Ender, Nelson and Andy attended from SIDT and Andre from MWYCA, plus Patteson Khana, Chairman of Susubona, whom we were fortunate to have in Honiara. The workshop venue and lunch was provided by CYP.

The workshop produced the modified, improved storyboards shown below. The inputs provided by the expanded community demonstrate the value that networking and collaboration add to such an endeavour.

4.2.4 Completed storyboards

These are given in the Annex, and are also available on the Wikieducator page (link at top of this section).

4.3 Content Development

This is also reported on in the project Wikieducator pages at:


Examples of completed audio content and works in progress can be downloaded at the Ning site.

It should be noted that these outputs are not static. They are on-going works in progress. The project has demonstrated the practicality of Youth collaboration on content development, and linked the new capacity to on-going programmes such as the Youth Policy and Action Plan, and UNDP’s Conservation programme. SIDT are also highly likely to build on the outcomes because that will help them with their own programmes in Isabel. SIBC may also be interested to support the expansion of grassroots news capacity across the FM stations in Isabel.

4.3.1 Content workshops Isabel June 2009

Content workshops were held in Isabel between 6th and 13th June at Tataba and Sigana. Participants from Susubona, Kolotubi and Lelegia communities also attended. The workshops were aimed at helping the Youth Coordinators, Youth members and community FM radio operators to create the first examples of content planned with storyboards. The content is intended for community radio broadcasts, sharing between communities by burning CDs and sending on any convenient transport, and with transcripts and adaptations formatted as Wikieducator articles.

The workshops were held in Tataba and Sigana. About 10 participants attended the Tataba workshop and 22 attended the Sigana workshop. See the Wikieducator pages for details.

Workshop activities consisted of working in four groups, to:

  • Assess the storyboards and identify specific content development activities and agree on which group does which task;
  • To work on content development, for instance through recording interviews, debates, storytelling, sound effects and music.

4.3.2 CSP donated equipment

Partial delivery of the CSP donated equipment had been achieved by the supplier in time for the workshop. The following items were delivered to the representatives of five Isabel FM communities as follows:

  • Digital voice recorders (Creative Zen 4GB)
  • Desk Microphones
  • Headsets
  • CD Burners
  • CD-R-50 spindles

These were handed over to representatives of Buala, Tataba, Sigana, Kolotubi and Susubona with agreements on their safekeeping to be signed (see section on sustainability below). The remaining sets of equipment will be shipped during the week starting 22nd June, to be held in safekeeping by IOG (Ellison Gito to supervise) until an appropriate time (further discussed below).

The netbook computers had not been delivered at that stage. However, Sigana received a Toshiba notebook computer for their email station (through a separate CSP funding partnership with PFnet) and this was delivered and used in the digital recording.

The digital voice recorders were essential for the outcomes of this activity. The proved very versatile and practicable, for instance:

  • 10 hour battery life and recording time
  • Very acceptable sound recording quality, proven in use to interview people in the community, get sound effects, conduct narratives, etc.
  • Easy to use.

4.3.2 Contributions from the expanded community of practice, CYP workshop, 17th June

A second one-day workshop was held on 17th June to consider how the expanded community can build on the early results from the Isabel youth workshops. This was attended by Jordy, Nelson and Andy from SIDT. Contributions were also made by other members of the expanded community, including Paul and Sira at Guguha DLC who supplied research data from the Internet, and the UNDP Conservation project in Buala. The contributions made during this workshop are described in the sections on each content outcome in the section below.

4.3.3 Completed examples of content

Content was recorded using the digital voice recorders and email station notebook computers, using the open source Audacity software to import, digitally edit and mix audio content, and export completed components in mp3 format.

Accompanying Wikieducator articles were also started for some of the content ideas.

Reviving our customs – Kwarao Custom Fishing (from Storyboard 2)

At the Sigana workshop one community radio programme was actually completed in one day. The programme has been broadcast on Buala FM station already (on Saturday 13th June) and received widespread interest and acclaim. It was burned on CD to be shared around the island, using any convenient canoe transport.

  • The finished audio program can be downloaded at the Ning site (downloads tab) http://isabel-youth.ning.com Although the recording was all carried out on one busy day, and understandably is a bit rushed, and the sound quality is variable, this programme is significant because it was entirely the product of Isabel youth using sound community media principles. They consulted their communities to identify the Isabel customs that should be highlighted, developed the storyboards and recorded the content. The only outside help came in the digital editing, however it is intended that training will be given in this skill using Audacity.
  • The accompanying Wikieducator page can be viewed by navigating from the content page given above, or at http://www.wikieducator.org/Learning4Peace/Solomon_Islands/Content/Kwarao_Fishing_in_Isabel_Province_Solomon_Islands

The specific custom used in this example, Kwarao fishing, is a custom fishing technique using a very long bush vine and many participants. It is used on special occasions. The general idea “Reviving our Customs” is for a serial programme which can be repeated with contributions from each of the FM communities and shared between them. The programme is intended to celebrate and preserve valued customs and traditions.

