Support to Sierra Leone Constitutional Review Project

What is this project about

constitutional reviewConstitutional review Staff interacting with the public during a public outreach session. (Appha Sesay/UNDP)

Since the launch of Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) by President Ernest Koroma in July 2013, the committee, with the support of United Nations Development Program, has carried out a series of activities, including inclusive civic education, stakeholder consultations, consultative dialogue, workshops and expert meetings on national issues of prime importance. CRC comprises national stakeholders’ i.e. political parties, democratic institutions, NGOs, the media and key independent bodies. The objective of the constitutional review process is to fulfil the national commitment made in Lomé Peace Agreement, and implement Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendation to further consolidate peace and strengthen the existing multi-party democracy to create an open and transparent society.

UNDP-led constitutional review project supported CRC to consults several MDAs and Civils Society Organizations including State House, Ministry of Information and Communication, National Commission for Democracy and Ministry of Youth Affairs among others. Several technical training were conducted for all subcommittees to improve on knowledge sharing on the CRC Process.

Soon after Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) subsided, CRC intensified its public engagement and embarked on nationwide consultations. During 2015 district and ward levels consultations were held to solicit public opinion on the 1991 Constitution and 2008 Peter Tucker Commission Report.  During the consultation meeting general public enthusiastically participated in the process. All thematic issues of the 1991 Constitution relating to Executive, Legislative, Judiciary, and Information & Communication, Fundamental principles of State Policy and Human Rights, citizenship, local government and Natural Resources were thoroughly deliberated upon.

Furthermore, to consolidate National Peace-Building and State-Building efforts through a consultative, transparent and widely inclusive course of action, UNDP has also organized series of dialogues to facilitate discussion on the process with women groups, political parties, Youths,  MPs, paramount chiefs, councilors including ministries, department and agencies. In addition, CRC has received 150 position papers from different organizations and individuals. Also, the CRC has printed 30,000 copies of the combined 1991 Constitution and the Peter Tucker Report, 70,000 submission forms for individuals and institutions, produced 20,000 flash drives and other civic education materials including the 20,000 hours airtime over the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) and other radio stations and has held 10, public consultations with various stakeholders.

Accomplishments so far

Civic Education & Public Outreach

Civil Society led engagement in the review process has also been remarkable. CSOs comprising of WANEP, OXFAM, SLBC, NCD, SDI/CCC and CGG  have educated majority of Sierra Leoneans about the review process and this to an extent have helped raised  awareness on the CR process which has improve public contribution and participation.

With support of UNDP, CRC enhanced it media engagement activities through community radio stations and television and wide range of print, electronic and social media tools used to reach out each and every segment of the society.

UNDP/CRC also partnered with the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) and community radio stations to educate citizens through Television and Radio sensitization progarmmes that includes TV Discussions, Theme Songs, Jingles, and Sport Messages among others on constitutional issues. This gave an opportunity for citizens leaving in hard to reach communities especially in the regions to understand the review process and be prepared to participate meaningfully. CRC website, Newsletter, Twitter, WhatsApp, You-tube and Face book pages generated a great level of information and widely contributed to the review process.

2015 Achievements

During second quarter of 2015 CRC’s national Public consultation were held nationwide in all districts simultaneously including Bonthe Island, consultation in Freetown in all 69 Wards in Western Rural and Urban respectively. In addition, CRC consulted ministries, departments and agencies on the process and received position papers from different interest groups and stakeholders.

133 Women, Youth, Political Parties, NCPC, Local-G, CSOs, Media, Lawyers, Student were consulted by CRC,

198 –Ministries Departments and Agencies, Commissions, Religious groups, Relevant Institutions consulted by 8 Committees,

80 Experts engagements on critical constitutional issues conducted by UNDP/CRC, 130 Position Papers to CRC by CSOs; MDAs; Political Parties; Women Groups; NCPC; Tribal Heads etc, 5000 Representatives Participated in UNDP-CRC’s Stakeholder Consultation

7000 CRC’s Direct Consultation

21600 hours programmes from 18 Radio have broadcasted by SLBC all over the country,

12 dramas series has been aired in 7 local languages.

CRC PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS

300,000 Combined Document    printed and distributed nationwide. Produced CD’s of same for citizens who cannot read and

 20,000 USB flash drive with the inscription ‘’ I Love the Constitution’’ has been produced and distributed in all 14 districts of Sierra Leone.

CIVIL SOCIETY ENGAGEMENTS   

UNDP empowered CSOs to sensitize their people about the process to get their views on-board. Over 60 Civil Society Organizations (CSO) from across the country pledged their commitment to the Constitutional Review Process and replicated messages of the review process to their constituents. In addition, more than sixty CSOs have been directly engaged and facilitated Campaign for Good Governance (CGG) and SDI, CSOs have expressed satisfaction that the Constitution was being reviewed noting that the need to bring the Sierra Leone Constitution up-to-date with current developments was significant.

