Decentralization Reforms, Policies Get Attention

-As for Local Gov’t Staff Benefit From Capacity Dev. With Support To MIA From Ireland & UNDP

MONROVIA-The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) in collaboration with the Governance Commission (GC), is conducting series of nationwide training for staff of County Service Centers (CSC) on data collection and reporting.

The exercises supported by UNDP with funding from Ireland, are aimed at strengthening the capacity of Coordinators and technical staff at County Service Centers to perform statutory functions and administrative responsibilities including data collection and timely reporting.

Capacity development is part of on-going efforts to implement Liberia’s Decentralization Support Program (LDSP). “UNDP is committed to supporting the government along this journey and is particularly excited to fund the workshop because timely reporting informs policy makers and partners about service delivery as well as revenue generation at the County Service Centers,” said UNDP LDSP Coordinator Augustus M. Zayzay, Jr., during the second phase of the training sessions held in Ganta, Nimba County.

UNDP has also committed to procure laptops and printers to enhance MIA and GC capacity in consolidating all the reports from counties for internal and external use.

Given the importance the government has attached to reporting, Commissioner George Howe of the Governance Commission encouraged participants to use the skills and knowledge acquired from the training to improve reporting timelines.  “The government takes seriously the regular submission of reports by CSC coordinators because the reports are very vital for decision making,” Commissioner Howe noted.

Deputy Internal Affairs Minister Olayee Collins lauded the support from UNDP and its partners and urged beneficiaries to ensure that the training will make them more effective and change the narrative that a major shortcoming from CSC Coordinators is timely reporting.

“Our expectation is to see the knowledge you acquire from this training translated immediately into actions that allow you to step up and ensure the regularization of monthly and quarterly reporting,” Collins emphasized. He reaffirmed the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ commitment to ensuring that County Service Centers are empowered with the necessary skills and tools to sustain decentralization.

Participants expressed gratitude to the government and partners for the training and assured that the knowledge gained will be applied in their respective work at the CSCs.

The training which targets 45 local government staff, covers topics and presentations on data collection methods, data analysis strategy, customer service, as well as local government gender policy with specific emphasis on the goals, objectives, policy alignments and priority areas including policy commitments.

The statutory mandate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) is to administer the affairs of local administrations in the counties; to improve coordination between the central government in Monrovia and sub-national units at county levels, and to build capacity for effective decentralization and accountable local governance in Liberia.

Under the Liberia Decentralization Support Programme (LDSP), UNDP with funding from development partners, support the MIA as the lead agency of the government in the implementation of decentralization reforms and policies.

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