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Pay & Performance Project

This Technical Note illustrates how a government results-based program using LforR resources took shape in Sierra Leone in the context of a civil service reform project, modeling a process that could be used in other projects. A Problem-Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA) change framework steered the LforR process of adaptive implementation to improve the process of project implementation and support the state’s capacity for delivering public services. The model of client-led project design and implementation throughout this project provides a practical example of how key principles of the PDIA framework can be operationalized in development projects. This Note describes this process in Sierra Leone in detail and provides lessons for future use of this innovative approach.

The Sierra Leone Pay and Performance Project (PPP) supported by the World Bank

The Sierra Leone Pay and Performance Project (PPP) supported by the World Bank

In June 2012 the GoSL and World Bank signed an agreement to implement the Pay and Performance Project (PPP) for Sierra Leone. The value of the project is US $17 million to finance the achievement

of priority pay and performance reforms in the Civil Service which are needed to achieve the economic growth and poverty reduction goals of the country.

Project Objective -The objective of the PPP is to improve competitiveness and internal equity in pay setting, thereby enabling the Civil Service to attract and retain qualified professionals. The project is designed to support three key reform initiatives within the Government’s overrarching Public sector programme, namely:

  1. Pay Reform
  2. Recruitment and Staffing
  3. Performance Management

Pay Reform

The GoSL’s ‘‘Multi-Year Public Sector Pay Reform Strategy (2011-2015)’’ was approved by Cabinet in February 2011. It outlines a comprehensive approach to reforming public sector pay over the five (5) year period. The Strategy recognizes that remuneration should be commensurate with the responsibilities of the job, which necessitates the completion of a comprehensive Job Evaluation and grading exercise before enhanced pay is introduced in a new pay structure. A significant decompression of the pay structure is also needed in order to allow professionals and managers to be remunerated more competitively, while maintaining an affordable and sustainable public service wage bill in relation to GoSL‘s recurrent revenues.

The Pay Reform will unify pay in Public Service by rectifying pay distortions, e.g., Civil Servants, Contract Officers, Teachers and other Public Servants by;

  • Developing a comprehensive pay structure for the Public Service including elected and political appointees
  • Mainstreaming essential Local Technical Assistants (LTAs) into Civil Service positions

Overall Objective:

  • To attract, motivate and retain competent human capacity in the Public Service

Specific Objectives:

  • Provide competitive remuneration
  • Attract and retain quality staff
  • Ensure value for money

Recruitment and Selection

Over the years the Sierra Leone Civil Service has suffered a progressive depletion of skilled manpower in the Managerial and Professional grades. This situation was exacerbated by the 11 year Civil War and has continued to this day. A key problem is the so-called “missing middle.” In 2008, there were only 995 Civil Servants in mid-level Professional and Technical grades (grades 6-10) compared with 5,858 in 1993/94 at the beginning of the civil war. The GoSL has responded to this situation by recruiting Technical and Professional staff to critical vacancies in the “missing middle” through a rehabilitated Public Service Commission (PSC). Appointments are based on merit following a transparent and competitive process in which all vacancies are advertised and selection is based on interview and examination methods. As a result the number of Civil Servants in grades 6-10 has increased from 995 in 2008 to 1,559 in 2011, representing 11.4% of total Civil Service employment. Priority skills gaps are now filled through open, competitive and merit-based recruitment and promotions processes to build the capability of the Civil Service.


  • To create a capable Civil Service of the right size and job composition to deliver its core functions assigned by government

Specific Objectives:

  • Developing and approving the Recruitment Guidelines;
  • Prioritizing and filling vacancies in Grade 6 and above in accordance with the Annual Recruitment Plans;
  • Integrating LTAs in accordance with an approved Mainstreaming Policy and Action Plan.

Performance Management

In 2010, H.E the President decided to leverage government performance by demanding performance from Ministries rather than from individual Civil Servants. He now signs an Annual Performance Contract reflecting Policy Outcomes with each of his Ministers and, with the support of the Strategic Policy Unit, reviews their performance on a quarterly basis through Performance Tracking Tables. Because the performance of every Ministry is clearly dependent upon the performance of its managers, it was decided to cascade the contracting process to Permanent Secretaries (PS), Professional Heads and Directors. A pilot project was launched by the OCOS in mid-2011 for seven ministries (later extended due to MDAs split in the 2013 Cabinet reshuffle) and six Local Councils in which the performance of 67 senior officials were to be assessed. Under the PPP, the HRMO will introduce an open results-oriented Individual Performance Appraisal System (IPAS) for which policy principles have been established in the new Civil Service Regulations & Rules and which have their own Guidelines. The intention is to link individual and organizational performance by relating the agreed objectives and targets for individual civil servants to departmental objectives and policy outcomes


  • Improve the performance and productivity of MDAs and individual Civil Servants;
  • Increase Citizens’ trust and confidence in government;
  • Strengthen the accountability of MDAs to the citizens and the Executive.

Benefits of Performance Management:

  • Assisting MDAs in formulating annual output-based Performance Targets and Work Plans for each department,
  • Establishing an information system to generate regular performance reports,
  • Carrying out annual performance reviews and taking corrective action to bring actual performance closer to targeted performance.
  • linking MDA’s performance with the performance of individual Civil Servants and strengthen the accountability of ministries to the executive and citizens

Performance Management involves the following:

  • Designing and implementing an appropriate Performance Appraisal System
  • Designing and implementing a Performance Contract Management Process for managers;
  • Publishing the Performance Targets of all Ministries; and
  • Evaluating the overall performance of said Ministries together with relevant Non-State Actors.

Job Evaluation & Labour Market Survey for the Sierra Leone Civil Service

Objectives of this Presentation
Create awareness about the engagement.
Communicate the objectives, approach and expected benefits of the engagement.
Understand and clarify expectations.