Inclusive and Accountable Politics
In 2019, the Sierra Leone Parliament adopted and launched the Bo Declaration – a commitment by members of parliament (MPs) to promote a smooth, effective, and efficient running legislature. This is by the MPs working in harmony irrespective of political affiliation, promoting genuine and sincere consultations, respecting parliamentary procedures, depoliticising the administration of the parliament, and engaging broadly with political parties and other stakeholders on parliamentary decision-making processes.
The Sierra Leone Parliament is also committed to become a more open and transparent institution to all citizens. The open parliament commitment is part of the eight commitments of Sierra Leone’s third National Action Plan (NAP III) under the Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative. Sierra Leone became an OGP member in 2013.
Parliaments are fundamental institutions of democratic governance. To support the Parliament of Sierra Leone in smoothly and efficiently performing its functions, WFD is leading the facilitation process of the re-commitment to the principles of the Bo Declaration. The FCDO– funded Inclusive and Accountable Politics (IAP) programme aims to rebuild commitment for positive and non-combative parliamentary processes and party dialogue. The IAP programme is also focused on building on the success of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). To do this, WFD provides technical support to the Parliament of Sierra Leone Staff, OGP Steering Committee Partners, MPs, and Citizens through civil society organisations (CSOs) partners.
As democratic representatives of the people, parliaments have the key responsibility of examining policies and their impact on citizens. In July 2020, WFD launched a project focused on supporting the Parliament of Sierra Leone by improving its access to crucial gender–sensitive data during the COVID-19 pandemic. This data helped inform MPs’ inputs in parliamentary debates, oversight, and law-making processes that focus on the effect of COVID-19 on vulnerable groups such as women and girls. This is in addition to holding the Government to account on its COVID-19 response. The project was funded by the British High Commission in Sierra Leone.
Parliaments and local governments are essential for effective, inclusive democratic governance. Through funding from the Commonwealth Partnership for Democracy (CP4D), WFD focused on advancing disability rights in Sierra Leone. The programme supported PWDs in the country in advancing disability issues in Parliament and local councils after the 2018 elections. It targeted the Sierra Leone Parliament to demonstrate leadership in taking concrete steps to raise awareness and integrate disability friendly policy within its operations. WFD also collaborated and supported disability coordination within the Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs, the Freetown City Council, and the Sierra Leone Union on Disability Issues (SLUDI).
First National Agenda for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the electoral and political process launched involving community groups, political parties, and institutions.
Stronger disability coordination mechanisms in three institutions (Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender & Children Affairs, Freetown City Council, and SLUDI.)
WFD has been recognised to serve as a National Steering Committee Member in open government partnership (OGP) in Sierra Leone
First consensus building framework for political parties’ involvement (Bo Declaration) launched and tabled in parliament for the inclusion of MPs in decision making irrespective of their political affiliations
WFD supported Parliament Open Day where both the Speaker and Clerk of Parliament presented their annual report (performance and financial) to citizens
WFD hosted the first OGP hybrid summit that brought together legislations to share best practices and corporation on openness and transparency
Address: Parliament Building OAU Drive, Tower Hill