Project Factsheet
Tools for » PBF/LBR/A-8 Support for the Extension, and Functioning of the Government of Liberia Peacebuilding Office/PBF Secretariat and for Monitoring and Evaluation of the PBF Portfolio and Projects
Project ID 00081529 Description PBF/LBR/A-8 Liberia PBF Office
Fund
Peacebuilding Fund
Start Date *: 7 Feb 2012
Theme
Democratic Governance -W1
Project status Operationally Closed
Country Liberia Participating Organization   UNDP - UNDP(MDTF/PUNO only).
About

This project builds on and is a continuation of PBF/LBR/E-2 “Government of Liberia Peacebuilding Office” and PBF/LBR/E-9 “Facilitating the Monitoring and Evaluation of the Implementation of the Liberia PBF”.


Outputs and Key Activities:

•             Ensure effective implementation of the LPP and ensure compliance to PBF rules and procedures

•             The Secretariat technical support to the JSC, the TAGs, UNRO and IPs

•             Coordinate support to the implementation of the LPP programmes

•             Ensure effective monitoring of the LPP programmes

•             Facilitate independent evaluation of the LPP programmes

•             Ensure peacebuilding is integrated into GoL programming and implementation of the PRS2

•             Organize review meetings of stakeholders regarding commitments in the Statement of Mutual Commitment (SMC)

•             Project Management Unit set-up and functional to roll up a monitoring and evaluation system

 

Government of Liberia Peacebuilding Office:

The main functions and responsibilities of the Government of Liberia Peacebuilding Office are to provide monitoring and evaluation and coordination roles of the LPP for the next three years under the direct supervision of the Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs (MEA).

The PBO under this new configuration and arrangement will act a Secretariat to the Joint Steering Committee and the Technical Advisory Groups on Justice and Security and National Reconciliation to ensure effective implementation of the LPP and to provide overall support to the UN Recipient Agencies and their implementing partners in the area of Monitoring & Evaluation. In addition to the above, the PBO consists of Program Management Unit (PMU) for the LPP, particularly to ensure timely implementation of program and project activities.

The functioning of the PBO is very crucial in providing support to the JSC and for the successful implementation of the Liberia Peacebuilding Programme (LPP), the Liberia Peacebuilding Priority Plan and for also following through on the commitments of the Government contained in the Statement of Mutual Commitment (SMC) signed between the Government of the Republic of Liberia and the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission. In this regard, this proposal seeks funding for the operations and adequate functioning of the PBO including its PMU for the next three years (September 2011 – 2014).

It may be recalled that in September 2008, the Liberia Peacebuilding Fund (PBF Joint Steering Committee (JSC) approved a project proposal submitted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) for the establishment of the Liberia Peacebuilding Office (PBO) attached to the MIA. The establishment of the PBO was an attempt to institutionalize peacebuilding activities within the Government – to mainstream a conflict sensitive framework to the implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) for Liberia, and to help ensure that the Government policies, strategies and operational programmes would be formulated and implemented considering the conflict context. Policies and programmes were to take into account the root causes and potential areas of conflict, and to avoid inadvertently exacerbating tensions that could lead to violent conflicts. In the post-conflict reconstruction of Liberia, both the Government of Liberia (GoL) and the United Nations had regarded peacebuilding as pivotal for national development, and to prevent a relapse into violence. While Liberia had maintained peace and security since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2003, it was well-known that much attention was needed to address issues that were strategic to peacebuilding. In this regard, the PBO was intended to have the capacity to proactively prevent, mitigate and adequately respond to violent conflict throughout the country.

It is against this background that the Government and the United Nations, with funding from the Peacebuilding Fund and based on the Peacebuilding Priority Plan for Liberia, reached a decision to establish the Liberia Peacebuilding Office. After submitting the project proposal, the PBO and the PBF Secretariat began full operation in January 2009. The work of the PBO entails inter-related activities like training policy makers in conflict sensitivity, performing monitoring and evaluation roles, facilitating the construction of peace huts in strategic locations for conflict resolution and development planning, as well as promoting social cohesion amongst divided communities. In addition to providing this capacity building support to the Government of Liberia, the PBO also performs the role of Secretariat for the UN Peacebuilding Fund Joint Steering Committee (JSC) that administered the 15 million fund in Liberia and also works closely with the UN Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) in New York and the Multi-Donor Trust Fund – Office Over the next three years the JSC is expected to administer  and oversee the implementation of a little over 70m from the PBF the Justice and Security Trust Fund and other sources for the implementation of the LPP.


