The Accountability Lab is an incubator for the world’s most creative accountability ideas. In Liberia, the team works with innovative people and organizations to develop tools- and the communities around them- that can make power-holders more responsible.

Justice is a building block for accountability. It’s also a crucial element of sustainable peace and development.  In an effort to support peace and foster development in Liberia, the Accountability Lab is promoting the use of conflict mediation and resolution with citizens in low-income communities of Monrovia.

The project, which was first initiated in West Point and implemented by the West Point Health & Sanitation Organization (WPHSO), has now been scaled-up to Logan Town on Monrovia’s Bushrod Island.

Logan Town is a community that has a population of over 30,000 inhabitants and only one police station which, it is widely agreed, does not have the capacity to respond to the legal and security needs of citizens. In an effort to support the Liberian government in building peace and bringing justice to all, the Accountability Lab is training eight mediators in Logan Town. The mediators will work with the local court and police department to refer cases back down to locally trained Community Justice Teams, who will work to resolve disputes sustainably.

The Accountability Lab believes that building the capacity of community members to solve disputes in their communities is one of the best ways to promote peace and democracy, which in turn leads to development. The Lab has observed that aggrieved parties are more responsive to non-binding mediation and often engage in more constructive dialogue without the threat of formal legal sanction that inherently arises in governmental courts.  In our work in West Point, there has not been a single instance of recidivism in the cases that have been dealt with by our trained mediators.

In the eyes of many Liberians, the use of conventional legal systems such as the police and courts are expensive, time-consuming and not the best way to solve civil disputes. As a result, many people resolve their grievances through violent means. As an institution that works from the bottom-up with a real focus on citizens, the Accountability Lab is working to ensure that disputes are resolved in more constructive ways.

The Logan town Alternative Dispute Resolution Center will be managed and run by the Citizens Bureau for Development and Productivity, a local NGO led by John Kamma. In our training for the mediators, Mr. Kamma opened the session with some words of caution. “Access to justice through the formal justice system is an accountability issue. The loss of public trust and confidence in the justice sector is a direct result of the police and courts being unresponsive to citizens’ needs.”

“When an aggrieved party is unable to meet the financial costs associated with the court system, justice is repeatedly delayed or denied. This is shameful for a formal justice system that should serve everyone equitably and adequately, regardless of money, age, or status- and it is a recipe for potential conflict. Something must be done to restore the functioning of justice in Liberia.” Through this project, we are doing it- and we look forward to keeping you updated from on-the-ground here in Monrovia.CJT

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The Accountability Lab is an incubator for the world’s most creative accountability ideas. In Liberia, the team works with innovative people and organizations to develop tools- and the communities around them- that can make power-holders more responsible.

Justice is a block for building democracy. It’s also  a crucial element for sustainable peace and development.  In an effort to support peace and foster development in Liberia, the Accountability Lab is promoting the use of mediation among dwellers of low-income communities in Monrovia.

The project was first initiated in West Point and implemented by West Point Health & Sanitation Organization (WPHSO) has now been scaled-up to Logan Town on Monrovia’s Bushrod Island.

Logan Town is a community that has a population of over 30,000 inhabitants with only one police depot that doesn’t have the capacity to responding to the legal and security needs of the people. In an effort to support the government of Liberia in building peace and bringing justice to the doorstep of every inhabitant of Liberia, the Accountability lab has trained eight (8) mediators in Logan Town.

 

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Sociology and Anthropology STudenst Association posed for group photo

In a quest to spread the message of change , transformation, transparency and integrity, the Accountability Lab in the 35th anniversary celebration of the Sociology and Anthropology Students Association (SASA) at the University of Liberia. The event was marked by a parade and conference that brought together over 300 hundred participants, including members of the University of Liberia administration, SASA department staff and instructors, students and other invited guests.

