March 6, 2018 By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
The Institute for Governance Reform (IGR) has on Saturday, 3rd March, launched the Sierra Lone presimeter (Salonedecide.com) -a website that would serve as a platform where ordinary citizens, organisations, and civil society institutions could access information such as promises of the key three political parties and their manifestoes, coupled with a whole lot of resource materials for elections day and post-elections day.
The launch took place at the Sensi Tech Hub, Aberdeen in Freetown.
Speaking during the launch, Executive Director of IGR, Andrew Lavalie, said they established the website so that citizens could know what politicians would be doing when they are in governance.
Lavalie noted that the country had experienced years of failure simply because people have not been able to take politicians to account on the responsibility bestowed upon them.
“What we are doing here is to see how Sierra Leone can have a one stop-shop that could serve as an information Centre not just for elections, but also post elections,” Lavalie said.
The IGR boss said salonedecide.com would be focusing on three political parties -APC, SLPP, and NGC – and their manifesto and promises in the areas of health, education and governance.
“It is important that any time you want to see information of that nature, you have a place to go and by tomorrow it will be provided for you,” Lavalie said.
He revealed they would be working in partnership with NGO’s and civil society organisations to see how they could put out information together to enable users have a one-stop shop for information, adding that IGR would be holding four town hall meetings in Bo, Makeni, and elsewhere on the promises made by political parties leaders.
Also speaking was the Open Society Initiative (OSIWA) Country Director, Joe Pemagbi, who congratulated IGR and Sensi Hub for the Sierra Leone presimeter launch, adding that it was part of their organisation’s elections project in the country.
He said the promise tracking initiative had been implemented in Nigeria, Benin and Guinea as part of OSIWA’s initiative.
“Citizens should be brought in front to confront dialogue. Let’s start the constructive dialogue. We are partners in this development,” said Mr. Pemagbi, adding that citizens have a right to ask and hope that the platforms would create huge impact.
The OSIWA boss said they’re supporting the National Electoral Commission (NEC) on civic education, in partnership with Action AID and Artists For Peace.
He said they were also working with the Sierra Leone Police for a free, fair and credible election.
Morris Marah from Sensi Hub, whilst doing a presentation of Sierra Leone decides platform, said the platform was divided into three main groups – the web, social media and mobile platforms and web platforms.
Marah said that the www.sierraleoendecides.com is a platform where presidential candidates, their profiles and manifestos amongst others, could be found and that citizens and civil society organisations could use it as rich source of information.
“There is also an incidents-sierraleonedecide.com that displays incidents reported via our mobile platforms in real time on a map,” he said, adding that there was also an SMS platform where citizens can report incident relating to elections in your environment,” said Marrah.
He said the Sierra Leone decide app would be on Google play store to report incidents, thus urging all Sierra Leoneans to monitor the elections and track the promises of candidates during and after the elections.
The Sierra Leone presimeter is supported with funds from CAFOD and OSIWA