Using community meetings to discuss annual reports in Liberia

6 June 2018

This article is part of our Member of the Month series acknowledging Concern’s commitment to quality and accountability

Concern first started working in Liberia in 1991 in response to the escalating humanitarian needs of Liberians in light of the civil conflict. Concern since shifted its focus to development programmes, but implemented a major emergency response in the fight against Ebola. The current strategy centres on nutrition-sensitive livelihoods, and water and sanitation programmes in two of Liberia’s poorest counties.

Concern Liberia is using existing reporting mechanisms to strengthen accountability to communities in line with the organisation’s Programme Cycle Management System. When the baseline report for Concern’s integrated Irish Aid-funded programme was finalized last year, they shared the results with the programme team, who in turn discussed these with programme participants during community visits.

Anthony Vandy of Concern talking to community members in the village of Dokoizia in Lofa County, Liberia. Photo by: Kieran McConvillle/Concern Worldwide.

These conversations take a number of formats. Concern’s staff share the results each time they visit communities through a mechanism called ‘Field Monitoring Visit’. Through these visits they usually organize Focus Group Discussions with programme participants. They use the baseline results as a reference point to generate conversations on how things could be improved.

The Annual Programme Review Workshops with programme participants were formally rolled out in 2017, and present another opportunity to constructively discuss the progress of the programme. These workshops are organized on annual basis to review programme implementation with programme participants, government representatives and other stakeholders, and the data coming out of it acts as inputs to the country annual report.

The above mechanisms are used for continuous improvement and learning, and the annual programme review workshops are tying annual feedback on programmes to communities firmly into Concern’s Project Cycle Management System.