Inclusion of young people ‘triggers ownership and participation’

SABI youth accountability volunteers

Close to 2,000 youth data collectors, recruited and organised by SABI partner Restless Development, have collected vital data from 594 communities, in 80 wards and 40 chiefdoms across Sierra Leone.

The information gathered provides ‘credible and verifiable data on the accessibility, use and quality of service delivery’ and the progress of post-Ebola recovery plans.

Restless Development revealed the achievement while giving an update at a workshop of SABI consortium members and implementing partners held in Freetown.

A Restless Development youth accountability volunteer using a smart phone to complete a citizen perception questionnaire with a resident in a rural community near Port Loko.

Up to July 2017, Restless also:

  • Held focus group discussions with citizens and frontline service providers to devise the questions to include in the data collection tool.
  • Recruited and trained 122 youth accountability volunteers (YAVs), including 46 young women.
  • Overseen the collection of 45,102 citizen perception surveys.
  • Established partnerships with national and district youth councils.

But there have also been challenges, including gaining access to some target communities, a hike in secret society activities in many communities, and the reticence of some ministries to collaborate, due to them thinking SABI is monitoring them.


‘The inclusion of young people in programme delivery triggers community ownership and accelerates participation. Communities desire better service delivery and are willing to support its attainment.'
Prince Kenneh, Restless Development, Sierra Leone

He added that coordination among SABI project partners was enhancing effective delivery of the programme.

Going forward, Restless Development will be providing feedback on the citizen perception data collected to stakeholders and communities and generating evidence-based action plans. YAV monthly team meetings will be organised at district level, while the current group of YAVs will end their stint with SABI and receive a debrief and certificate.

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