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First-of-their-kind youth and women debates in Sierra Leone provide political parties with a unique platform for discussing policy positions. Credit: Vickie Remoe
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone


Since the end of the civil war in 2002, NDI has worked in Sierra Leone to increase citizen engagement, promote democratic political parties, enhance women's political participation, and support transparent, inclusive, and credible elections. NDI has collaborated with civil society organizations (CSOs) including the Men’s Association for Gender Equality Sierra Leone (MAGE-SL), the National Elections Watch (NEW), the National Political Debate Committee (NPDC), and the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) to increase women’s political participation through male allyship in political parties, conduct systematic citizen election observation, promote issue-based political discourse, and strengthen civil society’s capacity to combat disinformation and hate speech around elections. 

In the lead-up to and following Sierra Leone’s June 2023 elections, NDI has been committed to helping Sierra Leonean women leverage the unique window of opportunity created by the passage of three groundbreaking pieces of gender legislation – the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Act 2022, the Political Parties Act 2022, and the Public Elections Act 2022 – which, among many accomplishments, established a 30 percent quota for women in all elected and appointed positions and in political party leadership. The Institute is working closely with women aspirants, candidates, elected politicians, and political party members to strengthen their capacities to run for and effectively serve in political positions. NDI also worked closely with citizen election observation groups to promote credible elections through 1) a systematic election observation methodology known as process and results verification for transparency (PRVT), which allows observers to independently and impartially assess the quality of voting and counting on election day as well as the accuracy of official results, and 2) an analysis of candidate nomination lists and election results to assess party compliance with election legislation for the 2023 elections. As the country begins to grapple with the impacts of the June 2023 elections, NDI will continue to provide non-partisan technical assistance to ongoing electoral reform processes, and to promote national cohesion through peaceful inter-party dialogues.

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