The National Director of NGO Affairs at the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development (MoPED), Eric Massally says successful partnerships begins with both NGOs and local government becoming firmly committed to collaborate in enhancing effective service delivery for the people.

The meeting took place on Monday , 23 May 2022, Council Hall Kailahun District.

He made this statement at a meeting held in Kailahun District organised by MoPED to strengthen the relationship between NGOs and Local Councils and map out a new working approach moving forward.

Director Massally said in order to effectively deliver services, especially at the local level there needs to be strong relationship between NGOs and local government.

“We consider the relationship between NGOs and the Local Councils as very important. Councils represent government at local level, so we believe if we are to enhance service delivery, if we want to minimise duplications… we have to strengthen the relationship between government and NGOs”, said Director Massally.

He said recently the Ministry conducted a two-day retreat for Development Planning Officers (DPOs) on the Service Level Agreement and the use of the Dropbox so as to factor local councils at the centre of NGO activities.

Steven S. Bundor of SEND-SL and NGO Lead for Kailahun District, in his statement said that they appreciated the effort of the Ministry to conduct the meeting of bringing NGOs and local councils together. He said they would continue to effectively complement government efforts in all their priority areas of intervention.

On her part, the Deputy District Council Chairperson said the role of NGOs in the district was too critical and that there was every need for NGOs and local government to work side by side. She said as a council they would further strengthen the good relationship they already have with NGOs, as they work together to ensure President Bio’s New Direction Agenda is successful.

A discussion session was moderated by Madam Mbalu Kamara, Deputy Director, Rural Development, MoPED, who engaged participants on what has worked well at both national and district level, what has not worked well and what needed to be done differently in strengthening NGO and Local Council relationship.

The Director and his Team are on a tour in the districts to further bring NGOs and the district councils together to see how they could strengthen their relationship in the implementation of government priority programs.

In the same vein, the Director also stopped at the Médecins Sans Frontières Belgium facility in Hangha, Kenema District to inspect the newly constructed Emergency Obstetrics and Newborn Care Centre. The facility was opened on the same day.