The biggest hurdle to increasing farmer productivity in West Africa is the continued use of outdated production technologies and practices. Nevertheless, broad experience has shown that West Africa’s farmers – like farmers everywhere – will adopt new technologies when they are useful, affordable, and available locally. This is exactly what VOSIEDA is working toward… smart and affordable farming solutions for West Africa’s small holders’ farmers.

We support environmental management and community-owned sustainable development pathways includes biodiversity and ecosystem management, forests, sustainable land management and desertification, water and ocean governance, chemicals and waste management, and extractive industries in West Africa

We are working to empower women, girls and youths in order to defeat poverty and achieve equality. We focus on women and girls because we believe we cannot overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and opportunities. Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.

Even though every West African state practice democracy, the region is confronted with disputed elections, weak oversight institutions, and large groups of citizens are excluded from involvement in the political processes that define their opportunities and quality of life. We 1) promote participatory, representative and inclusive political processes and government institutions; 2) foster greater accountability of institutions and leaders to citizens and to the law; and 3) protect and promote universally recognized human rights.

Evidence from our work and work of partners show that West Africa's development efforts are being shuffled by severe capacity deficits often in the form of shortage of critical skills, deficits in leadership, hindering mindsets and weak institutions. The region’s skills dearth is acute in key areas such as agriculture, technology, environment, etc. To create prosperity and realize human potentials, we deliver technical and advisory services to indigenous communities, civil society and government to enhance their development results.

In Liberia and the entire Mano River Union, more national and international development resources are often been spent on improving the ‘supply side’ (building schools, training teachers, hospitals, etc). All of this is essential, but in many communities, these investments are often abandoned because they are carried out at the expense of something equally important: creating demand for those services, so that people use and benefit from them. In response, VOSIEDA is piloting several media campaigns in Liberia at the same time generating evidence of impact using evaluations.

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Volunteers for Sustainable Development in Africa has over 18 years’ experience working in partnerships to support communities living in poverty to secure prosperous, independent and sustainable futures. We take  holistic and collaborative approach in all of our projects. We emphasize inclusion, participation, and sustainability, as we work with hundreds of thousands of local people through our innovative, community-driven projects. Search over 20 development projects arranged per our signature programmes:

Environment and Natural Resources Security

View Projects Below

Our environment and natural resources security projects empower communities to protect nature that everyone depends on  for livelihoods, fresh water and clean air.

Funder : European Union
Duration: 2017-2021
Region: Western Africa
Countries: Liberia, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire
Sector:  Environment (Forestry policy and administrative management)

View summary and details of this project below:

Funder: European Union
Duration: 2017-2021
Region: Western Africa
Countries: Liberia, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire
Sector:  Environment (Forestry policy and administrative management)

Objective:

  • Enhanced capacity of Western Africa NSAs to monitor, advocate and engage with State Actors in FLEGT-VPA and REDD+ processes

Expected results:

  • Increased organizational and operational capacities of local and national NSAs to undertake participatory and independent monitoring of forest governance and forest land-use change, including changes in livelihoods and social and environmental safeguards;
  • Improved transparency, access to information and accountability in the forest and land sectors;
  • Effective engagement of NSAs in FLEGT-VPA and REDD+ processes;
  • Viable sub-national, national and cross-border networks of well-informed local non-state actors, and increased cross-border cooperation and information exchanges;
  • Information and lessons exchanged with international REDD+ and FLEGT-VPA communities

Approaches

  • Awareness creation, training and NSAs mobilization
  • Develop and implement tools for independent forest and land-use change monitoring
  • Building coalitions and networks
  • Peer-to-peer experiential learning, promotion of good practices and technical guidance
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Sharing of lessons and experiences on NSA user-friendly platforms

Funder: European Union
Duration: 2017-2021
Region: Western Africa
Countries: Liberia, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire
Sector:  Environment (Forestry policy and administrative management)

The project is implemented by Tropenbos International (TBI), Tropenbos Ghana (TBI Ghana), Nature and Development Foundation (NDF), Volunteers for Sustainable Development in Africa (VOSIEDA), Groupe National de Travail pour la Gestion durable des Forets et Certification Forestiers en Cote d’ Ivoire (GNT-CI).