In last quarter of 2015 UNDP developed and brought together more than twenty leading CSO’s to lead an open public consultation plan through establishment of “Constitution Kiosks” to share information and assist the public to fill out submission forms and have greater understanding of issues in the review process

 

SOCIETY FOR DEMONCRATIC INIATIAIVE

200 students from the Law and Economics Department at Fourah Bay College have consulted on constitutional issues by CCC and 15 radio and TV discussions organized and Newspapers articles published on the CRC process by SDI

NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR DEMONCARCY 

4000 copies of the translated documents have printed and distributed nationwide by NCD,  100 Town Hall Meetings held by NCD in 50 Constituencies nationwide to show the Videos on the Constitutional Review Process, 25 Videos under five thematic areas in relation to the Executive, Parliamentary, Judiciary, State Policy and Human Rights and Local , Government and other Ancillary Branches of Government have been produced by NCD

 

CAMPAIGM FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE

199  each of  tribal and  village heads and, Committee Members  in  Waterloo and western Area  have been engaged  by Campaign for Good Governance on Consultative Forum

 

OXFAM

30,000 public submission forms distributed by OXFAM on it    civic education sessions with people living with disabilities in Freetown and  10 sessions conducted with members of the Governance stakeholders’ coordination forum (GSCF) by OXFAM. 

WEST AFRICAN NETWORK FOR PECAE BUILDING

3,200 households reached and more than 1,300 public submission forms completed and returned to the CRC, 2,800 people reached during Make Yu Constitution Road Show” a total of 1000 public submission forms were distributed to residents on the streets, during the road shows, 300 youth from ten districts trained as Community ‘Mobilizers’ (CMs) trained by WANEP on the Constitutional review process, 150 children participated (90 girls and 60 boys) on the constitutional review process school essay competition in Freetown,  70 young people (10 per district) trained as Community ‘Mobilizers’ (CMs) on the CR process, 60 people consulted on four regional consultative meetings on operations of a national infrastructure for peace

CSO CORSOTIUM

1.  13,000 households reached on 14 days door-to-door information sharing sessions that lasted for 7 days in all districts

2. 1000 flyers, 1000 posters and stickers were printed and distributed nationwide. Public Submission forms distributed in each CIK in 394 Wards

3. 394 Constitution Information Kiosk established in 394 Wards and recruited 788 volunteer

2014 ACHIEVEMENTS

Pre-Consultations Visit to the Provinces: A four man team from the Sierra Leone 1991 Constitution Review Committee (CRC) led by the Executive Secretary, Samuel Coker completed a nationwide pre-consultation visit to 12 districts in Sierra Leone. 

UNDP Supports Civil Society to Promote CR Process: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the multi-donor basket fund have capacitated some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to undertake civic education on behalf of the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC). 

Civic Education on Radio and Television: To ensure greater outreach, the SLBC TV is providing coverage of CRC activities throughout the country. 

WANEP Engagements: Over 350 people have participated in a road show organized by the West African Network for Peace- building (WANEP) Sierra Leone. Dubbed “Make Yu Constitution” Road Show, the event aims among other things at overcoming the key challenge of awareness-raising about the constitutional review process in the border District of Kono.

Political Party Engagements: Political Parties have thrown their weight behind the constitutional review process, a process that would hopefully produce a democratic constitution that holistically reflects the will of the people. The seriousness of the engagement was displayed by the presence of National Executives of all the 10 political parties in the country.

CRC Contributes to the Fight against Ebola: With support from the UNDP, CRC allocated 30% of its airtime at the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) Television to Ebola sensitization. The hour long television and radio programmes which features CRC members and other personalities was initially initiated to sensitize members of the public about developments in the review process.

Promotional Materials: UNDP provided promotional materials including posters, vehicle stickers and handbills to the CRC. The civic and public education materials was displayed nation-wide to capture the attention of citizens about the review process. 

Production of Public Submission Forms: The Constitution Review Committee (CRC) with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has produced about fifty thousand (50,000) copies of thematic Public Submission Forms for the national stakeholders and public consultations. P

Civic Education/sensitization: The National Commission for Democracy NCD hosted a team of prolific writers of five local languages on August 8, 2014 at the Anthony’s Parish Hall, Brookfield’s to validate the document that was produced at the Writers Workshop held at Makambo in Makeni. 

Capacity development/Interns: Five graduate interns were assigned to the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) Secretariat by the National Youth Commission (NAYCOM) to assist in areas of research analysis, data input andMedia support. These interns impacted positively on the administrative and technical structures of the Secretariat. Each has been assigned to one of the nine sub-committees for the analysis of the Public Submission Forms and other significant assignments including the uploading of videos, photos and other media into the CRC YouTube channel.

Videos of the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) which were once limited to the broadcasting channels of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) could now be accessed on the YouTube Channel, CRC SIERRA LEONE  

Who finances it



Year Donor Amount
2013 UNDP US$     34,224
2014

UNDP

UKaid/DfID

US$    496,656

US$ 1,659,290

2015 BCPR US$    140,500
  BCPR US$    200,000
  EC US$ 1,099,439
  DfID US$    548,631
2016 UNDP US$    440,631

Delivery in previous fiscal years

Year Total delivery
2013 US$     34,224
2014 US$ 1,390,224
2015 US$ 1,970,000