As Democracy becomes the legitimate demand of all local communities and the world, there has also been an increase in the implementation of political and administrative reforms that are aimed at decentralizing and strengthening of local governance.
Many of the citizens in a post war Liberia have shown eagerness for a decentralized government’s activities; however, to make this a reality would need the involvement of organizations and Institutions that believe in the impact of transference.
One of those Organizations is YOTAN-Partner for Social Accountability an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of youth Development, Civic Engagement, digital inclusion, human Rights and strengthening of citizen-centered governance in Africa through sustainable human capital growth, advocacy, and viable impact-driven innovative solutions.
Recently in Gbarnga, YOTAN lunched a twenty three (23) month project titled: Promoting citizens’ awareness on the decentralization and local governance law to enhance local service delivery in Liberia
The project seeks to build individual citizen and civil society capacity to monitor social service provision in rural Liberia.
It also intends to Strengthen Partnership with citizen and their leaders to building forward better through inclusive governance, transparency, participatory engagement, and peace building.
Speaking during the project lunch, YOTAN’s Executive Director Donnish M. Pewee said they will organize at least twenty (20) community dialogue meetings with civil society organizations, women, youth, traditional and religious leaders to determine local development priorities which will ultimately be compiled into a County Development Plan.
Mr. Pewee told the gathering during the project launch that the project team will also organize two (2) stakeholder engagements which will bring together local government officials as well as civil society actors and citizen groups to discuss the project ideas and provide recommendations for effective implementation.
During those engagements according to him, YOTAN will work with the county authority to establish a 12member county team to draft county plan after the community dialogue meetings.
“The draft will be reviewed and approved by citizens, district commissioners, the county superintendent, and project management committee (PMC), the body responsible for allocating and distributing County Social Development Funds” he added.
The YOTAN Boss furthered that they will host a six(6)-day capacity building training session for at least 50 participants including journalists, university students, and civil society actors where Participants will be introduced to the concept of participatory budgeting and budget monitoring techniques, review the Local Government Act, and review the process for implementing projects using County Social Development Funds.
The project targets two Counties (Bong and Lofa) and runs from Oct 2021 to Sept 2023.
At the launching ceremony, the Office of Bong County Superintendent Esther Yamah Walker reaffirmed its commitment in working with YOTAN for the full implementation of the project.
Mr. Joseph Dormeia, Administrative Assistant to Superintendent Walker described the project as important on grounds that citizens will be provided the opportunity to form part of the decision making processes of the two Counties and Liberia by extension.
“I think this project is good, it will also help many of our young people to understand the working of local authorities because most of the times these days, they only take their phone in the morning and call to castigate leaders without known the functions of those leaders” he maintained.
Also speaking, some of the participants lauded YOTAN for being focused on the capacity buildings of individuals and organizations in rural Liberia.
Thy expressed hope that with the efforts of YOTAN and also cooperation from them, the project will be fully implemented and will achieve its goals and objectives.
Established 2012, YOTAN fosters Youth Voices, innovative Actions, gender equality and advancing Access quality education, promote development effectiveness and deepening democracy beyond its electoral form to combat corruption, build trust and increase citizen’s informed participation in decision-making processes and enhance vulnerable livelihood to drive social transformative change and impact. The organization work to cultivates Socially Responsible Leaders, improve good governance in the delivery of basic social service, empower citizens to exercise their full civic rights and bridge Gender gaps to alleviate all forms of poverty and reduce inequalities to ensuring that the dis-empowered and future generations thrive to achieve their fullest potential.
YOTAN also work to address the imbalances of power to enable positive transformation of social attitudes, gender norms and enhance direct civic engagement to promote accountability, inclusiveness, environmental stewardship, and youth-centered policy-including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Africa 2063 agenda.
YOTAN use a rights-based, Gender transformative approach, direct civic engagement, social accountability mechanism and leveraging of technology tool to amplify sustainable impact. Mission: Our Mission is to inspire change, empower emerging Leaders and strengthen good and inclusive governance to ensure people powered accountability Vision: We envision a just African society without poverty and inequality where citizens are empowered, informed, and engaged; and democracy is sustainable for all to thrive