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Presentation on theme: "1 STRATEGIC PLAN 2004 - 2007 ‘’MAN, MADE IN THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD’’."— Presentation transcript:


2 2 INTRODUCTION The Justice and Peace and Human Rights Commission is one of the commissions, established in 1994 by the Bishop of Makeni Diocese to ensure the promotion and protection of a popular Human rights culture for a just and equitable society for all. The JPHRC has focused on working with rural people to realize their rights, play an acute role in defining, advocating for and managing community development initiatives as well as influencing wider strategies and reforms. Since its inception in December 2003, the JPHRC has embarked on a lot of activities including the formation and strengthening of chiefdom Recovery committees, sensitisation of communities on the local district and town council elections, peace building and human rights, peace education and reconciliation and women’s participations in the decision making process and exercising their franchise.

3 3 With the establishment of the Catholic Radio Station, Radio Maria FM 101.1 the JPHRC now embarks on series of radio discussion programs to enable communities to understand their rights, know their duties and responsibilities in society in the development process. JPHRC is continuing with sensitising communities to participate and monitor the PRSP, local councils for Good Governance and research using the GPS/ GIS for publications on issues affecting the communities. The JPHRC also has Access to Justice for the poor component, which deals with sensitisation of communities on challenges to access justice and promoting effective legal advice and representation. The commission operates in the five districts (Bombali, Kambia, Koinadugu, Port Loko and Tonkolili) a total of 53 (fifty three) chiefdoms in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone.

4 4 VISION Justice and peace and Human Rights Commission, Diocese of Makeni, inspired by the Gospel and the Catholic Social Teachings aims at institutionalising the promotion and protection of a popular Human Rights culture for a just and equitable society for all.

5 5 MISSION STATEMENT The Catholic Justice and Peace and Human Rights Commission in the Diocese of Makeni, fully aware of the Human Rights situation in Sierra Leone, seeks to analyse and judge human rights issues through sustainable advocacy, lobbying, campaigning, awareness raising, sensitisation and networking in the bid to promoting respect for human rights and good governance.

6 6 OBJECTIVES. The primary objective of the Justice and Peace and Human Rights Commission is to help the people of Sierra Leone to engage in initiatives, which create conditions for peace by working to improve governance at the regional, district and chiefdom levels.  To enable youths, community leaders, women and other stakeholders to participate, monitor and evaluate the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) in the country.  To capacitate local chiefdom authorities, councillors, different civil society groups for participation in the local councils.  Using the lesson learnt from research and field experience to engage policy and promote publications on the local government and poverty reduction processes.

7 7 The assumption of the commission has been to improve governance at local level enabling local communities to participate in the Poverty Reduction Processes in the country which aims at addressing the causes of poverty in the country and improving the poor access to basic social services. Furthermore, building civil society’s capacities will strengthen local communities’ opportunities to manage resources and respond to local needs. In this way, JPHRC will help in the process of continued decentralisation and devolution of power and responsibilities of local communities. The JPHRC will also strengthen its research and analytical capacity in order to engage in policy decision-making processes in the country. The target beneficiaries will be the rural local communities, which include Local Councillors, Chiefdom Authorities, Community Based Organisations, Women, Youths and Religious Leaders.

8 8 SPECIFIC PROGRAMMES INTERVENTION / PROGRAMMES DEVELOPED – 2004 –2007. 1.Training of community animators to serve as peace agents in target communities in the Diocese of Makeni. 2.Community sensitisations in all the chiefdoms of the region on community participation in local decision making with reference to local Government Elections. 3.Organised workshop for traditional leaders on skills at Binkolo in the Safroko Limba Chiefdom – Bombali District. 4.Conducted advocacy on conflict resolution in chiefdoms of Kalasongoia and Safroko Limba in the Tonkolili and Bombali Districts respectively. 5.Monitored and observed the Local Government elections in the Northern region. 6.Organised a sensitisation campaign on the roles and responsibilities of paramount chiefs, District / Town Councillors and community members in the northern region.

9 9 7. Radio discussion programmes on Local Governance, women’s forum, the convention on the rights of the child and peace building issues were organised 8. Conducted a survey and focus group discussions with 5000 community members including Councillors, Paramount chiefs on the role and responsibilities of stakeholders with respect to local government / decentralisation in the Bombali District. 9. Seminars were organised to sensitise people on the DRP and IPRSP (District Recovery Programme and Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper) 10. Organised rallies in all the Headquarter towns of the Northern region on awareness raising on the rights and responsibilities of women and at the same time, encouraging the women to participate in local decision making process, especially the Local /government elections. 11. Network with other human rights organisations to address human rights issues in the northern region

10 10 PUBLICATIONS To empower citizens to participate in local decision- making, the JPHRC has produced the following publications: From Peace Making to Peace Building Monitoring Hand book for JPHRC social Operators Hand book on Local Government Convention on the Rights of the Child Simplified Version of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone Magazine of events of JPHRC from January to December 2004 Research documents on: Participation of civil society organisations in the PRSP The impact of NaCSA and RRI activities on the rural communities in the Bombali District.


