SABI hosts Ward Development Committee learning event

SABI Conducts a WDC Learning Event

Ward Development Committees (WDCs) are pivotal structures that SABI engages to help mobilise communities, create linkages with council and hold service providers accountable.

On Wednesday 27th February 2019, SABI conducted a Ward Development Committee (WDC) learning event, in Freetown, to identify the challenges facing WDCs, and potential solutions to improve their functioning.

SABI hosts a WDC learning event

The event was attended by the Development Planning Officers from council, Councilors, Representatives of WDCs, Paramount Chief Representatives, Line Ministries, Representatives of Disable Persons Organisations (DPO) and SABI partners.

During the event, practical sessions were delivered by SABI Team Leader Amanda Bangura and Head of Programmes Saiku Bah on the role of WDCs in accountable governance structures, including specific pathways that connects WDCs to other key stakeholders within the districts.

What works

Presentation and plenary discussion

The event created a learning platform where participants focused on what works, and shared realistic ideas to improve WDC pathways to accountable governance, including solutions to challenges faced in carrying out their responsibilities. Participant discussions were facilitated using the Capability, Opportunity and Motivation – COM -B approach.

Furthermore, the Programme Officer for the Free Quality School Education, Joseph Lamin, (attached the Ministry of Basic Senior Secondary Education – MBSSE), explained what the Free Quality School Education is all about, and clarified concerns regarding the list of materials supplied by government, and the categories of schools benefitting from the project.

Programme Officer for the Free Quality School Education, Joseph Lamin

He encouraged WDCs and Councilors to engage the appropriate pathways for school support, and report any malpractices identified.

“I think the learning event is a very good one. Bringing the ward development committee members together with stakeholders from council and line ministries, has increased our understanding of WDCs roles, and how our work complements each other” Joseph Lamin – Programme Officer for the Free Quality School Education.

 

SABI Accountability Governance Pathways Inspiring Change – Councilor Agnes Bangay

“SABI showed us the pathways to engage with chiefdom and district authorities to solve our problems, we used it and today we have a hospital quarter for our health staff. SABI has opened our eyes to development” Agnes Bangay – Councilor, ward 334, Timdale Chiefdom, Moyamba District.

SABI also presented the findings of the WDC needs assessments conducted in October 2018. Stakeholders at the event made useful suggestions on interventions that can strengthen WDCs, and sources of information/resources that could help implement these interventions.

“Our population was growing fast and we had no health center. SABI gave us the ideas on what to do. We worked with the pathways discussed here, now the Council and DHMT has agreed to build a health center in our community. With the intervention of SABI, we now understand the pathways to problem solving”. Ambrose Fabai – Paramount Chief Representative, ward 364, Kpanga Chiefdom, Pujehun District.

“SABI sensitized and encouraged my people to include disable persons in development. My people elected me to become a WDC member. Now I am part of the decision-making body in my community”. Brima Thoronka – President of Koinadugu union for the blind. WDC Member, Constituency 43, ward 145, Wara Bafodia Chiefdom, Koinaduu District.

Moving forward

SABI will use the information gathered from the event to inform learning, planning and policy position moving forward, to improve accountability, and build the relationship between service users and service providers.