A Community-Centered Process for Peace and Sustainable Development
The New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States has stressed the importance of strengthening or developing participatory national processes and structures for stable and inclusive governance and effective development in "fragile and conflict-affected" states through forging healthy partnerships between all levels of actors in the development process, from local community through district, national and international levels. In November 2016, Fambul Tok International, a CSPPS Partner organization in Sierra Leone, organised an Inter-District Learning Conference ‘Building Peace from the Inside-Out: Growing Inclusive, People and Community-Centered Peacebuilding and Development in Sierra Leone. Healthy partnerships have been secured with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development via its Minister, having attended the conference and extended his support throughout processes that followed the Inter-district learning conference. John Caulker, Executive Director of Fambul Tok International, explains that regular and open lines of communications have contributed to further solidification of ties between Fambul Tok International and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
Recently, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has formed a new partnership with Fambul Tok International and Catalyst for Peace with the goal of supporting the development of ‘Wan Fambul': National Framework for Inclusive Governance and Local Development. The Framework aims to facilitate inclusive, community-centered sustainable development through the creation of transparent, accountable, collaborative, inclusive chiefdom and district infrastructures that are ultimately responsible for facilitating a National People's Planning Process (PPP); effectively supported by government, national and international civil society organizations and donors; leading to resilient communities across Sierra Leone. ‘Wan Fambul', in the Sierra Leonean Krio language meaning ‘We are all one family', will be a roadmap for resourcing and implementing a multi-year national People's Planning Process for peace and development that will involve representatives from every village in Sierra Leone and create sectional, chiefdom and district inclusive committees, that will complement and strengthen established local governance structures, to further local peacebuilding and development agendas and also contribute towards localization and realization of the Sustainable Development Goals in Sierra Leone.
This program is a key policy that can support and strengthen both decentralization and local governance processes throughout the country, as well as firmly establish people-led development planning. The ‘Wan Fambul' Framework is grounded in the belief that until development is taken to the ‘doorsteps of the citizens', national development cannot effectively move forward. The Framework is planned to be rolled-out countrywide, in three phases, for a period of five years. Fambul Tok International and Catalyst for Peace with support from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development plans to associate members of the CSPPS Country Team in the operationalization of the framework and ensuring that civil society actors are informed, involved and fully represented in the process. The CSPPS looks forward to further partner with Fambul Tok and other stakeholders in this innovative process unfolding in Sierra Leone.