Fendell — The World Bank Liberia Country Manager, Larisa Leshchenko says research and development have become the most enduring and effective means of boosting sustainable economic development and re-enforcing competitiveness in the face of rapid growth taking place between industries, countries and people in the world.
Madam Leshchenko, serving as a keynote speaker at the University of Liberia Honors Program Day Symposium on Tuesday, December 12, at the University of Liberia Fendell campus, said stakeholders such as government, businesses, research and academic institutions, media, and other organizations play important roles in achieving sustainable development.
She named the essential tools for achieving sustainable development as improving the quality of basic research, reorienting existing research programs to address sustainable development, developing public awareness and understanding; and providing training for all sectors of society, mainly public and civil.
"Research for Sustainable Development is the focus of research that seeks to equip or prepare people towards creating a sustainable future.
Stakeholders such as government, businesses, research and academic institutions, media, and other organizations play important roles in achieving sustainable development. Each of these categories of stakeholders has a different vision of sustainable development.
Some are interested in environmental preservation and protection; some have economic development interests; while others may be more interested in social development," she averred.
She averred that the concept of sustainable development requires balancing economic, societal and environmental considerations in the pursuit of development and an improved quality of life.
Quoting the Global Business Research Journal, Madam Leshchenko noted sustainability includes intergenerational and gender equity, just and peaceful societies, social tolerance, environmental preservation and restoration, poverty alleviation and natural resource conservation.
According to her, this year's symposium theme "Research, the Gateway to Finding Solutions to Critical National and Global Issues," clearly lays out the foundation in arriving at solutions to critical problems underpinning growth and development of societies.
She noted that the World Bank's Policy on Access to Information has enabled the organization to become a global leader in transparency and has made a groundbreaking change in how the World Bank makes information available to the public.
The World Bank's official further mentioned that over the past 20 years, the World Bank's policy on disclosing information has gradually evolved.
She added that before the adoption of the Policy on Access to Information, the World Bank's approach had been to spell out what documents the World Bank discloses.
According to her, the World Bank's Policy on Access to Information, which became effective on July 1, 2010, was a pivotal shift in the World Bank's approach to making information available to the public.
"The World Bank Access to Information Policy was revised by the World Bank's Board on April 3, 2013."
"The Policy, as revised, took effect on July 1, 2013. The World Bank recognizes that transparency and accountability are of fundamental importance to the development process and to achieving its mission to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity," she said.
Speaking further, she noted that transparency is essential to building and maintaining public dialogue and increasing public awareness about the Bank's development role and mission; adding that it is also critical for enhancing good governance, accountability, and development effectiveness.
She maintained that openness promotes engagement with stakeholders, which, in turn, improves the design and implementation of projects and policies, and strengthens development outcomes; while also adding that it facilitates public oversight of Bank supported operations during their preparation and implementation, which not only assists in exposing potential wrongdoing and corruption, but also enhances the possibility that problems will be identified and addressed early on.
With the wealth of information available to the public online, Madam Leshchenko urged students and faculty of the University of Liberia to regularly visit the Bank's website to gain access to valuable information.
She disclosed that the Bank supported bringing of the Fiber Optic Cable to Liberia to assist various institutions including learning institutions like the University of Liberia to help students and faculty members gain access to affordable internet services.
"Through research using the internet, your quest for knowledge will be partly satisfied."
"Therefore, I want to challenge you honored graduates to pursue knowledge through research."
"This will help you contribute to the growth and development of Liberia," she urged.
The Lux-In-Tenebris Scholars Program started as a vision of Dr. Emmet A. Dennis, the 13th President of the University of Liberia.
The vision was to provide a platform for the brightest students to develop excellent writing and research skills.