The following customs were selected by Tataba:

  • “Gria” custom fishing. This is similar to Kwarao but using a bush net. Tataba have recorded the storytelling component, by an elder who has the custom skills that are passed on to people who have mastered the skills. This is also available on the Ning site, as a work in progress.
  • Custom Pudding. This cassava-based food is used in important traditional meetings regarding land rights and marriage.

Wikieducator articles will be created for each programme, with transcripts and illustrations. The first of these has already been started by (see the link above) with a transcript of the story told by the old man. This is a work in progress that will be made into an educational article and archival resource.

Continuing work is being carried out on this by the expanded community as follows:

  • Andy Tabaa, Graphic Artist, SIDT is working on the transcript. He has created a Wikieducator account and can made simple edits already.
  • David will help with an English version of the transcript and further development of the Wikieducator article
  • A step by step guide to Kwarao fishing will be added with some illustrations by Andy

Shortage of sea resources and need for marine conservation

It was not possible in the time available to complete this content but important progress has been made and as a work in progress it can be completed.

At Sigana the workshop participants recorded the following, which will be mixed down and uploaded to the Ning site:

  • Pre-recorded interviews with two community representatives
  • Community opinions (range of short interviews with people around the village)

This sets the programme in a community context.

This storyboard calls for a documentary section, which needs input from research and from various authoritative sources, with the help of the expanded community. These can include:

  • The UNDP Conservation project in Buala. The FM team there are interviewing the coordinator Moses and the results will be shared on the Ning site. This is of great interest as it links genuine community interest to the UNDP development programme. The UNDP programme wishes to work with communities and leverage traditional approaches, so this FM program is very helpful to them.
  • Andre Tipoke, (MWYCA and CYP representative) has agreed to provide inputs from MWYCA school competitions, with poems, essays etc that can be used in the program if the appropriate permissions are obtained;
  • SIDT's Communities and Coastline project can provide information. We have agreed action by Ender to see what inputs to the radio program can come (interviews, printed info which can be used in writing a narrative.
  • Also importantly, the content will incorporate all the ideas that have been posted on the Google Group by the expanded community. These include
    • Need for money-making alternatives to logging and mining
    • Media should give solutions and not just highlight the problems
    • One programme content idea would be a debate between youth and women and government and mining on the other side, on the consultation process

Influences from town affecting youth in Isabel (Urban Drift)

The following content was developed by the youth members at the Sigana workshop:

  • Plan for the recording of a song with string instrument music to be made locally by Sigana youth members Youth Coordinator Culwick Strout has detailed plans for this, but due to the short time it was decided that this should be done after the workshop and forwarded.
  • The main feature of this storyboard is a drama. The workshop participants outlined the story to be presented in the drama, and requested that SIDT theatre specialists can then help develop a script.
  • Short interviews with community members about their concerns regarding “influences on youth from town”

At the one day workshop at CYP, participants looked at the ideas emerging from the Google Group discussions, and


  • There is a need to look more closely at the factors that cause young people to leave Isabel and go to town. The expanded community has suggested that a survey is conducted of this. Therefore, in this initial drama the characters can raise the question and discuss some possible factors, to highlight this and get people in the communities thinking.
  • Isabel participants noted that urban drift does not seem to be regarded as a major problem – so that can also be explored, i.e. what are the positive factors.
  • Regarding success factors, it was pointed out that Kolotubi youths have been working planting kava, rice and coffee and contributing to credit union savings. This is a success story that can be included/highlighted in the drama
  • The issue of whether the syllabus in the training centres provided useful relevant skills that can be applied by young people, or whether it is failing, can also be included in the drama

SIDT experts Jordy and Nelson are now working on the substance of the drama, and have agreed to post some results on the Google Group. A Wikieducator page will be created to aid the collaboration on the drama and to eventually to accompany the audio version of the programme.

This is another example of how networking and collaboration can greatly amplify the outputs of local content authoring.

