This national program aims to strengthen policy and strategy development, system and institutional development, whilst promoting local, sector-specific investments and, in the process, ensuring effective financial management by local governments.
The Liberia Decentralization and Local Development (LDLD) and the UN Country Support Team Joint Programme is aimed at supporting the Liberian Government’s broader development efforts including capacity development of national and sub-national administration for service delivery. It is also aimed at developing a framework for decentralizing political, administrative, fiscal governance, and social responsibilities and supports the development of institutions, instruments and processes to implement decentralization. Under this framework LDLD/CST supports the formulation and development of policies, strategies, legal instruments, frameworks, systems and procedures for local governance for effective planning, and public expenditure management at the county, district and sub-district levels as well as strengthening the capacities of local government to lead and coordinate the implementation of Liberia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy thereby promoting sustainable economic opportunities and accelerated progress towards attainment of the MDGs while using human rights based approaches.
UNDP’s CST and LDLD projects focus on strengthening local government capacity to implement the national development agenda and decentralization process, especially in terms of political, administrative and fiscal responsibility. These projects help to empower local administration by providing knowledge, infrastructure and basic tools for the effective functioning of the local administration and promotion of local sector investments. The CST model has provided both a framework and a vehicle for UN action at the county level. Moreover, it facilitates UN representation at the county level, thus extending their reach and assistance where needed while the LDLD is a national program tasked with supporting the development and management of local government. It is formulated by UNDP and UNCDF, and funded by UNDP, UNCDF and the EC, with parallel funding from the CDF. The United Nations in Liberia in 2006 created the County Support Teams - an innovative and integrated mechanism to support capacity-building of local administrations in all 15 counties. This effort marks a concrete example of the UN being “at work together”. The effort is to ensure coherence and consolidated UN approach to addressing county challenges, supporting Government, in particular the Superintendent’s office, which includes the County Development Office and building capacity of government institutions so that they can increasingly take over responsibility for security, reconstruction and development.