17 May 2019

Sierra Leone: WHO Undertakes Functional Review of Its Country Office in Sierra Leone to Align Its Strategic Direction to Country Health Priorities

A functional review of the WHO Sierra Leone Country Office is underway in Freetown led by a team from the Regional Office for Africa. The review aims to better align the workforce, strategic health direction, structure and operations of the Country Office to the health sector needs and priorities of the host country. The review also aims to enable the Organization to deliver high-quality, strategic and technical advice as well as operational support relevant to the National Development Strategy of the government of Sierra Leone as well as international and national partners.

The exercise is a special project and part of the Transformation Agenda of WHO in the African Region which was approved by the Ministers of Health at the 65th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa, the Organization's highest decision-making body for all 47 WHO Member States in the region.

"The single most important ingredient for success is the human resource capacity of WHO in the African Region. Strengthening capacities for enhanced effectiveness in the work of WHO at the country level will be pivotal to the success of the Transformation Agenda" says Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

Sierra Leone is the 40th country being reviewed since start of the project in 2017. The remaining countries will equally be reviewed before the project ends in 2020.

The review team has held series of consultations with national authorities, bilateral and multilateral organizations, donors, heads of other UN agencies and the civil society. These consultations were in addition to other prior engagements including online perception survey of in-country partners. "WHO values partnership and it is good to understand their perceptions about the Organization and how they would prefer WHO to work with them to better deliver together", says Dr Abdulmumini Usman, the Functional Review Project Manager. Any organization that does not reform will eventually become irrelevant and will cease to exist, he added. The multi-partner consultations were followed by an extensive workshop with the country office staff members to enable them align their operations and structure in line with the country's development strategy and the National Health Sector Strategic Plan while identifying required functions and expertise. The high level consultations will help to shape and inform the outcome of the review process which shall be implementation in phases upon approval of the Regional Director.

"I am taking over as the Country Representative at a time this very important review process is being conducted. I therefore consider it as a great opportunity and will start work on the final recommendations and suggestions that will be made by the government, partners and donors as priorities for the health sector in Sierra Leone", says Mr Evans Liyosi, WHO Country Representative in Sierra Leone.

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