The Government through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning is expected to shortly roll out the Aid Management Tool known as Liberia Project DashBoard and the National Aid as well as the NGO Policy of Liberia (NAPL).
The “Roll Out” will be a part of the National Conference under the theme “Programming Aid for National Development” organized by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning scheduled for Friday, November 27, 2020, at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town.
According to the Organizers, the three main objectives of the National Conference are to roll out the National Aid and NGO Policy of Liberia which formally gives ownership of the policy instrument to Ministries, Agencies and Commissions. It is expected that at the Conference, the roles and responsibility of MACs in the implementation of the NAPL, will be re-emphasized.
Secondly, during the occasion, the national donor coordination framework as per the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) and NAPL will be formally established. And thirdly, the organizers will present, and officially launch the Liberia Project Dashboard (LPD) as a repository of donor and GoL project information.
It can be recalled that between September 28 to October 3, 2020, the Government of Liberia with funding from the AfDB and USAID, conducted a roll-out training and launched the National Aid Policy of Liberia (NAPL) to the public in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County
The event encompassed the training of over 60 data focal persons (employees) of Ministries, Agencies and Commissions (MACs) and local government administrations from across the country to utilize the Liberia Project Dashboard (LPD); and an array of public officials and in-person and virtual attendance of representatives of a score of development partners including the AfDB, USAID, WHH, etc.
To date, two (2) Units of the MFDP (Aid Management & Coordination Unit and the Program Implementation Unit) have rolled out the LPD in their aid information management system. The LPD is an aid information management system used to input, analyze and publish information about development projects across the country.
In essence, the LPD is a flagship indicator of a new era of aid management that will be guided both in principle and practice by the recently adopted NAPL. The objective is to improve compliance and build skills to mainstream the tool across the GOL system. The full utilization of LPD will increase transparency and accountability both in the management of public sector investment projects and development assistance programmes.
Additionally, the National Aid and NGO Policy will now provide both the government and development partners in Liberia the requisite coordination framework to systematically engage and enhance inclusive partnership to orientate national development towards one goal.
Over the years, the gap imbued lapses as such that both government and development partners are unable to hold each other accountable for alignment beyond the policy level objectives to the alignment of aid to interventions in the national development strategy.
These lapses also had far more implications on the way aid is managed and coordinated amongst government agencies and with huge information asymmetry in engagements with development partners as one government.
Without roles and responsibilities being clearly defined and ascribed, these engagements have been largely disorganized and resulted in project implementation delays, cumbersome internal procedures, and most importantly, donor fatigue in the context of coordination with the government.
The National Aid Policy of Liberia (NAPL) is designed to address these gaps and establish an internal coordination mechanism to curtail instances of such. The policy also establishes a national coordination framework for collective engagement with Development Partners at the technical and policy levels.
In addition to defining the types of assistance and the preference of aid modalities for the government, mostly in accordance with international consensus on aid delivery, the policy also clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of government institutions and development partners in the management of external assistance.
Finally, the Organizers stress that as the Government of Liberia reels from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of external assistance will continue to remain integral to the successful implementation of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
Mobilizing high-quality aid in support of the PAPD requires strong and robust coordination within and among government entities in tandem with a unified, coordinated and systematic engagement with development partners.
The launch of these policies would ensure that resources are efficiently pooled and directed towards needed and prioritized interventions as per the PAPD; avoiding waste, double funding and neglect of priority areas.