According to bank documents, the project objective is to strengthen the governments’ institutional systems and capacity for accountability and management of resources to more effectively deliver basic services responsive to community needs across all districts.
The project has five components:
Component 1: Systems and skills strengthening for local services (central and local levels). This component will focus on improving the interaction between key systems at central and local level. This will reduce delays, blockages, and inconsistencies between core PFM processes happening in councils and those happening at central level. Better alignment will both result in smoother interactions between the two levels of government and build confidence in the overall planning, budgeting, and execution process. The country’s MTNDP further calls for the full implementation of the Local Council component of the PFM Strategy by 2023. This is evidence that going forward PFM reform at the lower levels is being given the same priority level as that in the central government. In particular, the project will be following up the existing PFM Improvement and Consolidation Project/ PFMICP, P133424, by extending focus of the World Bank support on delivering the local government-related aspects of the revised PFM Reform Strategy (2019-2021).
Component 2: Integrated data platforms for monitoring and accountability. The project will support the government’s proposed reforms to improve data management and reporting at local level through targeted support to the priority education, health sectors and to LCs. Government has identified a need to address the weak incentives for collecting and using data, including ways to strengthen data management itself as an effective tool for resource allocation. Part of this will involve supporting LCs in their role in managing and using local service delivery data flows. Importantly, it will also support Component 1.2 on procurement described above by strengthening the role of Local Councils in overseeing and protecting the distribution of key commodities in the ‘last mile’ of the supply chain. It will also support the National Monitoring and Evaluation Department (NaMED) to initially demonstrate the usefulness of data monitoring for investments in key basic services at local level as part of its mandate towards a national automated M&E System (NaMEMIS) that intends to link the monitoring units of MDAs, LCs, contractors, NGOs, and donor-funded projects. This system is proposed to be a GIS-enabled web-based internet portal onto which LCs are expected to post their data and reports, but also from which they may access information on actions taken at the central level. The Government has also invested in a number of innovative digital platforms (e.g., Education Data Hub) to support service delivery through the work of the DSTI (Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation).
Component 3: Local Development (IDA: US$21.5 million). The aim of this project component is to support the inter-governmental fiscal transfer systems, with a focus on local development grant financing. While the current system has a number of strengths – as noted above – it also requires improvement. This is both in terms of actual implementation of the system (i.e. using the system to transfer funds regularly and predictably), as well as further developing the system to change the balance between tied and untied sector grants to better reflect policy changes over the period since its inception.
Component 4: Contingent Emergency Response Component (CERC). The component will provide funding following an eligible emergency. The component will include conditions for the use of funds, and will only be triggered when certain actions, as agreed by the Government and Bank teams, are met. These actions include the following: (i) the country experiences an eligible emergency; and (ii) the country presents a sound and actionable country-level response plan. Once triggered, the component will be guided by Investment Project Financing (IPF) Policy, Paragraph 12, which enables rapid reallocation of funds between project components following an emergency. Together with the operational, fiduciary, procurement, disbursement and financial management arrangements that underpin its implementation, the component provides a conduit for additional emergency funds into the project.
Senior Public Sector Specialist
Republic of Sierra Leone
Ministry of Finance (Fiscal Decentralization Division, PFM Reform Unit)
Adams Sanpha Kargbo
Director (Fiscal Decentralisation Division)
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