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MFDP, Development Partners Hold SOPM Validation Workshop

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Kakata, Margibi - A three-day aid policies and standard operational procedures manual validation workshop climaxed Friday, April 26, 2019, in Kakata, Margibi County.

The validation manual workshop is being organized by the Aid Management and Coordination Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning with support from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The three-day event brought stakeholders together including development partners, local and international non-governmental organizations as they discussed issues within the aid management and coordination sector.

Specifically, the validation process was in line with the ‘manual’ and will serve as a guide for all actors within the aid management and coordination sector, including the NGOs, specifying their respective roles and responsibilities in the management and coordination of external assistance.

It will streamline processes and procedures to reduce ambiguities and over-complications in the business process by simplifying the aid cycle and the NGO accreditation process.

Also, it will enhance the MFDP’s (AMCU/NGOCU) ability in providing effective and efficient leadership, coordination and management of aid in support of Liberia’s development goals of the Poor Pro Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) as well as reduce administrative bottlenecks for development partners.

Making remarks at the ceremony, the Director for Aid Management & Coordination Unit, Mrs. Alice E. Williams, said the workshop will help reduce delay in the planning and implementation of development activities by increasing information flow, while at the same time reduce Government, NGO and development partners tax processing time.

According to her, the process will increase alignment of development partners and NGO’s activities to government development priorities through robust donor (development assistance) coordination by outlining procedures toward, sustaining development.

She believes that participants at the end of the validation process would be able to contribute towards adapting the practical steps and procedures as outlined in the Standard Operating Procedures Manual.

‘’This will be the giants step towards making transparent the mobilization and coordination of external assistance’’. Says Mrs. Williams

She stated that SOPM is aligned with the PAPD, because it commits external assistance to the country’s system.

“There is a direct link to development priorities channel through various national budget sectors. She added that the national development priorities are identified based on the practical steps and procedures included in the SOPM and these are supported by development partners based on national budget sectors via country systems” she added.

For their part local and international NGO call on MFDP to set up a standardized template, and to give line ministries a set of procedure for sectoral clearance, proof of participation in county level coordination meeting and annual audited financial statement for expenditure for Liberia specifically at held quarter level.

It can be recalled that the final validation workshop of the Liberia National Aid and NGO policy was carried out on September 26 to 29, 2018 by the MFDP, Development partners/Donors, Project Managers, International NGOs, Local NGOs and Civil Society Organizations in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County.

The rationale of the workshop is for government to derive its development objectives and to achieve its pro- poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, (PAPD), and for the formulation of the Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) manual, which is vital and paramount in ensuring effective and efficient delivery and coordination of Official Development Assistance (ODA).

The SOP will clearly articulate and guide Liberia’s engagement with Development Partners (DPs) providing assistance to the country in a more organized and comprehensive way and guide all other actors in the aid architecture.

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