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GeneralLiberia news

OGP partners to track budget performance & implementation

Liberia’s Open Government Partnership Secretariat capacitates local journalists for effective budget performance monitoring.

By Lincoln G. Peters

Monrovia, Liberia, April 19, 2024—The Open Government Partnership Secretariat, with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and funding from the Governments of Luxemburg and the Republic of Korea, begins capacity building of journalists to ensure responsive, transparent, and open governance through an open legislature and track the government’s budget performance and implementation.

The project, which kicks off here on Thursday, April 18-19, 2024, is titled: Space for Political Participation and Advocacy for Responsive Governance Enhanced.”

It has a duration of six months with an expected outcome to ensure responsive, transparent, and open governance through an open legislature.

Also, the initiative, which is climaxing today in Monrovia, aims to develop and strengthen journalists’ capacity for budget formulation and performance, with a focus on analyzing the budget’s impact and implementation and its effectiveness and workability on the lives of ordinary Liberians.

It also seeks to educate participants on allocation allotment, the Public Financial Management Law, the International Monetary Funds, and other international instruments to improve open governance and financial fiscal transparency and accountability.

During the program, participants were trained by the Ministry of Finance Budget Dissemination and Fiscal Transparency Department on budget formulation and performance. The initiative was also graced by several stakeholders from the civil society.  

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Giving an overview of the project, G. Ralph Jimmeh, head of the Secretariat, said the project will track performance and allocations made to four strategic sectors that are aligned with the Government of Liberia’s ARREST agenda over the one-year period.

“Under this project, we are going to be looking at three areas. Because the budget is a huge document, we will not be looking at every sector. The four sectors are parts of President Joseph Nyuma Boakai’s ARREST agenda, which includes the rule of law, education, health as a subset under sanitation, and tourism,” Mr. Jimmeh said.  

He noted that the training will enable journalists to work with the legislature going forward so that they can adequately track the different budget lines and their implementation.

“At the end of this, we expect that you, as journalists, can tell between the legislature and where the monies will be sent. We are very grateful to have you and look forward to your full participation. Not just sitting and knowing how the budget is being formulated and how it’s being implemented but to become the voice because you have the confidence of the citizens”, he pointed out.  

Mr. Jimmeh further indicated that because legislators are the ones responsible for the budget, which is considered theirs in the Liberian setting, the project is designed to give media practitioners an understanding of how the national budget is drafted and implemented.

“You and I know that the legislature is the first branch of government. And as that first branch of government, we look out for it to have a very open, transparent, and responsive legislature. Because as long as you have that branch of government being open and transparent, the growth and development of the country will be on the right trajectory”, he added. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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