Six senior staff members representing various Directorates of the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) have successfully completed a Learning Tour and Experience Sharing on “Secure Identity Management of a Population in Digital Society” that commenced from the 3rd through the 13th December, 2019 in Estonia. The Learning Tour was sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Sierra Leone. This international best practice Learning Tour helped equip, sharpen and strengthen the knowledge and experience of NCRA staff especially in the area of effective management of the identity component of the triple initiative of Civil Registration, Vital statistics and Identity. The training is also a fulfillment of H.E President Julius Maada Bio’s vision of investment in human capital development in Sierra Leone. The six staff members include the Director of Policy, Planning and Legal Affairs – Mr. Aiah Lebbie Sosokoeneh; the Deputy-Director, ICT – Mr. Ngagba Baimba; the Training and Capacity Building Manager – Mrs. Roselyn Massaquoi; the Manager, Identity Management – Ms. Madeline Alie; Senior ICT Manager – Mr. Moses Vibbie and the Regional Registration Officer, North – Mr. Mohamed Mansaray.
The Learning Tour was conducted at the e-governance Academy in Tallinn, Estonia, an internationally recognized think tank and consultancy organisation established for the training and transfer of knowledge and best practices on e-governance, e-democracy and the development of open information society. The Academy also provides advice in using information and communications technology and assists in the implementation of e-government technical solutions to increase and improve Government’s efficiency and democratic processes.
Globally, Governments are increasingly demanding a securitized digital and identity management regime which will help prevent its citizens from the prevalent awful happenings of identity fraud and its associated effects. Sierra Leone is no exception and under the astute leadership of the Director-General, Mr. Mohamed Mubashir Massaquoi, the NCRA is aspiring determinedly to catch-up with the rest of the world in trying to protect its people and position the Sierra Leone population firmly as part of the digital society. This is a conscious move towards the realization of His Excellency President Bio’s vision of Sierra Leone becoming a digitally recognized nation, providing real time and credible data for socio-economic development as well as taking digitally administrative decisions.
The Learning Tour covered classroom discussion sessions, meetings with e- Governance and e-Democracy experts, representatives of the Estonia Government and private sector enterprises. The topics discussed included the following: transformation story to digital society, importance of identity management of citizens in providing services/e-services, public sector policy making, e-government management and coordination, principles of digitizing data (timely overview of the population management in Estonia), overview of activities of the Centre of Registers and Information Systems(RIK), importance of cyber security management in implementing digital solutions, legal framework for identity management privacy aspects and international requirements of personal data protection among others.
Specialized meetings were held with key experts of sectors such as: the Ministry of Interior’s IT and Development Centre and the Police and Border Guard Board. Discussions in these meetings were centered on population registry-ownership and data processing and the registration of foreign citizens in the population registry among others.
There were several site visits to various institutions including the e-Estonia Briefing Centre (e-Estonia at large), one-stop-shop of the LG-service hall for the citizen, Estonia statistics (Register-based electronic Population and Housing Census) and the Estonia elections office. These visits were aimed at providing firsthand experience of the discussions in the classroom sessions and meetings held with key experts.
The NCRA delegates are expected to make useful these experiences gained into their respective roles in the discharge of their duties of implementing CRVS and ID management initiative in Sierra Leone. The National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) wishes to express its profound appreciation to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Sierra Leone for supporting this very important Learning Tour that is in in line with H.E the President’s human capital development initiative.