-Tagged: “Strengthening Youth Engagement in Local Governance”

Youth Transforming Africa Narrative (YOTAN), with grant support from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)- over the weekend launched a project title: Strengthening Youth Engagement in Local Governance, as part of effort to improve service delivery and Local Governance in Rural parts of Liberia. 

The launch was attended by over fifty (50) International, Civil Society organizations and Young People in Monrovia to discuss issues of Local governance, Accountability, Transparence, and service delivery in Liberia and what can be done to improve Citizen’s participation in the decision-making process in their communities.  

Serving as Chief Launcher at the event, the Rural Human Rights Activists Programme (RHRAP) Executive Director Lorma Baysah, said formost citizens across Liberia, local government remains the most accessible level of government. Baysah believes it is the most direct way for people to access basic services, to participate in public processes, and to exercise their rights and obligations.

According to Baysah, Local government institutions endow the difference when it comes to increasing the quality of life of people in both urban and rural settings, reducing inequalities across society, enhancing relations between people and public institutions, and providing a platform for the voices of minorities.

The Chief Launcher further said that While decentralization legislation and policies exist in many counties, fiscal responsibilities have remained centrally controlled. In many cases, local governments are not financially equipped to manage their services. On the other hand, continued fiscal centralization is often justified by weak capacities at the local level expressing that importance of Local Government in Liberia and congratulating YOTAN for that level of work done over the years to improve the sector. 

“The project I believe will enhance transparency and accountability around the utilization of public funds which is key in building effective local government in Liberia therefore, I call on the MFDP to expedite the validation process so that the regulation can be finalized in preparation for the implementation of the Revenue Sharing Act.”

Accordingly, Baysah adds- “I would like to encourage the government to consider increasing budgetary allocations to CSCs while we await the implementation of the Revenue Sharing Act which calls for 40% retention of all revenue generated at the CSCs for its operations. I believe this is a more sustainable way of addressing the perennial resource challenges CSCs fighting the issue of local government in Liberia.”

Meanwhile, YOTAN Executive Director Donnish Pewee, described the initiative title: Strengthening youth engagement in local governance, as a remarkable move in YOTAN scaling the organization presents from Bong and Lofa to the rest of the fifteen counties of Liberia.

According to him, the objective of the project is to build civil society and citizens capacity to effectively engage in governance processes at the local level stating that through this initiative, the institution aims to foster meaningful collaborations between young people and local decision-makers, bridging the gap between generations and creating a platform for open dialogue and constructive exchange. 

“During the period of the project, YOTAN will provide capacity building training for the county council, civil society organization, CBOs and Youth Led organization with specific training module that will provide the skills and knowledge to hold their duties bearer accountable in their respective counties”. 

Pewee further said that his institution YOTAN will leverage civic engagement and technology to integrate citizens voices in the demand for accountability, advocate for increase public sector investment project fund in the national budge from 15% to 20% and subsequent 40% while disseminating feedback to a broader community of stakeholder from diverse background to encourage continue dialogue. 

“The project focus on Creating public awareness of fiscal decentralization and National budget circle, Citizen’s participation in county decision making processes, increased public views and knowledge on decentralization, fiscal policy and governance strengthened, Budget circle and the Local Gov’t Act, Government fiscal decentralization and grassroots support and involvement, promote Democratic values and conserved, Improved accountability and transparency among others”. 

He continued- “YOTAN will harness digital innovations to stimulate public demand for accountability and transparency by establishing Liberia Accountability Meter Portal (LAMP), Host a National Policy Dialogue as well as the  Launch of Young African Civic Fellowship (YAC), hosting of town hall and civic engagement meetings in the 15 counties, While engendering the establishment of Social Accountability Club (SAC), and will  work along with the National Legislature Budget office (LBO), Liberia Anti-corruption Commission (LACC). The Ministry of Finance and Development, internal Affairs , CSOs to increase demand and opportunity for citizens-responsive reforms in tackling persistent development challenge  at the local level to enhance service delivery that informed the decentralization process”. 

The YOTAN Boss however disclosed that the project will also focus more broadly on digital social accountability, fiscal decentralization, the revenue sharing Act, and interventions geared toward ensuring that citizens especially young people and marginalize communities are duly informed about their Civic rights in the implementation of the decentralization program thanking the National Endowment for Democracy for approving another grant support to enable his institutionfurther enhance transformative change across Liberia. 

“The organization will leverage civic engagement and technology to integrate citizens voices in the demand for accountability, advocate for increase public sector investment project fund in the national budge from 15% to 30% and subsequent 60% while disseminating feedback to a broader community of stakeholder from diverse background to encourage continue dialogue”. 

Through the NED grant, YOTAN also has been able to promote citizens’ awareness on decentralization and local governance law to enhance local service delivery and social cohesion in Liberia. As a result, YOTAN has brought about substantial impact in Bong and Lofa towards decentralization and local governance efforts.  

The Project will build upon the gains made by YOTAN in Bong & Lofa to scale further from two to the rest of the 13 counties and replicate the current NED grant 2021-2023 activities with some modification into (Bong, Lofa, Nimba, Margibi, Montserrado, Grand Gedeh , Sinoe, Grand Kru, Gbarpolu, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Bassa, River Cess ,River Gee and Maryland) using viable innovative digital and civic activism solutions to increase greater citizens engagement, awareness, participation, and accountability in addressing issues of democratic deficit due to lack of transparency and Legislative oversight responsibility as well as misappropriation of public fund which are intended for development purposes over the past decades. 

Youth Transforming Africa Narrative (YOTAN) has been receiving grant support from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) from 2015 to present. YOTAN has been successful in enhancing citizens’ capacity to monitor the delivery of services and measure the performance of the Counties Service Centers that brought some needed change, promote transparency in government expenditure, improve youth participation in local governance, elections, and foster citizen involvement in governance reform in rural Liberia leading the passage into law the Local government and Land rights Act. 


Youth Transforming Africa Narrative (YOTAN) is an independent pro-democracy institution, a nonprofit organization committed to the promotion of inclusive governance, Human Right, civic engagement,and sustainable development.

Establish 2012, YOTAN works to address issues that shape local developments and shared challenges characterized by poor governance, injustice, and poverty. The organization also work to address the imbalances of power to enable positive transformation of social attitudes and norms to advance gender equality, strengthen voice and capacity of citizens to unlock policy change and mobilize young people for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Africa 2063 agenda to enhance the quality of life. YOTAN leverages technology and civic engagement to spur democratic rights consciousness to foster inclusive, sustainable democratic development.

The organization’s mission is to champion youth empowerment and effective governance in Africa. The institution is registered as a national non-governmental organization and is member of several national and international organizations including, the National Civil Society Council of Liberia, Liberia CSOs Human Right Network, MenEngage Liberia, GirlNotBride, Liberia Health CSOs Network (LiHCON) and the 2030 Youth Alliance etc.   www.yotaninspires.org