In this Analysis Lowy Institute Melanesia Program Director, Jenny Hayward-Jones, argues that Australia’s massive expenditure of $2.6 billion on the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) was a high price to pay for restoring stability in a small country. She argues that although there were many laudable achievements, the key lesson of RAMSI for Australia is the importance of knowing how much to spend and when to leave.
- Australian expenditure of $2.6 billion on the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands over ten years was a high price to pay for stability in a country of 500,000 people.
- The RAMSI experience showed the value of integrating Australia’s foreign, economic, aid and security policies and just as importantly of working with Pacific island partners in the region.
- Large-scale missions like RAMSI would benefit from clearly defined exit strategies and rigorous assessment of performance in order to control costs and maximise impact.