SABI holds National Service Summit

SABI National Service Summit, December 2017

SABI National Service Summit, December 2017

SABI has held a National Service Summit to promote dialogue between citizens and state actors and move towards sustainable solutions for better service delivery in Sierra Leone.

The event, held on 6 December 2017, at the Bank Complex, Kingtom, Freetown, was a follow-up to the district service summits held in all 14 districts of the country and is part of wider efforts by SABI to strengthen community-led accountability and build relationships between service users and providers in the country.

The regional summits had attracted people from communities, local councils, District Health Management teams (DHMTs) and relevant MDAs at district level.

Citizen perception survey

At the national event – which brought together national level stakeholders and representatives from districts, chiefdoms and communities – SABI shared findings from its Citizens Perceptions Survey (CPS) including countrywide data, 40,000 submissions collected from 606 communities, 80 wards and 40 chiefdoms.

The CPS has collected people’s experiences of using basic public services – including health, education, social protection, water and energy. SABI partners have supported communities, ward, chiefdom and district level structures to develop action plans to tackle the issues identified in CPS data findings. At the event, some of these action plans were presented to national level stakeholders.

At the event were members of government departments, non-governmental organisations, media companies, Ward Development Committees, local councillors, paramount chiefs, youth leaders, women’s groups, civil society groups, international donor bodies and community representatives, such as Okada riders and secret societies.

Support from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development

A quick video of Mr Michael Samai, Acting Director of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), at the SABI National Service Summit in December 2017.

 

Reflections from the summit

SABI’s Head of Programme Saiku Bah said:

From hospitals and schools, to water and energy, improving our essential services is key to breaking the barriers to our development, unlocking our nation’s potential and creating an environment where people can thrive.

‘That is why we are excited to host this inaugural National Service Summit. It is a unique opportunity to hear the voices of women and men, young and old, about the issues that affect their lives.

‘We hope that, together, we can overcome the challenges identified in the Citizen Perception Surveys and take up our shared responsibility to work for the betterment of our society.’

Jeanne Kamara, Sierra Leone country manager for Christian Aid, which manages the SABI programme, said:

‘Lessons learnt from Sierra Leone’s Ebola crisis clearly underscore the integral role communities played in fighting to stop the outbreak.

‘It is with this recognition that SABI seeks to fill up the potential to make significant shifts in the role of citizens and responsiveness of the state for improved service delivery at all levels.’

Rachael Freeth, representative of SABI donor the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID), added:

‘Focusing on health, education, good roads, water and energy are very important for the development of Sierra Leone. What SABI is doing is critical and complementary.’

Dr Yakama Jones, on behalf of the Chief of Staff of the Government of Sierra Leone, said the programme complements government development plans and strengthens community ownership.