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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

IRG, Oxfam launch 3rd SDI report on education & health

By Yusufu S. Bangura

With funding from World Bank’s Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA), Institute for Governance Reform (IGR) and Oxfam Sierra Leone have on Thursday,May 26, launched the 3rd Service Delivery Index (SDI) on education and health with the theme ‘Citizen’s Feedback on the State of Health and Education Services in Sierra Leone’.

The launching ceremony took place at the New Brookfield’s Hotel, Jomo Kenyatta Road in Freetown.

Giving brief understanding about GPSA, Programme Manager for GPSA, Jeff Thindwa from Malawai, thanked the Government of Sierra Leone and parliamentarians for giving citizens the priority to engage civil society and their partners, adding that they have set the standard for state and non-state actors to collaborate and  strengthen governance reforms.

He said it’s most important to improve on how they deliver services to citizens especially those who are poor, adding that they believe that citizens and civil society organisations need to be at the centre, with the effort of building the society because they contribute to national development.

“GPSA is working together with IRG and Oxfam to ensure that ordinary Sierra Leoneans see, understand, and support the government’s delivery of health and education in the country,” he said.

Doing his power point presentation on national and district levels, Executive Director for IGR, Andrew Lavali said the 2021 Service Delivery Index (SDI) was an initiative for Sierra Leoneans to monitor the allocation, delivery, and improvement in the quality of Sierra Leone’s public health and education services.

He said IGR produced the first SDI during the initial Ebola recovery period in 2015 and in 2020, a second SDI assessed on the progress made in rebuilding services since Ebola and provides a benchmark from which to assess delivery of human capital development under the administration of President Bio.

“The 2021 SDI builds on the work of the benchmark 2020 SDI, allowing for comparisons of annual change. It provides a basis for organizing citizens to have a more constructive collaboration with institutions and for greater advocacy around improved health and education,” he said.

Andrew Lavali said they performed extensive surveys across the 16 districts and 132 parliamentary constituencies in 2020 and 2021, adding that each year, they collected data from at least 3,960 households, 660 schools, and 264 peripheral health units using direct observations combined with respondent experiences and perceptions.

He said in the 2021 SDI, data was collected from five schools and two health centres in each constituency and that the data was supplemented with secondary data sourced from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary School Education.

He continued that during the survey they noticed that the education sector  increased from 67.5% in 2020 to 71.8% in 2021 and for the health sector it increased from 51.1% in 2020 to 54.2% in 2021.

He said in respect of education, the assessment indictors were learning outcomes, access to qualified teachers, school infrastructure, access to core textbooks, the effectiveness of radio teaching, covid-19 preparedness of schools, user satisfaction with school services and effectiveness of school management increases in 2021.

He said the health sector indicators ranging from access to drugs and free health care initiative treatment, wash facility, effectiveness of facility management committees, covid-19 preparedness among others, adding that the indicator has regressed since 2020, dropping from a score of 12.4% to 10.8% with a reduction of 8%.

During the panel discussions, representatives from the health and education sectors recalled that when they agreed as a ministry to launch so many reports on monitoring impact and quality input, they noticed that beneficiary feedback was where they were not strong so they needed the support of CSOs to sort the system.

The panelists noted that while they supplied health facilities across various places in the country, they hardly get feedback from the suppliers and the beneficiary as to whether the facilities have reached them or impacted their lives.

They said since there was already a government system in those areas, they were optimistic that the report would create improvement in the area of absenteeism of teachers in schools. They said the issue of human resources was also highlighted wherein hundreds of doctors were normally approved and recruited.

The panelists said by reducing the number, the report would guide them to see the need to reduce the intake of students in colleges, for fear of lack of standard professionals.

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