The project title: “Improving Citizens feedback Mechanism: Leaving No Voice behind,” will be implemented in in five counties, namely: Maryland, Bong, Margibi, Gbarpolu and Lofa respectively.
The project will improve citizens understanding on the CFM through Town Hall awareness meetings within the target counties.
The launch of the program took place at the Corina Hotel in Monrovia, and it was attended by several high-profiled officials including; the Program Manager to the Liberia Decentralization Support Program of UNDP, Mr. Augustus ZayZay, the Sweden`s Program Director, Ms. Nikolia Stalhand, Mr. Bachir O. Toure-Ministry of Transport, Mr. Zinnah K. Kaibah, from the Ministry of State and Presidential Affairs, Mr. Emmanuel M. Nuahm, Dean from Ministry of Education, Ms. Rose M. Clelley, Deputy Director General from the Liberia Business registrar, Mr. Benyan Casselly, Data Analyst, from the National Public health Institute.
The program also brought together over thirty participants, and they expressed their delight and appreciation to IDAD and Partners for organizing such an event that is intended to sharpen their knowledge on Citizens Feedback Mechanism-Liberia decentralization Support program. Participants and high-level stakeholders also expressed their support to IDAD and UNDP in ensuring the success of the project activities in the five counties.
In his remarks, the Program Manager of the Liberia decentralization support program of UNDP, Augustus ZayZay, stated that UNDP stands ready to continue supporting CSOs to foster the agenda of the Liberia decentralization support program and indicated that the project is intended to strengthen citizens knowledge about the CFM and how they can utilize the system for enhance accountability and transparency in public service delivery at all levels.
He further stressed that the CFM is not only about Service delivery reporting but any other thing that is not right in the country, citizens can use the hotline to report it because that will help government to take prompt action. He concluded by thanking IDAD for kick starting the project and UNDP looks forward for successful implementation.
Speaking, Nikolia Stalhand, Program Director from the Sweden`s Diplomatic Mission in Liberia lauded IDAD and UNDP for the project and said that based on the content of the project it will strengthen the capacities of the citizens to effectively use the CFM and report wrong acts in public service delivery and other behaviors that undermine human existent or national development.
She lamented that the Sweden`s Diplomatic Mission in Liberia available to attend such an event that is intended to improve service delivery and national growth and development.
According to her, to build a functional society, it is critical to prioritize citizens’ access to quality services and providing channels in which they can provide feedback on those services to help improve quality and standard.
She further expressed delight that the project is being implemented in the hard reach counties like Maryland, Lofa and Gbarpolu but recommended that similar project should be implemented in the other counties.
For her part, the Deputy Director General, Rose M. Clelley, from the Liberia Business Registrar (LBR) challenged the Liberian citizens to report the wrong without any fear by using the CFM hotline in the counties.
She also stated that even the Liberia Business registrar is involved, it should be immediately reported to improve service delivery outcomes and enhance national development.
Madam Clelley also urged the public to be fair, transparent, accountable, and opened in report on the CFM Platform and should not allow any form of interference in their constitutional responsibilities.
She stressed that the LBR stands ready to work with IDAD and UNDP to ensure the success of the project and the institution doors are opened. She ended by saying congratulations to IDAD and extended thanks to UNDP for empowering Liberian CSOs to promote rule of law and democracy in Liberia.
Speaking at the Project launch, Bachir O. Toure, Director at the Ministry of Transport said the Ministry of Transport is delighted for the project launch and look forward working with IDAD to achieve the project goal.
According to him, the Ministry of Transport is providing services in some counties and hoping to reach all the counties. He described the project as worthy initiative that will attract the attention of every institution for support. He stated that it is necessary for citizens to be educated to enable them to utilize the CFM to enhance rule of law and standard in public service delivery.
“When public are informed, it reduces doubts and perceptions in public service delivery” said Mr. Toure.
“It is my hope that when the citizens are informed, they will make use of the CFM at all levels,” he concluded by extending thanks and appreciation to IDAD and UNDP for the great initiative.
Making a special remark and launch of the project, Zinnah K. Kaibah, Director from the Project Unit of the Ministry of State and Presidential Affairs (MOS) said that the CFM is a performance-based contract that is intended to strengthen the workings of the line ministries, Agencies and Commissions of the Liberian Government.
It came to being in 2019 as a support arm to the government decentralization effort and commitment to improve development outcomes.
He said the Ministry has been working with the UNDP for over two years in creating awareness on the CFM and expressed confidence in the ability of IDAD to achieve the project target by ensuring deliverables are met.
He pointed out that the Ministry of State and Presidential Affairs is pleased to work with IDAD in the successful implementation of the project and is prepared and ready to provide any needed technical support to IDAD. He urged line Ministries, Agencies and Commissions to open their doors to IDAD and support the implementation of the project.
The project is intended to create awareness through Town hall meetings on the CFM to enhance citizens knowledge to utilize the CFM.
IDAD will work with community-based organizations in the five counties to carry out awareness and feedback meetings.
So far, they have held consultative meetings with key stakeholders that include line ministries, Agencies and commissions of the government of Liberia and have identified communities within the counties for the project implementation. Field activities have begun with the launch of the project in Monrovia.
IDAD extended thanks to UNDP for the selection through a competitive process to implement the project activities.
The project when fully implemented will strengthen citizens’ voices and demand greater transparency and accountability in public service delivery in Liberia.
IDAD further indicated that the project will promote gender responsiveness at the National and County Levels and it is meant to strengthen citizens’ knowledge about the CFM and how they can effectively use the system and report on wrong acts that undermine human rights and public service delivery.
During the awareness meetings, IDAD will also generate feedbacks from citizens and those issues will be transferred to policy brief to help hold policy engagement meetings with key stakeholders to improve citizens’ access to quality services.
In conclusion, IDAD extended thanks and appreciation to all stakeholders including Civil society organizations, Diplomatic Missions and government Agencies present during the project launch and urged them to remain committed to the project fully implementation.