bio

The Open Government Initiative is a good governance doctrine fashioned by President Ernest Bai Koroma at the onset of his administration in 2008. On this foundation of good governance, he framed the Open Government Initiative as the open channel of communication between Government and the people.

The GoSL’s medium of communication with the public had generally been characterized by weak institutions that convey information and that are challenged by limited financial resources to develop or strengthen them. There was also a disconnection in communication and information flow between urban areas, rural communities, disadvantaged population groups and the central government. It is this disconnection between the people at all levels with their government that has led the Open Government Initiative (OGI) to double their efforts in “Bringing the government closer to the people and the people closer to the government.” Compounding all these problems is the large proportion of illiterate citizens compared to a small universe of the educated class living mostly in towns and cities. These entire put together has been a daunting experience with regards to having the citizens of this country participate in governance. In the previous phase of the OGI the focus was inclusive of, but not limited to the following: :

  • • To introduce citizens to the institutional features of the three branches of government and to connect them to these institutions.
  • • To open up civic education channels of communication through which the public can participate in the three branches of government, including local government and Agencies.
  • • To encourage responsible and informed political participation — defined as a set of activities including discussing and debating using various channels of communication, town hall meetings, Radio/TV panel discussions There is renewed opportunity to now improve on the Open Government Initiative in Sierra Leone given the recent endorsement of the country as member of the Open Government Partnership. Following the passing of the aforementioned Act in October 2013, OGI understands the importance and accepts the challenge of improving its activities to a new and enhanced fashion and is therefore developing a strategy that will maximize the organization’s relevance and improve on the benefits to the people and government by opening up government even more. OGI has also developed other thematic areas to reach out to the people. “Citizens Right to Know” is a new mechanism and channel to get information to and from the provinces; “Federation Link” is a nationwide radio programme that reports on current governance issues around the country. Citizens contribute to the programme through text messages and phone-in calls. This new strategy will increase the activities, delivery and profile of the OGI as we open up government to the country in an unprecedented manner.

There is renewed opportunity to now improve on the Op en Government Initiative in Sierra Leone given the recent en dorsement o f the country as member of the Open Government Partnership. Following the passing of the aforementioned Act in October 2013, OGI understands the importance and accepts the challenge of improving its activities to a new and enhanced fashion and is therefore developing a strategy that will maximize the organization ’ s relevance and improve on the benefits to the people and government by opening up government even more. The Open Governmen t Initiative (OGI) has also developed other thematic areas to reach out to the people. “ Citizens Right to Know ” is a new mechanism and channel to get information to and from the provinces; “ Federation Link ” is a nationwide radio programme that reports on c urrent governance issues around the country. Citizens contribute to the programme through Text messages and Phone - in calls. This new strategy will increase the activities, delivery and profile of the OGI as we open up government to the country in an unprecedented manner.

OGI will continue to use traditional social media (newspapers, television, radio, town hall meetings, consultative workshops, Inter-Agency meetings, etc.) to disseminate information about their activities and affairs. The strategy also seeks to ask for ideas and suggestions from the citizenry of Sierra Leone with regard to how governance can be improved and other matters. Over the next two years the OGI Sierra Leone would like to increase activities around the tenets on which it was traditionally founded: Transparency, Accountability, Participation and Collaboration within Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and by extension, local governments. But at the same time would embark upon new initiatives such as the review of the constitution, sensitizing the nation on the Agenda for Prosperity, and tapping into diaspora resources, among other things.