Paradigm shift about Liberia; New initiative to change social perspective about civil servant in Liberia

Paradigm shift about Liberia; New initiative to change social perspective about civil servant in Liberia

Introduction

Nation building required collective effort mostly especially the citizens  majorities involvement. Much is be done and much is ongoing to help transform Liberia into a society with equal opportunity for all, yet there are still numerous challenges in achieving the transformation goal.It is perceived that there is no honest civil servant in Liberia and as such, corruption is understood to be on the increase day-by-day thereby making a good number of Liberians to live in high poverty. But in the wisdom of Accountability Lab, there are still honest civil servant/government official whom the country can use as an example in the fight against corruption and give a new mind set to the youthful population of Liberia about government. In the quest  to bring in a concept that will help to change this mindset, the Accountability Lab has a developed a program called “ Integrity Idol” is a program that stands to showcase the good work of civil servant in the country. The goal of this program is to help Empower Liberians to promote positive examples of accountable community leaders with the objective of building accountable society in which everyone will have an equal opportunity.

Integrity Idol Liberia

Integrity Idol Liberia is a national movement- on the ground, online and on television- to celebrate and encourage honest Civil Servant across the country. A lack of integrity- which leads to corruption, inequality and insecurity- remains the very heart of the challenges that Liberia faces today and our inability to create positive social change. Ordinary citizens feel helpless to change these dynamics, with little to do except complain about the graft and mismanagement of those in power. This supports a self-reinforcing dynamic that nothing can change.

This program is a four months campaign (from August to November 2015) with the explicit goal of engaging Liberian across the country in a conversation about integrity and accountability. It will generate support for those civil servants within the system who are sacrificing their lives to serve the public good. Highlighting their good work in public allows us to question existing realities, which in turn leads to changes in behavior that can improve our lives.

These five finalists will then be filmed- doing their jobs, talking about why it is important to have integrity and interacting with others who can vouch for their great work. These 20 minute episodes will then be shown on national TV (and syndicated on national and community radio stations) in prime time across Liberia, while being posted on youtube and o social media. Citizens will be made aware through the campaign that they can vote for who they think should be Liberia’s “Integrity Idol” through social media, post, e-mail and phone. After a public voting period of a week- through which we expect tens of thousands of votes- the expert panel will again convene to add their voices to the conversation and to crown the Integrity Idol in a public ceremony in Monrovia.

 

The value of Integrity Idol is the process, not the outcome. It celebrates individuals, but those that serve the collective good. It is a way to create positive conversations locally about what it means to be a public servant, what the role of Civil servant is in a society such as ours, and how we should think about a harmony in society. This is central to our current challenges, but too often the debate is lost in extremist or anti-extremist rhetoric. Integrity Idol provides an outlet for a national conversation in positive terms that can help all of us to think about the role we’d like to play, the life we’d like to live and   the social change we’d like to see in Liberia.

The Integrity Idol campaign will open a nomination process through which any Liberia can nominate an honest Civil Servant by, filling of the nomination form  , through social media, see link here. We have mobilized this process through our extensive youth networks and expect hundreds of nominations from every corner of Liberia- for everyone from a teacher that goes that extra mile in a public school to support quality education; to that district office bureaucrat who always makes sure problems are fixed on time. Our team will then verify submissions and select a respected, expert panel that will narrow the field of submissions to the top five. We will uncover the hidden heroes that embody personal responsibility, moderation and public-mindedness.

About Accountability Lab

The AccountabilityLab is driven by a powerful goal- to empower citizens in Liberia to build creative tools  for integrity and accountability in their communities. The team provides training, mentorship, networks, management support and seed funding for the development of low-cost, high-impact ideas for positive change. By enabling Liberians to use information and knowledge to hold their government responsible, the Lab is finding innovative ways to unlock the rich potential for political and economic development.   

The Lab also strives to live by its principles and set an example for others through radical transparency, oral reporting that fits the context, creative outreach campaigns, and alternative revenue models.

For the first two years of its existence implemented most activities with a $2,000 cap.  In the last quarter of 2014, concurrent with the escalating Ebola crisis, the Lab began to significantly expand and scale up its work.

Read more recent news on the Lab and follow the organization on Twitter and Facebook.

Integrity Idol Liberia is a national movement- on the ground, online and on television- to celebrate and encourage honest Civil Servant across the country. A lack of integrity- which leads to corruption, inequality and insecurity- remains the very heart of the challenges that Liberia faces today and our inability to create positive social change. Ordinary citizens feel helpless to change these dynamics, with little to do except complain about the graft and mismanagement of those in power. This supports a self-reinforcing dynamic that nothing can change.

Advertisements
Standard

A Nation Without an Agenda

                                                                       A Nation Without an Agenda

With no real priority given to a developmental agenda in Liberia, achieving the goals of such an agenda is far from our reach. Since Madam Sirleaf became president of Africa’s oldest republic, there have been conferences for everything from putting together a road map for better Liberia, to a Poverty ReductionStrategy (PRS) and a Vision 2030 plan. Despite all the talk, progress towards a new Liberia has been patchy

Bad governance in Liberia has denied the country’s citizens access to reliable basic social services such as transportation. Commuters living in Monrovia’s suburban settlements are finding it very difficult to get to central Monrovia. About 90% of the government ministries and agency offices are located in the city’s center, and getting there for routine business transactions is an exhausting ordeal for many citizens.

