CGG reports back on SABI successes and challenges so far

The Campaign for Good Governance (CGG) reported strong participation by women, young people and people with disabilities in its work with SABI.

The national civil society organisation, which delivered district level work in the Western Area of Sierra Leone, gave an update at a workshop of consortium members and implementing partners held in Freetown.

Up to July 2017, CGG organised open community meetings and policy literacy sessions, mapped frontline services, signed MOUs with councils, supported ward development committees and chiefdom leaderships to carry out capacity self-assessments and shared citizen perception data with service providers.

Key achievements included:

  • Uncovering the need for an improved health facility during initial meetings with community members in Gbendembu.
  • Playing a role in initiating the construction of much-needed water and sanitation facilities at a school in Newton.
  • Helping train the school management committee in Ward 357 and Jalloh Terrace to monitor schools and reduce dropouts.
  • Helping community people to consider and identify their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Strengthening relationships between SABI, community people, councillors and ministries, departments and agencies working in health and education.

‘Linking the project from communities and districts to national level advocacy has been very useful to the campaign effort,’ said Ibrahim Sesay of CGG.

However, there have also been challenges, including delays in the CGG team meeting state actors such as the Ministry of Local Government, and addressing the question of ‘what is in it for me’ among some stakeholders.

‘SABI is still relevant – [it is] an opportunity to bring real change within the system. Informal contacts have proved more useful than formal contacts. Trying to engage frontline service providers on a one-on-one basis and trying to get them to a meeting is hard.’
Ibrahim Sesay, CGG.

Singer at the SABI Sierra Leone launch event, at the British Council, Freetown, Sierra Leone, on 14 March 2017

Learning for CGG has included:

  • Working closely with communities and frontline service providers creates ownership which will help SABI to succeed.
  • Signing MOUs strengthened relationships with councils and councillors.
  • Working closely with other SABI partners helped identify challenges, opportunities and adaptive approaches, fostering effective delivery of the project.

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