The project aims to enhanced capacity of Non-State Actors in Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana to monitor, advocate and engage with State Actors in Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) – Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) and Reducing deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) processes. The success of these processes is heavily dependent on the participation of all stakeholders, including Non-State Actors (NSAs) in these forest governance processes. NSAs play different roles in the FLEGT-VPA and REDD+ processes. They collaborate with State Actors (SAs) on a common objective or on the implementation of a specific component of FLEGT- VPA and REDD+. They represent less powerful actors and ensure their interests are being considered. They have a role in monitoring and acting as a watch-dog to achieve transparent, inclusive and accountable governance. Finally, there is a role for NSAs in capacity enhancement amongst themselves and sharing information within their network and beyond.

In order to play their role well, NSAs should have the capacity to influence the outcome of the FLEGT-VPA and REDD+ processes, for which it is essential that they act as reliable, serious partners that are well-informed and operate in a professional way. Developing the capacity of these NSAs is the objective of our project.

Key facts

Sector: Forestry policy and administrative management
Domain: Environment
Benefiting zone: Miscellaneous Countries
Nature: Action Grants

Funder : European Union
Duration: 2011 – 2014
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Environment (Forestry policy and administrative management)

View summary and details of this project below:

Funder: European Union
Duration: September 2011 – December 2013
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Environment (Forestry policy and administrative management)

Objective:
To promote the role of forests in the sustainable and equitable development of Liberia.

Expected results:

  • Functional Innovation Platforms (IPs) operating at different levels in target counties; institutional structures and partnerships for robust grassroot monitoring of forest law enforcement and governance in placed.
  • Active participation from non –state-actors, including communities, in the preparation and implementation of  FLEGT VPA increased.
  • Stakeholders, civil society organizations, private companies, media and other organizations well informed of the EU-Liberia VPA preparations and implementation; and are actively engaged in monitoring FLEGT VPA actions and results.

Funder: European Union
Duration: September 2011 – December 2013
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Environment (Forestry policy and administrative management)

The challenge:

Liberia’s dense forest coverage amounts to around 35.9% of the total land area, totaling an area of about 3.4 million hectares. Liberian forest is characterized by high deciduous forests in the more mountainous areas, rain-forest in the inland hills and plains, and evergreen coastal regions with areas of mangrove. However, there is a growing consensus that the traditional concession-based industrial logging in Liberia has not generated the desired economic, social and environmental benefits. Consequently, the timber trade and bad governance in Liberia have therefore been historically intertwined, hampering Liberia’s development and perpetuating conflict and civil wars.

The Interventions:

The project aimed to promote open and direct participation of Liberian grassroot NGOs, trade unions, academic and research institutions and most importantly forest communities in the VPA implementation.

National civil society represents the best candidate for long-term and consistent monitoring of forest operations and has a vested interest in improving governance. Engaging local civil society in the VPA process would not only improve forest governance at the border levels but also encouraged a culture of transparency and downward accountability in Liberia.

Results:

The built capacities of national civil society groups in independent monitoring of law enforcement and governance; raised awareness of independent monitoring of forest operations among stakeholders and instigated innovative technology base communication initiatives that promote equal opportunity to participate in the various facets of the FLEGT VPA implementation through:

  • Initiating and ensuring institutional structures and partnerships for robust grassroot monitoring of forest operations
  • Provided training in independent forest monitoring (IFM) to enabled CSOs to independently monitor forest operations and report on violations through innovative use of ICT and;
  • Facilitated effective communications, knowledge sharing and tripartite dialogues among stakeholders including local communities, government, logging companies and donor organizations on issues of violations and compliance using modern information and communication technology (ICT).

Key facts

Sector: Forestry policy and administrative management
Domain: Environment
Benefiting zone: Miscellaneous Countries
Nature: Action Grants

Funders: Global Environmental Facility Small Grant (SGP); United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and French Fund for Global Environment (FFEM)
Duration: 2008 – 2015
Region: Western Africa
Countries: Liberia and Guinea
Sector:  Environment (Community Forest Management and Biodiversity Conservation)

View summary and details of this project below.

