18 Jun 2004

Improved communication at village level vital to combatting corruption in Solomon Islands

2:12 pm on 18 June 2004

Improved commmunication was identified as the first step in trying to end corruption in Solomon Islands during a workshop in Honiara this week.

The workshop, called Beyond Intervention, was told corruption was endemic.

Academic John Roughan says corruption has become a culture and its elimination is central to the country's ability to cope when the Regional Assistance Mission eventually leaves.

He says the workshop looked at ways to do this and the first thing is to overcome the lack of information which politicians have been able to exploit to great advantage.

"So one of the first things to do is we have to get the word out there in different ways. Ordinary ways in places like New Zealand: you use radio and you use the print media but there's limitations to that here. Literay really is very low and radio uses two languages out of the possible sixty. So unless it's face-to-face contact with some of these important issues, corruption will still be rooted"