Civic Education and Citizen Engagement Around Offline Tools (LR0017)
Action Plan: Liberia, Second National Action Plan, 2015-2017
Action Plan Cycle: 2015
Lead Institution: MIA, MICAT, MOS, President’s office
Support Institution(s): Accountability Lab, iLab,
Performance Indicators: Information on EVD funds, including funding agency, project, commitment and disbursement amounts, and target location, are updated [on a monthly basis] and made available on Government websites Monthly progress reports delivered and available online
IRM Midterm Status Summary
For Commitment details, see Liberia Progress Report 2015-2017.
IRM End of Term Status Summary
(MIA, MICAT, MOS, President’s Office, with support from Accountability Lab and iLab, 15 September 2015 – 15 September 2016).
· 2.3.1 Creative tools for citizen outreach (interactive murals, citizen journalism, accountability film school, “conversation kekes”, Kick Out Corruption” program, radio shows, etc.
· 2.3.2 Annual perception survey of citizens on government accountability
The commitment seeks to raise awareness of corruption and educate citizens on social issues of relevance to Liberia. An international consultant was commissioned to assess citizens’ perceptions of corruption and issues of governance in Liberia. Educating citizens using offline tools is important for reaching sectors of society that are not connected to the internet and where civic participation is generally low. However, as written, this commitment does not create new mechanisms for citizens to engage in government decision making, does not create access to new information, and does not hold officials accountable. Therefore, it is not clearly relevant to OGP values.
According to the government’s self-assessment report and civil society project partners at Accountability Lab, the commitment is substantially complete. At the midterm, 800 comic books had been distributed, five murals painted in Monrovia, and a “Corruption, Corruption” music video produced. For more information, please see the 2015–2016 IRM midterm report.
Accountability Lab has developed several offline tools to create civic education and citizen engagement about corruption and issues of social relevance to Liberia. These include film schools, interactive murals, rap competitions, podcasts, community outreach activities and citizen helpdesks.
With support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and Accountability Lab, Liberian musicians launched a collaborative initiative to combat corruption in Liberia through the power of Hip Hop music. At public performances in schools, the musicians spoke on the importance of eliminating corruption at all levels of society.[Note39: Accountability Lab, ‘Corruption, corruption’, http://www.accountabilitylab.org/corruption-corruption-partnering-with-amaze-to-promote-social-change-via-music-video/] Topics of discussions have been around the use of local taxes. Citizens’ helpdesks have also been organized in concessions areas where concessions agreements are explained to community members in very simplified language. These sessions also create a platform for dialogue between community members, company executives and local authorities. The rap competitions, which mainly involved youths, were organized in 15 counties with contestants spreading messages on selected themes like peace, elections, taxes, corruption and natural resource management.
Did It Open Government?
Did Not Change
While the offline activities carried out through this commitment, such as film schools, podcasts and community outreach programs, have engaged youth voices on issues of social relevance, such as tax reforms and corruption, government practice has not changed in a way that is relevant to open government values.
The commitment was not carried forward.