Funders: Global Environmental Facility Small Grant (GEF); United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and French Fund for Global Environment (FFEM)
Duration: 2008 – 2015
Region: Western Africa
Countries: Liberia and Guinea
Sector:  Environment (Community Forest management and Biodiversity Conservation)

The Challenge:

The Ziama-Wonegizi Transboundary Forest Corridor (156,906.5 hectares) is a southern spur of the Guinea highlands, situated at the international frontier between Guinea and Liberia. This Transboundary forest block is home to extraordinary biodiversity and provides ecological and socioeconomic services to surrounding communities. It is also a source of river systems that directly benefit thousands of communities within the Mano River Basin.

Despite these important ecosystem services, shifting agriculture and unsustainable exploitation of forest’s resources are major causes of deforestation, soil degradation, water pollution, meager economic returns from forest resources, and overall biodiversity loss. Nevertheless, continued destruction of the Ziama-Wonegizi Transboundary forest is threatening not only Liberia and Guinea but the entire Mano River Basin.  

The Intervention:

In collaboration with the French Global Environment Facility, the United Nations Development Program – Liberia, and the Global Environmental Facility small grant program, VOSIEDA worked from 2008 – 2015 to improve biodiversity conservation through community forest management techniques, sustainable forest management planning (SFMP), and economic development opportunities through sustainable agriculture, which have reduced poverty, advanced rural development and supported sustainable livelihoods dependant on sound biodiversity conservation in the  transboundary forest zone.

Key facts:

Sector: Biodiversity Conservations, Climate Change and Community Forestry
Domain: Environment and Natural Resources Security
Benefiting zone: Miscellaneous Countries
Nature: Action Grants

Funders: Global Environmental Facility Small Grant  (SGP); United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and French Fund for Global Environment (FFEM)
Duration: 2008 – 2015
Region: Western Africa
Countries: Liberia and Guinea
Sector:  Environment (Biodiversity Conservation)

The Challenge:

The Ziama-Wonegizi Transboundary Forest Corridor (156,906.5 hectares) is a southern spur of the Guinea highlands, situated at the international frontier between Guinea and Liberia. This Transboundary forest block is home to extraordinary biodiversity and provides ecological and socioeconomic services to surrounding communities. It is also a source of river systems that directly benefit thousands of communities within the Mano River Basin.

Despite these important ecosystem services, shifting agriculture and unsustainable exploitation of forest’s resources are major causes of deforestation, soil degradation, water pollution, meager economic returns from forest resources, and overall biodiversity loss. Nevertheless, continued destruction of the Ziama-Wonegizi Transboundary forest is threatening not only Liberia and Guinea but the entire Mano River Basin.  

The Intervention:

In collaboration with the French Global Environment Facility, the United Nations Development Program – Liberia, and the Global Environmental Facility small grant program, VOSIEDA worked from 2008 – 2015 to improve biodiversity conservation through community forest management techniques, sustainable forest management planning (SFMP), and economic development opportunities through sustainable agriculture, which have reduced poverty, advanced rural development and supported sustainable livelihoods dependant on sound biodiversity conservation in the  transboundary forest zone.

Key facts:

Sector: Biodiversity Conversations, Climate Change and Community Forestry
Domain: Environment and Natural Resources Security
Benefiting zone: Miscellaneous Countries
Nature: Action Grants

Funder: Oxfam International
Duration: 2009
Region: Western Africa
Countries: Liberia
Sector:  Environment and Natural Resources Security  (Climate Change)

View summary and details of this project below:

Funder: Oxfam International
Duration: 2009 – 2010
Region: Western Africa
Countries: Liberia
Sector:  Environment and Natural Resources Security (Climate Change)

The challenge

Most agricultural productions in Liberia are rain-fed. Over 90 percent of small-scale farmers depend on rainfall, which is unpredictable at best, to sustain their crops. As climate change makes it more difficult to predict weather patterns and enable crops planning at the appropriate time, subsistence farming being practiced in Liberia are expected to be at greater risk.

