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PRESS RELEASE

Sierra Leone to Scale up Decentralized Delivery of Key Public Services in all 19 Local Councils

December 20, 2011




World Bank support paves way for better results in health, education, water, solid waste management

WASHINGTON, December 20, 2011 - The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank has today approved the second phase of the Decentralized Service Delivery Program (DSDP-2) worth US$26 million as additional support to the Government of Sierra Leone to scale up decentralized delivery of basic services.

Highlights from Sierra Leone’s recent decentralization efforts include a transparent, fair system of transferring funds to Local Councils, holding of regular elections, progress in devolving functions closer to the people, and innovative ways of helping them hold service providers accountable.

“Sierra Leone has come a long way since the enactment of the Local Government Act in 2004, and has a wealth of experience to offer other post-conflict countries,” said World Bank Country Manager Vijay Pillai. “With continued political will and due diligence by Local Councils, we expect that decentralized delivery of basic services will lead to further gains such as improved access to basic health services and safe drinking water in rural areas.”

This grant builds on gains from the project’s first phase, which enabled Local Councils to fulfill core devolved functions, and is expected to pave the way for improved results in basic health, education, water supply and solid waste management across all 19 Local Councils in the country. The European Union will provide a further US$6 million in co-financing, bringing the total funding for DSDP-2 to $32 million.

The program’s second phase, to run until December 2015, will strengthen central and local government capacities to manage decentralized services, improve availability and predictability of central government funding to local councils, and strengthen the current fiscal transfer system between central and local governments. Areas of support under DSDP-2 will include:

  1. US$24.3 million for grants to local councils to complement fiscal transfers under regular transfers through GoSL budgetary processes. Significant additional resources will thus be available for Councils to provide basic services.
  2. US$3 million for developing capacity and providing technical assistance to local councils and ministries, departments and agencies to carry out their core functions and provide guidance and oversight to local councils.
  3. US$4.1 million to support results and social accountability: This will empower local communities to hold their service providers accountable, with the aim of enhancing the quality of service delivery.
  4. US$1.2 million to support project implementation, financial management and coordination functions.

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Ministry of Local Government & Rural Development and all 19 Local Councils will implement the program.

Media Contacts
In Washington
Kavita Watsa
Tel : 202 458 8810
kwatsa@worldbank.org
In Freetown
Mohamed Sidie Sheriff
msheriff@worldbank.org


PRESS RELEASE NO:
2012/224/AFR

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