Sociology is one of the largest departments at the University of Liberia.  As a nation emerging from 14 years of civil war, the study of human relations can play a critical role in post-conflict reconstruction. The theme of the SASA convocation was “Nonviolence is imperative for a peaceful society”.  The program touched on several themes:

  1. Think Developmentally. The growth of a nation begins with its people. A major way for Liberia to develop is when the students of the University of Liberia start to live by its motto“ Lux En Tenebris” which means “Light in Darkness”. One of the best ways to develop a country is to develop the minds of the citizens so that they can take ownership of their country.

In his remarks Mr. Yealue challenged  SASA members to take the lead in transforming the social patterns of Liberia in a direction that brings about social change, economic transformation, social cohesion, nationalism, and a sense of belonging.  He concluding by noting that the Accountability Lab is always eager to engage potential partners.

  1. Career Contribution: Sociology and Anthropology played a vital role in allowing us to understand our society. The change we want to see doesn’t come from those above, rather it starts from us. The field of study of Sociology must serve as a true light of change in our various communities.
  2. Reason leads to Action: When the leadership of SASA was asked about their contributions to the theme of the event, several key points were observed:
  • SASA serves a peer advisory role, helping students understand course offerings and make the most of their formal education opportunities.
  • Students at the University of Liberia frequently resort to violent actions to obtain results that they desire.  This forum will provide a key first step in promoting a culture of accountability that reduces violent extremism on campus.
  • The consequences of Liberia’s civil war are acutely felt by today’s students.  SASA does not wish to follow in the steps of our predecessors by ignoring societal problems, rather SASA wishes to take the lead in setting a non-violent agenda for Liberia. an
  1. Collective effort: For a nation to be develop, citizens must have a sense of nationalism, patriotism and belonging. All of these qualities are developed by a strong education and understanding of human society.  The change we need requires contributions from all.
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The Accountability Lab is an incubator for the world’s most creative accountability ideas. The team works with innovative people and organizations in Liberia to develop tools- and the communities around them- that can make power-holders more responsible. The Lab supports almost a dozen imaginative projects around the country, with a focus on youth and sustainability.

For a nation to be develop, the citizen must have the sense of Nationalism, patriotism and sense of belonging. All of these happen through education and the process of education must be diverse. The  change we need required every one of us involvement  with positive contribution; on this note, the  accountability lab in partnership with the Liver Arts in Monrovia have embarked on  a project involving children  age ranging 9-13 years old. Accountability lab believed in bottom-top approach in the fight against corruption.

Accountability lab believe that the best way to make Liberia a better place is to make the children become conscious of their future and  give them the ability to become a positive thinker.

The children are the future leaders and beneficiary of what we have today and as such they need to be train adequately on how to manage their tomorrow.

 

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KoC 4th Round

 

Introduction

 

The Accountability Lab is an incubator for the world’s most creative accountability ideas. The team works with innovative people and organizations in Liberia to develop tools- and the communities around them- that can make power-holders more responsible. The Lab supports almost a dozen imaginative projects around the country, with a focus on youth and sustainability. We also strive to set a radicalexampleof transparency and integrity with our own operations; and ensure monitoring is fitted to context. The Lab has won several awards for its work in Africa and Asia and for the impact that this approach has had on the larger accountability agenda.

 

Concept

 

Sport is one of the medium that pull people of all sector together, based on this, Accountability lab has chosen it to help spread the message of Accountability and Anti-corruption message to the young people of Liberia.

 

On Saturday May 3rd, 2014, the Accountability lab had its fourth session of the Kick out Corruption (KoC) sport outreach in Whein Town Community, Paynesville. The event that has over 150 persons participating directly and directly was used to educate the participants about Corruption, Cheating, Favoritism, Nepotism, Bribery, etc.

Mr. Gborboe T. Gblinwon (simply known as coach Gborboe) presented the event like this;

Knowing that Accountability serves as driving force for sustaining developmental agenda, needs to be preach in all sectors. Upon this, when I heard about Accountability lab and the work they do, I thought to myself if I could fit into any of the program. Then I answer it myself by saying YES.

So I went to the office and I said I’m a coach and I want to work with your organization, but the concern to them (Accountability lab) was “How”.

