September 8, 2015
Answers to some of the questions and concerns raised by partners before and during the review of the Institute of Governance Reform (IGR) 2015-2019 Strategic Plan:
- How do you want to be perceived by the current government?
We want government agencies to see IGR as a critical friend. We are committed to supporting the current government to deliver results to Sierra Leone. Thus, we want government to value the role of a critical voice in making change happen.
- The scope of the programmes in the IGR strategic plan is too narrow and might not fit into the work programmes of some partners.
This is very true. While we might be able to expand in some areas that correspond to our mission, we do not have resources to be everything to everybody. We want to be identified with and measured for the delivery of key results that align with our core mission.
- IGR’s haste to release timely reports to inform policy conversations affects the quality of analysis.
IGR is developing a competent cadre of local policy research personnel and emphasizes rigorous research methods and analysis. We ensure that stakeholders are engaged and provided with opportunities to review, validate and/or question our findings. However, IGR has no control over the ways in which stakeholders publicly report our engagement with them, including any misrepresentation of this engagement.
- How do you access funding for your programme? Are you funded by interest groups?
IGR is mainly funded through consulting services provided to various agencies. We have also received funding from successful grant proposals. IGR does not receive funding from any interest group.
- Some partners feel they can respond better if IGR engages them quietly, rather than in the public eye.
IGR is developing MOUs with its partners to define the rules of engagement and expectations.
- IGR appears to be affiliated with the opposition.
This statement is not correct. IGR’s principal concern is uncovering issues that harm the people of Sierra Leone and prevent resource management and good governance. To this end, our reports so far have covered diverse interest groups and include problems both within the opposition as well as government agencies. However, our goal is public accountability. Since state institutions manage public resources, our analysis is many times directed at the state and not the governing party. IGR encourages every citizen to be active in promoting accountability.
- Your activities are more limited to Freetown and not the regions.
IGR activities have national impact. Although we do not have a physical presence in the regions at the moment, our activities and publications cover areas outside Freetown depending on the research topic.
- Is IGR staffing regionally and ethnically diverse?
Diversity is a key policy in IGR recruitment for both permanent and temporary positions. This diversity increases our ease of data collection nationally and enriches our analysis by bringing different viewpoints to the table. Our composition reflects the different regions of the country. We also respect gender balance, and forty percent of our staff are women.
- Some CSOs have criticised IGR’s reports.
We are committed to developing a culture of debate and so we accommodate any evidence-based comments that will enrich policy dialogue in Sierra Leone.