Engaging with Churches to Address Development-related Challenges in Solomon Islands


  • Ross Macdonald Cassells Massey University IPU New Zealand




Christianity, churches, development, Solomon Islands, Choiseul


Solomon Islands churches, such as the United Church on Choiseul, have accrued extensive organisational networks, governance structures, and a local political legitimacy that frequently surpasses that of the state. Well-respected and very influential at village-level, this places such churches in a strong position to be agents for change. On Choiseul, however, Nukiki village and others, are facing significant development-related challenges which they, and the church, do not have the necessary skills to address. Outside assistance is needed to enhance local capacity, and this could be achieved if development agencies engaged in partnerships with the church. In discussing the potential for productive partnerships with churches, this paper focuses on the case of the United Church in Nukiki Village, Choiseul Province.

Author Biography

Ross Macdonald Cassells, Massey University IPU New Zealand

Ross Cassells worked for the New Zealand Forest Service and New Zealand's Conservation Department before becoming a consultant adviser to the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs Customary Land Reforestation Project in Solomon Islands. He later joined Volunteer Service Abroad where he was responsible for the volunteer programmes in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. Ross also lectured in Environmental Studies and International Relations at IPU New Zealand. His Doctorate in Development Studies (Massey University, 2016) examined the hybrid forms of village governance that exist in Choiseul Province, Solomon Islands.




How to Cite

Cassells, R. M. (2019). Engaging with Churches to Address Development-related Challenges in Solomon Islands. Sites: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, 16(1). https://doi.org/10.11157/sites-id433