Economic growth will not reduce poverty and inequality and generate employment opportunities unless it is inclusive. UNDP therefore promotes broad-based and sustainable human development, working to reduce poverty in all its dimensions. UNDP’s work in poverty reduction and economic development in Sierra Leone supports the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aimed at halving poverty by 2015 through policy support, capacity development and technical assistance aimed at fostering robust, equitable growth and well-managed development processes.
UNDP aims to improve the enabling environment for investment and employment creation in Sierra Leone through its support to government in formulating and implementing development strategies and policies. In providing technical advice and capacity and institution building assistance, UNDP seeks to foster pro-poor growth through greater meaningful employment and livelihood opportunities for the marginalized and most vulnerable segments of society, particularly youth and women. UNDP also supports the redistribution of national wealth through effective social protection initiatives.
UNDP’s poverty reduction work has evolved in a comprehensive programme focusing on:
- Better planning and resource management for improved aid coordination and effectiveness
- The expansion of employment opportunities, particularly for youth, by addressing gaps in policies that hinder youth employment and providing a package of services to boost employability and business development
- The transformation of the agricultural value chain to attract youth entrepreneurs in urban and rural communities and create greater employment opportunities nationwide
- The scaling-up of Private Sector Development and Public-Private Partnerships to maximize the employment potential of key growth sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing and fisheries
- Building the capacity of local government to promote pro-poor economic activities and initiate private-public investment in key productive sectors
- Supporting the implementation of the Financial Sector Development Plan with a specific focus on enhanced access to financial services offered by microfinance institutions and community banks, as well as enhancing the policy analysis ability of the Bank of Sierra Leone.
UNDP also provides advisory support to the Government of Sierra Leone, feeding into a detailed policy dialogue as part of the overarching process of development planning. Apart from critical support to the preparation of the National Recovery Strategy (2003-2005) as well as both the first (2005-2007) and second (2008-2012) Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), UNDP provides analysis of emerging issues such as mitigating the impact of the global financial crisis and managing the inflow of foreign remittances.
Currently, UNDP is providing technical assistance to the Government in its formulation of the third-generation Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, the Agenda for Prosperity. The Paper covers 2013-2017 and marks the beginning of major transformative development strategies and policies that will support the realization of the country’s vision of being a Middle-Income Country within the next 25 years and net lender within 50 years. The preparation of the third PRSP involves a comprehensive consultative process with a view to ensuring widespread ownership of the final strategy in support of its successful implementation and the achievement of national development priorities for human development.
UNDP Sierra Leone also promotes human development by building national capacities to monitor progress towards the achievement of the MDGs in Sierra Leone through the production of flagship knowledge products such as the National Human Development Report and MDGs Progress Report in partnership with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and Statistics Sierra Leone.
- National Youth Commission established and functionally equipped to play a coordinating role in strategic planning and policy development on national youth employment and empowerment interventions
- The income-generating ability of 10,299 youth beneficiaries increased on average by more than 197 percent, accompanied by improved family food security and education status
- Career Advisory and Placement Service Centres established at Njala University and the University of Sierra Leone, improving the employability potential of 100 university graduates through internship programmes with the public service, Civil Society Organizations and international institutions
- The 2010 MDG Report was successfully launched by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in 2011 and support was provided to Statistics Sierra Leone for improved MDG data collection practices
- The capacity of the Development Aid Coordinating Office (DACO) has been improved to more effectively monitor and report on aid, enabling more informed decision making by Government in the budget allocation process and a stronger lead by Government taken in the coordination of aid at the national, district and sectoral level and in dialogues around aid effectiveness such as the Collaborative African Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI), the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) and the International Dialogue on Peace Building and State Building.