Sierra Leone’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Madam Kenyeh Barlay, kicked off the 4th monitoring round of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) on June 4th, 2024.

Minister Barlay addressed a distinguished audience of government officials, development partners, civil society, and the private sector. She underscored the importance of the GPEDC as a platform for collaboration to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The GPEDC monitoring exercise, she explained, gathers evidence to track progress and ensure stakeholders meet their commitments based on principles of effective development cooperation. Sierra Leone actively participated in previous monitoring rounds (2016 & 2018), and Barlay emphasized the importance of aligning the GPEDC process with the country’s development plan (MTNDP 2024-2030).

“With global conflicts, economic challenges, and the climate crisis, it’s crucial to strengthen partnerships to deliver on the MTNDP for all Sierra Leoneans,” Barlay stressed.

The Minister highlighted improvements in national development planning (84% commitment in the latest round) and public financial management systems. However, she noted a decline in partner use of country systems (from 47% in 2016 to 0% in 2018), indicating an area for improvement.

Barlay called for expanding the monitoring framework to encompass gender budgeting, public-private dialogue quality, and the enabling environment for civil society. She emphasized gender mainstreaming and the goal of creating 500,000 jobs for young people, urging an assessment of the private sector environment and necessary actions.

The UN Resident Coordinator, Seraphine Wakana, echoed the importance of transparency, mutual accountability, and inclusive partnerships for effective development cooperation. She stressed the ongoing monitoring and evaluation’s vital role in ensuring impactful, equitable, and sustainable development efforts in Sierra Leone.