The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning has launched the National Aid & NGO Policy of Liberia (NAPL) to the public with a unique reporting tool – the Liberia Project Dashboard (LPD). The launch took place in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, on Saturday September 5, 2020.
The LPD is an aid information management system that will be used to collect, analyzec, and report information about external assistance programs and projects. It is a flagship indicator of a new era of aid management in Liberia.
The launch of the Dashboard further confirms the overall commitment of the Liberian government to transparency, accountability as well as total openness. The aid information management system utilization will promote transparency and accountability in the development and implementation of aid programs/projects.
Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel D. Tweah Jr., who launched the Liberia Project Dashboard, praised international partners for the support stating “the level of cooperation shown by our development partners (DPs) throughout this process is an unerring example of true commitment to the principles of international development and the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals”.
Mr. Tweah indicated that Liberia has transitioned from a country in need of emergency humanitarian assistance to one with government’s ownership of the development process and a vision of preferred development aid modalities for long-term sustainability.
According to him, Liberia was faced with capacity constraints and unsustainable debt in the immediate aftermath of the 14-year civil conflict. The role of external assistance, especially humanitarian relief, he says was critical in helping the country remain on the path of peace and stability, and the enactment of the Public Financial Management Law of 2009, giving rise to the establishment of the Aid Management and Coordination Unit (AMCU) and the subsequent adoption of this National Aid and NGO Policy of Liberia facilitated a new era of better coordinated aid flows to Liberia.
The Finance Minister added that Liberia is pursuing sources of revenue necessary to meet its expenditure needs to achieve an aid-independent era.
He explained that the country is also putting into place the requisite institutional reforms to meet the demands of that era, while a clear strategy to tap into those resources with an unprecedented level of transparency and sustainability has been developed.
For her part, USAID Representative Sara Walter commended the Government of Liberia for the launch of the policy, expressing hope that it will serve the purpose intended.
Aid Management and Coordination has been a challenge over the years where most external assistance programs and projects have been managed and coordinated on an ad-hoc basis with roles and responsibilities loosely carried out by other government ministries and agencies leaving the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning with very limited information and also limited consolidated data on aid flow into Liberia.
It has also been established that limited coordination and management framework of aid has had little or negative impact on the full realization of aid objectives in meeting the results of the national development agenda of Liberia.
The absence of a National Aid Policy over the years has limited alignment of most external assistance programs and projects with the strategic objectives and application of aid to interventions as would be needed based on the national development strategy.
The National Aid Policy of Liberia is designed to establish an internal coordination mechanism to curtail waste or limited coordination and alignment in programs and projects.
The Policy also establishes a national coordination framework for collective engagement with Development Partners at the technical and policy level. In addition to defining the types of assistance and the preference of aid modalities, mostly in accordance with international consensus on aid delivery, the policy also clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of government institutions and development partners in the management of external assistance.
These roles and responsibilities are structured around the aid management cycle from initiation of aid to the monitoring and evaluation stage.
According to the Policy, all proposals for aid shall be channeled through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning for proper vetting, while Ministries, Agencies and Commissions along with the MFDP shall jointly establish GoL’s position and participate in negotiations.
Moreover, a joint collaboration of GoL- Development Partners monitoring and evaluation shall be instituted. As Aid information shall be inputted and stored directly into the Liberia Project Dashboard by Development Partners, MACs and will be cross-verified by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.