12 12 1.Massive Sensitization for Councillors, Paramount chiefs and Community members for them to understand, to be able to interpret and work in accordance with the Local Government Act of 2004. Part of the benefits will be to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings between Paramount chiefs and Councillors. 2.Sensitization of Communities in the region on their participation in the democratisation process. 3.Monitoring and offering services to councils to improve their financial management systems as a prerequisite for proper records keeping and good reporting. 4.To sensitise, educate and monitoring the General Elections of 2007. 5.Evaluation of the PRSP, RRI & NaCSA projects in the northern region and do publications on issues of the communities. 6.Financial Management training for the Local Councils, Chiefdom Administrations and Community members in the Northern Region 7. To create an efficient database for the Commission 8.To make visible, the activities realised as support of decision making analysis and research publication 9.To start the process by introducing GIS/GPS (Geographic Information System/ Global Positioning System) to JPHRC operators in analysing data

13 13 B. PEACE BUILDING Promotion of peace education in schools, institutions and communities in the Northern region Formation of Peace clubs in schools, institutions and communities in the northern region Psychological / Trauma healing in the Northern region

14 14 C. HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES Capacity building of JPHRC staff in monitoring and recording Human Rights abuses and violations JPHRC to focus on the education of community leaders/ members on the effect of domestic violence against women and children in the region To undertake the challenge in educating the boarder / internal communities on the hazards of child trafficking and abuses.

15 15 D. RESEARCH The Commission has taken the challenges to: Assess the participation of the civil society organisation in the decentralisation process in the region Assess the impact of the activities of social organisations in reducing poverty in the rural communities – case study, four towns in each of the chiefdoms of Bombali District of NaCSA and RRI interventions Create an efficient data base for the Commission Make visible the activities realised as support of decision making analysis and research publication Introduction of GIS to JPHRC operators in analysing data

16 16 ANALYSIS OF JPHRC CAPACITY STRENGTHS AND OPPORTUNITIES WAEKNESSESCORRECTIVE MEASURES FOR WEAKNESSES Committed and willing staffLimited staff experience to implement integrated programmes Evaluate Human resources and develop staff and organisational development plans. Staff to exchange programmes with other agencies for experience shearing There has been and still remains a good donor funding source overseas Very limited funding source at local levelDiversify funding source and fund raising mechanism at local level JPHRC has a very good relationship with beneficiaries, parish committees, donors and other NGOs Inadequate responses to public expectations due to lack of limited funding Need to do more sensitisation for public awareness on the roles of JPHRC in communities Fairly good networking and collaboration with other organisations Need to build stronger alliance with other organisations Get more time and other resources for alliance building Limited transportation and communication facilities Improve on transportation and communication facilities Limited use of information and technology and staff capacity building. To improve on IT use and build staff capacity

17 17 Sierra Leone: Brief Economic and Political Background In the last fifteen years, Sierra Leone, the smallest West African country, with a population of about 4.5 has suffered a long civil war for eleven years. It is still ranked amongst the poorest in the world even though rich with both human and natural resources. Its human development and social indicators are amongst the worst in the world. The country continues to face unsustainable large external and domestic debt service payments are estimated at about 47.8% of export goods and non- factor services. External debt, including areas, is estimated at about 1.2 billion US Dollars. The cause of the war in Sierra Leone has largely been attributed to failure in governance and governance institutions. Successive regimes diminished the state’s capacity to meet critical challenges as the security and livelihood of its citizens, let alone to provide for democratic participation in decision-making practices. Governance institutions, which include laws, institutions and processes that promote and protect fundamental human rights, were inefficient and effectively. Decentralization, as a governance structure was intended to ensure that political power and the activity of government should positively impact on all levels of society.

18 18 The rationale is that a decentralisation system of government allows for better delivery of public services and facilities constant interaction between politicians, administrators and those who govern. Over centralisation generally translates into inequity, particularly due to poor service delivery to peripheral regions and the vulnerable sectors of society. Before independent in 1961 councils and decentralised local government structures functioned efficiently and continue to deliver vital services in education, health and agriculture, as well as small-scale construction of community facilities. However the councils had a number of weaknesses that placed them at the mercy of officials of the central government. Primarily, since their very existence was not entrenched in the constitution, they depended on the passing mood of the executive and the central legislature. Moreover, their establishing laws subjected them to administrative and political dominance of the minister and his officials in the ministry of Internal Affairs. Thus they were ultimately accountable to the Central government rather than to the people of their various local bases. Other weaknesses include the reliance of the councils on central government for up to 70% of their operational costs, their sub-ordination by paramount chiefs and the ease with which district council finance could be mismanaged and misappropriated. These weaknesses were ripe for exploitation by the over – centralising tendencies of successive governments.

