President visits SABI stand at PRP closing event

SABI meets the President of Sierra Leone

His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma, President of Sierra Leone, was reportedly ‘very impressed’ and ‘engaged’ with SABI’s initial progress and findings and called on the programme to work with government to address the feedback received from communities around the country.

His Excellency visited the SABI exhibition stand at the recent Presidential Recovery Plans (PRP) closing event and spent several minutes in discussion with SABI Head of Programme Saiku Bah. The SABI team was also visited by key figures from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST), among others.

‘The President seemed very impressed and engaged with our approach and accepted our findings, saying that we would need to work to address the feedback,’ Mr Bah said after the event. ‘The other dignitaries also expressed a willingness for further engagement around the wider findings of our citizens perception survey.’

SABI has been working alongside, yet independently of, the Presidential Recovery Priorities, and will continue to support government plans as Sierra Leone transitions into the wider Agenda for Prosperity, the Government of Sierra Leone’s development plan.

The programme supports citizens to identify problems and work with state service providers to overcome challenges in service delivery. SABI builds relationships between citizens and state, encouraging both citizens and state service providers to fulfil their own responsibilities for social amenities.

The programme was invited to have a stand at the event on July 7 at the Bintumani conference hall, Freetown. The event was an opportunity to reflect positively on the PRP’s achievements, with ministers calling for work to continue in the improved and coordinated manner introduced by the team overseeing the PRPs.

At the stand, Mr Bah, SABI team leader Amanda Bangura, and Christian Aid Sierra Leone country manager Jeanne Kamara showcased some of the SABI data collected so far, including citizens’ perceptions on school feeding, classroom construction, cash transfers and health clinics.

Ms Bangura said: ‘We hope to continue to build a constructive and engaging relationship with the Government of Sierra Leone, so efforts made by communities to identify and overcome challenges they are facing at local level can be supported by critical national partners.

‘I would like to take this opportunity to recognise the incredible work that has been undertaken by those who have spearheaded this national data collection process – it is both innovative and useful within the Sierra Leonean context.’