Sierra Leone


Population 2022 (Millions)


HDI Score
2021 (Max. 1)


SDG Score
(Max. 100)


Gender Inequality
Index Score
(Max. 1)


Internet Inclusivity
Index 2022
(100 countries)

Sources: 1. World Bank (2022), 2, UNDP (2021), 3. Sustainable Development Report (2023), 4. UNDP (2021), 5. Economist Impact (2022)


Located in Western Africa and comprising four main regions, coastal swamp, the interior plateau, the Sierra Leone Peninsula, and thickly forested mountains, Sierra Leone is a mid-sized country with a recent tragic past. Its civil war, which lasted for over a decade, resulted in tens of thousands of casualties and over 2.5 million displaced people. As the war ended only in 2002, the country is still recovering from such a massive shock. Sierra Leone faces many challenges, the most prominent being a poverty rate of over 60% of the population. Additionally, the country faces issues with high levels of illiteracy, government corruption, and physical infrastructure that has yet to be repaired after the brutal fighting during the war.


New Poverty & Inequality Metrics: Integrated Local MPIs for More Inclusive Development Policies and Programmes
The Integrated Local Multidimensional Poverty Index (LMPI) initiative marks a groundbreaking step by the UNDP to adapt the Multidimensional Poverty Index to local contexts. Through pilots in Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, the project aims to craft multidimensional, inclusive, and local metrics to guide targeted interventions. Utilizing a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods and grassroots participation, the LMPI endeavors to improve the living conditions of the most disadvantaged groups. DPA has been contracted by the UNDP to compile a Synthesis Report detailing the data collection, methodologies, and outcomes from these four initial countries, and to create a Guidance Note. The guidance will streamline the replication of this model in additional countries and communities.
Strategic Assessment of the European Commission’s Work in Digitalization in Sub-Saharan Africa

This study, produced in collaboration with ADE, assessed the European Union’s external cooperation for development in the cross-cutting field of digitalization in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with a view to issuing a series of lessons learned and recommendations to inform current and future cooperation work. In particular, this evaluation focuses on understanding and analyzing DEVCO’s investments and projects in the region, the extent to which these projects are strategically promoting the pillars, objectives and values of the EU frameworks, and to identify complementarities or lack thereof with other relevant national, regional, and international stakeholders.

Assessing Africa’s Borderlands Informal Social Protection Mechanisms in Liberia and Sierra Leone

This study, supported by the UNDP’s Country Offices in Liberia and Sierra Leone, developed a deep understanding of the existing informal social protection mechanisms and community development needs in the borderlands of Sierra Leone and Liberia. DPA adopted an inductive ethnographic approach consisting of qualitative methods complemented with quantitative data collection to identify borderland community needs and trends, covariate shocks faced and coping mechanisms, as well as the inclusion and exclusion factors. The outputs and findings of the study informed government and UNDP programmatic interventions aimed at strengthening the resilience of these communities.

Landscape Mapping and Review of Technology-Based Interventions to Address Child Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation Across 13 Countries in Asia and Africa

The need to end child marriage and FGM has never been greater –without accelerated progress to end both of these harmful practices, millions of women and girls across the globe will continue to be in danger. DPA, in collaboration with UNICEF and UNFPA, conducted a comprehensive landscape mapping and review of key technology-based interventions to address child marriage and FGM across 13 countries in Africa and Asia (Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia). During the second phase of the project, DPA carried out an in depth review of three selected interventions to better understand their effectiveness, key success factors, and potential areas for improvement.
The methodology proposed by DPA was based on intersectional feminist approach and an analysis integrating both quantitative and qualitative research methods, as well as traditional and non-traditional data sources collected at different stages of the study, underpinned by a participatory approach involving UNICEF, UNFPA, and other stakeholders.

Capturing the Socioeconomic and Cultural Drivers of Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) in Sierra Leone

In partnership with UNDP Sierra Leone, this project assessed the prevalence, incidence, trends, and patterns of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in Sierra Leone through a mixed-methods approach and innovate machine learning techniques. By analyzing the structural and root causes that contribute to SGBV, the final report provided targeted policy recommendations to prevent and respond to this phenomenon through a unified national response.

With regards to quantitative methods, DPA mapped, accessed, and analyzed national and international data sources to uncover which drivers might have a higher statistical influence on the prevalence of SGBV. With this information, the research team created advanced machine learning techniques to identify the most relevant indicators and their relationship to SGBV. This analysis was complemented with qualitative data collected through a systematic literature review (over 50 pieces, supported by the ecological model), semi-structured interviews with survivors of SGBV, and focus group discussions with key CSO and government stakeholders.