The Center for Media Studies and Peacebuilding, (CEMESP with support from IREX- USAID Civil Society and Media Leadership program) has concluded serialized good governance and political accountability training workshops in the cities of Voinjama and Zorzor of Lofa County.
The two workshops were organized under the IREX Civil Society and Media Leadership program supported by USAID. For five days a piece, participants drawn from Civil Society, Community Radio Stations and Local Authorities were trained based on a predesigned manual containing wide range of modules in such spheres as good governance, leadership, dependency, corruption and advocacy skills.
Other modules were inclusion and participatory governance, the decentralization policy, constitutional provisions and human rights, budget processes, Freedom of Information, among other things. Using a methodology that involved mini lectures, brainstorming, role plays, group work and presentations, CEMESP trainers animated participants in appreciating the underlying message of building synergy that is expected to unleash positive development outcomes in various communities.
Generally, in their evaluation of the workshop the targeted stakeholders indicated that the package has been an eye opener, challenging them to close ranks in working to transform their communities. CEMESP had also designed a radio magazine template County Development Watch as an organ to be adapted by the community radios in providing the platform of engagement to apply the issues learnt. In both the Voinjama and Zorzor sessions, CEMESP trainers provided mentoring for test case production as a first step to the weekly broadcast of the 30 minutes County Development Watch radio magazine.
One tangible deliverable of this project has been the formation of Budget Advocacy Networks in Voinjama and Zorzor. This in itself is intended to fill the lacuna of citizens' participation in the budget formulation and implementation processes that fosters transparency and accountability. This good governance training workshop was since last year implemented in Nimba, Bong, Grand Bassa Grand Gedeh and Rriver Gee Counties. All beneficiaries have appealed for support for follow up engagement to sustain the impact.