The second Bio-Meter report on Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio has painted a mixed bag of responses from citizens, with the highest score realized in efforts to manage the macro-economy.The report done by the Institute for Governance Reform (IGR) is the outcome of an assessment of five key sectors: Economy, education, healthcare, governance and accountability.
Macro-economy was rated as recording the highest score with 66.7 percent progress, followed by marine resources (47.2 percent), fighting corruption (44.4 percent), health and sanitation (41.5 percent), and the financial sector (38.1 percent).
The Bio-Meter is a regional initiative funded by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) as part of a wider effort in West Africa to create platforms for constructive state-citizen dialogue that will enhance the responsiveness of government to meet the needs of people they vow to serve.
The first report on President Bio was published in July 2018, when he clocked 100 days in office. This second report, which was officially released over the weekend, combines both survey technique and expert technique.
Andrew Lavalie, IGR’s Executive Director, said on Monday the president made a total of 556 promises during his campaign and in speeches presented in the first few months of his election. He said the
committee assessed the president on these promises using four stages that included a citizen’s survey, experts’ assessment, a self-rating by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) themselves, and a committee that manages the Bio-Meter assessment.
Some 1,920 citizens were surveyed across the five regions of the country, while 85 experts assessed the performance of the government. The MDAs were then handed questioners to assess themselves.
The president notably did well in accountability, specifically in the fight against corruption, in which it scored 80 percent. Its worst performance is on good governance. In the government’s flagship education project, President Bio scored 33 percent.
Mr Lavalie said while the public shouldn’t expect quality at this first year of his term, the concern has been on whether people were paying or not. And according to the report, 10 percent of the people surveyed said parents were still paying school fees.
Another area the president had mixed performance is in the economy. Candidate Bio had four main promises: Revenue mobilization, public debt management, exchange rate management and expenditure management. Among these, exchange rates proved the most difficult, with inflation
said to be at its highest since the mid-1980s.
Mr Lavalie called on the citizens to stick to holding the government to account on the basis of its promises, rather than comparing it to the performance of the previous government. He said the latter will only encourage politicking which will be of no benefit to the masses.
Lavaly added: “If President Bio fulfils all these promises, the country will have attained 80 of its transformation.”