By Alvin Worzi
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Government of Liberia, represented by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) and the Governance Commission, yesterday signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) for the implementation of the Local Empowerment for Government Inclusion and Transparency (LEGIT) project.
The program was held at the Ministry of Internal Affairs with various institutions committing to support the project.
LEGIT is a USAID funded project that is supporting the government to improve participatory governance and service delivery through decentralization. The project works closely with the MIA and GC at the national level to further strengthen the capacity of the government as it implements Liberia’s National Policy on decentralization and local governance.
At the local sub-national level, LEGIT works with local administrations and civil society organizations to improve service delivery and citizen participation in three counties, Nimba, Bong and Grand Gedeh, and their cities of Ganta, Gbarnga, and Zwedru.
The MOC lays out the nature of technical services that USAID through the project will provide to MIA and the Governance Commission, as these agencies take the lead in the implementation of the GOL’s decentralization agenda.
According to the MOC, USAID will support MIA and GC to undertake policy and procedural reforms at the national and sub-national levels.
“These reforms will jointly be determined and subsequently outlined in separate Performance Improvement Roadmaps (PIRs) for MIA and GC. The PIRs will identify key priority areas for capacity strengthening, and the technical assistance to be provided by the LEGIT project,” MOC stated.
Dr. Anthony S. Chan, USAID Mission Director, expressed appreciation for MIA and GC initiatives aimed at decentralization.
Dr. Chan also encouraged MIA and GC to continue their advocacy for the passage of the Local Government Act that will clearly establish the legal framework for decentralization in Liberia.
Dr. Henrique F. Tokpa, Minister of Internal Affairs, lauded USAID for its support for decentralization in Liberia and promised to continue working with USAID in implementing the LEGIT project.