BASE Consortium Unveils District Development Plan

Building Accountability Systems through Empowered Communities (BASE) Consortium.jpg

By Millicent Senava Mannah

In a significant stride towards local development, the Building Accountability Systems through Empowered Communities (BASE) Consortium, funded by USAID, has launched its District Development Plan. The plan aims to revitalize revenue generation and services across five districts in the country, with the unveiling taking place at the Institute of Governance & Reform Conference Room on Spur Road in Freetown.

Comprising five local organizations – IGR, CARL, IRN, BAN, and 50 50 Group – the BASE Consortium’s initiative targets five districts and six Local Councils. Its goal is to instill accountability within Local Councils by empowering both leadership and constituents through improved service delivery and revenue generation.

The selected districts and councils for the project include Kono District, Falaba District Council, Tonkolili District Council, Moyamba District Council, and Karene District Council.

Professor Fredline M’cormac Hale, Project Lead at the BASE Consortium, outlined the Project’s objectives, emphasizing gender mainstreaming and enhancing revenue generation and service delivery in key sectors such as Health, Education and Agriculture. These efforts aim to decentralize decision-making and foster community development.

Andrew Lavalie, Executive Director of IGR, highlighted the significance of increased revenue generation and effective service delivery in fostering community development and improving local residents’ livelihoods. He underscored the unprecedented involvement of Civil Society Organizations in drafting a national development plan emphasizing community ownership as crucial for the project’s success.

He detailed the information dissemination structure, revealing plans to establish a Technical Committee comprising local leaders and heads of pressure group. The Committee, he continued, will directly contribute to drafting the plan, ensuring community ownership and alignment with local needs.

Abdul Rahman Sesay, Senior Program Officer for Budget Advocacy Network (BAN), emphasized the disparity between service delivery and revenue generation in the districts. He noted citizens’ reluctance to pay taxes while expecting Government services, necessitating a more effective revenue collection approach.

To address outdated revenue collection methods, Abdul Rahman Sesay proposed modernizing strategies to enhance revenue generation. He highlighted the importance of utilizing generated funds for project sustainability rather than administrative expenses.

Eric Massally, Director of NGO Affairs in the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, stressed the Project’s alignment with the Government’s development agenda. He commended the focus on revenue generation, acknowledging the Government’s financial constraints further urging vigilance against mismanagement, emphasizing the project’s potential to complement the national development plan.

The launch of the District Development Plan marks a pivotal moment in local development efforts, promising improved services and sustainable revenue generation across targeted districts.


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