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The Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD) has launched a project titled strengthening transparency, accountability, oversight and participation (STOAP) in the country.

The project launched Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at the IREDD head office in Sinkor is being sponsored by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
Speaking in brief remarks, IREDD executive director Harold Aidoo says that the launch of the project is triggered by the country’s 14 years of civil unrest, which has provided an opportunity for ordinary people to get involved into corruption in order to deal with the hardship of the day.
“This project comes against the backdrop that the chaos of the war time economy provided significant opportunity for right seeking behavior as ordinary people resulted to corruption to deal with the hardship of the day,” Aidoo noted.
Aidoo disclosed that the project is part of series of engagements that IREDD is organizing and meeting stakeholders including the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA), Liberia Marketing Association (LMA), National Investment Commission (NIC) and the Liberia Business Association (LIBA).
He indicated that this would provide a space where these institutions can play a more active role in ensuring that the issue of transparency and accountability are addressed in the governing process of the country.
Aidoo said IREDD along with its partners, the UNDP seeks to look at constrains of accountability, transparency and integrity that undermine the different development processes and the country`s ability to mobilize revenues to finance its development.
The group head asserted that since the ushering in of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf`s administration in 2006, the government key priorities were to embark on aggressive and vigorous reforms within all sectors of the country’s economy.
He indicated that what have been the drawbacks of these reforms is the lack of government’s ability to finance its own development agendas.
“One of the key challenges that have constrained our ability, as a country to finance our development has been domestic resource mobilization. The greatest challenge undermining our ability to mobilize resources, as well as constraining governance reforms, is the lack of transparency and accountability mechanism within many of our revenue generation systems and institutions,” Aidoo stressed.
He stated that Liberia, as a country needs to improve on its mechanisms of transparency and accountability, even as the country transitions to a new government, this in him mind, would help in mitigating the challenges of the past governments.
For his part, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) project assistant, James Carlon said Liberia is at a critical point of its history, thus, the total drawdown of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and the transition from one democratic elected government to another.
Carlon stated that the drawdown of the UN mission in Liberia does not in no way mean United Nations is totally leaving the country, noting that UN presence would still be in Liberia.
“The absence of the mission in Liberia does not mean the absence of the UN in Liberia, because UN was here before the war. So, when the mission finally closed, UN will still remain here,” Carlon voiced
He asserted that all of the work that the mission is currently carrying out would be left with the UN country team to execute.
The UN diplomat intoned that development of Liberia depends on every Liberian, even though UNDP is committed to building the capacity of national stakeholders so as to take on the responsibility of developing the country.

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