The Government of Sierra Leone through the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) has this week launched a national exercise to implement the revised Hazard Policy aimed at re-classifying Ebola Response Workers (ERWs) based on real risks and further ensuring fiduciary sustainability and compliance.
The exercise which will run for a month (until l February 26) is implemented in collaboration with the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Our assistance has established electronic payment as a reliable payment method, with an innovative payroll system supporting timely payments to all ERWs,” said UNDP Sierra Leone’s Country Director, Sudipto Mukerjee. The NERC Payroll System, funded by UNDP, is now working with all pay partners to verify all hazard pay recipients to ensure that there is no duplication of payments among all partner agencies involved in funding hazard payments.
Mr. Mukerjee added
This is an important step towards building resilient and transparent Government to People Payment Programs in the country.
This national exercise, in which the Anti- Corruption Commission is participating to enhance transparency, will allow Government of Sierra Leone and its partners to detect ghost workers and those receiving Hazard Pay from more than one source.
Mr. Steven Gaojia, Chief Operating Officer at NERC said, “We are taking responsive steps to ensure fiduciary compliance and transparency of all hazard cash-transfer programmes in Sierra Leone”.
The Director of the UN Emergency Ebola Response Mission (UNMEER) Parvathy Ramaswami said “We need a clear baseline of workers who are part of the Ebola response and to move forward in line with the national plan and the hazard policy, re-purposing and classification of workers is crucial. The NERC Hazard Payroll System will facilitate a more streamlined list management and support the transition of this workforce to benefit from other national programmes post-Ebola.”
As the NERC response evolves and adjusts itself based on the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) transmission and recommended priority actions amongst the concerned stakeholders, there is a need to enhance the payment system to compliment transmission rates in Sierra Leone.
The hazard incentive programme is funded by the World Bank, the African Development Bank and DFID, with technical guidance, implementation and coordination support provided by UNDP and UNMEER. The objective of this national exercise is to improve transparency and accountability through electronic verification of all eligible ERWs in a common national hazard payroll system, managed by NERC and UNDP. As part of this national exercise, all 28,000 ERWs will also be issued national identification cards through the National Registration Secretariat (NRS).
The Programme of Payments for the Ebola Response Workers is conducted in partnership with the United Nations Mission for Emergency Ebola Response (UNMEER), and in collaboration with technical experts from the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)