Sierra Leone’s Parliament jointly tops the 2022 open parliament index on public accountability in West Africa
The Parliament of Sierra Leone is part of the West African nation Open Government Partnership (OGP) process through its open parliament commitment. This commitment helps the institution to become more open and transparent to its citizens and effectively collaborate with other actors. WFD has been partnering with the Parliament of Sierra Leone to strengthen its capacity in different areas around the Open Government Parliament. The institution’s efforts to promote openness, accountability, and participation were recognised in the maiden Africa Open Parliament Index (OPI) report, as the institution ranked among the top in West Africa.
Let me hasten to thank you and WFD for the ongoing support in promoting parliamentary openness. We are impressed with the international recognition we have been receiving so far. Thanks so much for being part of the team for such amazing progress."
- Mohamed A. Jalloh, Director of Center for Strategy and Parliamentary Studies in the Sierra Leone House of Parliament.
Mr. Jalloh’s statement came after the Parliament of Sierra Leone was ranked jointly top, alongside Cape Verde, under the public accountability indicator of the 2022 open parliament index for West Africa. The index, conducted by Parliamentary Network Africa, saw both countries score 15.68% out of a total score of 30% ahead of Ghana and Nigeria.
The Sierra Leone Parliament was also ranked among the top five parliaments in the other two indicators of the open parliament index: civic participation and transparency. The institution was third with a score of 20.42% on the civic participation score sheet and fifth on the transparency score sheet with 21.88% – each constituting 35% of the total score. Altogether, the Sierra Leone Parliament was ranked the third best in West Africa when it comes to the open parliament commitment with a score of 59.97%. Ghana and Cape Verde led the top two rankings with a score of 63.03% and 61.86% respectively.
In a meeting held in Freetown, Alusine Diamond-Suma – WFD’s Country Representative – presented the OGP index to key parliamentary heads including the Clerk of Parliament. In the Well of Parliament, the Speaker, Dr. Abass Bundu, recognized the efforts of all partners, commended the OPI ranking, and assured Sierra Leone would take the first position in the next report.
Sierra Leone and the Open Government Partnership
Sierra Leone has been an Open Government Partnership (OGP) member since 2013. The OGP process supports governance reforms geared towards transparency, accountability, and openness which makes use of technology to strengthen governance and improve citizens engagement. The Sierra Leone Parliament, with support from WFD and other civil society partners, has been working to help make the Sierra Leone legislative system more efficient, transparent, and accountable to its citizens. The OGP process provides a unique platform where government and civil society co-create with each other using deliberate negotiation and mediation to address these issues.
WFD provided support that transformed capacity building in different areas around OGP, openness, and transparency knowledge. This was through developing an OGP manual, providing technical support for the OGP steering committee, and conducting media programs for the popularization of the OGP process. WFD also partnered with the Sierra Leone Parliament in developing and unveiling the institution’s service charter. Additionally: in facilitating study tours for knowledge exchange between the Sierra Leone OGP parliamentary working group and other OGP practitioners, livestreaming parliamentary sittings, development of the Sierra Leone Parliament App, Citizens Accessibility Data, and Parliament Open Day in 2019 and 2022.
With the commitment of the Parliament of Sierra Leone on OGP, a significant milestone of 82% achievement in the National Action Plan III (NAP3) was reached. As a result, the parliament has renewed its efforts to parliamentary openness, transparency, and accountability in the new National Action Plan IV (NAP4).