From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, ENCISS Updates Stakeholders and Partners on its Activities
By Augustine Samba
Jul 30, 2010, 17:08

A Non- Governmental Organisation working with communities to feel part of governance in Sierra Leone, Enhancing the Interaction and Interface between Civil Society and the State (ENCISS) on Thursday 29th July 2010 held a one day Partnership Forum that attracted over forty participants at the Hill Valley Hotel, Signal Hill in Freetown to update stakeholders and existing partners on activities undertaken by the organization since 2008.


In his opening remarks, Dr. Ramada Dumbuya of Strategic and Policy Planning Unit in the Office of the President who chaired the occasion informed participants that the essence of the exercise was to help the people of Sierra Leone know how far ENCISS had gone with creating social contacts between the People and their government, and as in his words how government is now informing its people through the Agenda for Change and creating a Social contact. He said it is a world of social contract where one has to be accountable to another.  If anyone fails to perform as demanded by the Social contract, others will bring them to book, he said.

Director ENCISS, Mr. Cummings, Dr.Ramadan Dumbuya and CARE Rep at the high table

 

He in that vein thanked ENCISS for their good job and asked all participants to speak freely and fairly at the Forum.

 

In a brief retrospect, ENCISS Governance coordinator Jemillatu Kpakra-Massally said since 2005, their organization has been working tirelessly with partners and other stakeholders, including local communities to see that efforts by government and the community in building a post war society were implemented and realized by the beneficiary communities. She said ENCISS has been working closely with local authorities to undertaking series of activities for the development of those localities. Our activities and interface programmes are more in the Bombali, Bonthe, Western Rural and Koinadugu Districts. We work with CSOs and Councils in our various operational areas and we have achieved many goals, she stated.

Participants at round table forum 100_4084

 

Giving an update of ENCISS policy and Programme, the Director Policy and Programme, Mr. Samuel Mokuwa said they have always partnered with other CSOs to work on modalities that would fast track and facilitate development. such involvements have been in many ways such as our immense contribution in influencing government to enact the Youth Commission Act in 2009, and always using the PRSP-11 as gender analysis format to empower women to have control over productive assists including lands, resources especial in the public and private health systems and also help develop legislature that would help them, he said, adding that over the years also they have encouraged other CSOs to implement the PRSP-11. He informed that all those activities have been going side by side with facilitating interactions between CSOs and local councils to share information on issues pertaining to developmental plans for the vulnerable and the marginalized in operational areas.

ENCISS Governance Coordinator giving an overwiev of forum


The Policy Director also made known to participants how ENCISS has also been able to create a more appropriate justice system in customary laws and practices, and gender based violence as according to him women have been encouraged to stand up and speak against those acts, adding that their activities encompasses advocating for the rights of women, monitoring the Free Health Care, School managements and making community leaders to be accountable to their people with regards tax and other revenue issues. Their activities have created peace and harmony in many communities, he disclosed.

 

However, the director noted that those undertakings have not bee accomplished without challenges. Most of those challenges he stated were poor internal and external communications, though he hastened to say that something positive has been achieved in that direction;  the systematic planning and impact measurement and lack of information and systematic review progress on the PRSP-11 implementation from stakeholders.

 

In her own presentation Madam Anne Marie Bassie informed that ENCISS has given grants to may CSOs, CBOs and other partners including local councils to help implement their aims and objectives in order to achieve a better goal. 64% of our grants were used to fund capacity building while the remaining went to policy formulations and influencing peace building amongst others, she went on. As a transparent institution, she made clear to participants how ENCISS sources grants and how they are utilized as she said DFID and EU have always funded their projects.  She disclosed that the two donor bodies have scheduled another funding for the third phase of their operation for September 2010 to 2013.


The Director of Field  Operations, Mr. Ernest Cummings also disclosed to participants ENCISS has planned to expand to other areas in the country in addition to current operational areas in the country. According to him 8.4 million British Pounds will be provided by DFID and the EU who are recommending the expansion of their operations before 2010. He informed that justice, security and electoral sectors were going to be enhanced in their third phase.  He said for that they have already conducted a study in the Eastern Province to know in what community, district local council with whom they will be working.



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