Sierra Leone News: Christian Aid Signs Strategic Partnership with Kombra Media Network
Christian Aid, Kombra Media Network (KMN) and FOCUS 1000 on Thursday 28th February 2019 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the headquarters of FOCUS 1000, in Freetown.
The project is implemented by a consortium of leading international and Sierra Leonean Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), led by Christian Aid.
Christian Aid was represented by Jeanne Kamara, Christian Aid Country Manager, Kombra Media Network (KMN) by Kemo Cham, National Coordinator and FOCUS 1000 by Alhaji Mohammad Bailor Jalloh, Chief Executive Officer. The one-year MoU is with effect from 28th February 2019.
The SABI project aims to contribute towards improvements in basic services by delivery of quality basic services; building relationships between citizens and the state; supporting the Government’s development plans and promoting gender equality and social inclusion.
The project’s approach includes full participation and engagement of different cohort of stakeholders at the community, district and national levels.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of FOCUS 1000, Alhaji Mohammad Bailor Jalloh, the national level engagement and consultation with government and key stakeholders will create the enabling environment to facilitate effective dialogue and interaction between policy makers, service providers and the citizenry.
Highlighting the project’s expected outcomes, Alhaji Jalloh, enlightened that citizens targeted by SABI demonstrate increased awareness of their rights and entitlements to services within the health, education and social protection sectors (in particular women, youths and Persons With Disability (PWD), that accountable relationships are leading to increased responsiveness from service providers to the demands of citizens targeted by SABI (in particular women, youths and PWD).
Christian Aid is an international development agency which is leading the consortium of NGOs that is implementing the SABI Project.
The MoU establishes a formal relationship between FOCUS 1000 and the SABI Project on the one hand and the Kombra Media Network on the other. It clearly states the roles and responsibilities of each party in the implementation of the SABI Project.
All parties agreed to carry out their roles and responsibilities as detailed in the MoU. SABI is being implemented at district, chiefdom, ward and community levels across all 16 districts of Sierra Leone. As at February, 2019, the SABI Project is operating in 610 communities, from 106 wards. SABI is also being implemented at national level via engagements with relevant national stakeholders. The project targets citizens, civil society organizations, district councils, Ward Development Committees (WDCs), women, marginalized young people and PWDs.
SABI Partners, through FOCUS 1000, shall collaborate and share lessons learnt with the KMN on the implementation of the SABI Project on a monthly basis, commit to working with the KMN in a collaborative, open, fair and honest way, where funding is still available, each of the SABI partner shall facilitate learning visits for members of the Kombra Media Network in their districts to observe and report on the SABI work within communities, plan activities 3 or 4 days earlier and share with the KMN representative in their district, provide support to identify and ensure participation of the right people for interviews or as resource persons for radio or television discussion programmes.
KMN for its part, shall have a SABI focal personnel within the Kombra Media Network, report fairly and in a balanced manner on the implementation of the SABI project, hold service providers and duty bearers accountable for their stewardship by using their journalistic skills and media houses (print, radio, television and social media platforms) to report human interest stories on access to health, education and social protection.
KMN will also make input into the development and review of the SABI citizens’ perception data collection process including input into the development of questionnaires and related tools and report on the findings from the survey, publicize SABI activities, lessons learnt and publications and share their insight on the project with the general public on a monthly basis. To this end, KMN will publish/report in the media at least one story or editorial piece on the SABI Project each month. Evidence of all publications by the KMN shall be made available to SABI through FOCUS 1000.
According to MoU, KMN will ensure regular media coverage of SABI activities to be in interactive formats that include the interviewing partners and stakeholders for news stories in both print and electronic media; inviting SABI partners for panel discussions on topical issues in health, education and social protection sectors as well as KMN attending SABI events (workshops, press conferences, district and national service summits, learning events etc.) as and when requested and report in the media the findings, discussions, outcomes, action points, etc. of the events.
The parties agree to meet every two (2) months to discuss the progress of this partnership, identify any issues or risks to the SABI project generally, or this partnership and jointly agree on how these can be addressed. These meetings are to be hosted by FOCUS 1000.
Nothing in this MoU stops the KMN from signing a separate MoU or other partnership under other projects with one or more of the SABI partners as long as the Network continues to fulfill its responsibilities assigned herein.
The MoU shall be guided by the principles and practices of mutual respect and tolerance to each other’s views in order to achieve the desired objectives; honesty and transparency: being open in judgment and communication by sharing reliable information pertaining to the SABI Project and being sincere in dealing with stakeholders of the project.
On accountability, all parties shall establish and maintain good records and systems, demonstrate probity in all dealings, sacrifice and hard work, among others.
In compliance with the terms of this MoU, it is implied that all parties are obliged to be aware of and comply with laws relating to the protection of children and vulnerable adults, respect for diversity and inclusion of women, marginalized young people and PWDs.