19 19 In 1972, the APC regime dissolved local governments all over the country. Whilst town councils were replaced by committees of management, the district councils were not revived during the entire rule of the APC up to the out break of conflict. Governance was clearly over centralised during the regime of the APC. Provincial and rural areas were left to their own devices and their inhabitants become disenchanted with the political system. “ The abolition of local government system and its replacement by officers appointed by the centre (Freetown) led to marginalisation of the rural people. This, couple with the centre’s co-option of the traditional chiefs, increased the alienation. These two acts amounted to marginalisation and made many rural people to be receptive to the propaganda of the rebels and more tolerance to their presence.” From 1972 onwards, socio – economic development in the provinces was handled by central government agencies far removed from the people. The only alternative development assistance came from local or international NGO’s who instigated their own activities at district level. Despite their many weaknesses, District Councils had at least supplied water, roads, health care, agricultural services and rudimentary communal facilities during the 1960s. It would have been eminently more prudent to institute measured reforms of local governance rather than dissolving the councils out right. As it was, the dissolution of district councils gradually stifled the flow of service to the people in most of the provinces. Riverine district like Bonthe and Kambia, as well as remote once like Koinadugu, Pujehun and Kailahun, received no electricity or pipe borne water.

20 20 Bridges and roads were in a state of disrepair and few schools of centres survived. The whole of the North had neither running tap water nor electricity by the end of the 1980s. These were facets of regression rather than underdevelopment, as previous governments had apparently left several such facilities intact. The management committee system introduced into towns and municipalities effectively ensured that appointed individuals were more accountable to their political patrons than to the people they serve. The decline in service such as sanitation, as well as maintenance of roads, streets, markets, slaughter houses, cemeteries, fire stations and public toilets were rooted in the abolition of elected municipal and town councils.

21 21 Decentralisation and the role of civil society in PRSP and local election process. Decentralisation represents the way to decentralise politics, economics and other decision- making away from centralised government to rural areas. In the case of Sierra Leone political decentralisation is seen as a key pillar of the poverty reduction drive. The first local elections in 32 years were successfully held in May 2004. Nineteen Local Councils were installed and a comprehensive plan prepared for devolving central function to the local councils After decade of trying different approaches to development, it is now the dominant view that poverty reduction becomes the focus of national development plans of developing countries, donors and financial institutions. Moreover government has recognise in PRSP document, that the major contributing factor to the ten years civil war was the marginalisation from the political process of a large number of people on the one hand and few people who controlled resources. As such decentralisation is seen as the solution towards alleviating poverty and the resolution of conflicts emerging from the civil war. According to the PRSP programme of the country, the key elements of the decentralisation and empowerment strategy include:

22 22 a.Political decentralisation through democratic election of local councils. This has opened up space for political participation and inclusiveness in public decision-making process. Eventually this will reduce the tendency to resort to violence in the resolution of conflicts. b.Empowering the local councils with substantive expenditure and revenue generation responsibilities. This will improve efficiency and accountability and public spending as well as the spread and quality of services. c.Using a transparency and equity based formula grant system to allocate government transfers across councils will improve equity and resources allocation and improve people’s trust in the state d.Promoting a healthy competition among the local councils to encourage better performance in service delivery as well as innovation and learning. This will create more job opportunities at the local level and in the medium term lay the foundation for effective community development and transformation. e. It’s worth noting that in the document one reads that the devolution of responsibility from central line ministries to local councils commenced in 2005. This will guarantee the delivery of services to the people. However, the capacities to the councils to deliver are expected to be weak in the short time. Government will therefore focus on capacity building of the local council delivery mechanism. Within this context, the role and responsibility of the paramount chiefs will also be clarified.

23 23 Security With the withdrawal of UNAMSIL in December 2005, the police and the national army have been restructured and trained to take over the security of the nation. Following the successful implementation of the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and the National Recovery Strategy, government prepared a full Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper to address the poverty and development challenges in a more systematic manner. The Sierra Leone PRSP clearly articulates the medium term vision of our country. This vision is anchored on three main pillars. The promotion of good governance, peace and security constitutes the first pillar. The second pillar focuses on promoting sustainable economic growth for food security and job creation whilst the third pillar highlights the need to promote human development. The main challenge we are now faced with is how to translate this vision into actual poverty reducing policies, programmes, projects and long-term development strategies. Our poverty trap is particularly manifested in low agriculture productivity and environmental degradation, a very high diseases burden, high fertility rate, high illiteracy rate, poor roads, inadequate electricity supply, poor market facilities, inadequate water and sanitation facilities. Given our structural weaknesses, we are seeking to partnership with our development partners.

24 24 A consultative group meeting for Sierra Leone was held in London in November 2005, organised by DFID. The meeting focused on deepening the partnership between Sierra Leone government and its development partners around the Sierra Leone Poverty Reduction Strategy and harmonization for aid effectiveness 13 countries and several international agencies attended this meeting. A total commitment of support including new pledges for 2005 – 2007 amounted to US$ 800 million.




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