Sierra Leone Telegraph: 12 March 2020:
Sierra Leone’s Deputy Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Robert Chakanda, yesterday launched Action Aid’s Sierra Leone Affiliate Programme (AASL-AP) 2020 Plan and Budget at the Hill Valley Hotel in Freetown.
The AASL-AP 2020 Plan and Budget is aimed at promoting the need to support accountability and transparency in Sierra Leone, and increases the organisation’s collaboration with key stakeholders to contribute towards improving the lives of citizens, through its programs that are delivered across the country.
Speaking at the launch, the Executive Director of AASL, Foday Bassie Swaray said that the sharing of plans and budgets is a core organizational requirement, in tandem with the organisation’s values to be more accountable and transparent to its right holders, donors, government, partners and other stakeholders.
He said the 2020 Plan and Budget will continue to contribute to national development strategies and local council development, strengthening the fight against poverty and inequality; and providing services in education, health, water and sanitation in Sierra Leone.
One of the community leaders at the Upton Bar Community in Allen Town, Sarah Samura said the AASL development program has been very helpful in addressing felt needs within the community.
She noted that several WASH activities are being delivered in the community to address sanitation, including the construction of several boreholes which address water scarcity in the community. She encouraged AASL to consider the community in its 2020 plan.
In his keynote address, the Deputy Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Robert Chakanda said that AASL’s approach towards open information – sharing its plans and budget, is not a new initiative, but one that is being done continuously and for which communities and government acclaim them for contributing towards good governance, which is integral to the country’s Medium Term National Development Plan (MTNDP 2019-2023).
He said, as a Ministry, they recognise AASL for aligning its Plans with the MTNDP (2019-2023); and the organisation’s belief in accountability has been a fundamental prerequisite for their operation in Sierra Leone.
Dr. Chakanda said the government is committed to working with NGOs in order to concertedly coordinate development interventions in the country.
Launching the Action Aid 2020 Plan & Budget on behalf of the Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Francis Kai-Kai and the government of Sierra Leone, Dr. Chakanda assured AASL of government’s continued support for their programs, especially in this ‘Year of Delivery’ as declared by president Bio.