Striking for engagement: The importance of state-citizen relations in Sierra Leone

This report presents an analysis of state-citizen engagement in post-war Sierra Leone. It is part of a broader International Alert research agenda on the theme of state-citizen relations in conflict-affected countries, which is intended to examine, document and analyse the realities of relations and interactions between citizens and the state (government institutions and elected officers) and the implications for peacebuilding in fragile contexts.

The research on Sierra Leone analysed:

  • the scope and opportunities for citizens to influence government actions
  • the extent to which citizens take these opportunities and why
  • the outcomes and impacts of such engagement.

The areas of focus for this research comprised the budgeting process, local governance, consultations between government and civil society platforms, and the management of natural resources. This research predated the outbreak of the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone, but its findings and recommendations are relevant to how the government and international partners programme recovery from this epidemic.