350 Benefit from NaCSA & Stats-SL Training

Amin Kef Sesay

After completing the training of enumerators for the Social Safety Nets Project, the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) and Statistics- Sierra Leone (Stats-SL) have commenced the training of 350 (Three Hundred and Fifty) data collectors on Proxy Means Test Assessment.

It could be recalled that in February 2020, the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone – His Excellency Rtd (Brig.) Dr. Julius Maada Bio launched the Social Safety Nets Additional Finance; a project also known as “Ep Fet Po” as the first Government led Cash transfer program in Sierra Leone instituted in 2014. With NaCSA as the lead implementing agency, the program is funded by the World Bank and the Government of Sierra Leone.

In ensuring that the SSN Additional Finance reach its target (35,000 beneficiary households) in the 16 (sixteen) districts, the National Commission for Social Action, Statistics Sierra Leone (Stats SL), Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and other stakeholders have developed strategy for Community Validation, Targeting and Enrolment. While NaCSA remains the project implementing agency, ACC provide technical supports on Grievance Redress Mechanisms (GRM) and Stats-SL take lead in Proxy Means Test Assessment. These components are pivotal in targeting the poorest of the poor.

In this respect, Stats-SL hosts NaCSA and other stakeholders to train potential data collectors on the Proxy means test assessment. In addressing the trainees, the Deputy Commissioner-NaCSA; Dr. Sao-Kpato Isata Hannah Max-Kyne elucidated the long standing relationship between NaCSA and Stats-SL. She called on potential data collectors to be meticulous in carrying out their sacred duty in the targeting exercise. “NaCSA depends on Stats-SL for data to inform our programming.

When you are dealing with the poorest of the poor, you don’t want to get it wrong; you have to make sure that the real people get the benefits and in doing such, you have to work with partners. This is one of the reasons why the Commission has worked with Stats-SL for credible data. We all know that data is very political more so when it is linked to development; the politics of data requires honesty and sincerity because one error will deprive the actual beneficiaries and we expect you to carry out this exercise in a very transparent and credible manner,” he re-emphasized.

In his statement, the Deputy Statistician General, Andrew Bob Johnny thanked all Directors and staff from NaCSA and Stats-SL for their collective efforts in ensuring that the SSN AF2 actually targets the poorest of the poor. He defined the proxy means test as “situation where information on household or individual characteristics correlated with welfare levels is used in a formal algorithm to proxy household income, welfare and need.’’ He further called on the trainees to be attentive and take every components of the training seriously; as Stats-SL and NaCSA have competent facilitators who will provide the requisite knowledge on Proxy Means Test and other components of the training.

The session continues with presentation on the Covid-19 preventive measures from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and SSN project overview. In compliance with Covid-19 national health emergency rules, the trainees were divided into four groups with less than eighty participants per group. Individual trainees and facilitators received mask and were encouraged to follow all safety measures.

In an interview with one of the trainees, Musa Barrie, on behalf of other trainees he expressed his sincere thanks and appreciation to the National Commission for Social Action, Stats –SL, ACC and other partners for providing such training. “The training is important to us not only for the targeting exercise but I believe the knowledge will be useful for future purpose. With this I say thank you NaCSA, thank you Stats-SL and thank you ACC,” he concluded.


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