Striking for engagement

The importance of state–citizen relations in Sierra Leone

This report analyses state–citizen engagement in post-war Sierra Leone. It is part of a broader research project on the theme of state–citizen relations in conflict-affected countries, aimed at examining, documenting and analysing the realities of relations and interactions between citizens and the state (e.g. government institutions and elected officers), and the implications this has for peacebuilding in fragile contexts. The report analyses, among other things: the scope and opportunities for citizens to influence government actions; the extent to which citizens take these opportunities and why; and the outcomes and impacts of such engagement. It focuses in particular on budgeting processes, local governance, consultations between government and civil society platforms, and the management of natural resources. The research predated the outbreak of the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, but its findings and recommendations are relevant to how the government and international partners develop programmes aimed at recovery from this epidemic.