By Samuel Wise Bangura
The Productive Social Safety Net and Youth Employment Project in Sierra Leone seeks to improve access to social safety nets and income-generating opportunities for targeted beneficiaries. Minister of Youth Mohamed Orman Bangura said the project would address poverty and unemployment by providing support to vulnerable individuals and promoting entrepreneurship among the youth. He made this statement while receiving ICT equipment from the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA). These equipment will strengthen the project’s monitoring and evaluation exercise, and also enhance the collection of real-time data on the effectiveness and impact of the project.
One of the primary objectives of the project is to improve access to social safety nets for beneficiaries. This includes providing cash transfers to vulnerable individuals and households. The project’s success can be measured by the number of beneficiaries who have received support through social safety net programs. It is essential to ensure that these cash transfers are delivered promptly, within 90 calendar days of the government’s request, to disburse the Economic Inclusion subcomponent.
The project recognises the importance of gender equality and youth empowerment. It aims to uplift female beneficiaries and promote their active participation in income-generating activities. By providing support to female-led extreme-poor household enterprises, the project aims to enhance their economic independence and sustainability. Similarly, the project also focuses on youth-led enterprises, aiming to boost their productivity and create long-term employment opportunities.
The project’s impact can be measured by the number of beneficiaries who have successfully established operational enterprises at least six months after completing the program. This metric reflects the effectiveness of the Economic Inclusion package in supporting extreme-poor household enterprises and youth-led businesses. By ensuring the sustainability of these enterprises, the project contributes to poverty reduction and economic growth.
The acquisition of these ICT equipment will significantly contribute to strengthening the project’s implementation and monitoring capabilities, the minister said, adding that these technological resources would enable efficient data management, monitoring of beneficiaries, and the overall progress of the project. Furthermore, the ICT equipment would also facilitate real-time data collection and information exchange, enhance coordination among stakeholders, and support evidence-based decision-making.
The Productive Social Safety Net and Youth Employment Project, along with the support of the minister of youth, plays a vital role in improving access to social safety nets and income-generating opportunities in Sierra Leone. By focusing on vulnerable individuals, empowering women and youth, and promoting sustainable entrepreneurship, the project will contribute to poverty reduction and economic growth.
With continued commitment and support, this initiative has the potential to transform the lives of beneficiaries and shape a prosperous future for Sierra Leone.