At this stage of Sierra Leone’s post-conflict transition, it is crucial to improve governance and the political participation of empowered citizens in order to secure durable peace and stability. Our project, funded by DFID, strengthened the oversight of the national government and created new mechanisms to keep administrations accountable.
We strengthened the capacity of national actors to organize credible elections in 2012 and manage an inclusive electoral cycle, while increasing trust and knowledge among citizens – particularly the most vulnerable – of their role in the process. To reach these results, we employed a variety of tools, including: the restructuring of district teams; the convening of regional and national meetings between Electoral Management and Electoral Observation groups; the deployment of 236 observers during 2013’s by-elections; raising awareness through media on the need to participate in the population census, because of its implications on electoral constituencies; produced Uman for Uman, a program on gender issues that looked at the political inclusion of women and supported increased quotas for women.
The project resulted in the development of recommendations forwarded to the Constitutional Review Committee in preparation for the 2016/2017 electoral period; increased political participation of civil society actors; and the establishment of a Police Accountability Consortium that is advocating for the inclusion of civil society organizations in the Independent Police Board.
Our work to empower citizens and support their participation to the democratic process in Sierra Leone continues today.