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World Bank approves $17 million support for civil service reforms

World Bank approves $17 million support for civil service reforms

Freetown, June (SLENA) – The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank has approved the Pay and Performance Project for Sierra Leone worth US$ 17 million to finance the achievement of priority pay and performance reforms in the civil service which are needed to achieve the economic growth and poverty reduction goals of the country.

Sierra Leone suffered from severe depletion in the capacity of the civil service during the prolonged civil war.  Ten years on, the need for a strong, capable and accountable civil service has only increased.  Over the next three years, the project will support the Government’s flagship program “Improving Productivity through Management and Pay Reforms” which focuses on three reform areas, namely: (i) pay reforms, (ii) recruitment, staffing, performance management and (iii) accountability of the civil service.

During the life of the project, between 800-1000 critical technical positions in the “missing middle” will be filled across government via open, competitive and merit-based procedures, thus raising the capacity of government to formulate and implement sound policies and improve service delivery. The objective of pay reform is to improve competitiveness and internal equity in pay setting to enable the civil service attracts and retains qualified professionals.

Several reforms, including the involvement of non state actors in the evaluation of the performance of ministries are aimed at strengthening transparency and social accountability.  The project will be implemented by the Public Sector Reform Unit, Human Resources Management Office, Public Service Commission and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in collaboration with various MDAs.

According to the World Bank, the project will use an innovative results-based approach that links funding to outputs and outcomes rather than to inputs; allows government to identify the reform path and approach; and promotes ‘joined-up’ and coordinated government functioning which is critical for the successful implementation of such reforms.

World Bank Country Manager for Sierra Leone, Vijay Pillai, says “The project is timely for Sierra Leone given that a reformed civil service would greatly facilitate the smooth economic transformation. Success would require strong political leadership, coordinated action by key parts of government, and addressing some deep-seated challenges in the civil service. Through this project we look forward to supporting Sierra Leone’s efforts in this regard.”


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