The actual mandate of the committee was not defined and therefore it was necessary to organize the very first meeting to put things in place. The objectives of the two days formative meetings were to establish the purpose and mandate of the IDPDC, determine the roles and responsibilities of its members and how it wants to work, determine what is needed for the IDPDC to function effectively and identify next steps.
Speaking during the meeting, the chairman Koinadugu District Council who doubles as chairman for IDPDC, Samuel Sheku Kamara said as a follow to the December inclusive conference, they are gathered to put in place an effective and functional committee. He went on to state that mandate of IDPDC would be established and every member would know his/her role and responsibility in moving forward.
He said for the past decades there have been many committees to monitor development in the district but lamented over their activities. He said Council has the legal mandate to monitor activities in the district and stated that the formation of the Inclusive District Peace and Development Committee, supported by Fambul Tok and Catalyst for Peace will serve as an overall body to provide support to Council.
Executive Director of Fambul Tok,John Caulker in his remarks said communities have lagged behind in development processes in the country for the fact that they were not involved in the designing and implementation of projects meant for their communities. He said the whole idea of the committee is to provide support to Koinadugu District Council of facilitating, mobilizing and embarking on an inclusive approach that will lead to community participation, ownership, development and peace.
President, Catalyst for Peace, Libby Hoffman underscored the importance of community participation in development process. She said there will be donor fatigue if communities continue to receive assistance from donors but fail to use them wisely, citing the cracks in the cup. She encouraged and appealed to organizations implementing projects to always involve communities.
During the meeting, participants identified gaps that continue to affect project implementation in the district. One of such was the awarding of contracts outside the district which have become a bone in the throat as many projects are left unfinished.
Participants also developed mandate, roles and responsibilities and values that will guide them during the course of their work. The Committee equally highlighted its needs such as leadership training, financial and project management, peace and reconciliation and how to link with national structures.
At the end of the formative meeting, it was unanimously agreed to appoint other positions in the committee in three weeks time. The committee will also meet in five weeks for inauguration.
Also, an Advisory board has been formed which include Catholic Relief Service, OXFAM, Fambul Tok, Catalyst for Peace,IBIS,MEST, Council of Principals of Secondary schools and Council of Head Teachers