New Afrobarometer SDG Scorecard shows Sierra Leone advancing on education and financial control for women, but unemployment, poverty, and access to medical care are worsening

A new Afrobarometer Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Scorecard for Sierra Leone shows that the country is experiencing worsening unemployment, poverty, and access to medical care and clean water. But the country is making progress on education and gender equality in financial control.

The Afrobarometer SDG Scorecard, which provides citizens’ assessments of Sierra Leone’s progress on important aspects of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, also shows there has been mixed progress on gender equality in technology use, access to affordable and clean energy, and infrastructure. Progress toward SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) in Sierra Leone is also mixed: While the country is doing partially better in reducing perceived corruption in state institutions (police, judiciary, and Parliament), bribe- paying for public services remains the same. There has been no change with regard to awareness of climate change and its negative impacts.

The newly developed Afrobarometer SDG Scorecards highlight citizens’ experiences and evaluations of their country’s performance on democracy and governance, poverty, health, education, energy supply, water and sanitation, inequality, gender equity, and other priorities reflected in 12 of the 17 SDGs. These citizen assessments can be compared to official UN tracking indicators. They present both summary assessments for each SDG – via blue, green, yellow, and red “stoplights” – as well as the data behind these assessments.

Afrobarometer, an independent pan-African survey research network, released scorecards for five West African countries on Monday as part of a series of regional webinars focusing on progress toward the SDGs in Africa.

Speaking at the webinar, Daniel Armah-Attoh, Afrobarometer project manager for anglophone West Africa and North Africa, said the Afrobarometer SDG Scorecards are unique in highlighting the perspectives of ordinary citizens – the intended beneficiaries of the SDGs.

“The SDGs are intended to improve the lives of people, and numerous important indicators and scorecards are being used to track progress,” he said. “Looking at how these citizen assessments compare or contrast with other SDG indicators should stimulate debate, help to identify gaps, and support action to move forward in each country.”

Afrobarometer SDG Scorecards for 31 countries are being released in May-July 2021. All scorecards can be accessed on the Afrobarometer website’s SDG Scorecards page.