The interventions

Oxfam is committed to integrating climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies into its programmes in contexts where climate change and disasters are a significant driver of poverty and suffering.

In 2009, while implementing an European Union funded food security program in Grand Gedeh and River Gee Counties, Southeastern Liberia, VOSIEDA and Oxfam collaborated to address climate change crisis affecting small scale farmers benefiting from the project as well as other programs of Oxfam. The project designed, tested and implemented innovative solutions to common, yet increasingly complex, challenges climate change post local resource and farming communities in Liberia. The interventions specifically focused on three issues: sustainable natural resource management,  addressing climate change impacts on farming communities, and collecting of evidences to scale up Oxfam’s and partners work to influence relevant stakeholders and decision makers.

Key facts:

Sector: Climate Change, Small-scale Agriculture and Natural Resources Management
Domain: Environment and Natural Resources Security
Benefiting zone: Liberia (Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Margibi and Bomi Counties)
Nature: Action Grants

Funder: Oxfam International
Duration: 2009 – 2010
Region: Western Africa
Countries: Liberia
Sector:  Environment and Natural Resources Security (Climate Change)

The challenge

Most agricultural productions in Liberia are rain-fed. Over 90 percent of small-scale farmers depend on rainfall, which is unpredictable at best, to sustain their crops. As climate change makes it more difficult to predict weather patterns and enable crops planning at the appropriate time, subsistence farming being practiced in Liberia are expected to be at greater risk.

The interventions

Oxfam is committed to integrating climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies into its programmes in contexts where climate change and disasters are a significant driver of poverty and suffering.

In 2009, while implementing an European Union funded food security program in Grand Gedeh and River Gee Counties, Southeastern Liberia, VOSIEDA and Oxfam collaborated to address climate change crisis affecting small scale farmers benefiting from the project as well as other programs of Oxfam. The project designed, tested and implemented innovative solutions to common, yet increasingly complex, challenges climate change post local resource and farming communities in Liberia. The interventions specifically focused on three issues: sustainable natural resource management,  addressing climate change impacts on farming communities, and collecting of evidences to scale up Oxfam’s and partners work to influence relevant stakeholders and decision makers.

Key facts:

Sector: Climate Change, Small-scale Agriculture and Natural Resources Management
Domain: Environment and Natural Resources Security
Benefiting zone: Liberia (Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Margibi and Bomi Counties)
Nature: Action Grants

Funders: Tropenbos International,  Netherlands (Dutch Government funds)
Duration: 2017 – 2020
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Environment (Forest Governance)
View summary and details of this project below:

Funders: Tropenbos International,  Netherlands (Dutch Government funds)
Duration: 2017 – 2020
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Environment (Forest Governance)

Liberia hosts the largest remaining blocks of the Upper Guinea Forest of West Africa. Since the 1970s, Liberia has relied on industrial logging for export as the primary model for economic activities in the forestry sector up to the present while rural population on the other hand relies significantly on forest and forest resources for subsistence and income generation. Sinoe County has a high portion of Liberia’s forest and land resources with relatively low population density. Industrial logging and oil palm plantations are major economic drivers but also a source of conflict, especially with communities who depend on the forest resources for their livelihoods.

Industrial logging has been a source of tension and sometimes conflict between forest dwelling communities, the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), and logging companies. These conflicts have mostly focused on issues such as marginalization in policy formulation and other decision-making processes and limited benefits from logging to communities.

Since 2006, the government has allocated or renewed agreements for oil palm covering about 1 million hectares, including communities’ customary lands. The expansion of oil palm is a threat and source of conflicts between communities and oil palm companies due to the lack of respect for customary land rights and failure to adequately consult or secure community consent. And not the less a threat to food security and access to livelihoods due to forest conversion.

There is a need to improve the national policy process regarding forests. TBI has identified the Independent Forest Monitoring (IFM) as an important tool to inform the national policy debate and improve the practices regarding forests. As IFM reinforces real-time participation of a variety of non-state actors and it functions as a watchdog by producing real-time evidence of what happens “on-the-ground”.