I told them that sport is one of the tools that has the power of breaking all barriers and young people love it, using it to propagate the message of Accountability will help to easily spread the message you are preaching. So I was given the first chance to have it organize at the Tubman High School on 12th Street.

 

I am only trying to tell this story to let you know that what you are doing here today is very important and it has the power to change the story of Liberia into a positive situation.  I also want you to know that   unaccountability issues we are crying with in our Country today start from us. Corruption is everywhere and today we will interact with you about corruption in sport (football).

 

Response

During the first round were the referee was favoring one team, this were their comments;

Coach Gborboe. What is strange about this match and how do you feel?

 

  • Torkpo Kollie, I really felt bad because the referee was never balance, I mean he was refereeing in favor of one team. I almost decided to leave the game. This game is marked with serious corruption and it is  full of cheating
  • Morris Kpahn, I was very happy about the game because everything was in my favor.

On the overall level, the first round of the exercise created serious tension in the game that if we were not fast to have stop the game, it would have resulted into a violent.

Having heard their view Francis Lansana, Accountability lab representative on the field, told them that this is what corruption does. It will make you to feel that you are the best person and on the other hand, it will make you feel like you don’t know anything. Corruption is one of the forces that drive away development. It is an agent that breed violence, you saw what you were doing among yourself.

The skill we have come to give you today is to train you in the fight against corruption with the use of nonviolence approach. Those whom the referee was blowing in their favor thought this is one of the best referee in Liberia and as such want him to continue refereeing. Now that we are going for the second round, let watch and see and then you will compared the first with the second round.

 

At the end of the second round, we again asked them for their view and this what they have to say;

  • Kollie Mulbah, for me I think such exercise should be organize among CSA members (Ministries and agencies). It will help to cut down corruption in the government. If possible we should invite the president. From the starting this morning, some of us thought that this exercise is just a mere exercise, but now we have understood it to be very much educative.
  • Torkpo Kollie, during the first round, the referee was against me I was feeling very bad but in the second round I know that the referee was in my favor so I am very happy. Although I am happy, but have now understood why Liberia is not develop. I want this exercise to be organize between counties. It will help to involve many persons because all of the county authorities will attend the game and the education or Accountability message will help to change the minds of some the authorities. Doing this will help to change Liberia.
  • I was feeling bad because the game went against me during this second round. Now that I have understood that cheating hurt, I don’t want this practice to be limited to us rather it must go to the various high schools.

The second round brought back the friendship that got clash during the first round and they all were happy and promised to preach accountability message down to their various homes.

 

The third and final cycle in which the two teams wore the same Jessy brought about more understanding into the exercise. They stressed that it is this pattern that is under mining the development agenda of Liberia. Today we have realized that every fabric of our society needs accountability and obtaining accountability doesn’t necessary have to start from the top. Everybody need to do something.

 

Thank you for taking part in this exercise, we all have different skill compounded with what we have acquired today,  I hope we can now wisely use the lessons learned  to help preach the message of accountability and continue the fight against corruption, Said Francis.

 

 

 

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Democracy is not a system that can be transferred  or imported. It can manifest only if it germinate and take root. In-order to have a through democratic function, each country needs to absorbed democracy into its traditions; political and its socio-economic situation. Democracy cannot be reduced only to a legal framework measuring only civil and political rights. The purpose of democracy is to empower every citizens to have a better living through the full improvement of economic, social and cultural rights.

 

Therefore for democracy to take effect, the citizens of the country must be knowledgeable of the laws governing them and they must have access to it; meaning there must be an independent and matured judiciary system. There must also be freedom of expression through matured and responsible press. Citizens must have the right to cautiously express themselves if they feel ambiguous of a situation; meaning you have the right to say what you want to say but you will be responsible for any insult/outcome of your pronouncement. Democracy is a system of government in which decision making is reach with the consent of the majorities of the citizens but respecting the views of the minorities.