Furthermore, the PBO was also intended to become the institution within the Government that would help to follow through on the implementation of the PRS. Specifically, the PBO was to track the implementation of deliverables set out in the PRS that were aimed at addressing root causes and potential areas of conflict in Liberia. The PRS mentions six key conflict drivers that the Government identified to be addressed over the implementation period of the PRS. The PRS also envisaged that,

Over the PRS period, with initial support from the PBF, the Government will focus on building the capacities of leaders and institutions to develop and implement conflict-sensitive policies and programmes. … [W]ith an understanding on conflict issues and methods of addressing them, the Government can set a strong foundation for lasting peace and stability in Liberia.” (PRS p.21)

Prior to institutionalizing peacebuilding within the Government, there had been various perspectives of such initiative within the Government. From the beginning of the post-conflict reconstruction period, the Government of Liberia had been aware of the different ways that the international community prioritize and sequence policies of early recovery, reconstruction, peacebuilding and development in post-conflict countries. The formulation of the Government’s 150 Day Plan soon after assuming power was the earliest signal of the Government’s eagerness to move beyond relief into full-scale recovery and development, but at that stage developing a full scale strategy for peacebuilding could not find political space in the plan.

Peacebuilding being a quintessentially political issue, it was a difficult terrain for the Liberian authorities to deal with, as it called for a re-examination of past legacies. Questions like what was the nature of interaction between the formal, informal, traditional and shadow systems of governance, and who would gain and lose from the changes created by post-conflict reconstruction policies were (and in some cases still remain) highly contentious issues in Liberia. Because of these problems of dealing with the past legacies, much of the analytical work that was undertaken in the beginning of post-war reconstruction process did not delve into the roots of the Liberian conflict and its key drivers like unemployment and social exclusion. Instead, these issues were relegated to a secondary position in favour of promoting mainstream sectors like health and education.

Furthermore, besides political will, there was also the question of capacity to develop, adopt or mainstream peacebuilding into programming itself. However, following relentless efforts from practitioners, and the commitment of the Government with the support of the United Nations, peacebuilding and conflict analysis were integrated into both the PRS and the County Development Agendas (CDAs).

As a result, peacebuilding and conflict analysis have become important components of the broader policy frameworks of Liberia’s post-conflict reconstruction strategy. Reconstruction efforts such as the County Support Team (CST)[3], the provision of basic social services, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) process, as well as setting up the Liberia Peacebuilding Office itself all reflect a larger peacebuilding agenda that seek to promote peace and national reconciliation.

In sum, the Liberia Peacebuilding Office since its establishment has been supporting Government’s conflict sensitive approach to policymaking and development throughout the implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), and helping develop Government’s capacity to manage and resolve conflicts especially on the local level. More specifically, the PBO has been helping to foster coordination and coherence amongst peacebuilding actors and institutions in Liberia, and to strengthen local and traditional mechanisms for peace.

Over the last three years, the PBO has made considerable gains in achieving it outcomes related both to its functions as the Liberia PBO and the Secretariat of the PBF JSC these include:

The key outcomes of the PBO:

  • Capacity of PBO staff strengthened in conflict sensitivity and knowledge in peacebuilding; Policymakers, CSOs and other stakeholders in Government, including local authorities, to understand and value conflict sensitivity and peacebuilding trained over the next three years;
  • Putting in place conflict early warning mechanisms to detect emerging challenges to peace, and act upon them;
  • Facilitating transparent, strategic and catalytic use of PBF programming to maximize peacebuilding opportunities throughout the PRS;
  • Traditional mechanisms for peacebuilding enhanced.

As stated above, the PBO was also established as the Secretariat of the Liberia Peacebuilding Fund with distinct but interrelated functions. The PBO has carried out the following responsibilities as the PBF Secretariat:

  • Provided the JSC Secretariat support in organizing meetings, recording minutes and sharing documents with the members of the JSC;
  • Documented, communicated and facilitated follow-up measures of the JSC’s decisions, particularly ensured submission of appropriately signed and completed documentation on approved projects to the UNDP MDTF office;
  • Maintained a database on PBF related activities and implementing partners;
  • Reviewed and analyzed concept notes and project proposals, including all technical reviews, and submitted recommendations to the JSC;
  • Supported inter-project coordination and provided guidance to UN recipient organizations on common methodology for project costing, monitoring and evaluation, and related issues;
  • Organized specific project impact monitoring and evaluation training, and reviewed reports (including independent impact evaluations);
  • Tracked the implementation of projects and made recommendations for improvements, if necessary;
  • Identified problems that arose in relation to project delivery and management, and advised the JSC on appropriate actions, with the follow up on reporting back on progress or lack of progress;
  • Reviewed reports and provided status updates;
  • Acted as the local repository of knowledge regarding the rules and regulations of the PBF and related management arrangements;
  • As directed by the JSC Co-chairs, supported information sharing (including bulletins), awareness raising and training as required;
  • Ensured linkages of the PBF projects to national processes, in particular the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) and the related supportive efforts of the UN and partners;
  • Promoted PBF awareness amongst the Government, civil society and international partners;
  • Documented issues and periodically sharing ‘lessons learned’ with the JSC and PBSO.

 

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