Reparations for war victims are attributed many positive effects such as the communication of acknowledgement and people's entitlement to rights. This article argues that the impact that reparations have relies on victims' perceptions of the respective program, which is influenced in turn not only by its design, but also by its implementation. A framework for assessing the establishment of reparations programs is introduced and applied to the case of Sierra Leone. As interviews with beneficiaries reveal, its problematic implementation exacerbated existing problems in the program's design and intensified a negative demonstration effect concerning neglect on behalf of the state.