CPS report published: a national resource promoting better development

A fundamental component of the SABI programme to date has been gathering evidence of Sierra Leoneans’ experiences of health, education and social protection services through a countrywide citizen perception survey.

Young volunteer data collectors, comprehensively trained by SABI partner Restless Development, worked in female-male pairs to collect data, using mobile phones. They collected data from 594 communities, 80 wards and 40 chiefdoms, covering all 14 districts of Sierra Leone. The survey contains more than 45,000  submissions.

The result is a unique, ground-breaking and historic dataset, unprecedented in scale and scope in Sierra Leone. The sheer quantity of data and the wide range of topics it covers are impressive – as is the fact that the information comes from the people who experience services every day.

This SABI Citizen Perception Survey Report is only a snapshot. A full report of the citizen perception survey, and all the data it generated, are available on the SABI website www.sabi-sl.org/community-data.

 

We hope that this data will be a genuine national resource, the go-to place for anyone who is implementing development activities in the health, education and social protection sectors in Sierra Leone.

We hope that this data will be a genuine national resource, the go-to place for anyone who is implementing development activities in the health, education and social protection sectors in Sierra Leone. If a district council wants to know how many children in Bonthe require text books or furniture for their classroom, SABI has that data. If a district level ministry wants to know how many young people in Port Loko are going to health centres for sexual and reproductive health services, that data is available.

We believe this data provides an opportunity for Sierra Leone: for the government, development partners and citizens alike. We hope people and organisations will trust the process, trust the data, use it, contribute to its further development, and make the most of this national resource.

The findings have been shared back with the 594 communities so that they can plan ways to address the problems they have identified, and put these plans into action. It has also been shared with frontline service providers, ward development committees, traditional leaders, district councils, district and national level ministries, departments and agencies, so these institutions can take the voice of citizens into account in their own development planning. The data informs and challenges these duty bearers, providing an indicator of citizens’ perceptions of their performance, and enabling them to do something about it.

The CPS data can be an anchor for meaningful discussions and effective work between citizens and the state to find solutions to issues around the provision of key services. In the past, public services in Sierra Leone have often been delivered through a system of patrimony and favour. With the SABI data to hand, service providers will  now be able to make decisions based on  real evidence.