POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC GOVERNANCE
Effective political and economic governance is a key ingredient in maintaining peace, security, stability and sustainable growth and development. Sierra Leone has had a long history of bad governance, dating bad to the colonial era, during which many of the country’s post-independence challenges were fomented. Post-independence bad governance and over-centralization culminated in the civil war of the 1990s. While the immediate post-war years showed great promise and example of post-war reconstruction, there are signs that many of the causes of conflict have not been addressed. Our work on political and economic governance focuses on the following areas:
Decentralization, local modes of governance and development
Elections and democratization
Public sector reforms
Access to justice
Economic growth and fiscal reforms
Trade and private sector development
Employment and job creation
EXTRACTIVES AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Mineral export is a major source of foreign exchange in Sierra Leone, with the country boasting substantial deposits of diamonds, gold, bauxite, iron ore and other rare metals. However, their extraction has not always benefited the state, and communities hosting the operations of mining companies and artisanal mining are among some of the poorest in the country, experiencing the worst forms and impacts of environmental degradation. Our programme on extractives and the environment is focused on promoting an environmentally friendly and sustainable sector, that results in win-win outcomes for the state, industry, and communities.
The civil war of the 1990s and decades of underspending, led to a breakdown of essential social services in Sierra Leone. The post-war era, has seen the introduction of pro-poor policies aimed at increasing access to services, including the launch of the free healthcare initiative in 2010, and the free quality initiative launched in 2018. However, socio-economic, and public health challenges such as the Ebola epidemic of 2014-15, the COVID-19 pandemic and the drop in commodity prices in 2014, have raised questions related to the sustainability of such programmes. Our work on social services seeks to find answers to a number of questions, including under what conditions can the quality of health and educational services be delivered in an equitable manner.
Water and sanitation