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Integrity Watch Liberia trains 15 CSOs

By Lewis S. Teh

Integrity Watch Liberia has commenced two days gender responsive planning and budgeting training for over 15 Civil Society Organizations and women-led organizations aimed at strengthening and building their capacity to flag issues surrounding women’s participation.

“At Integrity Watch Liberia, one our focus is fiscal transparency and budget, a lot of work has been done around these two, it’s against this backdrop that we are focusing now on gender responsive planning and budgeting”, says policy analyst Narvin Ireland.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, June 8, at Icampus on Carey Street in Monrovia, Mr. Ireland said Integrity Watch Liberia seeks to work with these organizations in carrying out joint advocacy by engaging the national legislature.

“We want to use them to hold lawmakers’ feet to the fire to enact policies and legislations that will promote gender responsive planning and budgeting”, he adds.

Ireland says while it’s true that everyone is aware of challenges citizens are facing in the country in terms of high number of disadvantaged youths, poverty, including disabilities, he strongly believes that women are not given equal opportunities, stressing a need to have laws and policies that will protect and promote women’s inclusion in every sphere of life.

He says the training is being supported and funded by UN Women in Liberia, indicating that UN Women has been supporting Integrity Watch Liberia on many of its projects, including promotion of gender responsive budgeting that he describes as a tool for electoral process.

According to him, under the project, Integrity Watch Liberia is to train various CSOs and women-led groups on variety of modules and responsive budgeting, including public financial management law, budget cycle and details about gender responsive planning and budgeting.

He says all 15 CSOs will be guided by a facilitator from the Ministry of Finance who will drill participants on various topics.

The CSOs work on various issues, including health and gender, among other things that entail gender responsive and its related issues, he adds.

Ireland continues that Integrity Watch Liberia will work alongside CSOs, communities and political aspirants, adding that they are lavishing on the upcoming October polls to build political champions for gender responsive budgeting.

“We are targeting political aspirants who will be elected, and we will also be conducting specialized training for them on gender responsive budgeting so when they are elected, to make them champion gender responsive budgeting in the legislature.”

At the same time he narrates that for the aspect of the CSO,  the training is meant to give insights on gender responsive planning and budgeting to enable them to partner with his institution in advocating for more gender responsive planning and budgeting and to keep political champions who will be at the legislature on their toes regarding advocacy.

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