The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday (29th June 2016) kicked-off a two day training on ‘creation of stronger Monitoring and Evaluation Systems for the Monitoring of Government of Sierra Leone Projects.’
The training which is funded (25.000 Euros) by the European Union (EU) is taking place at Santano House, Freetown and featured Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E) officers in Local and District Councils, ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), civil society activists, community leaders, representatives of Integrity Management Committees, youth representatives and journalists.
The first day however, focused on the theoretical approach to M & E and an interactive session in which the many participants forwarded questions to the facilitator, Abraham Turay, M & E Consultant.
Koloneh Sankoh, Director of Public Education and Outreach ACC in a statement on behalf of the ACC Commissioner (who was unavoidably absent on a regional Pay No Bribe Campaign tour in the province) said that the training is part of the broader program title ‘supporting the mainstreaming of the Anti Corruption measures in the civil service.’
According to the ACC, “ the two day session that we are having here is another way in which we are approaching corruption,” adding that a lot of projects being undertaken by the Government of sierra Leone are fraught with the problem of corruption.
“We want to create a system wherein you have increased monitoring of Government of Sierra Leone projects across the country; this is an activity that is sponsored by the EU on the bigger project of ‘supporting the mainstreaming of the Anti Corruption measures in the Civil Service,” Madam Sankoh disclosed, highlighting that the ACC has the mandate to take all necessary measures for the prevention of corruption and this is one of the approaches that is being used.
Koloneh said: “when you have somebody monitoring, it means that you are making demands for accountability, and for somebody to be accountable it means that person has to be open or transparent. We have the objective of increasing accountability and transparency in the delivery of Government of Sierra Leone projects.”
It is the view of the ACC that at the end of the training, the participants like in other places in the provinces (North, South, and East) and now Western Area Urban and Rural will come out with an action plan.
“This is like a very simple template that anyone can use to monitor a project.
Theses bodies that are being formed would be coordinating and networking whether they have issues or ideas to share. This two day training is just the beginning. We expecting that once we have that working we will have increased monitoring,” Madam Sankoh said.
Apparently, the project is said to have received an EU funding in the tune of twenty five thousand Euros, implemented by both the Public Service Commission and the ACC.
The ACC officials however urged participants from especially the CSOs and Media to take stock of their critical roles in the monitoring of projects and activities of the Government.
“The Media also has a central role to play because they give out the information whether it is bad or good, or about where corrupt activities have or is taking place, and we pay attention to what the Media says. Some of our investigations have emanated from what was reported in the Media.
Media practitioners are equally important but the everyday ordinary man is also important in the fight against corruption.
Therefore if you want to monitor what is happening especially in a Government of Sierra Leone project, you need to be informed, you need to know what to look for, you need to know how to monitor, you need to know how to report and that is the essence of this training,” Koloneh Sankoh told participants.
Apparently, the first day of the training captured the fundamentals of M & E, its importance, value for money, differences between price and cost and needs and wants, the need to have M & E officers and the M & E stages and processes and particularly zeroed in on project indicators.
However, the training ended today, and one participant said with just the first day, ‘their swords have been sharpened to do efficient M & E.’