September 2, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
In a bid to coordinate the activities of partners, ensure accountability and channel aid resources effectively, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation has developed a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with implementing partners.
The ministry yesterday signed the first set of SLAs with Concern Worldwide, Goal Ireland, Kings-SL Partnership, ACF and Cuamm at the Miatta Conference Hall in Freetown.
Speaking during the ceremony, Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah, described the SLA as both a strategy to safeguard donor funds and a ‘police man’ for the people’s resources.
He said if the SLA was effectively implemented, it would promote accountability, enable the government to know who is doing what activity, and in which part of the country, at what time, for how long and with how much funds.
“The SLA is not designed to reinvent the wheel but its principles are drawn from the international partnership pacts that we have all signed up to. It is all about value for money. The SLA has both an M & E framework as well as robust policing mechanism,” said Dr. Fofanah, adding that its guiding principles are country ownership, alignment, harmonisation, mutual accountability and managing results.
According to the Health Minister, despite significant investment in the health sector by both the government and development partners, they are still experiencing poor health outcome .
Dr. Fofanah said there was huge investment in the health sector over the years but that such was not translated into better health outcomes for the people, and called for the need to examine the ways of doing business.
“As we move away from the emergency response phase to the rebuilding phase, we expect to receive a lot more partners and support. While this is good in itself, but it places upon us the added burden of ensuring that our activities are well coordinated,” he noted.
He said that as the country moves into the recovery period, the biggest threat to success would not come from the lack of partners or resources, but the inability of ministries, departments and agencies to coordinate their activities with their partners.
Giving the overview of the SLA, Dr. Samuel A.S. Kargbo said it would enable the ministry to capture all projects into one database that could generate reports to inform decision making.
He continued that it would also help to improve the coordination of healthcare interventions at the district and lower levels in order to avoid duplication of efforts by partners.