Edward Kamara

Head of Governance
United Nations Development Program, Sierra Leone
Focus Area(s): 
Civil Service
Critical Tasks: 
Sequencing reform
Ashley McCants
Country of Reform: 
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
Date of Interview: 
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
In this interview, Edward Kamara discusses the attempts at implementing civil service reform and rebuilding institutions in Sierra Leone following the end of the civil war in 2002. The capacity of the civil service remained very low following the conflict, the result of rampant corruption as well as the inadequate training provided to civil servants. Some obstacles to implementing reform in the sector include the lack of adequate funding, disagreements within the government and weak capacity. Additionally, these reforms can be politically unattractive, affecting support among local leaders whose popularity might be damaged because of the misperceptions of constituents, particularly about reforms like the creation of a Senior Executive Service. Kamara emphasizes the importance for reforms to be state-led and owned, with policies tailored to reflect the needs of the country rather than the ideas of donors. He ends by emphasizing the potential of traditional structures in the country, suggesting that reforms should build on existing structures rather than starting from scratch. 
Full Interview: 
98 MB
Edward Kamara - Full Interview

Edward Kamara earned his first degree in agriculture education, going on to teach agriculture before earning advanced degrees in business administration and management as well as economic development. Kamara then worked for the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) in Bangladesh in disaster management and conflict management, before moving to Afghanistan and working with UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees) to help resettle internally displaced persons.

Nationality of Interviewee: 
Sierra Leone
Edward Kamara
payroll/pay delivery
Donor Relations
capacity building