Researching data extending back over the past 50 years or so from both government and private entities, I came to see a trend:
- Research is done on a problem (such as the lack of data on SGBV specifically connected to disabilities from Sierra Leone in particular).
- A recommendation is give (usually to pass a new law, amend an existing, or create a new government entity/board).
- Lobbying is done to bring the recommendation to fruition (i.e. legislation passed).
- Great fanfare and momentum for a month to a couple years (via funding, publicity, and focus).
- A massive degradation of momentum, often returning close to original baseline (funding dries up, focus changes, initiative withers).
- New research saying the current problem stems from poor implementation of the first recommendation, followed by a new recommendation on how to fix the first recommendation (which in my estimation fails to address the structural failings of the first recommendation).
This pattern has extended from before the civil war, to the twenty years of peace building processes after the civil war. Thus, when asked to research and brainstorm a recommendation to the current situation, the research showed a new approach was needed. In essence all of the prior approaches have focused on government led initiatives (such as regional free healthcare facilities, or new ministries established within the government) or large non-profit initiatives (such as the Rainbo centers, a group of private SGBV focused health clinics). The difficulty with relying on the government and non-profits is that both have struggled to maintain the necessary focus - and subsequent funding - to see the various initiatives last beyond the first initial years. Though these initiatives are not wasted (they do often see some raising of the baseline for the target area of improvement), the solutions that are more sustainable are those that enable the momentum to not die down. The leading driver of momentum, however, has been continued funding of an initiative. Thus, the key is to develop a funding model that is persistent beyond the short-term of a few months or a few years, to a funding model that can last many years to decades across multiple changes in government administration, pandemic, or charitable donations. Determining at least part of a solution to this funding issue is where my recommendation is consolidating.