Life here seems to be getting more difficult every day.

I have spoken with college graduates who spend their days in coffee shops, not because they are unskilled, but because there is nowhere for them to use what they have learned. They are tired of the government’s empty promises, and their education is wasted because there is no system for placing people into jobs based on their knowledge and experience.

Getting a job in Liberia depends much more on who know you than what you know. If you look around the streets of Monrovia today, you will realize that many young people in the streets are either selling cheap wares or riding motorcycle taxies. This is because they are not seeing changes in the lives of their peers who have gone through the walls of academic institutions. As a result, the enthusiasm for quality education is dropping in Liberia.

The University of Liberia, the oldest institution of higher learning in West Africa and the only state-run tertiary institution in Liberia is not among the first 100 ranked universities in West Africa. Madam Sirleaf, has rightfully indicated that “the educational system of Liberia is a mess”. We accept your condemnation Madam president, yet we want to know your role in cleaning up the “mess” you mentioned. A leader should identify problems and then develop ways to move forward. Education has received a systematic lack of attention since the end of the civil war- but there is no way for our country to forge a new vision for the future without people with the skills and knowledge to do it.

Most Liberians today are like refugees in their own country. The streets of Monrovia are filled with petty traders whose income can feed them for only a day. Food is becoming ever more difficult to put on the table; school fees seem to be getting higher every day; and access to quality medical care is financially out of reach for most Liberians.

A judicial system is a central pillar for building a democratic state, yet our country’s justice system is no longer trusted. As a result, we turn to violence to attain a small sense of justice. It seems that the majority of state security personnel are in their line of work for prestige and pay, not to protect citizens.

A member of the legislature prefers to ride in a car worth US$40,000 while his or her constituency goes without a proper clinic or high school- yet they claim to be working in the interest of the masses. Police on the street are without proper uniforms, but the directors of their departments live in nice houses that are clearly way beyond their means. Our country’s borders are without proper security, even though “Border Patrol” vehicles can been seeing driving the streets of Monrovia, leaving border entries without security.

Nationalism and patriotism and patriotism should be the bridge for our leaders to work on if we must have a better Liberia for our younger generation.

To the citizens in general, self-esteem, integrity and personal accountability should be the bench mark if we should hold our leaders to be accountable. Building a social capital is also vital in the recovery process. More coordination among the three branches of government, Ministries and sector agencies are the bed rock and the road map through which making Liberia a better place can become a reality.

It seem that there is less or no coordination among branches of government, Ministries and sector agencies. Evidence by recent education saga in Liberia.Readhere.

Standard

Where bad governance exist, citizens are denied certain basic social eminities such as transportation. Inhabitans of Monrovia srcambling over commecial vehicle in Monrovia.In the absent of priority in setting up developmental agenda, achieving the goal of this agenda is far from reach. Since Madam Sirleaf was elected into power in Liberia as the first female democratically elected president of Africa oldest republic, there has been conferences putting together a road map for better Liberia ranging from Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), Vision 2030, etc, yet nothing much is done. Every system in Liberia is getting worse. Common example is, commuters from sub-urban settlement around Monrovia are finding it very difficult to get to central Monrovia for business transaction, a place where 90% of the government ministries and agencies are located.

If you live or visit around  Monrovia city sub-burb specifically Duala on the Bushrod Island, Gardnerville, Paynesville and Old Road you will realized that bad governance in Liberia has denied the citizens of Liberia the right from some basic social services such as transportation. Life is getting difficult day-by-day. Liberians are tired of empty promises said some college graduates whose spent their days to coffee shops in Monrovia not because they are without skill but because there is or are no space  for them to practice what they know.

Education in Liberia is like a waste because there is no system set for placing people on job based on what he/she knows. In fact getting job in Liberia doesn’t depend on what you know but “who know you”. The youth stressed. If you look around the streets of Monrovia today, you will realize that many young people in the streets are either selling or riding motor cycle. This is because they are not seeing actual transformation in the lives of their peers who have gone through the walls of academic institutions. As such the value or enthusiasm for quality education is dropping in Liberia.

University of Liberia, the oldest institution of higher learning in West Africa and the state only own institution of higher learning in Liberia is not among the first 100 ranked Universities in West Africa.  Yet, Madam Sirleaf whom majorities of Liberians voted because of her academic profile, instead of building the medium to give quality to the nation educational system, she condemned it by saying “the educational system of Liberia is a mess”.  We accept your condemnation Madam president. Yet we want to know your role as a head of the state in cleaning the “mess” you mentioned. A leader most condemn and recommend way forward.

