Partners testified that ideas and skills shared under the partnership have enabled them to identify common procurement gaps and how to advocate for systemic changes to reduce procurement-related corruption in the health and education sectors in their respective countries.
According to the Country Director for SEND Sierra Leone, Mr. Joseph Ayamga, the partnership with GACC has enabled them to identify and bridge various procurement gaps within the education and health sectors in Sierra Leone. “Our partnership with GACC started 3 years ago, and it is through this engagement that the idea of monitoring projects came up and we agreed to go into partnership to monitor procurement processes in the areas of health and education projects in Sierra Leone to know if the process is transparent, identify any gap in terms of policy and implementation…”
Mr. Ayamga further emphasised the need to extend the partnership to maximise significant outcomes within the three project countries so as to improve procurement practices and policies such as effective Beneficial Ownership register regime. “We think that this project promotes learning. As in the country specific reports, we know that we can learn a lot from Ghana and Benin because once we are able to share some of these learnings and publish these reports regionally and internationally it helps to ensure that people who read them online take responsibility. Also, my staff have gained knowledge; now they are more or less experts in corruption and procurement issues”, he stated in a meeting held at Sierra Leone.
Mr. Wurie Kargbo, the project lead for SEND Sierra Leone on his part, recounted how this project has built his capacity as well his colleagues on procurement issues to demand transparency of procurement processes within the project targeted institutions “The partnership with GACC has yielded some milestone in terms of interaction with national stakeholders. Through this project, we are opportune to engage some directors on procurement issues. The relationship established with these stakeholders is not only pertaining to this project, however it will go a long way beyond this project, and we are very much appreciative of GACC for this partnership”.
The Social Watch representative from Benin, Mr. Charles Assogba shared similar experience on the opportunity this project has provided to their organisation. “The partnership with GACC is a very great one. It impacted and benefited my organisation because this partnership complements another project on public procurement, we have been implementing with support from OSIWA. This GACC partnership has given us another opportunity to interact with different stakeholders and authorities in the health and education sectors and as well expanded our work with local NGOs including citizen groups. The project also gave us the opportunity to get involved in advocacy on procurement issues and gave citizens opportunity to participate in terms of bringing out the reality on issues of procurement”.
The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), SEND Sierra Leone, Social Watch Benin and PARDA (Ghana), with funding support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA); have been undertaking a project to monitor corruption in procurement and service delivery in health and education in West Africa, specifically in Sierra Leone, Benin, and Ghana. As part of the project activities, project partners were engaged in their respective countries (Sierra Leone & Benin) to review the progress of the project thus far in all the countries, and took stock of challenges, achievements, implementation approach and project sustainability.
Author: Faustina Djabatey
Communications Officer, GACC