AL-Liberia Launches National Youth Sustainable Peace Policy Framework

Accountability Liberia Executive Director, Lawrence Yelue

Accountability Lab Liberia (AL Liberia) with funding from UNDP has launched the project, “Promoting Sustainable Peace through National Youth Policy in the Framework of the 2030 Agenda project”. This is intended to directly contribute to the key strategic interventions identified in Liberia’s National Youth Policy and Action Plan 2019-2023, by providing capacity-building support to youth-led organizations in Bomi, Bong, Grand Bassa, Grand Gedeh, and Montserrado Counties enabling them to lead peacebuilding efforts; promote youth participation in decision-making, and removing obstacles that affect the full contribution of youth to society. 

The overarching objectives of the project is to support the sustainability of local youth-led organizations through crisis, including COVID-related constraints, strengthen local partnership with ownership by youth-led organizations, movements, and networks to support youth's positive role in peacebuilding as well as foster youth inclusive and safe spaces for dialogues to design youth inclusive and response policies and build trust between youth and government.

During this seven-month-long project (June-December, 2021), AL Liberia will work in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MOYS) and the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) at the county level to identify and vet the participating Civil Society Organization (CSOs)/Community Based Organizations (CBOs), as well as, participate in a youth peacebuilding research activity and national stakeholders’ forum involving policymakers and national leaders. 

AL Liberia will also work with the other United Nations (UN) agencies and the UN Governance pillar at the central level, and alongside a network of youth volunteers.

The project, according to AL-Liberia is set to deliver capacity building initiatives for 20 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) in the five counties mentioned, building networks among youth-led CSOs/CBOs to drive local development and Peace-building initiatives; and creating linkages for youths to engage in larger policy-making processes. 

This, AL-Liberia said, will be done by providing the space for collaborative learning and dialogue between young people and other relevant stakeholders to find solutions to collective challenges around Peace-building.

AL Liberia realizes that the stake of young people in peace-building is increasingly important, and involving different demographics in the national conversations is necessary to strengthen peace and security. Also, building youth resilience, providing opportunities to reduce their vulnerability, and allowing them to understand signs, risks, and consequences of conflict are all imperative for sustainable peace in Liberia, and key to ensuring lasting social cohesion and harmony. 

The project activities will cover: Allocation for small grants program for 10 CSOs (2 from each county) with in-kind support and capacity building, and working with program participants to craft and develop their applications, Youth Innovation Labs, as a way to develop creative youth-driven ideas for Peace-building; Youth Coalition Building where AL Liberia will work to expand and strengthen existing youth coalitions, including through a youth-led communication campaign and efforts to bolster national networks; Research on Policy Issues, as a way to assess existing mechanisms and public policies for youth, and the level of youth engagement in Liberia through a process to document the existing mechanisms for sustained youth contributions to peace and social cohesion.