Development of Programme for Capacity and Institutional Strengthening in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone

  • Executing agency: UN/DESA Division for Public Economics and Public Administration
  • Senior advisor: Ms. Jeanne-Marie Col
  • Start date: 1 January 2000
  • End date: 1 April 2004
  • Total budget: USD 200,000

A. Overall objectives of the project

Assist in the restoration of public administration and governance to Sierra Leone. This is an SPPD to formulate a programme for capacity and institutional strengthening. The project is designed to follow a process approach that will facilitate national dialogue, building of confidence, commitment, and national ownership.

B. Activities implemented so far

From 23 April to 9 May in 2001 - when the country was still semi-stable, many areas were still controlled by rebels, and UNAMSIL was still trying to extend some form of civil administration beyond Freetown - the Mission held meetings will key officials in ministries, insitutions, civil society and private sector, held meetings with the RC, UNDP staff and UNAMSIL staff (Note that the RC is also D/SRSG of UNAMSIL), worked with Ministry of Planning to hold a brainstorming workshop of stakeholders all day Thursday 3 May (after a quick week of preparations and invitations), analyzed output of and prepared analytic report of the brainstorming workshop, drafted TORs for National Consultants in the 24 topical areas identified in the brainstorming, prepared a schedule for joint UNDP/DESA review of papers of national consultants on a tight (originally) schedule in order to use the papers as substantive input to a two-week national workshop event for 500+ Sierra Leoneans to be held in July 2001 (schedule was not met) (UNDP, UNAMSIL and DESA agreed on the dates at the time), and prepared tentative schedule for producing and launching the programme document to be based on the needs and capacities expressed in the July workshops (postponed). UNDP Freetown committed (at the time) to focus UNDP Freetown efforts on organizing the July workshops); this commitment was temporarily suspended temporarily due to pressure of work.

C. Activities envisaged for the future

National workshops to work out nationally-owned details of the programme, mission will draft the programme with help of national consultants, programme document will be produced. National ownership and poverty alleviation focus will be maintained.

D. Problems encountered:

Three issues have delayed the work on this project:
1.Post conflict situations always encounter alternating setbacks and pressure to move forward.
2. There was a disagreement on method to proceed. When the mission left Freetown, there was agreement to hire 24 consultants (rather than many fewer), in order to increase the number of local stakeholders who were committed to seeing the process of agreement on a strategy and moving forward (national ownership, and multi-sectoral stakeholder involvement), as well as poverty alleviation by giving 24 smaller contracts to 24 persons (families) rather than consolidating the work in, for example, 5 contracts with funds divided between 5 persons (families) instead of 24 persons (families). The mission was willing to return and do the paperwork, but this strategy was refused by UNDP. Then, the mission was willing to go with the 5 contracts instead as long as the UNDP justified their preference. That communication has never arrived. On a recent visit, Olu agreed with UNDP that we should re-negotiate the situation.
3.The coming elections (15 May 2002) occupied everyone’s time recently.