 

Elections are not the start none the end to democratic system of governance. Election is just a system through which citizens decide to change the leadership of a state.  And in-order to reach to the peak of having democratic state, citizens (elected and electorate) need to build up sense of nationalism, sense of belonging, social cohesion, strong and independent political party system; meaning the political party platform must not be built around an individual. Political party needs to be institutionalized, managed and controlled by people with vision and they must have the ability to put people together to positively drive the vision of the party instead of following the ideology of single or segment of individuals within the party.

 

Though election is very cardinal to building democratic institution but the outcome of an election does not guaranteed democracy instead legitimacy after election is one of the core pillar to measuring democracy. Legitimacy is the medium through which the elected official make sure that citizens are harness and willing to drive their leadership project.

 

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   KICK OUT CORRUPTION SECOND ROUND

 

 

INTRODUCTION

The Accountability Lab is an incubator for the world’s most creative accountability ideas. The team works with innovative people and organizations in Liberia to develop tools- and the communities around them- that can make power-holders more responsible. The Lab supports almost a dozen imaginative projects around the country, with a focus on youth and sustainability. We also strive to set a radical example of transparency and integrity with our own operations; and ensure monitoring is fitted to context. The Lab has won several awards for its work in Africa and Asia and for the impact that this approach has had on the larger accountability agenda. Read more recent news about our work here; and some of our broader thoughts on accountability in Liberia here.

ABOUT THE EVENT

Football is one of the sports that pull people together of all sectors, which encompasses, race, economic, political, religious among the rest. Holding this in mind and accountabilitylab been an organization that works new innovative ideas to help contribution global stability and development, chose sport as a medium to preacg good governance and fight corruption in the Liberian society.

Holding this constant, on February 1, 2014, accountabilitylab hosted her second kick out corruption sport compaign in the ELWA community on Carver mission school sport pitch with youth age ranging from 9-30 years old. The focus on this age group is from the back ground youth are the feature of every nation in the world and started teaching the concept of good governance and anti-corruption will lead stable,development, positive growth and corrupt free society.

Topics taught in this exercise included cheating, bribery, robery, tribalism, corruption and nepotism. Having gone through the exercise, this what Coach Gborboe T.Gblinwon, the organizer of the exercise has to say to accountabilitylab, sponsor organization of the program;

  • Like i said on December 7, 2013 on Tubman High school sport pitch on 12 street, i am bringing to mind because this day was my first experience in the field of sport to come across such a wonderful lesson that explain to me causes leading the under performance on players and coach in every parts of the world. I even want to say that this exercise to go deep into government and other private sectors so that all administrators and managers can see some of the basic things that are delaying our development in Liberia.
  • If this kind of training can go across all sectors, will make corruption to go away because if you are in the position teach anti-corruption, you will be careful with what you do. This is also necessary for family because the first institution of learning is the family and if children in the families are exposed to this, their upcoming with be very much positive.

When the players were also quize for the view about the exercise, they said;

  • When the game is cheated in my favor, it can be fine because anything will be goo and it will make me to win the game, said Trokon Sieweon
  • I don’t feel fine when the cheating is done in mu favor because it will make me lazy, so I will not want either bribery, tribalism, cheating or any other unfair activity to be done in the sport, said, Richard Saykiamien
  • It is always good for FIFA to not favor one team, it is good be neutral, Tony B. Kpahn commented
  • I feel bad if the referre is always against me on the field, it will creation serious negative tension in the game. To be sure, this game is not good with tension because football is to be one of the most unifying tool, Winston O. Anthony said.
  • I feel bad when the game was against me because I went to field to win but the cheating was too broad so I feel weak and I even wanted to leave the game, Thomas O. Martin commented.
  • All what we are learning about leads to killing of career in anybody, they are all bad in any form, Moses Chea.

Even those who came to weakness the exercise enjoyed and the said, from what they have learned will help them to bring a change in their society and they suggested that we should a national kick out corruption sport day in Liberia. According to them, it will help to easily and widely spread the campaign against corruption.

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