The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) has initiated an assault battle against poverty. UNCDF have trained local authorities to develop budgets based on performance indicators, and to ensure transparency, accountability and results in their local development plans.
Local councils in Sierra Leone are mandated by the Local Government Act of 2004 to prepare and review development plans each year, with detailed budgets. At a recently concluded training UNCDF has ensured that council members are proficient in output-based planning and budgeting in support of accountable, measurable and community-based targeted infrastructure and service provision.
The training focuses on Development Planning, which involves reviewing the development goals and the infrastructure needs of the councils. Regarding infrastructure, the training looks at Councils’ provision of basic services such as access to clean water, education, roads linking remote villages, market building, etc. it also covers Performance Budgeting – reviewing the annual budgets of the Councils and writing plan-based budgets for 2009. The final day of training centred around a Capacity Assessment of the Councils, involving an assessment of both Councils/Ministries divisions. The capacity building assessment is then converted into targets, by which the performance of the Councils will be monitored.
The training targets Kenema City and District Councils who are part of the Kenema District Economic Recovery Programme. The Kenema District Economic Recovery Programme (KDERP) is a five-year pilot community development programme designed to stimulate local economic development in Kenema District and to develop the capacity of both the City and District Councils to provide services and infrastructure to local communities. The project, funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), aims to compliment what the Government is doing to reduce poverty and consolidate peace in the district.
The project aims to develop approaches to local economic development of the District to increase agricultural activities, market information and women enterprise development; and enhance local revenue collection in Kenema City and District.