By Lewis S Teh
The Institute for Democratic Action and Development or IDAD, in partnership with UNDP, has conducted a one-day policy dialogue on citizens’ feedback mechanism for stakeholders in Monrovia.
IDAD is an independent nonprofit research and advocacy organization that promotes natural resource management, democratic governance, health awareness and advocacy.
Its mission is to generate knowledge and enhance capacity of citizens’ choices in order to consolidate democracy and good governance in Liberia and Africa at large.
The head of IDAD Joseph Cheayan said the policy brief is the outcomes of key feedback meetings held with funding support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in five counties namely; Maryland, Bong, Margibi, Gbarpolu and Lofa.
He said the meetings were held with service users and some service providers, adding that the policy brief highlights key policy issues that are critical in addressing challenges citizens faced in assessing county service centers.
Mr. Cheayan said the aim of the project is to ensure accountability of public officials, by having them commit to defined annual performance targets, along with achievement indicators that would be monitored and assessed.
Part of this system he says includes an online Citizens Feedback Mechanism (CFM) that allows citizens to share their experiences on public services delivery in real-time and generate valuable data and information about service quality as bases for service delivery improvements.
The CFM, according to him, is a mobile and web-based platform that receives, compiles, analyzes and responds to citizens’ perceptions of public services standards, focusing on all the counties and County Service Centers (CSCs) in Liberia.
Deputy Internal Affairs Minister for Research and Development with oversight responsibility for Liberia Decentralization Program, Mr. Olayee S. Collins extolled IDAD for the project and welcomes the findings.
He said though the organization’s findings speak to challenges confronting citizens especially, users of the county service center, government is working to address most of them to bring relief to the people.
Nimba County Electoral District#8 Representative Larry P. Younquoi stressed the need for government to boost its performance, as it relates to numbers and types of services being provided to citizens in various counties.
“We want to thank IDAD for this project, and we at the legislature are looking forward to working with them especially, the instructions of government to bring whatever bill they have that needs to be passed for the benefits of our citizens”, Rep. Younquoi said.
Institutions of government that form part of the dialogue include the Ministry of Gender, and Children, Ministry of Labor, Internal Affairs, National Identification Registry, Center for National Documents and Record Agency, among others. Editing by Jonathan Browne