Sierra Leone - Capacity Development during country planning in a post-conflict country
Country(ies): Sierra Leone
Primary thematic focus: Capacity challenges in post-crisis and transitional situations
In a Nutshell:
An integrated approach to country planning was piloted in Sierra Leone to include a Capacity Development approach. This involved mapping country priorities to FAO's Results Based System. Special attention was given to the 'Expert Crisis' found in the ministries primarily due staffing losses due to the war.
In Sierra Leone, CD in Agriculture and Rural Development deals with what is called the 'Expert Crisis' as well as basic CD needs in most sectors. The Expert Crisis refers to that fact that the Sierra Leone Ministries involved in Agriculture and Rural Development do not have sufficient staff and expertise to carry out their regular mandate due to massive losses during the war and due to major infrastructure issues. The dire staffing situation of the Ministry was highlighted in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework as one of the major issues and challenges in the sector. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS) has identified the gaps in terms of which technical staff is lacking. This information is broken down by the types of degrees required whether diploma, bachelors, etc. In this ministry, over 1,200 technical new staff are needed to carry out its functions properly. The identification of similar needs in MFMR and other ministries is pending. Not only is there a dearth of technical expertise in the ministries but there is also a need to train existing staff in technical areas as well as functional areas.
As an example of the latter, MAFFS claims that training in planning, communication and facilitation skills is needed to improve the functioning of the staff in organizational terms and in terms of needed coordination amongst sectors. Steps will be taken to identify the gaps, create a working group of key stakeholders, identify possible ways forward in terms of exploring the most suitable learning and capacity development means whether study tours, exchange programs or other. Lastly, a proposal by the working group to the donors will be needed to mobilize resources. (Regarding other aspects of CD in the various sectors of agriculture and rural development, the story still needs to be drafted.) The attached picture refers to a CD meeting in a district of Sierra Leone. Leaders of the local community in the district were very receptive to CD approaches and provided very interesting and insightful feedback during the consultation process.
Results and Critical Factors:
Capacity Development in post conflict countries often involve more than what usually falls within the boundaries of CD. In the case of Sierra Leone, an 'Expert Crisis' has been identified in the ministries. If this is not addressed, the sector of Agriculture and Rural Development risks paralysis and the inability to address the food security and dire development needs.
Name of Primary Contact Person: Sally Berman
Title of Primary Contact Person: Capacity Development Officer