Project Factsheet
Tools for » PBF/SLE/A-7 Development of an Independent National Public Broadcasting Service for Sierra Leone
Project ID:00071608Description:PBF/SLE/A-7 INPBS
Peacebuilding Fund
Start Date *: 7 Jul 2009
Democratic Governance -W1
End Date*: 31 Dec 2012
Country: Sierra Leone Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   UNDP - UNDP(MDTF/PUNO only).

Project Description (Extension USD 800,000 - Jan 2011/Jan 2013):

Contribute to enhance peace, reconciliation, democracy, human rights, development and empowerment of the people of Sierra Leone by supporting SLBC to establish itself as an independent public broadcaster. This will be achieved through initial financial and operational support, technical assistance, capacity building and sponsorship of development oriented programmes. 


PBF Priority Area(s) and Outcomes:

Priority Area 2. Promote coexistence and peaceful conflict resolution

PBF Outcome 5. National reconciliation processes that promote culture of inclusion and peaceful resolution of conflicts are strengthened and the most urgent human rights legacies of the conflict addressed, including responsible media.


Outputs and Key Activities:

The project will assist the establishment of an independent and professional public broadcasting corporation that contributes to peace, democracy, reconciliation and empowerment of the people through high quality and impartial programmes which are available nationwide to all sections of the population. Following are the main outputs that the project intends to achieve.

Output 1:  Strengthened public service ethos through programming that informs, educates and entertains the people 

Output 2:  Strategic planning completed for coverage of the 2012 elections

Output 3:  Initial operational support provided to SLBC to operate reliably, providing daily unbiased and independent news and current affairs programmes, relevant information and development programmes, and entertainment and sports programme coverage on radio

Output 4:  Consistency of technical quality of SLBC output ensured and maximum reach among the total population achieved




Project Description (USD 850,000 - Jul 2009/Jul 2010):

Radio is by far the most important medium for news and public information in Sierra Leone. A total of 77% of the population of Sierra Leone (3.8 million) are radio listeners according to a 2008 survey jointly commissioned by the Swiss based development NGO Foundation Hirondelle and UNICEF.

Since its establishment by UNAMSIL in 2000, UN Radio has been Sierra Leone’s only national broadcaster, reaching nearly every community in the country with 24-hour-a-day programming. UN Radio has remained the only source of accurate, impartial news and public information on a national scale.

UNIOSIL is due to close on 30 September and though it will be replaced by the smaller United Nations Integrated Peace building Office of Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL) as of 1st October 2008, the new mission will only support UN Radio temporarily for one year. The challenge facing UN Radio going forward is to phase itself out and ensure that a new national independent radio service fills the gap, with initial UN and international donor support.

The current transition plan, which success depends on PBF funding, entails two parallel processes in which UN Radio continues to function temporarily under UNIPSIL auspices whilst a new institution is created which will compete with Liberia and Tanzania for the status of the first truly independent national public service broadcast corporation in Africa. The new entity to be created is to be known as the Sierra Leone Broadcast Corporation, (SLBC) and will be legally established with the passage of legislation by Parliament before the end of 2008. The law was submitted to the Cabinet on 17 September 2008.


Main Goal and Key Immediate Objectives:

1.0 The main goal of this project is to contribute to strengthening peace, security and democracy in the country and achieve participation of the populace in development through a national independent public broadcasting service, the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC).

1.1 This shall be accomplished by contributing to an established public service broadcaster in Sierra Leone, SLBC, that is independent, has a functioning and trained board, trained and professional staff, and is adequately resourced to provide independent news and information, and provide programming which includes the participation of the citizens


Outputs and Key Activities:

1.1.1        A law reflecting international standards of public service broadcasting and that promotes principles of independent and responsible journalism in support of the development and promotion of democracy and social and economic development is passed by Parliament.

1.1.2        A Board of directors is established, trained and operates in an independent and responsible manner.

1.1.3        The programming of SLBC is unbiased, neutral, balanced, and covers the breadth of Sierra Leone society.

1.1.4        A national coverage plan is created and near national radio coverage provides the people of Sierra Leone with access to SLBC programming.

1.1.5        SLBC has the resources it needs to provide regular and reliable programming:  buildings, equipment, staff, skills, and funding.

1.1.6        The staff of SLBS is provided with a severance package that includes cash payment and training opportunities.

1.1.7        The public are informed about the nature of the new public broadcast service and its advantages, and about the closure of SLBS and UN Radio.




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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Sierra Leone or the lead agency for the programme.

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