Local Governance and Economic Development

What is the project about?

 Local farmers bring their rice to a UNDP-funded rice milling facility to get it ready for market. (UNDP/A.K Bah)

The Local Governance and Economic Development Joint Programme (LGED-JP) seeks to improve the socio-economic well-being of Sierra Leoneans at the local level. Building on the Government of Sierra Leone’s Decentralisation Policy, Local Economic Development (LED) programming supports local wealth creation, increased employment opportunities and improved economic productivity and service delivery. Working through local governments provides an entry point for the Programme that allows for effective linkages to be established with broader governance policies and embeds LED within the participatory planning and budgeting frameworks at both national and local levels.

The programme implemented by UNDP and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) over 2011 to 2017 focuses  focus on achieving three major objectives:

  1. Strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) to enhance its strategic leadership in the decentralization process.
  2. Strengthening the planning and financial management capacity of Local Councils in revenue collection and the institutionalization of the LED functions undertaken by Local Councils.
  3. Promoting investment in pro-poor economic activities and making critical Public-Private Partnership investments in target districts to exploit the potential of important productive sectors and value chains.

Accomplishments so far

In building the capacity of the local government to promote pro-poor economic activities and initiate private-public investment in key productive sectors, the Programme has so far achieved the following key results:

Post Ebola impact assessment on local economic development investments in four local councils finalised.  

Roll outof Local Content policy in local councils.

Local economic development strategic policy documents popularized in Kenema, Moyamba and Tonkolili districts.  

Improved transparency and accountability in local councils revenue mobilization and management through an effective property cadastral systems in Bonthe district.

Improved administrative efficiency through effective records management system in Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD).


  • Introduction of the Local Economic Development (LED) approach and methodology to the Government of Sierra Leone, resulting in the launch of a National Conference on LED in 2012. The Conference adopted a National LED Agenda for Sierra Leone.
  • Improved capacity of the MLGRD to coordinate the implementation of the decentralization policy through the development of an Implementation Strategy and the conduct of Decentralization Donors Coordination Meetings.

Local Council-level

  • Review of the Development Plans of the target Local Councils, employing a bottom-up, participatory planning and budgeting methodology, resulting in the mainstreaming of LED functions and investments. Local Councils subsequently selected key priority areas and projects for LED investment and feasibility studies were supported which provided accurate information for Local Councils to select LED investments based on their sustainability. The studies identified 5 viable projects eligible for the LED grants including:
    • A complex (slaughter house and cold room) for Kenema City Council.
    • A cold room in Tongo, a remote area for Kenema District Council.
    • A set of secure market stores and a Community Resource Centre offering vocational training and goods and services in ICT and carpentry for Moyamba District Council.
    • A Community Resource Centre for Tonkolili District Council focusing on vocational training in ICT.
  • Mapping studies were conducted for local socio-economic development in the target Local Councils which provided clear and comprehensive data and information on existing and potential economic development opportunities, strengths, weaknesses, threats and recommendations.
  • Earmarked grants were provided to fund selected LED projects in targeted Local Councils and the five LED projects were completed in 2012.
  • Public-Private Partnership agreements between Local Councils and the private sector have been established to support local income-generating activities. Nine Public-Private Partnership contracts were signed over 2011 and 2012 in sectors including food security, education and vocational training, tourism and hospitality, community outreach and market infrastructure.
  • In cooperation with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, a property cadastre database system was established for the Kenema City Council, increasing revenue collection to over US$ 45,000 by the end of 2011 from just US$ 3,000 early 2011. This additional revenue has been used to support local infrastructure priorities for improving public service delivery.  

Who finances it?

Year Donor Amount Contributed
2011 UNDP US$ 402,144
2011 UNCDF US$ 3,500
2011 MDTF/CIDA US$ 331,326
2012 UNDP US$ 250,000
2012 UNCDF US$ 200,000
2012 UN DAO US$ 1,722,420
2012 CIDA US$ 357,036
2013 UNCDF US$ 300,000
2013 UNDP US$ 600,000
2014 UNCDF US$ 209, 624
2014 UNDP US$ 622,000
2015 UNDP US$ 650,000
2016 UNDP US$ 636,830
2017 UNDP US$ 600,000

Delivery in previous fiscal year

Year Total Delivery
2012 US$ 2,529,456
2013 US$    900,000
2014 US$    691,018
2015 US$    582,581
2016 US$    620,820

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