Combating ill effects of drug and substance abuse

The following content was developed by the youth members at the Sigana workshop (these will be uploaded to the Ning site):

  • A panel debate was recorded with three Youth members representing Chiefs, Mother's Union and Youth
  • Pre-recorded opinion of community members

This storyboard requires input from the expanded community:

  • Andy Tabaa will forward the lyrics of SIDT’s Youth Mental Health Programme theme song to the list, which Buala FM and Rolley might consider adapting to Isabel music, and even changing the lyrics to make them fit the Isabel context and perhaps into pidjin or language. They can then record it there, burn on CD and pass to Guguha to upload to the Ning.
  • Guguha have already sent some useful input to the documentary section (see Paul and Sira’s postings).
  • Amaziah Kieth, coordinator of SIDT’s YMHP is willing to provide information, too. So at a future st6age we can interview him to develop this programme.

5. Sustainability

The project is demonstrating the utility of the intermodal, community-based networks to the IPG. Through the Youth application, the wider potential of the integrated, inter-modal communications is becoming clear to IPG and they are increasingly seeing the potential benefits:

The Isabel Province Minister for Community Affairs, Hon. Rhoda Sikilabu, and Youth Coordinator, Ellison Gito, have already noted the potential for cost savings and efficiency gains in the delivery of their Youth programmes under the Youth Policy and Action Plan. For instance, awareness campaigns can be conducted via email and Community Radio, saving on expensive and less effectual round-island canoe tours.

Recommendations associated with sustainability are listed below.

5.1 Community agreements regarding CSP-supplied equipment

In order to safe guard the equipment donated with CSP funding, it is important that the use of the equipment is linked to the content development and that is clearly understood by the community FM committees. In order to provide some accountability, agreements have been drawn up that each FM committee chair is required to sign, with copies to be circulated to IPG and PFnet (and CSP). An example of one such agreement is included in the annex.

6. Evaluation

It is not possible to conduct a formal evaluation of the project at this stage, as it has only just begun and it would be premature. However, some observations can be made as suggested below. These suggestions have been circulated on the Google Group for discussion.

  1. It is practicable to build communities of practice in Solomon Islands
  2. Networked communities of practice are a powerful means to sustain the process of local content development and also provide a multiplying effect (content is freely shared and adapted, rapidly increasing the available pool)
  3. Community media creates synergy between development partners and rural communities in very practicable ways
  4. Networked communities developing media content can help solve the shortage of relevant content and content capacity in the region, especially when open practices are used, as advocated by COL
  5. The focus on content is a powerful way of demonstrating the utility of rural community ICT, and this engenders supportive partnerships (for instance between provincial government, development projects and rural communities)
  6. The Youth networking application has helped demonstrate the utility of the rural ICT to Isabel Province and they are now better prepared to develop a communications policy.

7. Recommendations for COL, IPG and partners

The following are recommended for Isabel Province to support the capacity development and sustainability of the networking and ICT. These recommendations can also be used by COL and other partners to consider any further engagement and continuing interventions and support.

All partners of IPG in this project (COL, SIDT, CYP, CSP, MWYCA, PFnet, DLCP, SIBC and others) should be involved in the planning process for any continuing project activity.

General recommendations for the partners

  1. Consider support to further build capacity in Isabel in the following areas
    1. Digital content editing (FM operators and participating youth members) using the CSP-donated equipment;
    2. Wikieducator training (Expanded community of practice, PFnet and FM operators)
    3. Networking and collaboration using ICT (IPG officers in key departments)
  2. Widen the collaboration on community media content to other areas, linked to specific programmes/sectors and development objectives;
  3. Continue to build the community of practice and community media capacity in the Solomons.

General recommendations for IPG

  1. IPG should continue to engage with and support the Isabel Youth Learning project. Provide feedback on observations, lessons learned, concerns and recommendations to the Commonwealth of Learning and partners of the project. This will help partners to assess the potential for further project support.
  2. To widen the networking from Youth development to other programmes of IPG will require capacity building for IPG officers, in networking and collaboration with email and Internet skills. Consider commissioning training using the Guguha DLC facility, which has broadband Internet and qualified trainers available. This might be requested from COL.
  3. Consider the development of networking and communication strategies for other IPG programmes. This might result in a draft Isabel Province Information Strategy and Plan, from which policies can be developed. Lessons will be drawn from the Youth project.
  4. Consider requesting a suitable qualified volunteer from an agency such as VSO, VSA, JOCV, etc. to assist with the development of networking, information and communications and related policies. Such a volunteer could be co-located at Buala and Guguha to maximise the benefit of the connectivity at the DLC.
  5. Further training is needed for FM operators and their host communities. This might be requested from COL. in the following:
    • Digital editing using Audacity
    • Networking and collaboration (sharing content)
    • Follow-up training in storyboarding and community media programming
  6. As the utilisation of the networks grows, a future path for upgrading of the integrated rural communications on Isabel can be considered. One possibility would be to upgrade the busiest of the email stations with VSAT (broadband Internet as at Guguha DLC). The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)’s Rural Internet Connectivity System (Pacific RICS) offers one possibility for low cost VSAT suitable for rural communities. DCAM has announced that they may be procuring 50 RICS.

