The National Civil Society Advisory Committee
Although there is a great number of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) active in Liberia, the extent and impact of their organized and coordinated participation in national development and reform processes are limited.
To ensure better coordination among CSO actors, since 2004 a number of Liberian civil society network organizations started exploratory discussions among themselves and with partners on ways to develop and sustain the gains made toward civil society inclusion in national development. Being work in progress, the Committee is continuously evolving to ensure effectiveness and relevance. It maintains an open membership of CSO actors in the country and for the present consists of 15 networks and 11 independent civil society organizations whose work extends throughout Liberia.
In July 2008 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between participating CSOs. An interim leadership has been put into place with the New African Research and Development Agency serving as the Interim Chair for the Advisory Committee.
The CSO Advisory Committee strives to strengthen the capacity of the Liberian NGOs and civil society sectors to develop themselves into transparent, democratic and accountable structures that can serve as alternatives and examples of best practices in governance and particularly community – based development.
Additionally the CSO Advisory Committee is supporting the creation of a facilitating environment that lays the foundation for proper advocacy and lobbying, to create links to broader participation policies, and frameworks, which institutionalize people’s participation and empowerment, through the formulation and enactment of proper decentralization and popular participation policies and legislations.
Next to that the Advisory Committee is active in campaigning. In the recent years a number of campaigns have been carried out to raise public awareness for socio-political challenges in Liberia and the region. One example for this campaign work is a Civil Society approach towards the Liberian Threshold Bill and the Threshold Resolution in 2010. The threshold regulates political representation of Liberian citizens based on census data. The Advisory Committee saw the need to inform and educate the public about the consequences of a resolution regulating the threshold. Through the campaign it was possible to get the support of over sixty CSOs, international organizations and media representatives, all using their outreach to spread information about the campaign throughout Liberia.
The membership of the Advisory Committee is open to Civil Society Networks and organizations. A recent overview and contact information of the organizations that form part of the Advisory Committee can be found in Chapter 2 of this directory.
If you want to learn more about the activities of the Advisory Committee, contact NARDA’s resource person for the program, Ms. Eunice Dahn:
Phone: +231 (0) 77 291 021