Sierra Leone

Overview of SDG progress

Since 2015, little progress has been made in the achievement of the SDGs, especially in the integration of the SDGs into national agenda. The government together with CSOs have been able to merge the Medium-term national development plan and the SDGs. However, there are still numerous challenges in the means of implementation. Specific progress has been made on some goals like SDGs 5,4,3,2 and 1. The government together with CSOs have instituted policies that enhance the implementation and achievement of specific goals like 5 and 4, eg; the review of the sexual offences act and laws against rape and SGBV. The area that needs more attention are the popularization and localization of the SDGs, means of implementation, technological support etc.

National planning, implementation and budget commitments

The government have developed its medium-term national development plan that is aligned with the SDGs, the implementation is currently in progress with great commitment from its ministries, departments and agencies focusing on education for development. The challenge is that the government is operating on budget deficit and with very limited budget commitment to meet needs in the implementation of the SDGs. The government rely strongly on the support of CSOs, INGOs, NGOs and the general international donor community funding to implement it plan.

Progress since last VNR

This is the 3rd time the country through the government is making presentation at the VNR, every VNR report set out different challenges that have been very slow to address or has not been addressed since the last VNR report in 2019. Some of the challenges are: •Limited Fiscal Space: A serious constraint is limited fiscal space, with domestic revenue-to-GDP ratio still standing at less than 15 percent. Transforming the informal sector, which accounts Sierra Leone Voluntary National Review Report, July 2019 Page 9 for about 70 percent of economic activities, is extremely critical in this direction. •Lack of National Coordinating Mechanism: There is no coordinating mechanism to coordinate key players (CSOs, NGOs, INGOs, etc) and monitor the implementation of the SDGs. •Popularization and Localization of the SDGs: There is little or no investment from the government to popularize and localize the SDGs.

Key communities who face being left behind

From the district engagement with citizens, people from the LGBTQI, geographic locations are most often left out of meaningful and developmental engagement, also age discrimination and older person are also left out. There is no data available in the community and there is little or no chances that government is/has plan or institute any policy of such.

How have you engaged across communities?

In our network, we prioritize inclusion at all levels. We create a platform for fair participation without discriminations, we have been working with state actors to institute laws against discriminations of all kind. We support marginalized groups to participate in community, district, regional and national engagement, we also engage community stakeholders on the importance of inclusion and also institute local byelaws to promote community inclusion and participation at all levels of engagement. Some of the challenges are the societal concept of LGBTQI - which makes it difficult for acceptance let alone to talk about tolerance. The willingness of the government to help with formulation is not forth coming so soon and there is absolutely no interest on the side of the government.

Overview of climate change

Climate Change is a major problem in very many communities according to the response from the engagement. It is greatly affecting farmers during planting and harvesting, disasters, and many more. There is little or no enforcement of policies due to other contributing factors like livelihood. Lots of awareness has been raised on climate change with no alternative source of livelihood introduced. Communities keep engaging in harmful practices like deforestation, burning of bush, bush fallowing has left community exposed to more disasters. Government activities like; timber logging, mining etc. also left communities very exposed to climate actions.

Civil society priorities

As CSO, we have been calling on the government to prioritize decentralizations of resources that will support local government to lead local development including policy formulations. Recommend that government to establish CSO coordinating platform to support the implementation of the SDGs at local and national level.

Civil society engagement

Yes, we have heard couple of engagement on policy formulations and citizens engagement and accountability on service delivery for citizens. We have also engaged with the government on credible evidence-based data collection on service delivery from duty bearers and service providers and also jointly collaborate to develop the country’s VNR report.

Public awareness

There are no materials that has been translated to any local languages, local government have not been made aware about the SDGs, they have not been actively involved. Yes, civil society have been a key players in achieving the SDGs, CSOs are aligning their work to the SDGs and also have been suporting local initiatives.

Leave-no-one-behind consultations


A national dialogue was hosted with civil society in late 2016 to understand how to deliver on the pledge to leave no one behind. The consultation outcomes in Sierra Leone showed that age, gender and mental well-being are some of the key factors affecting marginalization in the country. However, the consultation also noted that there are ‘hidden’ social factors influencing marginalization; for example, there is a lack of information on LGBT marginalization in the country due in part to stigmatization, and ethnicity was not highly ranked but has had devastating effects. A lack of access to basic services, income, food and education were highlighted as important issues facing marginalized groups. A small minority of consultation participants reported knowing about the SDGs and understood how the government is engaging in the SDG implementation process. Key constituencies most marginalised in the country
  • Women
  • Children
  • People with physical disabilities
  • People with mental illnesses
  • The Elderly
  • The unemployed

What can be done to leave no one behind?

Given the particular challenges of Sierra Leone, more data and information is needed to accurately map all marginalization in the country if we are to leave no one behind. It is recommended that sector must also build capacity internally to understand Agenda 2030 and ensure no one is being left behind in Sierra Leone. Furthermore there is an urgent need for core infrastructure investment to be delivered in an inclusive and participatory process.

National Coalition

Volunteers Involving Organisations Network - VIONET


SDG Progress


Civic Space Rating

Adult Literacy Percentage


Infant Mortality/1000


Human Development Index

Human Development Index

Population below national poverty line


Rural Population below national poverty line


National % of Global Poorest 20%

Human Development Index