BudgiT Team Sierra Leone, led by Alhassan Sesay and Daniel Conteh, upon an invitation from the Open Government Partnership (OGP), attended a steering committee meeting hosted by the Anti-Corruption Office in Freetown on February 9, 2023.
The meeting brought together civil groups to identify critical challenges in implementing the Open Government Partnership National Action Plan commitments. To understand and encourage participation and collective responsibility, and to create ownership of all open government reforms in the country. Since the current National Action Plan 4 ends in June 2023, the OGP team brought together state and non-state actors to examine how well the current plan works and get their ideas for the next National Action Plan 5.
In his welcome statement, the Commissioner of ACC, Francis Ben Kaifala, Esq., assured the steering committee members that the ACC values openness, stating that “the bedrock of accountability is openness and accessibility,” which he noted are the tenets of OGP.
Mr. Kaifala also noted that the ACC has incorporated what the OGP wishes to achieve through citizens’ engagement and access to information; “at the ACC, we have always worked with institutions geared towards this and improving our ability to serve the people of Sierra Leone.”
The BudgIT SL team brought back the Health Sector Accountability (HSA) research and asked that it be included in the new National Action Plan (NAP-5) to improve health outcomes and deal with major problems in Sierra Leone’s healthcare system. The Health Sector Accountability (HSA) research is a comprehensive document that includes input from citizens, healthcare workers, civil society groups, and government officials. It looked at the state of healthcare delivery, the levels of government responsibility (management, funding, and policy), how accountability works, and the roles of health sector stakeholders. We also looked at the political, bureaucratic, and political-economic barriers and the level of corruption in health sector governance in this report.
The HSA research gives suggestions for improving the country’s health systems and examples of actions civil society organizations can take. BudgIT believes the HSA is a critical tool to enhance transparency and accountability in the health sector, and we strongly suggest that it be added to the National Action Plan 5.