Recommendations associated with sustainability of the FM and email facilities

  1. IPG should continue with the partnership with the FM communities developed through the youth project. The province should actively work with the Chairpersons of the FM stations and email stations in each of the communities, to be updated in the status of these facilities and to be immediately made aware of any issues and problems.
  2. Sustainability is dependent on utilisation. The IPG should consider any opportunity to develop program content for the FM stations related to the IPG programmes, and to facilitate the use of the Buala FM facility by development partners to develop their community media content.
  3. Likewise, IPG should consider how the FM stations and the networking can assist with any development programmes in which it is a partner (the UNDP Conservation project is a good and promising example).
  4. Regarding the safekeeping of the equipment for the FM stations, agreements should be signed with each community to make sure that principles for safekeeping and appropriate usage of the equipment are understood and abided by.
  5. IPG and the Community FM stations should develop a business plan that clarifies the working relationship and how costs will be shared, and who is responsible for maintenance, repair and equipment replacement, and annual license payments;
  6. IPG should consult with SBC to develop service agreements for sharing local/community news with SIBC, and the relaying of SIBC national programmes;
  7. IPG should continue to engage with SIDT media unit, who will provide continuing technical support in the development of content and programming;
  8. Buala FM should be provided with dial-up Internet access so that they can collaborate and network and share content.
  9. Email stations should be supported with ink, paper and regular communications should be maintained to monitor their operational status.
  10. Sigana email station requires a printer. IPG can consider supporting them with this, via PFnet who can advise on the best model.

Annex 1: Storyboards created by the project

Storyboard 1: Conservation and concerns about shortage of natural sea resources
  • People are noticing shortage of sea resources like shell fish which move slowly
  • Youths concerned as they and future generations need these resources for livelihoods
  • One example is the Trochus shell, sold for use in carvings and important cash income
  • Sea level rise also a concern
  • Land based resources also affected such as wild pigs, possums, all custom foods now in short supply
  • Land owners must be educated to preserve livelihood opportunities for young people
  • This can be transcribed and an educational Wikieducator article made of it (by Guguha DLC)

Sound effects of sea etc
Music Presenter introduces Pre-recorded interviews about sea resources Narrative about why sea resources should be conserved Community opinions Summary by presenter Music – theme song
Theme song recorded by Sigana Presenter interviews 2 community reps with good story telling skills and knowledge of the issues . Other inputs:
  • Interview marine officers; Andre/SIDT to record and burn/upload to Ning etc,
  • Interview fishermen about harvesting, the ones who are taking the resources, Honiara and Buala
  • Researching background info on Internet (Guguha)

The narrative will refer to the previous interviews and also the UNDP conservation project might provide some input and ideas into this component. Networking with Moses via email will help. Other inputs:
  • MWYCA – essays, poems etc from school / youth competitions organised by Ministry/CYP/HCC to be sent to Google Group
  • Isabel stations can share info on the topic
  • SIDT programme Communities and Coastline project; Ender to facilitate copying some info to the GG in text form;
  • David to help SIDT upload advice to Wikieducator / with Guguha

With some good lessons learned to educate the community
0 1m 2m 12m 14m 17m 19m
20 min
Storyboard 2 : Reviving our customs

High lighting customs that are special to Isabelians.

  • Can highlight special customs in a regular series of programs
  • Community can be consulted to choose customs to highlight
  • Results can be transcribed and an archive of educational articles about Isabel customs created on the Wikieducator
  • Tataba selected "Gria" custom fishing using a team with a leader with passed-on custom knowledge, uses a net made of bush vine to catch offshore bonito tuna
  • Also selected by Tataba was custom pudding, a food that has a place in ceremonies associated with land rights etc
  • Sigana selected “Kwarao” custom fishing, similar to Gria but with a vine rope.
  • This addresses the concerns of elders that customs are eroded by changes in culture often perceived to be introduced by young people
  • Ender / Jody have some specific questions to guide the interviewer (will copy to email group), also will interview specific Isabel people (tourism, etc) to gather information about other customs such as custom sports, traditional custom cooking, clothes, lingo etc

Sound effects of fishing etc
Music Presenter introduces Presenter introduces and explains briefly about Kwarao – custom fishing with a vine Interview and story telling with elder Community opinions Summary by presenter Music – theme song
Lyrics to be written by Sigana with help from networking and song recorded with help from Rolley Bogese Can be repeated with different custom A suitably skilled elder or community member to tell the story in Pidjin language. A second version can be made using local language and also in English

The presenter will let the elder tell the story and then ask a few questions to fill in any gaps and clarify things.

