Public Service Integrity (LR0021)
Number/percentage of officials trained and demonstrating understanding of issues of integrity and reform
Number and quality of ideas receiving support under this fund
Frequency of score cards publication and number of awards given
IRM Midterm Status Summary
For Commitment details, see Liberia Progress Report 2015-2017.
IRM End of Term Status Summary
Cluster: Building a Culture of Accountability in Communities and Government
(MICAT, MIA, LACC, GC, with support from Accountability Lab, CENTAL, OSIWA, Medica Mondiale, GAA; 10 July 2015 – 30 December 2015).
· 3.2.1 Creation of an OpenGov Hub in Monrovia- a coworking and community space for accountability
· 3.3.2 Setting up and staffing of “accountability incubators” within the 15 counties
(MICAT, GC, LIPA, CSA, NIF, with support from Accountability Lab; 20 September 2015 – 20 September 2016).
· 3.3.1 Train at least 20 middle, junior, and senior levels GoL officials on building a culture of integrity and promote network building of reformers within the government sector.
· 3.3.2 Creation of an innovation fund ($2-5,000) for small, creative ideas for integrity within government.
These commitments are designed to facilitate coordination among different groups working for accountability in Liberia, and to establish workspace, resource sharing and support for accountability initiatives. Planned activities include constructing an OpenGov Hub community space, providing grants to local start-up leaders to improve governance, and training recent university graduates entering the Liberian Civil Service on ethics and accountability issues. Training topics involve building a sustainable organization, fair hiring practices, and transparent reporting on tax forms and deductions.
Commitment 3.2 This commitment seeks to build a community of accountability organizations via an OpenGov Hub in Monrovia. The Hub would be a work and community space for all such organizations in Liberia.
Commitment 3.3 aims to encourage a culture of integrity within government systems by giving recent civil service graduates training in government ethics (e.g., human resources, finance, and peer leadership). The goal is to train at least 20 civil servants and to start an innovation fund to support projects proposed by civil servants to increase transparency and strengthen ethical administrative practices. As written, this commitment does not provide specific goals or clear plans on how improved transparency and ethical conduct will be measured and, therefore, is assessed as having only a minor potential impact.
Commitment 3.2: Limited
The government’s self-assessment report identifies the site for the OpenGov Hub as Carey Street in Monrovia. Renovation works were ongoing as of June 2016. A representative from Accountability Lab confirmed that the space is 80–90 percent completed and was being used in February 2017. For more information, please see the 2015–2016 IRM midterm report.
Commitment 3.3: Substantial
As of June 2016, 20 senior and junior officers of government institutions were trained by the Liberian Institute for Public Administration (LIPA) on integrity issues. The self-assessment report does not specify which particular topics were part of the training curriculum, or how improvements in government integrity would be measured. For more information, please see the 2015–2016 IRM midterm report.
Commitment 3.2: Completed
The OpenGov Hub is completed and fully operational offering various services to open government organizations, such as high-speed internet connection and hot-desking in co-working spaces, office space for meetings and workshops, customs trainings and workshops.[Note45: Luther D. Jeke, Ilab Liberia, interview by IRM researcher, November 2017.]
Furthermore, the iCampus shares innovation, co-working and community space for organizations focusing on the intersection of technology, accountability and social change in Liberia. It acts as a physical and virtual space for youth-focused ICT and governance training, a networking and innovation hub, and a focal point for elections and open governance work.
The iCampus, also hosts the USAID Liberia Accountability and Voice Initiative (LAVI) Learning Lab—a physical and online hub for Liberians and international organizations to collaborate, share lessons learned, and access useful resources to help improve programmatic learning, advocacy campaigns, and open and accountable governance in Liberia.[Note46: iCampus, LAVI Learning Lab, http://icampus.io/lavi-learning-lab/] Also, the Liberia Accountability Incubator Program[Note47: Accountability Lab, Accountability Incubator, http://www.accountabilitylab.org/accountapreneurs/] from Accountability Lab, a flagship program for young civil society leaders to build sustainable, effective tools for accountability, participation and social impact covering 15 counties, is now established.[Note48: Blair Glencorse, questionnaire interview by IRM researcher, 15 November 2017.]
Commitment 3.3: Substantial
Training for government officials, including senior civil servants, have been conducted by government institutions and NGOs working on accountability issues. According to the government’s self-assessment report, 20 middle and junior level government officials (PYPPs) were trained on issues of integrity.
Accountability Lab, with the government innovation fund, launched “Integrity Idol,” a campaign to 'name and fame' honest government officials.[Note49: Blair Glencorse, questionnaire interview by IRM researcher, 15 November 2017] The Integrity Idol campaign has tapped into the frustration around corruption in Liberia and channeled it toward positive thought and action. The finalists themselves have already committed to building a network of hundreds of young people in their districts who can act as integrity champions in the future. This will help local reformers share ideas, build coalitions and actively collaborate to improve governance.
Did it Open Government?
Civic Participation: Marginal
According to the Accountability Lab and iLab Liberia, the OpenGov Hub and iCampus have improved collaboration, networking and information sharing among line ministries and CSOs. This has created synergy in governance programs as stakeholders are now more aware of each other’s project activities, improving the opportunities to create alliances and influence government decisions. However, there is no sufficient evidence to state that this commitment has influenced civic participation in government decisions.
Did Not Change
Although this commitment is a major step forward in promoting a culture of integrity in Liberia, it is still to be seen how this commitment would improve the government’s score on the OGP values of access to information, civic participation and public accountability.
This commitment was carried forward with milestones including, inter alia, the passage of the Whistleblower and Witness Protection Acts and the strengthening of the implementation of Executive Order (19) (Code of Conduct for National Officials).