Liberia Design Report 2017-2019
- Action Plan: Liberia Action Plan 2017-2019
- Dates Under Review: 2017-2019
- Report Publication Year: 2020
Liberia’s third action plan aimed to address corruption through more access to information and citizen oversight. The IRM recommends that future co-creation processes include tools and mechanisms to inform the public how their feedback is used, and consultations are more inclusive. While the action plan did include ambitious commitments, it was impacted by lack of funding and a political transition.
|Table 1. At a glance
Participating since: 2012
Action plan under review: Third
Report type: Design
Number of commitments: 10
Action plan development
Is there a Multistakeholder forum: Yes
Level of public influence: Consult
Acted contrary to OGP process: No
Action plan design
Commitments relevant to OGP values: 10 (100%)
Transformative commitments: 2 (20%)
Potentially starred: 2 (20%))
Action plan implementation
Starred commitments: N/A
Completed commitments: N/A
Commitments with Major DIOG*: N/A
Commitments with Outstanding DIOG*: N/A
*DIOG: Did it Open Government
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) a global partnership that brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive, and accountable. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) monitors all action plans to ensure governments follow through on commitments. Liberia joined OGP in 2012. Since, Liberia has implemented 2 action plans. This report evaluates the design of Liberia’s 3rd action plan.
General overview of action plan
Liberia’s third action plan includes initiatives that build from its second NAP and aim to strengthen government practices that address the historically relevant issue of corruption, with some opportunities for civic engagement. The plan’s design, however, could not clearly establish a connection between its initiatives and the pressing economic issues that worsened in recent years. This could have been an important opportunity to increase political support to the OGP agenda, especially considering the government transition.
The co-creation process, led by the Multistakeholder Forum, was impacted by lack of funding and the electoral process. Civil society organizations –mostly those headquartered in Monrovia- took part in the different stages of the process, four of them as members of the MSF. Opportunities for remote participation were limited, as the forum created by the Accountability Lab could not be put online due to budget constraints. In addition, the last round of consultations in Grand Gedeh was cancelled due to road conditions and the start of the political campaign.
Closing the feedback loop continues to be an area of opportunity, as the government has not established the necessary mechanisms or tools –such an online repository- to explain how it has included CSO/citizen input in its decision to adopt commitments.
Ten initiatives make up Liberia’s third action plan, six of them were transitioned from the previous action plan. Only two commitments reach a transformative level of ambition, one related to the adoption of the Open Contracting Standard and one that aims to approve whistleblower protection regulations.
Table 2. Noteworthy commitments
|Commitment description||Moving forward||Status at the end of implementation cycle.|
|I. Develop a legislative monitoring database
Track laws and bills within the legislature, provide regular reports on their status and allow for discussion.
|This commitment needs to gain legislative buy-in to guarantee access to the required information and processes for its implementation. CSOs and the general public could be given access to draft legislation so that citizen input can be considered from the beginning of the process.||Forthcoming: this will be assessed in the Implementation Report, after the end of the action plan cycle.|
|IV. Citizen monitoring and support of the Justice System
Raise awareness around the roles of juries; allow citizens to monitor local courts and track cases.
|More specificity in relation to its activities and goals could benefit this commitment’s potential impact. Its open justice component could consider adapting different types of tools –online and offline- to promote participation from citizens according to resource availability (computers, internet, etc).||Forthcoming: this will be assessed in the Implementation Report, after the end of the action plan cycle.|
|V. Feedback mechanism for the LNP
Establish tools and information dissemination modalities to build trust in the police.
|To ensure this commitment’s effectiveness, a fair and efficient grievance redress mechanism needs to be adopted to respond to complaints on abuses by the LNP. At the same time, a public campaign could be put in place to recognize those officers that have been commended for their performance.||Forthcoming: this will be assessed in the Implementation Report, after the end of the action plan cycle.|
|VI. Legislation and capacity building for integrity
Support the passage of laws that ensure public servants’ integrity and accountability; development of capacity and develop a network of honest officials.
|Once legislation is passed, the government needs to focus on operationalizing disclosure requirements within the Code of Conduct, including income, assets, liabilities, etc. In addition, the necessary enforcement mechanisms need to be put in place.|
|VIII. Open Contracting
Adopt international standards of Open Contracting to improve accountability, value for money and oversight.
|Relevant actors, such as the National Investment Commission and the National Bureau of Concessions, need to commit to the adoption and implementation of the standards, to ensure consistency in this area of government practice. Effectiveness of public monitoring processes can be assessed to identify any possible gaps.|
The IRM recommendations aim to inform the development of the next action plan and guide implementation of the current action plan.
Table 3. Five KEY IRM Recommendations
|1. Map steps and stakeholders required to effectively operationalize commitments within the prevailing context and constraints.|
|2. Align action plan development with budget processes and timelines, to provide opportunity for advocacy and for the GOL to allocate sufficient resources to support OGP-Liberia activities.|
|3. Establish a dedicated OGP-Liberia website where information on all aspects of the national OGP process can be proactively published.|
|4. Define and elaborate measurable quantitative and/or qualitative indicators under each commitment included in the action plan to facilitate monitoring, evaluation, and learning.|
|5. Strengthen outreach and advocacy on OGP to encourage wider public participation and engagement in related processes.|