0 1m 3m 9m 19m 23m 24m
25 min
Storyboard 3 : Influences brought back to the village from town, associated with youth and “urban drift”. (Work in progress)

Music – locally recorded instruments Presenter introduces Music

Theme song

Drama about the influences from town, written and performed by youth members Pre-recorded views of elders and other community members, about the issue Summary by presenter Music – theme song
* Suggestion that community can select best lyrics and award
  • Use mixed popular to youth - Rolley
  • Start lyric writing by networking

Youths can discuss and consult with community to prepare the outline of the drama. SIDT be asked to help with script writing.

  • Jody and Ender to lead script writing
  • Interest in peer pressure, to what extent is it affecting urban drift
  • Before writing script ask Isabel Youth
  • David to discuss and agree roles next week

0 1m 2m 5m 12m 17m 19m
20 min
Storyboard 4 : Disadvantages (ill effects) of Drug and Substance Abuse
  • Drug and substance abuse in Sigana is not a great problem. It was perceived that this was due to strong leadership of church and chiefs, working together
  • This program can therefore highlight positive ways of dealing with this issue (Youth success stories)
  • This can be an educational program shared with the other Community FM stations in Isabel
  • Start a Wikieducator article about the subject, SIDT (Andy) can upload graphics and images to support the article

Sound effects
Music Theme Song Presenter introduces Educational narrative researched by youth members Debate with invited panel from MU, Youth Leader, Chief Summary Music
* SIDT’s Yoth and Mental Health project has a theme song
  • Suggest that they use it, or adapt it to Isabel / simple language / pidjin
  • Andy/Nelson to follow up and send lyrics by email also we can upload the actual song to the Wikieducator

  • Parents
  • Health workers
  • Affected people
  • Networking / Guguha can search Internet
  • SIDT has a Youth and Mental Health program, get advice from them
  • Get some information from the Coordinator of the YMH programme and send to Google group or pass to Isabel community (Andy/Nelson)

0 30s 1m 30s 6m 30s 18m 30s 19m 30s
20 min
Isabel Province Youth Networking and Community Media Project
Isabel Provincial Government (IPG)
The Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
Community Sector Program (CSP), Ausaid
Date: 8th June 2009
Agreement between Samasodu Community and Isabel Provincial Government on the Use and Safekeeping of Equipment procured with funding from CSP.

On behalf of Samasodu Community, I the undersigned acknowledge receipt of the items listed with serial numbers below and undertake to supervise all use of the equipment and ensure that it is used only for the intended purpose. I acknowledge that IPG have the right to request return of the equipment should it be shown that this supervision is not maintained and/or the equipment is misused.

  1. The equipment is intended solely for the production of Community Media radio programmes and related content. It is not to be used for personal or entertainment purposes unrelated to the Community Media.
  2. The equipment is to be stored securely in the premises of the Community Media facility. It is not be stored in private homes.
  3. The Chairman of the Community Media Committee shall supervise all use of the equipment with delegation to the operators as appropriate.
  4. The equipment is not to be used by any other person other than those delegated by the Committee for the production and presentation of Community Media programmes.
  5. The Committee shall maintain a log of the use of all consumable items such as CD-R disks and present the log to IPG upon request.
  6. IPG has the right to inspect the equipment whenever they wish.
  7. Equipment will not be replaced if misused.
  8. Only the Voice Recorder is intended for use outside the Community media facility. The desk mic, headset, CD burner and netbook computers must not be removed from the Community media facility unless necessary and authorized by the Chairman, for instance if editing or use of the netbook is required in another location.
  9. Equipment replacement will be at the discretion of IPG and only if funding is available. As this is often unlikely, it is in the interest of the Community to maintain the equipment .
  10. Persons who misuse the equipment will be liable to dismissal from their post (authorized users) or referral to the police (unauthorized users).


Chairman, Samasodu Community Media Committee

ccIPG, CSP, PFnet, COLAttachedAsset list with serial numbers