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GC Prioritizes Security, Elections and Transition Issues

 

The Governance Commission (GC) has disclosed to its donors three priority areas it plans to focus on within the next two years. The Commission identified its two- year (2016-2018) areas of focus to include:

  1. Security (in the phase of UNMIL drawdown);
  2. The 2017 Electoral process (which has already started somehow with NEC’s Guideline release); and
  3. The Transitional process which involves the smooth transfer of political power from the incumbent to the new government come 2018 and even beyond.

The disclosure was made at the recent Two-day Open House event organized by the Governance Commission (October 27-28 2016) and held at its 9th Street Office in Sinkor. The 2 day event brought together members of the Diplomatic Corp, international donors, members of the Executive and Legislative branches of Government, and heads of Civil Society Organizations including the media.

As you have already heard, The Governance Commission has adapted a new five year Strategic Plan (2016-2021) with more focus placed on the first two years (2016-2018). The GC Open House and resource mobilization event held under the theme “Successful Elections, Smooth Transition, Sustaining Governance Reforms also highlighted the three major categories under which GC first two year programs have been placed. The three major categories and activities include:

  1. Sustaining Reforms Activities:
  • Completing and protecting public Sector Reform;
  • Implementing Decentralization and Local Governance;
  • Sustainability Project;
  • Support to National Integrity Forum (a consortium of national integrity institutions in Liberia);
  • (Rewriting) Liberia history project, strengthening and actualizing Liberia’s Reconciliation Roadmap;
  • Citizenship Education
  1. Political Transition Activities:
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of Transitional Assets Management;
  • Gol/CSO Annual National Conference;
  • Streamlining of the National political process for inclusive and participatory governance; and the holding of an annual National Political Summit.
  1. Successful Elections Activities:
  • Produce and launch the Annual Governance Report (AGR): that for 2016 is on the topic “The Liberian Electoral System”; (to be completed);
  • Survey on Political Transition; Popularizing of the Code of Conduct; Monitoring and Evaluation of Voter’s Education.
  1. Crossing Cutting issues
  • Establishment of a Gender Desk, and Resource Center; and
  • Establishment of a “30 minute Radio Program” to enhance awareness of GC work. (Also recommended by several partners at the Open House event).

As enshrined in its Legislative Mandate, the Governance Commission in its Post-transition governance role serves as:

  • the institutional memory on governance reform;
  • a major/significant contributor to the strengthening of governance capacity (institutions, processes, structures) after transition;
  • Most significant contributor to strengthen governance partnership with CSOs;
  • Capacity for monitoring and evaluating governance performance;
  • Promoter of national identity & citizenship;
  • Promoting, facilitating and catalyzing National Vision programming.

It is also important to note that GC is critical for protecting and sustaining gains of governance reform in Liberia.

Pipeline Products

  • The Commission proposes to focus its programming on the prioritization of strategic actions, resources and partnerships in:
  • completing constitution reforms;
  • protecting and completing public service reform;
  • strengthening decentralization implementation;
  • ensuring effective asset management particularly during the transition;
  • developing conflict management arrangements in natural resource governance;
  • Establishment of a gender desk within the Commission;
  • strengthening reconciliation,
  • Building confidence among political actors and supporting the electoral process and the transition, among others. 

Those familiar with Government’s Statement of Mutual Commitment (SMC) will note that GC programs are in line with expectations of Government for the fulfillment of the commitments to achieving national transformation by 2030.  While overcoming the numerous challenges in the path to national success may seem insurmountable by 2030, the Commission strongly believes that with the help of international donors and partners Liberia stands poised to achieving it transformation – middle income status as a country, and reconciling our differences and assuring peaceful coexistence by 2030 (as perceived by the Liberian people in 2012).

Therefore, in assuring that the gains made are irreversible, the GC has placed priority on the following for the first two year of its Strategic Plan:

  • consolidating the gains of current reform initiatives,
  • enhancing security through community policing,
  • reinforcing reconciliation,
  • Carefully preparing for and successfully holding of the 2017 Elections, and ensuring a near-seamless transition.

Funding Gap

This two-year results-based strategic programing started in January 2016 and is being implemented through a coordinated Joint Work Program (JWP) among Mandate Areas and other partners. 

The JWP projects US 4.99 million dollars to support the Commission for the first 2 years of its Strategic Plan. 64% of the total funding goes directly to Programme related activities totaling US$3.99 million, while 36% (representing government’s funding/support) goes toward operations and support of the Commission.

To ensure proper funding of GC programs, there is still a funding gap of US$1.71 million representing unfunded budget. GC has therefore called on her partners both prospective and current to help provide the funds direly needed to ensure the irreversibility of the current gains.

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