Monrovia – A five-day media trainer of trainers reporting workshop on the County Social Development Funds, to increase citizens’ participation, began Monday in Monrovia.
The training is part of the Liberia Media Monitoring for Accountability project by Internews Liberia Development Program.
At the end of the training, it is expected that the trainees work with community radio journalists and press clubs and citizens in tracking the budget.
Over the lifespan of the project both Internews and LAVI will collaborate to ensure the intended objectives are met.
Internews Chief of Party Pan McArthur said the project is meant to increase citizens’ participation in the budget and implementation of the CSDF through the availability of information.
Madam McArthur urged the participants mostly journalists to make the most of the training.
The Internews COP furthered that the project objective is to have journalists produce stories that are impacting.
Chief of Party Liberia Voice Accountability (LAVI) Milica Panic outlined issues emanating from their engagement with Civil Society and citizens.
Panic said the goal of the Liberia Accountability Voice Initiative or LAVI is to strengthen multi-stakeholder partnerships to advocate for monitor accountability and policy reforms in Liberia.
“To the LAVI team, this means to create a space, mechanisms and opportunities with which all citizens of Liberia are able to voice their concerns to their government and that all relevant parties-private sector companies, civil society and community based organizations, faith groups are working together to come up with collective solutions to address these shared concerns,” Panic said.
LAVI COP said the coalition is building horizontal linkages in the civil society sector, LAVI is also supporting government agencies with oversight on natural resource management and concessions to increase their vertical linkages with communities.
“To date, the NRM coalition with support of LAVI has conducted 246 multi-party meetings around the country to raise awareness around management of the CSDF.”
Panic added that during engagements with communities, NRM partners distributed pledged cards and score cards, acquiring 342 signed pledged cards from incumbent lawmakers, political aspirants and other key stakeholders committing to CSDF reforms.
“These signatures also serve a tracker on individuals, who are successful in the 2017 elections, to ensure these individuals work collaboratively with the NRM coalition to advocate for CSDF policy reform,” Panic said.
LAVI COP said that the NRM coalition reactivated the District Development Councils, Community Monitoring groups and engaged members to monitor local projects funded by the CSDF.
“As a result, the communities are taking responsibility to ensure existing community mechanisms are operational and are able to follow up on CSDF issues.
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Liberia Media Budget Monitoring For Accountability, the LMBMA is new activity of the Liberia Media Development LMD program implemented by Internews in Liberia and funded by USAID/Liberia.
The project derived from a research done by the Liberia Accountability Voice Initiative surrounding the implementation of the County and Social Development Funds across Liberia.