Sierra Leone Overview

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In this Image A still from IPA's "Behind the Data" film, which documents the journey of a data collection team with IPA as they travel to Pujehun district in Sierra Leone to conduct surveys for a randomized evaluation. © 2019 IPA & Econ Films

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Research Findings

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Social Incentives for Childhood Immunization in Sierra Leone

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Can a subtle form of social influence get more parents to fully vaccinate their children? In Sierra Leone, where immunization is valued, but not fully adhered to, researchers worked with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and IPA to test the impact on immunization rates of highly visible bracelets for children, signaling whether and to what extent children had completed their immunization schedules. The study found that bracelets signaling all immunizations had been completed increased timely and complete vaccination by 14 percentage points, at a cost of roughly US$1 per child.

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Debates: The Impact of Voter Knowledge Initiatives in Sierra Leone

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In Sierra Leone, researchers partnered with the civil society organization Search for Common Ground to evaluate how the dissemination of political information through debates impacts voter behavior, campaign spending, and the performance of elected politicians. The study found that watching debates substantially increased political knowledge, policy alignment, and vote shares for higher-quality candidates. The debates also encouraged politicians to invest more in their constituencies, both during the campaign and one year later. 

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Integrating Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-based Interventions and Employment Programs for Youth in Sierra Leone

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Evidence suggests that approaches based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can improve mental health and reduce crime and violence in post-conflict areas. However, delivering CBT programs is a challenge in settings that lack trained staff and therapeutic facilities. Researchers in Sierra Leone are exploring alternate delivery platforms to bring evidence-based mental health interventions to youth facing conflict and adversity in West Africa. This study will integrate a CBT-based intervention into an existing youth employment program and evaluate barriers to implementation and intervention effectiveness, as measured by impact on social functioning (soft skills), emotion regulation and economic stability.

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Policy Impact

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Vaccine Bracelets

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IPA Sierra Leone partnered with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to increase child vaccination rates through low-cost bracelets. We are currently building a path-to-scale for this project for national-level implementation by the government.

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Universal Vision

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IPA Sierra Leone is working with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to test cost-effective methods for universal vision screenings in schools. If the methods are proven effective, efforts will be made to officially integrate them into national programming. 

 

Political Participation

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IPA Sierra Leone worked with the Political Parties Registration Commission on two projects around political participation and information exchange. In 2023, IPA Sierra Leone will conduct an electoral study aimed at getting high-quality candidates to run for local political office.

Sierra Leone

Our Team

Sierra Leone

Our Team

Country Director

Walker Higgins

Walker Higgins is the Country Director of IPA's Liberia and Sierra Leone offices. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing all country program projects and staff, along with developing and implementing country program strategies and research and policy agendas.

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Associate Research Manager

Edmond Augustine Kanu

Edmond Kanu is the Associate Research Manager at the Liberia and Sierra Leone offices of IPA where he supports the implementation of complex randomized control trials and other quantitative and qualitative research projects.

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Research Associate

Kevin Dunne

Kevin Dunne is a Research Associate at IPA's Sierra Leone office, supporting research that looks to improve candidate quality in local council elections.

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Senior Field Manager

Abdulai Bah

Abdulai Bah works closely with Research Associates and other field staff members to perform a variety of tasks, including hiring and training of surveyors, sending project updates and checking incoming data on SurveyCTO.

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Field Manager

Felix Kanu

Felix Brima Kanu works closely with Research Associates, the Research Coordinator, and other field staff members to carry out various research-related tasks like hiring and training of enumerators, supervising, and overseeing fieldwork activities to ensure quality and fieldwork effectiveness.

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Senior Field Manager

Fatoma Momoh

Fatoma Momoh works closely with Project Research Associates and Principal Investigators to manage and implement Research Projects in project design, establishing healthy partner relationships, field staff and data collection process/ management.

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Operations Associate

Kelvin Renner

Kelvin E. Renner is the lead Operations Associate at IPA Sierra Leone. He joined IPA in 2014 as the first Operations Assistant for Sierra Leone and has since worked closely with the Finance department and Country Director(s).

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Office Assistant

Mohamed Samura

Mohamed Samura is the Office Assistant of IPA Sierra Leone. He joined IPA in June 2017, first as a part-time cleaner and later as a full-time Office Assistant. 

Read Full Bio

Country Director

Walker Higgins

Walker Higgins is the Country Director of IPA's Liberia and Sierra Leone offices. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing all country program projects and staff, along with developing and implementing country program strategies and research and policy agendas.

Read Full Bio

Associate Research Manager

Edmond Augustine Kanu

Edmond Kanu is the Associate Research Manager at the Liberia and Sierra Leone offices of IPA where he supports the implementation of complex randomized control trials and other quantitative and qualitative research projects.

Read Full Bio

Research Associate

Kevin Dunne

Kevin Dunne is a Research Associate at IPA's Sierra Leone office, supporting research that looks to improve candidate quality in local council elections.

Read Full Bio

Senior Field Manager

Abdulai Bah

Abdulai Bah works closely with Research Associates and other field staff members to perform a variety of tasks, including hiring and training of surveyors, sending project updates and checking incoming data on SurveyCTO.

Read Full Bio

Field Manager

Felix Kanu

Felix Brima Kanu works closely with Research Associates, the Research Coordinator, and other field staff members to carry out various research-related tasks like hiring and training of enumerators, supervising, and overseeing fieldwork activities to ensure quality and fieldwork effectiveness.

Read Full Bio

Senior Field Manager

Fatoma Momoh

Fatoma Momoh works closely with Project Research Associates and Principal Investigators to manage and implement Research Projects in project design, establishing healthy partner relationships, field staff and data collection process/ management.

Read Full Bio

Operations Associate

Kelvin Renner

Kelvin E. Renner is the lead Operations Associate at IPA Sierra Leone. He joined IPA in 2014 as the first Operations Assistant for Sierra Leone and has since worked closely with the Finance department and Country Director(s).

Read Full Bio

Office Assistant

Mohamed Samura

Mohamed Samura is the Office Assistant of IPA Sierra Leone. He joined IPA in June 2017, first as a part-time cleaner and later as a full-time Office Assistant. 

Read Full Bio