The National Youth Movement for Transparent Elections or NAYMOTE has ended several days of interactive forum with cross section of citizens in Maryland County, southeast Liberia.
The forum focused on the group’s recent initiative to get the views of citizens in the county on the usage of the county development and social development funds. According to NAYMOTE, after conducting 1,459 mobile surveys, discussions with 90 focus groups and more than 100 key informant interviews, using research themes and question, the LAVI-NRM coalition found that the current section nine of the budget law unduly empowers the county legislative caucuses.
The research also indicates that vast majority of people only receive information about the funds from radio talk shows, and that women in large proportion have very limited avenues for participation.
It uncovered that key actors, including government, CSOs and concessionaires are never available to citizens for redress, while low number of respondents have actually not participated in any community consultations, county sitting, and town hall meetings, among others.
The NAYMOTE research also says Civil Society Organizations believes that the budget law adversely affects inclusiveness and representation. The forum focused on how citizens could have their inputs or recommendation imbedded in the draft document on the usage and having access to the county development and social development funds.
Marylanders during the forum recommended that the power be given to the people rather than the legislative causes, and that a committee from the community be set up to investigate complaints from development projects, including a need to have separate accounts for CDF and SDF.
They want a resolution signed in the county to ensure that districts hold development meetings to identify priority projects as well as people to represent them at county sitting instead of local officials or caucus members.
By George K. Momo/ Maryland-Editing by Jonathan Browne