Announcement Archive

TDLC Hosts the 5th JSDF Dialogue Series: Emergency Window Project in Sierra Leone

Friday, August 16th, 2013

story from Tokyo Development Learning Center

Women attending consultation in Sierra Leone 
Women attending a consultation. Habope project.

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The World Bank’s Global Partnerships and Trust Fund Operations Department in cooperation with the Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC) and the World Bank Group Tokyo Office held the fifth Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) Dialogue Series at TDLC on August 2, 2013.

The session highlighted the achievements of one of the JSDF’s projects in Sierra Leone, The Rapid Response Growth Poles: Community-Based Livelihood and Food-Support Program (HABOPE) project by bringing together key stakeholders involved in the project.

The 30 some students, development practitioners, and government officials that participated in the session from the Tokyo venue learned about the preparation, implementation, and early results of the project and deepened their understanding of some of the community driven-development and social accountability tools used in the project, discussing and asking questions to the different project stakeholders.

The session kicked off with opening remarks by Yasusuke Tsukagoshi, special representative of the World Bank Group to Japan followed by Tatsuya Sugiura of the Ministry of Finance of the Government of Japan explaining the uniqueness of the JSDF; its focus on providing grants to support community-driven development and poverty reduction projects that empower and improve the lives of the most vulnerable groups not reached by other programs by engaging non-governmental agencies and other local stakeholders in the development process.

The HABOPE Project, which means, “have hope” in Creole is an Emergency Window project initiated in 2010, funded by the JSDF to counteract the negative effects caused by the food, fuel, and financial crises in Sierra Leone, which have severely affected the most vulnerable. It has two objectives; to reduce hunger and deprivation in two of the poorest districts, Koinadugu and Tonkolili and to restore livelihoods, sustain services, and enhance local capacities through rapid response growth poles activities including Cash for Work (CfW) and Food for Work (FfW) methodologies.

The Task Team Leader of the project, Senior Social Development Specialist, Angela Khaminwa connecting from her present post in Accra, Ghana explained that the project tried to tackle immediate issues of hunger and deprivation but also issues concerning sustainability on the long term.

Dr. Susan Robert and James Harding from the implementing agency National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) presented next and gave the details of the Habope project design. It included; building foot trails, boats, and landing points so that remote villages can become more accessible for increased open trade opportunities and basic services, installation of solar panels to community facilities, and building Community Centers where villagers can gather and exchange information for disaster risk management and prevention, crop and weather forecasts, and host trainings. Small grants were also given to at-risk and vulnerable groups to improve agribusiness and fishing cooperatives. To promote social accountability and ensure sustainability of the activities initiated by the project, leadership training and financial management training were also provided to community leaders.

“What makes the JSDF project unique and different from those funded by other donors?” One of the participants in the Tokyo venue asked the project beneficiaries. A beneficiary responded that the JSDF offered trainings and mentorships and really helped the children go back to school, and that it was the only project that actually asked the community what they wanted, where as other donors just came to them with a project.

The representative of the implementing agency, which also received grants from other country donors explained that due to low capacities and high illiteracy among the target beneficiaries, the implementing staff needed to work very closely with the target beneficiaries to achieve results and that mentoring was really the key to success.

The group in Sierra Leone and the participants in Japan engaged in a lively discussion over more questions and the session drew to a close after concluding remarks delivered by TDLC Manager Tomoyuki Naito. 

The World Bank JSDF Dialogue Series showcases achievements and lessons learned from the projects funded by the JSDF to bring various stakeholders of the project and the Japanese public and the development community together to provide a platform for communicating idea and exchanging knowledge. Please visit our upcoming programs page for our next session of the World Bank JSDF Dialogue Series.