Majorities of Liberians in Liberia today are like refugees in their own country. To afford daily meals is imaginable as the streets of Monrovia is getting flooded with petty traders whose income can feed them for only a day. Food prices are sky rocketing day-by-day, rise in school feels are not to be over emphasis and access to quality medical care for 98% of Liberians in Liberia is out of reach.

Judicial is a central pillar for building democratic state, yet this institution is no more trusted proven by many  inhabitants of Monrovia/Liberia always using violence to attain justice for themselves, read here .  Also it is noticed that  a good number of the state security personnel are in the service just for mere job seek but not for the protection of the state as their code of conduct says through the oath of allegiance.  This is evidence by  police corruption according to Transparency International Index report2014.

A member of the house of legislature will prefer to ride a car value at US$40000 while his or her constituency is without a clinic or a high school yet they claimed of been working in the interest of the masses.  Police are without proper uniform yet the directors of police are riding US$ 40000 worth of vehicle. Boarders are without proper security, even though polices are find in every street corners of Monrovia, immigration cars with the inscription “Boarder Patrol” can been seeing plying the streets of Monrovia there by leaving boarder entries without security.

Link

Save Liberia Campaign Shifts into National Outreach Phase

accountabilitylab

By Francis Lansana, Accountability Resident, Liberia & Brooks Marmon, Accountability Architect, Washington DC

Just beyond the St. John River lies Buchanan- a small Liberian port city named after the cousin of a former US President. Buchanan is home to one of the few paved highways in the country, built with Chinese expertise, and a railroad, originally constructed by a firm with links to Sweden and recently rehabilitated by a company with ties to India. The history and economy of Buchanan, which serves as the outlet for much of the country’s iron ore deposits and palm oil, vividly illustrates the interconnectedness of today’s world and the mobility that makes the Ebola virus not just a challenge for Liberia, but for the entire globe.

View original post 502 more words

Standard

The “Integrity Idol” TV Show; Fighting Ebola with Mobile Cinema and more- The Accountability Lab Insider’s Circle E-mail December 2014

Dear Friends of the Accountability Lab,
As we bring 2014 to a close, I wanted to wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year and send another brief, informal update on the Accountability Lab’s progress to you- our best, wisest and most trusted supporters! Thank you for your continued ideas and guidance which have made 2014-our second year- a huge success! Read our brief year in review blog here.
I’ll keep this very short as no doubt you are all getting ready for this evening- but a few highlights from December:
Voting for Government Officials. Our National TV show in Nepal- Integrity Idol- garnered thousands of votes from every corner of the country from citizens voting for honest bureaucrats. Read more in the Guardian. The final winner will be announced tomorrow. Meanwhile, we hope to launch Integrity Idol in Liberia, Afghanistan and Pakistan next year.
Impact Measurement. We carried out our second large-scale impact survey across Nepal, Liberia and Pakistan, gathering feedback, ideas and inputs from hundreds of people. We also measured key performance indicators and secondary impact data. We’ll share the results in a snazzy report and infographic in January.
–  We continued our fight against Ebola in Liberia– I was in Monrovia for the month of December pushing forward our work to help citizens remain aware of the virus and hold government accountable for the response. Among other things, I had the opportunity to brief President Johnson Sirleaf on our work, and we partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on mobile Ebola awareness cinemaaround Monrovia.
– On World Anti-Corruption Day, Sarah Sewell at the US State Department publicly highlighted our work in Nepal as a creative approach to accountability. Meanwhile, the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania highlighted the Lab in it’s year-endGiving Guide. We were also highlighted on Bloomberg TV (min 2.25 onwards).
3 easy ways to help the Lab today before 2015:
– Read and share our end of year newsletter
– Let friends and family know they can make a tax-deductible contribution to our work- we’ll make sure every cent goes a long long way to build accountability!
– Share ideas for friends who might like to take a Social Impact Tour in Nepal in March 2015!
As always, any thoughts, ideas and feedback very much appreciated- thank you as always for your really valuable support and Happy New Year!
Standard

Prior to the outbreak of Ebola, Liberia has experienced a very poor health and hygienic system especially within the city of Monrovia the capital of Liberia. There are garbage pile found in every part of the city with a poor drainage system and access to save drinking and bath water is not to be over emphasis.

Access to proper medical care is like a grace of God evidence by all government officials including prominent business persons and other renounce residents of Liberia always seeking medication attention outside of the country leaving all medical personnel and facilities within the country poorly care for. Monrovia has an approximated population of 1 million persons and has a very poor sewage facilities. There are no public latrine in central Monrovia and therefore people urinate or toilet in tite corners whenever they are pressed by nature thereby leaving that neighborhood vulnerable with bad odor and sickness.

According to health experts, Ebola virus can be contracted through coming into contact with the infected person’s urine, toilet, saliva, sweet, blood, etc. Based on such poor conditions, Liberia has received approximately 60 % of the total death of Ebola related cases since the outbreak of virus in the Western African sub-region. More death and suspected cases are expected as government and other international partners are seeking means of building additional facilities for hosting of persons infected of Ebola virus and those suspected of contracting the virus.

Liberia still remain at the disadvantageous side as there are no plans to improve the system.

 

Link