Given Liberia’s transition from early recovery to development, it is imperative that the government has access to sound economic and policy management advice, good statistical data and analysis and tools to design and implement appropriate policies and programmes that will result in sustained but inclusive economic growth.
UNDP aims to improve the enabling environment for investment and employment creation in Liberia through its support to government in formulating and implementing development strategies and policies. In providing technical advice and capacity and institution building assistance, UNDP seeks to foster pro-poor growth through greater meaningful employment and livelihood opportunities for the marginalized and most vulnerable segments of society, particularly youth and women. Over the years, UNDP’s Poverty Reduction programme has combined policy level as well as local community level interventions. For example, between 2008-2012, at local level (or downstream) our interventions included Youth Empowerment and Employment, Community Based Recovery and Development, and an Inclusive Financial Sector.
UNDP’s support at the policy level (or upstream) also focused on reviewing the necessary policy instruments; developing pivotal policies and strategies to support national planning; efficient resource management; and the creation of an environment, which will enable private sector development, employment creation and growth. UNDP has also provided technical and operational support to the formulation of a MDG-based PRS consultation process through County Support Teams (CST), contributing to the establishment of a central database system at the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs, supporting Liberia’s Reconstruction Plan, as well as aid coordination and resource mobilization.
UNDP has also assisted with the production of baseline data and analysis to inform policy development and implementation, including Liberia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, and Liberia’s progress report towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). UNDP Liberia also promotes human development by building national capacities to monitor progress towards the achievement of the MDGs in Liberia through the production of flagship knowledge products such as the National Human Development Report and MDGs Progress Report in partnership with the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs and the Statistics House, the Liberia Institute of geo-information Service (LISGIS). Currently, its Sustainable Economic Transformation Programme (SET), is aimed at tackling some of the structural factors impeding productive employment of a rapidly growing and young population; and anticipating the ‘next generation’ of development challenges connected to expanding extractive industries, especially with regard to effective planning, sustainability of resource use and prudent management of revenues.
At UNDP, SET houses 3 programmes namely;
· Private Sector development and Natural Resources Management (PSD/NRM)
·Mainstreaming Energy and Environment
· Enhancing GOL capacity for Development Effectiveness through support to the Liberia development Alliance (LDA)
This SET Programme is to ensure a strategic fit between the AfT – UNDAF and the UNDP Country Programme document.
It seeks to promote a mix of upstream policy and regulatory interventions, and downstream catalytic and transformational interventions intended to bring about an inclusive and sustainable growth with the private sector in the center stage. It also ensures the promotion of sustainable development through the effective management of the extractive industry.
Accomplishments so Far
UNDP’s poverty reduction work has evolved with the following resullts:
-Provided 6.5 metric tons of NPK fertilizer and 1,207 pieces of simple farming tools and rain gears to 11 farming groups and 638 house-hold farmers in 17 towns, majority (60%) of the farmers are women
-Two modern health clinics in Yolo Town and Rock Crusher constructed and turned over to the Government of Liberia for operation, management and maintenance. The health centres are equipped with an ambulance, 5 beds each, two generators and water wells with towers. The health facilities reach a total of 16,000 people in Kokoyah and Boinsen sub districts, lower Nimba and Grand Bassa Counties. Emergency referral for pregnant women suffering from hemorrhages during delivery and children to C.B Dunbah and Phebe hospitals in Gbarnga is now possible.
-Trained and deployed 22 Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) to work in their communities. The CHVs working in their areas have led to a decrease in diarrhea cases for children under five from an initial 601 cases to 75 cases according to medical officers in the Rock Crusher and Yolo town clinics. Their intervention has also led to improved sanitation and hygiene and improved assistance to pregnant women through referrals to clinics for delivery.
-A 100 metre mobile phone tower erected in Gbercohn Town to enhance access to mobile phone and ICT services.
-Production of 32.25 tonnes of various rice varieties through the cultivation of 20.75 hectares of land using improved farming techniques by 11 farming groups. 228 individual farmers involved in upland rice farming harvested 161.25 metric tonnes showing improvement in rice production.
-Through the TOKTEN project expatriate nationals and local professionals have been recruited to provide technical support to the Government’s reconstruction and development agenda. Areas of focus have included public sector reform, development planning, health, education, agriculture and legal/judicial Institutions. 160 highly skilled nationals deployed in more than 25 Government of Liberia Ministries and agencies under the TOKTEN, LECBS, SES projects has helped to improve service delivery in the government departments they were deployed in.
-The Government of Liberia’s capacity to drive strategic reforms bolstered through 100 Senior Executive Service (SES) personnel with qualifications and skills to set new standards for the public service. Overall, the program through TOKTEN, SES and LECBS projects strengthened the executive management of government institutions to spearhead and manage change in the public sector; reform administrative systems and procedures for effective human resource management with emphasis on merit, performance, service culture and result orientation; and advance the overall reform and development agenda of the Government through policy and technical support.
-The Monrovia Post 2015 MDG Secretariat established with support to civil society organizations on Post MDG 2015 to undertake consultations and the Capacity of County Statistics & Information Offices across the country, fully strengthened through focused training activities and the provision of logistics. County offices now have the capacity to collect data and use the GPS system.
-A Structural and Strategic Framework for Private Sector Development in Liberia established following 5 nationwide consultations on Private Sector development. This framework is being used to improve the understanding of local businesses in the area of agri –business.
-An Entrepreneurship support programme created to improve the understanding of value-chain among Local farmers and other Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Cassava sector.
-The support to cooperative formation and subsequent business development support, resulted in one (1) local business Falama, Inc. (mostly Women)achieving a significant breakthrough in the production and supply of locally processed foods for the Liberian upscale retail market.
-The Liberia Development Alliance (LDA) supported national consultations on the design of a Post 2015agenda of which the Liberian President is a co-chair of the HLP.
-Provided support to the open budget initiative as well as the design of the New Deal Compact, a key benchmark of the New Deal.
-The Millennium Villages Project (MVP) continued operations to support farmers, infrastructure development to achieve universal primary education and improve access to mobile phone coverage in Kokoyah. The agricultural sector mainly provided technical support to the Yeapugama Farmer Association in Botota with 100 kg of FKR-19 rice variety and extension services for lowland development and rice farming.
-Interventions to achieve universal primary education (MDG 2) continued with the construction of the Gbarta and Doeta elementary schools.
-In the area of health, activities focused on General Community Health Volunteers (GCHVs) monitoring to know their constraints and find ways to improve their work.
- Intervention on women economic empowerment witnessed the graduation and share out ceremony of individual savings and distribution of LD$550,000 loan from Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to 50 beneficiaries of the Kondoe and Lorkiamue VSLAs in U-Lah and New town respectively. Members are utilising their yearly savings and loan to expand their businesses, improve livelihood and income in their community.