The Institute for Governance Reform (IGR) past Thursday presented its 4-year Strategic Plan (2016-2019) to partners at a review meeting held at Lac Villa Hotel on Cantonment Road in Freetown where the Executive Director together with his Director of Policy and Research made a succinct power-point presentation explaining the Strategic Plan.
The Strategic Plan explains how the organization plans to support and work with its partners to be more effective in achieving their mutual goals of enhancing democracy and promoting effective public financial management and institutional change in Sierra Leone.
The Chairperson of IGR’s Board, Memunatu Pratt, informed that the Institute for Governance Reform was launched some years ago at the British Council Hall. She described IGR as an independent and professional institution though critical and also a Think-Tank institution that looks at policy reform and analysis that could inform report of good governance.
Madam Memunatu Pratt encouraged her audience who were mainly IGR partners to look at IGR as an institution that brings home constructive criticism for the betterment of Sierra Leone.
IGR is here to stay, she said, entreating other think-tank institutions to establish. “We need to develop the critical mindset to develop issues and in the process we all learn”.
She thanked all the institutions that have been working with IGR and those who had expressed interest in working with them. She challenged them that IGR would want to see their work stand the test of time and compete with other institutions globally.
After the official opening courtesies, IGR’s Executive Director, Andrew Lavali, and the Director of Policy and Research, Fredlyn McCormack, made a detailed power-point presentation of the Strategic Plan, highlighting the three focus areas - economic governance, democratic governance, and monitoring post-Ebola transition and recovery investments in the country.
Mr. Lavali told the gathering that the three focus areas have key objectives and activities which are time-bound, thus encouraging partners to have a critical look at the activities and see how they could contribute to ensuring they are actualized. He called for suggestions that could help enrich the process of implementing the plan.
In the area of economic governance, the Executive Director revealed plans to develop local capacity for economic policy research, produce analytical papers on government’s economic decisions and investments, as well as programmes that will be minimizing revenue loss and increasing efficiency.
IGR’s plan of activities and a number of seminars will be organized by IGR on each of the thematic areas. The team further explained the key objective of the democratic governance area, which they said is to promote electoral integrity.
The IGR team intends to use lessons learnt from the Ebola epidemic to better inform the recovery process.
Partners had the opportunity to ask questions, seek clarifications and make suggestions, which the IGR Executive Director promised will be carefully looked at and incorporated into the plan where necessary.
Strategic Plan 2016-2016
Theme: SECURING THE NEXT GENERATION
For nearly two years, the Institute for Governance Reform, (IGR) has produced high quality research reports and analytical papers that are broadening the parameters of public debates on democracy, institutional change and public financial management in Sierra Leone. In this Strategic Plan for 2016–2019, we present a vision that describes how we will work with our partners to be even more effective in achieving this aim.
Our decision to develop a four-year Plan reflects our long-term view of working with citizen groups and government agencies to shift the focus from short-term electoral and macroeconomic outcomes to advancing policies and programs that will protect and secure the next generation. Strengthening citizen’s oversight of the economy and consolidating democracy are critical investments for the wealth and stability of our next generation of Sierra Leoneans especially the women and girls and the youth.
We know there are successes: Sierra Leone is improving its road infrastructure, rebuilding health systems after Ebola, improving its energy sector, creating greater access to clean water and opening community banks in rural areas. However, investments in governance have not translated into greater socio-economic resilience. This is particularly evident among women, children, youth, and citizens in remote communities which bear the brunt of poverty and exclusion. Persistent failures of the mining companies, weak public accountability and poor health and education services highlight the need for building effective governance institutions and bringing citizen pressure to bear on reforms.
In the last two years, we have introduced new approaches to evidence-based advocacy and have influenced major policies to support effective economic planning and democratic competition in Sierra Leone. We are building on the investments made in civil society strengthening since the end of the war and now believe that Sierra Leone is at a stage to reap the rewards of reforms by having a stronger citizenry advocating for improved living conditions and accountable governance. Donors and government alone cannot address Sierra Leone’s socio-economic failures; it requires the active role of citizens demanding openness of economic and political governance institutions to help secure a better future for themselves.
Looking ahead, we identify three major challenges for our country. How can we use free, fair and open elections to manage diversity? How can Sierra Leone learn from its past and make post-Ebola recovery projects contribute to real transformation in the delivery of basic services? How can citizen demand for greater public financial accountability translate into improved services and building a cohesive state? In each of these challenges, IGR sees many important research questions and programming opportunities.
We recognise that making these changes is enormous and complex. We will work with our partners in key institutions within and outside government over the next four years in pursuing the desired changes.
This Plan for the next four years provides the basis on which we will develop our resource mobilization strategy, outlines our approach to assessing progress toward our goals and sets out a platform for our engagement with partners. We call on government and all stakeholders to join IGR in our objective of securing the interests of the next generation.
Chair Executive Director
Strategic Focus Areas
1.Improving economic governance: Promoting public sector accountability, economic literacy and advocacy for reforms in the public and private sectors.
2. Strengthening Political governance: Supporting free and fair elections and credible population and local planning process.
3.Monitoring post Ebola transition and recovery investments: strengthening systems for delivery of health and education services.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.