Support to Sierra Leone Constitutional Review Project

What is this project about

constitutional review
Young people in Makeni city, display the Sierra Leone 1991 Constitution which they had "seen or touched for the first time" enabling them to more effectively participate in the constitutional review process. (UNDP/A.K.Bah)

Sierra Leone's 1991 Constitution signalled an end to one-party rule and ushered in a new multi-party political dispensation following years of one party rule. The 1991 Constitution was endorsed three months after the civil war broke out in conjunction with the Jully 1999 Lome Peace Accord and as a result, part of the process of negotiating the end to the civil war provided for a review of the Constitution. Also the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), established in 2002 recommended that the Government of Sierra Leone give “serious consideration” to the creation of a new constitution, in order to promote human rights and the consolidation of peace.

In July 2013, the Government of Sierra Leone appointed and inaugurated a broad ranging Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) representing different sections of society, including political parties, democratic institutions, civil society, the media and key independent bodies. The 80-member CRC has been tasked with reviewing the 1991 Constitution and as part of its work the CRC is undertaking major civic education and consultation processes, which engages all segments of society in identifying recommendations for constitutional change.

The Sierra Leone Constitutional Review Project (2013-2015) managed by UNDP and implemented in close cooperation with the Constitutional Review Committee and Office of Attorney General seeks to help build the capacity of the Constitutional Review Committee to lead an inclusive, transparent, participatory and peaceful process of constitutional reform. A major expected result of the project is to ensure that the constitutional review process consolidates national Peace-building and State-building efforts through this consultative constitutional review process. The Project focuses on constitutional dialogue and reform as a mechanism for peace consolidation and political transformation.

Accomplishments so far

Since the  launch of the CRC in July 2013 with support of UNDP, the committee has carried out a number of activities, including civic education, public consultations and dialogue on thematic issues. To complement the efforts of the CRC, United Nations with support from the Peace Building Fund, organized a series of dialogues to facilitate discussion with political parties, women, traditional and religious leaders and youths on the provisions of the 1991 consitution and to make recommendations for posible inclusion in a new constitution.

Sierra Leonean media practitioners have been trained on mediation and conflict sensitive reporting in order to ensure that issues of gender and non-discrimination are prioritized in their coverage.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Social Welfare and Children's Affairs, UNDP organized a nation-wide Women’s Voices Conference on gender-mainstreaming, to promote gender equality issues in the constitutional review process.

Nation-wide youth consultative meetings were held for the northern, southern, eastern and western regions of Sierra Leone targeting youths from various districts and chiefdoms. The workshops  brought  together youths from various walks of life including District Youth Councils,  community youth associations,  youth rights activists, people with disabilities, female youths to discuss and present their concerns to the CRC.

Political parties and parliamentarians have also been supported to generate discussions and consensus  on the constitutional review.  In collaboration with  Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), UNDP organized an all political parties consultative dialogue.

Who finances it

Year Donor Amount
2013 UNDP $34,224
  UNDP $496,656
  UKaid/DFID $1,659,290

Delivery in previous fiscal year

Year Total delivery
2013 $34,221
Project Overview
Project start date
July 2013
Estimated end date
March 2015
Geographic coverage
UN Joint Vision Programme
Cluster 1 and 4 (Support to good governance)
Constitutional Review Committee. Ministry of Justice. Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
Focal Point
Sanaullah Baloch: Chief Technical Adviser
UKaid, Europen Commission, UNDP.
2014 Budget
$ US 2,100,515
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