October 1, 2020
In its bid to get the full participation of all stakeholders from all districts across Sierra Leone and develop a national Monitoring and Evaluation Policy, the National Monitoring and Evaluation Department(NaMED) in the Office of the President is embarking on a nation-wide consultative meeting with all stakeholders in all 16 Districts.
Each consultation is being held simultaneously across the country on various dates from the 28th September to the 6th October 2020, and will last for two days in each district. Present at the meeting in Makeni were Ministers, Resident Minster North, Mayor and Chairperson, Paramount Chiefs,
During the said consultation in Makeni, which commenced on the 28th – 29th September 2020,Deputy Director General of NaMED, Paul James Allen, gave a brief background on the need for the M&E and NaMED.
He explained that the New Direction Manifesto promised good governance, accountability, management of state resources and ensuring development is reflected in the lives of the people.
He furthered that these are being translated into the creation of various structures and systems including the National Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate, the strengthening of existing accountability mechanisms such as the ACC, Audit Service, Statistics Sierra Leone and the special flagship focus on human capital development and service delivery.
Paul Allen noted that one major challenge of capital budget management is weak monitoring and evaluation. Although there are monitoring units in the various MDAs, there is apparently no national monitoring system that links with the various MDAs and project units. More importantly, the disbursements on capital projects are not triggered by monitoring reports.
Speaking on the mandate of NaMED, the Deputy Director General said their overall mandate is to create an effective government-wide and national institutional framework to monitor and evaluate all Government and donor funded projects/programmes as well as the National Development Plan. NaMED, he went on, will focus on the essential elements of result-oriented monitoring and evaluation response to Government’s programmes, policies and projects for decision making, accountability, capacity building and learning. It will emphasize the strengthening of the role of the M&E function within the Government at national and local council levels. Adding that NaMED will be a two-way street-employing a bottom-up approach in accountability and monitoring from their local council level to the level of the MDAs and top-down supervision, coordination and advisory roles.
Speaking on the purpose of the engagement in Makeni, Paul Allen said that the consultation is being simultaneously held with participants from all 22 local councils across the five regions.
The consultations are being to educate stakeholders on three institutional documents including the National Monitoring and Evaluation Policy, Standard Operating Procedures/Manual, and Framework for Operationalizing the National Development Plan that have been developed and drafted by consultants in the last one year.
The consultations are both political and technical in nature-to have buy in and inputs from stakeholders to ensure ownership of the M&E system and technical – to have inputs from development and M&E expertise at the local and district levels.
“For the next two days we will expect frank and open discussions and inputs on the contents of these documents from participants, presenters and facilitators,” he said.
The success of NaMED and the system will depend on the involvement, participation, cooperation and commitment of all stakeholders, including government and local council officials, donors and development partners, CSOs, traditional leaders, CBOs and above all their willingness to utilize the M&E system and architecture that is being established.
In her brief statement, the Mayor of Makeni, Her Worship Madam Sunkarie Kamara, expressed happiness over the establishment of NaMED by the government, adding that it will provide the necessary accountability and transparency that everybody is yearning for. She further commended the government for engaging them in such laudable venture to get their own input into the development of the M&E Policy. She furthered that she will whole heartedly support the process.