Partners assess UNDP’s contribution to development results
Freetown, July 8th 2014: UNDP national partners including representatives from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED), Solicitor-General’s Office, Sierra Leone’s Judiciary, Public Private Partnership Unit (Office of the President), National Electoral Commission (NEC), Environmental Agency, National Youth Commission (NAYCOM) as well as representatives from various civil society organizations including Campaign for Good Governance, Restless Development and Transparency International have met to validate findings on UNDP’s contributions to development results in Sierra Leone, last Tuesday July 8th in Freetown.
John Sumaila, Development Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED) said UNDP has been a strong pillar in supporting the Government’s development and economic transformation agenda with technical and development expertise.
Director of Independent Evaluation Office, Indran Naidoo said the Sierra Leone’s first Assessment of Development Results (SDR) will support UNDP’s accountability to national stakeholders, serve as a means of quality assurance for UNDP interventions in Sierra Leone and provide learning.
Said Naidoo “We are encouraged by the participation of many national stakeholders, including senior officials from government and representatives of civil society organizations, donors and development partners.”
Commissioner of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) Mr. Steven Aiah Mattia told the meeting that “UNDP has been the key driving force in making NEC a modern, responsive and effective elections management body. This is evidenced by the successful 2012 general elections.”
Mr. Mattia added “Perhaps UNDPs greatest contribution is supporting the legal reform aspect of our work that led to the promulgation of the Public Elections Act 2012.”
Clerk of Parliament, Ibrahim Sesay said that apart from helping set up a functioning website that has helped their interaction with the public, UNDP technical support to Sierra Leone Parliament also led to the establishment of a functioning Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), which he said “…has helped Parliament to be robust, modern and responsive.”
Anthony Koroma, Commissioner, National Youth Commission (NAYCOM) said “UNDP has been and continues to be the champion of the youths” adding “Without UNDP support the National Youth Commission would not have been functional today. It was your support that made us operational for other partners like World Bank to come in.”
The Consultant Master and Registrar of the Sierra Leone Judiciary, Madam Julia Sarkodie-Mensah reminded the audience of UNDP’s role that led to the passing of the Sexual Offences Act, support to the Saturday Courts and Mobile Courts that tremendously increased the level of prosecution of sexual and gender based violence cases especially in rural areas of the country.
However, other representatives highlighted issues and gaps that require UNDP attention in the future. Valnora Edwin, Director of Campaign for Good Governance, a leading national civil society organization questioned why UNDP is not engaging in the fight against corruption which “is a threat to development.” Hadijatou Jallow, Executive Chair of the Environmental Protection Agency after acknowledging UNDP role and as a “dependable and reliable partner” said UNDP is not doing much to address the issue of climate change which she said “threatens to reverse all our development gains that have been making over the years.”
Sudipto Mukerjee, UNDP Country Director responded to the issues and recommendations raised by the Independent Evaluation Office and the various partners saying “the evaluation came at a particularly important period of our restructuring and realignment of our programmes making it easy for us to incorporate the recommendation and conclusion.”
UNDP has had a presence in Sierra Leone since 1965, working in partnership with the Government of Sierra Leone, development partners, UN agencies, civil society and local communities, contributing to good governance, peace and sustainable development.
Communications Officer, UNDP Sierra Leone. Email: email@example.com; Tel+23278272315