Head of Governance, United Nations Development Program, Sierra Leone
Depoliticization, Sequencing Reform
, training, payroll/pay delivery, donor relations, corruption, capacity building
Tue Aug 5 2008
In this interview, Edward Kamara discusses the attempts at implementing civil service reform and rebuilding institutions in Sierra Leone following the end of the civil war in 2002. The capacity of the civil service remained very low following the conflict, the result of rampant corruption as well as the inadequate training provided to civil servants. Some obstacles to implementing reform in the sector include the lack of adequate funding, disagreements within the government and weak capacity. Additionally, these reforms can be politically unattractive, effecting support among local leaders whose popularity might be damaged because of the misperceptions of constituents, particularly about reforms like the creation of a Senior Executive Service. Kamara emphasizes the importance for reforms to be state-led and owned, with policies tailored to reflect the needs of the country rather than the ideas of donors. He ends by emphasizing the potential of traditional structures in the country, suggesting that reforms should build on existing structures rather than starting from scratch.
Edward Kamara earned his first degree in agriculture education, going on to teach agriculture before earning advanced degrees in business administration and management as well as economic development. Kamara then worked for the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) in Bangladesh in disaster management and conflict management, before moving to Afghanistan and working with UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees) to help resettle internally displaced persons.