IGR Launches BioMeter to Assess Attainment of What they Voted For

By Millicent Senava Mannah

As the country heads towards the June 24th General Elections, the Institute of Governance Reform has on the 30th April, 2023 launched its BioMeter during the “AYV on Sunday Show” geared towards giving citizens the opportunity to assess if what they voted for are what they got.

The BioMeter , it was stated at the AYV News room on Wesley Street at Tower Hill in Freetown, is meant to review the achievements of the President’s 536 Manifesto promises made to the people of this country.

Giving an overview of the BioMeter, Andrew Lavali, the Executive Director of the Institute of Governance Reform intimated that the BioMeter evaluates the efforts made on the 536 promises in the President Bio’s SLPP 2018 Manifesto – The New Direction.

‘’ In 2018 President Bio said his top priorities were improving quality and access to education; improving the economy; fighting corruption; making the Executive efficient; addressing impunity and protecting women and girls,’’ Andrew Lavali stated further maintaining that upon winning the 2018 election, those promises were translated into a national development plan and actionable programmes funded under the country’s Medium-Term National Development Plan 2019-2023.

According to him, the report presents the results of the extent to which the New Direction Manifesto promises were delivered and how it has contributed towards promoting accountability in the country after a trust was vested in the President and his party through the 2018 ballot.

He disclosed that for each of the 536 campaign promises they conducted detailed research on evidence of action and rated them based on the status of progress made.

‘’We categorized actions on manifesto promises using five indicators: Promise Achieved/Kept; Significant Progress in Attaining Promise; Minimal Progress made on Promise; Promise Stalled/Not Started; or Promise is Vague/Not Rated.’’ Andrew Lavali sated.

‘’Despite this ostensible progress in electoral democracy, poverty levels remain high. Many Sierra Leonean voters are anxious to see tangible results. There is a considerable mistrust in institutions largely stemming from the belief that politicians lie, do not fulfill campaign promises and are not committed to the good of the country,’’ he revealed.

Andrew Lavali stated that public trust in institutions is a critical requirement for development and effectiveness but said democratic consolidation remains low.

He noted that the objective of the BioMeter initiative is to support political parties (especially the ruling party), other relevant stakeholders and the public to keep track of promises and commitments made to citizens at election time and to understand the need of making realistic promises.

The Executive Director of IGR revealed that such raises attention for the need of manifesto integrity saying that it can be a mechanism to increase public trust in institutions over time.

Andrew Lavali revealed that to successfully complete that task they recruited a team of experienced Sierra Leonean experts to compile a list of policy and sectorial commitments in the 2018 New Direction Manifesto.

Furthering how they developed a matrix to assess whether each policy commitment has been completed, including the degree of completion, Andrew said : ‘’The consultants employed a mix of desk research, focused interviews, administration of questionnaires and review of relevant data and documents in assessing progress on the campaign promises.’’

He concluded that in total, President Bio took varying degrees of action on 79.9% of his campaign promises. According to him, three hundred and five (305) promises representing 61.5% of the promises have either been completely fulfilled or significant progress have been made towards their completion. He continued that about 18.4% of the promises have just started or minimal progress was made while 21.1% of the promises are stalled or have not been implemented.


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