(Freetown, 25 June 2019) The National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) and its partners have started a three-day retreat at Golden Tulip Hotel, Aberdeen, Freetown, to develop a Civil Registration and ID Management costed Strategic Plan for Sierra Leone. The retreat started on Tuesday 25 and will end on Friday 28 June 2019. It brought together more than 30 participants.
In his opening remarks at the retreat, the Director-General of NCRA, Mohamed Mubashir Massaquoi, appealed to all participants that the Strategic Plan they are to develop must be smart, measurable, achievable and time bound. He informed that the development of a Strategic Plan is a global, African, and regional initiative which Sierra Leone is obliged to follow suite.
He stressed that the stage that they will be setting during the retreat to develop the Strategic Plan will act as a strong pillar that will be in line with international standards and said that the development of the Strategic Plan is an initiative of the Government of Sierra Leone, supported by its partners.
“We are fulfilling a key fulfillment of international requirements by developing the Strategic Plan,” Mr. Massaquoi said.
The Director-General of NCRA also stressed that NCRA believes in broadening its scope to incorporate beneficiaries, hence the reason for the involvement of MDAs and other institutions in Sierra Leone that are involved in CRVS and Identity Management.
He said the participants were at the retreat to put thoughts together that will guide the management of CRVS and Identity Management in Sierra Leone.
Mr. Massaquoi gave a background of the Strategic Plan which he said was based on a nationwide CRVS Assessment in the last three months where data was collected and validated followed by a Technical Report. He said the development of a Strategic Plan for CRVS and Identity Management for Sierra Leone was the next thing to do to act as guide in the CRVS Programme.
He commended EU, UNDP, UNICEF and other partners for their support to CRVS and Identity Management and appealed to the participants to work together and come out with a comprehensive plan. He also called on them to use the Price Water Coopers (PWC), EU and UNDP Reports as reference.
Speaking on the objectives and outcomes of the Retreat, the Facilitator Ibrahim S. Kamara, said the Strategic Plan will provide a roadmap for improving the effectiveness of the National Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (NCRVS) and Identity Management in Sierra Leone.
“We have to develop a framework to help us get what we want. It is participatory in order to involve other stakeholders to sit down and come up with a roadmap that will change the outlook of NCRA,” Mr. Kamara informed the participants.
He appealed for group work; consensus building and tolerance during the retreat to enable them discuss and see if they needed a goal, objective, mission or vision for the Authority.
Mr. Kamara said the key objectives of the retreat are to set a strategic direction for the NCRVS System, to ensure synergy and collaboration in the implementation of the plan in order to avoid overlaps, duplication of efforts and wastage of resources, among others. He added the expected outcome was to generate relevant inputs for the draft Strategic Plan for the NCRVS System.
The Local Consultant of the CRVS Comprehensive Country Assessment (CCA), Grace Harman, gave an overview of the assessment of NCRVS in Sierra Leone. She also gave the UN definition of CRVS, the importance and benefits of CRVS to the Government of Sierra Leone and to individuals.
Participants were drawn from NCRA, Civil Society, PPRC, NASSIT, NRA, NEC, SLRSA, OARG, and some key Government ministries like Ministries of Health and Sanitation, Local Government and Rural Development.