Parliament Approves National Monitoring and Evaluation Agency Act 2024
The National Monitoring and Evaluation Agency (NaMEA) Act 2024 has been approved and passed into law by the Sierra Leone Parliament. The Act was tabled by the Chief Minister, Dr. David Moinina Sengeh, during his presentation expressed eagerness that Sierra Leone currently has no specific legislation that governs the monitoring and evaluation of its policies programs and capital projects including donor funded projects. He said that it is truly an honor to pilot the draft bill into law on behalf of the government of H.E President Julius Maada Bio. With the new agency, government will heighten impact for citizens of the country. According to the Chief Minister (CM), international best practice indicates that special agency, commission or Ministry in many countries effectively and efficiently monitor and evaluate their policies, programs and projects, guided by legislature that maintains their operational independency and legitimacy.
The Chief Minister, ascertained that the purpose of the act as linked with the National Monitoring and Evaluation Policy and Strategy, is to improve the performance of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Local Councils (LCs)) for effective service delivery, by enhancing their capacity to deliver results on their policies, programs and projects based on the Medium-Term National Development Plan.
The Chief Minister assured Members of Parliament that NaMEA under the presidency gives it the authority to operate faster, gives it clout and cover required to break into networks of corruption and put MDAs on the alert. CM also guaranteed that NaMEA will still be subjected to government administration and clearly defined its relationship with key MDAs and accountable institutions like the Anti-Corruption Commission, Audit Service Sierra Leone, the National Public Procurement Authority, and other similar state institutions.
Members of Parliament noted the bill transforming the directorate into an Agency as a welcoming idea in Sierra Leone as it will end “chop chop” meaning- eating project funds and end white elephant projects. MPs crave the indulgence of government to support the Agency to grow by providing ‘Resources’ as monitoring and evaluation is demanding when it comes to planning and implementation. Female MPs also asked for gender equality in staffing and executing the mandate of NaMED.
In an interview with the Director General of NaMED, Dr. James Edwin, he emphasized that the NaMED Act will support and enhance decision makers to make evidence-based public policy and programmatic decisions and strengthen accountability regarding Government policies, programs and projects. He noted that monitoring will enable managers to identify problems and make necessary corrections, while evaluation will provide evidence-based information that is credible, reliable, and useful.