The Government of Liberia and its development partners have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to strengthen development cooperation for aid effectiveness in the country.
The signing of the MOU follows a joint resolution that was approved during the action dialogue on March 16, at the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Ministerial Complex, Congo Town.
According to Minister Samuel Tweah, the country eas excited that together with development partners, they can turn a new page in aid coordination.
“Let me thank the deputy minister for Economic Management and the entire team for the level of work done so far for establishing the project dashboard’’ Thanks also to development partners for the results we are having in terms of coordination and the better quality and personality that are present here today," the Finance Minister said.
“We believe there will be no more business as usual. An implementation of a program should not be justified by big billboards. It’s good to hear XYZ millions will be invested in Liberia — but it’s even better to make sure every penny has an optimal positive impact on the lives of the beneficiaries. That perfect coordination is carried out and objectives of investment are met effectively," he added.
Minister Tweah termed the MOU as a “humongous” step in the strengthening of aid management coordination between the Government of Liberia and development partners.
“I’m excited that together we are turning a new page in aid coordination. Alignment and coordination are essential in aid management. As a government, we have a huge constraint with the private sector, and there’s a need to expand the private sector, because when you look at what we are doing, it is about job creation” Minister Tweah explained.
He disclosed that the team can use more coordination to achieve better results to enhance efficiency. The project dashboard will communicate and show the real impact across the country. It will have the opportunity to zoom in on any district, any geographical location in the country to understand what is the pool of resources and what program and impact they are making.
“Today also shows a clear representation of the donor community in the country because the donor community has always been in the country. There has not been any donor relationship that has embraced and accepted and held the entire process of aid coordination than the team I am seeing here,’’ Minister Tweah added.
For his part, Niels Scott, UN Resident Coordinator, who also signed on behalf of the Development Partners, expressed delight with the progress made in government aid management coordination processes.
He praised the country for being one of the first on the continent to have an effective aid management policy.
The UN Resident Coordinator disclosed that the strengthening development cooperation with the government of Liberia is a “major step” forward in the quality of aid coordination in the country.
“We want to see results, impacts and improvement in the lives of Liberians. The Liberian project Dashboard is excellent practical coordination, and puts Liberia a step forward in excellent aid management,” he said.
At the same time, World Bank Country Manager, Dr. Khwima Nthara, stated that the signing marks a big and great milestone in the history of development cooperation between all development partners and the government of Liberia.
‘’The statement that you have heard is very clear on the principle of development partners, the government and the private sectors that we have committed to,’’ says Dr. Nthara, Co-chair, Cooperating Partners Group.
He said, “We think development is just about resources and once you have the resources you will solve the problem, but what is required is to deploy the resources and determine the effective impact and resolving development challenges. Do not just see this as a ceremony but see it as part of the efforts to improve the life of Liberians through the resources of all development partners. Signing is not just about having resources but how you allocate those resources, ensuring those resources are achieving results and how all the actors are working together to ensure alignment, transparency and accountability.”
The MOU seeks to strengthen coordination by establishing a multi-stakeholder platform under the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development national steering committee to advance the effectiveness of development cooperation in Liberia, increase alignment to improve and strengthen the capacity, accountability and transparency of country systems in order to overcome barriers to the use of country systems; and increase the alignment of development programs and activities to the PAPD, and to improve results by enhancing the implementation and achievement of high-level results by following up and monitoring of the PAPD and the SDG indicators.
It will as well jointly verify, and share lessons learnt to overcome common challenges, in order to boost development effectiveness. And to promote mutual accountability and further development of national framework tools such as the National Aid and NGO Policy (NAPL) and the Liberia Project Dashboard (LPD), etc.