The Liberian government is set to give US$390,000 to at least 13 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), which will be tasked with implementing earmarked projects toward enhancing transparency and accountability in the management of public resources.
In addition to this money, which has been provided by the World Bank, European Union, African Development Bank, United States Agency for International Development and others, the Non-state Actors Secretariat (NAS), under the Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project (IPFMRP) Unit at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), has decided to also provide funding for CSOs based in Sinoe, Maryland and Grand Kru Counties.
This was disclosed to the Daily Observer Wednesday, May 18, by Mrs. Carolyn Myers-Zoduah, NAS Coordinator, at the beginning of a three-day workshop for the 13 CSOs, which have been selected for implementation of their submitted projects.
Mrs. Myers-Zoduah told the CSO representatives that as part of their mandates at the NAS, they award grants to carry out activities aimed at ensuring transparency and accountability in the management of public resources.
“You went through a very highly competitive application process and you were selected for our second round of grants. This training is a kick-off to implementation of our prospective projects.”
As she welcomed them to the meeting, she hoped that at the end of the training, they would be equipped with the necessary tools, techniques and pieces of information needed to implement their projects to ensure maximum results.
The NAS Coordinator promised to work along with CSOs so that implementation of various projects under the civil society and social accountability component can show results for the money/grants that would be given to them.
Also speaking, Mrs. Frances Reeves, Chairman, National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL), said the partnership of the National Civil Society Council with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, under the Non-state Actors Partnership, has been ongoing for the last three years.
“We have worked on several issues together, including ensuring that civil society is a part of getting pieces of vital information to the people of Liberia. Our partnership with the Liberian government is so strong that we just signed, a few days ago, the partnership policy framework,
which allows for coordination of smooth relationship with the GOL and the dynamics to which we will remain engaged with the government,” Mrs. Reeves stated.
She told her colleagues, who will be receiving the grants, that the NCSCL, together with the government, will ensure that they (grant recipients) work to achieve the desired results for funds that would be given to them.
Representing the Liberian government, Mr. Herbert Sopor, Deputy Coordinator, Public Financial Management Reform Coordination Unit at the MFDP, stated that back in September 2012 when they signed the financing agreement for the Integrated Public Finance Management Project, the idea they had was about government committing itself in partnership with CSOs and that through these partnerships they will give a lot of support and strengthen the emerging vibrant role of CSOs in Liberia as it relates to providing the platform for matters pertaining to transparency and accountability over the use of public resources.
“Toward further achieving this, the government remains committed,” he added.
He urged the CSOs that as they complement the efforts of the Ministry, they should be robust and thorough in making sure that accountability is ensured in the public sector.