The Swedish International Development Corporation Agency, (SIDA) through the Embassy of Sweden in Monrovia and Naymote Partners for Democratic Development has signed a three-grant agreement valued at US$1,150,000.
The grant is NAYMOTE’s biggest ever and is intended for the implementation of the project titled Democracy Advancement Program (DAP) which is a three-year program with the overarching goal to enhance democratic governance for inclusive development in Liberia.
The program will adopt a three-prong approach: Research, Advocacy, and Civic Engagement (RACE) and is informed and guided by the principle of Change that “If a government is politically accountable, the quality of democracy is improved, and citizens benefit from their participation in democratic processes.”
At a signing ceremony over the weekend, Swedish Ambassador to Liberia, Urban Sjöström said the project is part of the Swedish government’s effort to support, defend and sustain the work of civil society are fundamental in Swedish foreign policy and Swedish engagement to promote global development.
Ambassador Sjöström said that the Swedish Embassy is pleased to sign the agreement with NAYMOTE, a well-established civil society organization that works to advance the principles of good governance, rule of law, and participatory democracy in Liberia for the implementation of the DAP project.
He noted that the Embassy’s support to Naymote is in line with efforts to meet the SDGs, specifically related to Goal 16, which calls for the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels.
“The planned support is also expected to contribute to two of the SDGs’ targets namely: develop effective, accountable, and transparent institutions and ensure responsive, participatory, and representative decision-making at all levels,” he said.
Also speaking, the Deputy Head of Mission and head of Development Cooperation at the Swedish Embassy in Liberia, Johan Romare, expressed delight in signing the agreement with Naymote and expressed confidence the project will be successfully implemented.
“We are particularly happy to have signed the agreement with NYAMOTE, and not with an international agency and we strongly believe that civil society in Liberia has the ability to make a change,” Mr. Romare said.
He lauded Naymote for its work over the years, noting that it is one of the strong voices in Liberia that is leading efforts ahead of the 2023 elections by giving space to young people to discuss their interests and what Liberia they want to see.
For his part, Naymote’s Executive Director Eddie D. Jarwolo expressed appreciation to Sweden for the confidence and trust in awarding his institution its largest support since its founding in 2001.
Mr. Jarwolo said Naymote has good experience and skills to achieve the overall project goal; adding his institution is contributing to the advancement of democracy in the ECOWAS region. He noted the institution’s flagship programs, the Young Political Leadership School Africa (YPLS), and the President Meter Project have added value to its profile.
Project expected outcome
As outlined in the agreement, Sweden will provide a total funding contribution in the tone of US$1,150,000 to Naymote for the implementation of the project from September 2022-August 2025. Throughout the duration of the project, Naymote is expected to deliver on three main outcomes, including the empowerment of the citizens, especially women and youth in selected counties to be better informed and active in making demands for improved service delivery and for accountability of elected officials on election promises in Liberia.
It also aimed at ensuring that local government officials are more responsive to the needs of citizens, especially women and youth in the social development funds to enhance local development within selected counties.
It also intends to increase capacity to accomplish the strategic plan 2020-2025 and enhance organizational effectiveness to advance democratic governance in the ECOWAS sub-region.
Naymote’s impeccable contribution
Naymote Partners for Democratic Development is a good governance and research institution working to advance democracy, transparency, human rights, and participatory governance in Liberia. Since its establishment in 2001, NAYMOTE has initiated several programs to foster political accountability to make elected leaders more accessible, responsible, and accountable to the electorates; and to build the capacity of local leaders to be more effective in the delivery of essential government services.
The organization, through its flagship programs, including the President Meter Project and the Young Political Leadership School Africa (YPLSA), is contributing toward narrowing the gaps and breaking down barriers as young people are becoming actively involved in the decision-making process.
At national institutions, they are becoming social activists, demanding more from elected officials, holding their leaders accountable, and preparing to play greater leadership roles in civil society, political parties, and national government.