This sixth perception survey report that assesses citizens’ perception of the quality of governance in Liberia is released by Naymote Partners for Democratic Development, a leading civil society organization established in 2001 by youth leaders and student activists to enhance democratic participation of citizens and promote political accountability of elected officials.
The survey targeted a sample size of 3,600 (women 47% and 53% men) registered voters from across 46 electoral districts within the 15 counties, which is a statistical representation of citizens’ views across the country.
Of the total sample respondents, 58% of respondents were between the ages of 18-35, this means that younger people mostly participated in the survey. This trend aligns with the fact that young people constituted a little over 65 percent of the total number of registered voters in the 2017 elections. Thirty-two percent of respondents were between the ages 36-50 and 10% were ages 50 and above.
Overall, 82% of respondents think the country is going or somehow going in the wrong direction while 15% think the country is going or somehow going in the right direction. In the 2018 survey findings, 64% of respondents said the country was going in the wrong direction. The current percent (82%) represents a sharp increase in negative perceptions of the management and governance of the country. When asked about the economy, 89% of the respondents described the current economic conditions in the country as very poor or poor, as compared to 70% who described it as very poor or poor in the 2018 survey report.
There was a sharp reduction in citizens’ level of satisfaction with the quality of democracy in the country. 57% of the respondents said they are very satisfied or satisfied with the way democracy is working in the country, 40% said they are not satisfied while 3% said they don’t know. In the 2018 survey report, 80% of respondents said they were very satisfied and satisfied with the way democracy was working in the country.
The level of engagement between legislators and their constituents is weak. Seventy-five percent of the respondents said they have not attended any event in their district organized by their lawmakers since January 2018. Despite limited engagement with citizens, most survey respondents were satisfied with opposition legislators and opposition political leaders’ ability to hold the government accountable. 65% of the respondents said that they are very satisfied or satisfied with the way political parties are engaging and holding the ruling party accountable for the commitment to service delivery. On the other hand, 31% said they are not satisfied with the roles of the opposition political parties playing in holding the government to account
Trust in the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) has decreased. Whereas 93% of respondents in the 2018 survey who rated the AFL as the most trusted security institution only 78% of the respondents in this survey rated the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) as the most trusted or fairly trusted security agency in Liberia. Trust in the Liberia National Police (LNP) has decreased. In the 2018 survey, 75% of respondents rated the LNP as trusted and fairly trusted security institution in Liberia in the 2019 survey 56% said they trust and fairly trust Liberia National Police (LNP) while 43% said they don’t trust the LNP and 1% of the respondents don’t know.
At the same time, mistrust of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA) has decreased. In the 2018 report, 72% of respondents said they did not trust the LDEA as compared to 57% of respondents in this survey.
Irrespective of gender, the general rating of the economy was poor. Over, 92% (males 2,121 and females1,190) rated the performance of the government in managing or handling the economy as very poor and poor. In a similar vein, 81% (females 2,365 and males 539) rated the government’s performance in managing or handling the health services as very poor and poor and 90% (males 2,049 and females 1,172) of the respondents rated government performance in fighting corruption as very poor and poor.