22 February 2013

Liberia: Govt. Accountability Scrutinize -OSIWA, IREX, LMC Form Partnership

The Liberia Media Center (LMC), Open Society Institute for West Africa (OSIWA) and the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) yesterday launched two distinct initiatives in Monrovia.

Launching the projects, the Executive Director of the LMC, Mr. Lawrence Randall said they are aimed at increasing transparency in the Liberian government and other sectors of the Liberian society.

Mr. Randall named the initiatives as, a two-way Automated Response SMS and Constituency Communication Platform (CCP), both of which are expected to be operated less than one umbrella name 'SMS Transparency and Public Engagement'.

According to Mr. Randal, the program will serve as a platform on which citizens would "receive information on their various budgetary allocation and monitor service delivery at all levels."

He noted that the project is carefully designed Mr. Randall to support the Liberian government "Open Budget Initiative (OBI)."

The LMC Boss added, "Constituency Communication Platform (CCP) is a medium through which citizens can share information on social-economic and political issues via SMS at no coast. It also has an opinion poll feature and a project-tracking component which is being supported by IREX with funding from USAID".

"While the 'two-way Automated Response SMS system is an open budget platform designed to transmit current expenditure and information at district, county, municipal national and sectional levels via SMS on demand been supported by OSIWA  and implemented by LMC and IREX" Mr. Randall told reporters," he explained.

In a brief remark during the launch, OSIWA Country Director Madam Massa Crayton lauded LMC for the innovation. Madam Crayton described the initiative as a means of taking Liberians deeper into transparency.

With four data centers based in Lofa, Grand Bassa, Bomi and Nimba counties, the first phase of the project is expected to last for 18 months.

OSIWA is funding the project which cost is put at US$159,000.00 for a year and six months.

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