OC1.3: Sierra Leone

Accelerating CSO policy engagement for gender responsive and special needs education

In Sierra Leone large disparities persist in the education system. Especially high levels of gender discrimination, along with girls and children with disabilities or special needs face problems with school safety and inclusivity due to discriminatory social norms and stigma.
The roots of these discriminatory practices are systemic and socio cultural, therefore progressive policies and practices are needed to address them.
Thus, the overall goal of this project, led by Education for All Sierra Leone (EFA-SL), is to ensure a more progressive, inclusive and gender responsive policy agenda to benefit all Sierra Leonean children, regardless of gender or special needs.
Citizens and communities have thus far not actively participated in the development of inclusive policies and are not adequately informed of the provision of these policies. Furthermore, the national civil society is fragmented and under resourced to undertake sustained policy influencing and monitoring work. EFA-SL will also target these tendencies.

The specific aims of the project can be divided in two parts:

  1. Build capability of National Civil Society in influencing gender responsive and inclusive education policies by 2026 
  2. National CSOs explore through monitoring and evaluation the extent to which inclusive gender responsive polices is reflected in practices, proposals, plans, systems, coordinating bodies and governance at basic education level in Sierra Leone.

The project will target marginalised children, such as girls who are or have been pregnant and are parent learners, children with disabilities and special needs, children from low-income families, and children from rural and underserved areas.

Like in the previous project phase, implemented between April 2022 – December 2023, the coalition will identify peers and collaboratives, who share similar goals both locally and internationally, and who has considerable experiences and expertise relevant for the project and EFA-SL.

By the end of the implementation phase, the project is expected to contribute to:

  • NECs and education related CSOs are mobilised and organised to influence inclusive and gender related education policies.
  • NECs and education related CSOs are capacitated in advocacy, evidence gathering and monitoring, through trainings on evidence gathering, action research, and monitoring implementation.
  • The implementation of inclusive and gender responsive education policies is supported through policy advocacy targeting duty bearers for policy change and targeting communities for practices and behavioural change.
  • CSOs utilise information to promote gender policy awareness raising, and dissemination of policy issues through communication and other platforms.

Civil society will play a significant role in the implementation of the project, by being actively engaged and assigned monitoring work in the process of enforcing accountability on gender parity issues and quality learning in schools. They will further lead trainings of community representatives, facilitate the sharing of information to relevant stakeholders, and lead advocacy on gender equity and non-discrimination policies. In this way the results will be sustained beyond the project period.

A previous phase of the project was carried out between April 2022 – December 2023. The current project is part of the EOL extension phase of 2024-2026. Read more about the previous phase of the project here. 

Faits sur le project

Période du projet

Project start
Project end
Pays du projet
Budget du projet
318.993 USD
Régions du projet
Contact du projet
Joseph A. Cobinah, efa_sl@yahoo.com