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Diplomacy Students Learn from Presentation on Politics in Sierra Leone  

Andrew Lavalix320Mr. Andrew Lavali spoke to students in Professor M'Cormack-Hale's classes about service delivery reform in Sierra Leone on April 11, 2022. Lavali is Executive Director at the Sierra Leone Institute for Governance Reform (IGR), a think tank dedicated to bridging the gap between research and policy. He focused on a project being funded by the World Bank’s Global Partnership for Social Accountability. Working with Oxfam, the project is closing the gap in information for Sierra Leone's parliamentarians to enable them to be responsive to citizens and their needs.

Through the project, Lavali and IGR leverage data to inform politicians in Sierra Leone about where resources are needed in the country. He discussed in his presentation the critical areas of healthcare and education and efforts to inform parliamentarians about significant shortcomings in the provisioning of these resources. He also discussed the attention that IGR's efforts got from parliament: the resultant Service Delivery Index (SDI) report is the first civil society report to be debated in parliament, with recommendations accepted and endorsed by parliamentarians.

Lavali emphasized that politicians need information to make decisions, and how weak states like Sierra Leone often suffer from a dearth of communication. He is highly experienced within the development field, receiving Sierra Leone's highest honor, the Presidential Award, in 2021, which is for a citizen’s achievements in public service, arts, sciences, and philanthropy.Lavali also discussed internship opportunities with students.

The event was complemented by African food, including Sierra Leone pepper chicken, Angolan empanadas, and Nigerian Jollof rice, and shared another way to talk about culture and diplomacy.

Categories: Nation and World

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