Mainstreaming the Right to Food into sub-national plans and strategies
©Sebastian Liste/NOOR for FAO

Sierra Leone

In Sierra Leone, the decentralization process suffers from weak governance, institutional capacity and technical knowledge of district and ward officials. This is true also in the formulation of district plans and budgets in general and where there is concern for integrating food security and nutrition in these plans-. Another bottleneck is the difficulty of harmonizing interventions by development partners, NGOs and CBOs in a district. Lastly, civil society cannot play the active role foreseen by formulators of -Decentralization Policy mainly –because of- low rate of literacy and civic education. This leads to low participatory development at the district level and low appreciation of basic rights.

The project developed capacity of government officials at district and ward level by providing training on technical and non-technical skills as well as accompanying selected districts in at least two circles of district development formulation. Recognizing the difficulty to raise sufficient funds to finance the district plan, the project supported district -government in marketing these plans and raising- local funds. With our partners Mocada (an Action Aid affiliate) and the Coalition of Civil Society and Human Right Activists, the project empowered civil society to participate in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of development plans at district and ward level. The project prepared simple tools to monitor the implementation of plans and execution of budgets and hold government accountable. Capacity development was adapted to the absorption capacity of local communities. The focus of the project was on the districts of Kambia and Moyamba; but avenues were sought to reach all ten districts of the country and share the lessons learnt from- the two pilot districts.