Evidence and Knowledge Demonstrating How DADA-SL Built Connections Between Civil Society and Service Providers.

From January to December 2019, Democracy and Development Associates Sierra Leone – DADA-SL worked in two chiefdoms in Bombali District (Bombali Sebora and Gbendembu), to ensure effective revenue mobilization, transparency and accountability at the local level.

An important set of activities delivered by the project were dialogue forums, like community sensitization and stakeholder consultative meetings, conducted in both chiefdoms. These inclusive engagements enabled citizens and duty bearers to actively interface at the local level and obtained workable solutions that boosted revenue mobilization. It also served as a responsive platform where DADA-SL clearly defined roles and responsibilities of community people, and facilitated frank conversations to resolve disputes identified between duty bearers and citizens in Bombali Sebora and Gbendembu Chiefdoms.

These approaches were also undertaken to strengthen trust between stakeholders and their subjects. Community people used to see themselves as ‘’Oppressors ‘’, whiles duty bearers were perceived to be the ‘’Suppressors’’,

Barriers to effective revenue mobilization and community development existed in these chiefdoms due to lack of trust, exacerbated by poor administration of revenue funds, (especially local tax and market dues), weak transparency and accountability, lack of effective report and feedback mechanism, over domestic funds generated.

The lack of awareness and involvement of citizens in the revenue mobilization process, also added another layer of difficulty, which led to tax evasion and noncompliance issues.

But with the connections created by DADA-SL through these engagements, this is no longer the case.

DADA-SL used COM-B, which stands for Capacity, Opportunity and Motivation, to analyse the problems identified in Bombali Sebora and Gbendembu Chiefdoms and agreed on the appropriate solution going forward.

Using the SABI GESI strategy, DADA-SL conducted peace building and awareness raising events with citizens and duty bearers at community, chiefdom and District levels. This activity cemented the relationships between stakeholders and citizens around the mobilisation of local revenue and inspired communities to work together, based on gender equality and social inclusion.

The outcomes were as follow:

  • Existing conflicts and differences between communities, chiefdoms and districts administrations resolved, and effective collaborations built.
  • Clearly defined roles and responsibilities were developed for stakeholders and citizens in domestic revenue mobilisation, especially local tax and market dues collection.
  • Increased motivation and compliance on local tax payment, collection and administration.
  • Created platforms for more healthier interaction between citizens and duty bearers on revenue affairs and reporting, shared best practices on transparency and Accountability on the use of tax funds at the various levels.
  • Worked alongside duty bearers and community people/citizens in implementing project activities, thus created a wider room for building ownership and sustainability.
  • The use of peacebuilding initiatives and right base approach in local revenue mobilization, enabled DAD-SL to change the narrative perception and behaviors of citizens, and increased active participation.
  • The effective use of GESI tool promoted participatory and sustainable peace in communities.

At DADA-SL we thank SABI for improving our capacity to build sustainable connections.