VOSIEDA is working with Tropenbos International  to preserve ecosystems and improve livelihood conditions for rural communities in the Sinoe County – Southeastern,  Gbarpolu and Lofa Counties, Northwestern Liberia. And supporting non state actors to engage and advocate on forest and land governance issues important to them.

Under the GLA and NSA programmes, our activities include:

  • Increase the capacity of communities to resist destructive oil palm expansion and logging.
  • Increase the respect and recognition of tenure rights of local communities by government and concessionaires.
  • Increase adherence to the full implementation of policies and laws in forest and land management.
  • Enhance the capacity of non-state actors to monitor, advocate and engage with State Actors in forest and land governance processes.
  • Support coalitions of CSOs to effectively advocate on issues important to them and pursue change through evidence-based advocacy

Funders: Tropenbos International,  Netherlands (Dutch Government funds)
Duration: 2017 – 2020
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Environment (Forest Governance)

The Challenge:

Deforestation: In Liberia, unsustainable cultivation of food, oil palm and energy crops is one of the root causes of deforestation as the expansion of plantations leads to further deforestation and land degradation. Incentivized by agricultural and trade policies, international actors such as multinational corporations and investors are major drivers of forest loss. Still, also local communities and small, local companies can contribute heavily to loss and degradation of forests. Another important driver of deforestation and land degradation is the lack of political and private will to safeguard the critical functions that forests provide.

Inclusive and sustainable governance of forested landscapes: Scientific and empirical research shows that local communities have a crucial role to play in safeguarding productive forested landscapes. However, three conditions need to be met for communities to actually be able to play this role: (1) security of land tenure, or access to land, (2) inclusion in decision-making on land use by government and the local and international private sector, and (3) nature-based approaches to the management of forested landscapes to add to their traditional, time-proven knowledge. Once in place, these conditions enable local communities to engage with stakeholders from the public and private sector to jointly decide on land use. This is inclusive and sustainable governance of forested landscapes.

The interventions

For the three conditions to be met, the proper local, national and international legislation and corporate policies need to be in place. The Green Livelihoods Alliance (Milieudefensie, IUCN NL and Tropenbos International) is working in Liberia and other countries to strengthen the abilities and effectiveness of civil society organizations (CSOs) to influence these policies and practices to achieve the inclusive and sustainable governance of forested landscapes. The core of the Alliance’s strategy, therefore, is to join CSOs in lobbying for and advocating inclusive and sustainable governance of forested landscapes and to strengthen the capacity of our partner CSOs to technically, politically and economically empower and represent local communities. Tropenbos International is partnering with VOSIEDA on this project in Liberia

Key facts:

Sector: Sustainable Land use and Inclusive Forest Governance
Domain: Environment and Natural Resources Security
Benefiting zone: Miscellaneous Countries (Liberia and others)
Nature: Action Grants

Funder: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Duration: 2019 – 2020
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Environment (Climate Resilient Agriculture and Ecosystem Adaption)
View summary and details of this project below:

 

Funder: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Duration: 2019 – 2020
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Environment (Climate Resilient Agriculture and Ecosystem Adaption)

The Challenge:

Local communities in Liberia have become prone to the adverse effects of global climate change. Increased in temperature, changes in precipitation patterns, and more frequent extreme proceedings resulting in erratic rainfall pattern, floods and crops failures are already being experienced (NAPA, Liberia, 2008). In addition of climate change impact on agriculture, coastal ecosystems, coastal settlements and many coastal economies of Liberia have become extremely vulnerable to impacts of global climate change including rising sea levels, sea erosion, intensifying storm surge, extreme precipitation, and coastal flooding.

The Intervention:

With funding from the Green Climate Fund through United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),  VOSIEDA  conducting climate change vulnerability and climate risk assessments on key sectors including agriculture and coastal ecosystem; developing pilot sites for demonstration of agriculture resilience and coastal ecosystem-based adaptations practices. The objectives are 1) to enable local farming and coastal communities to develop the knowledge base and capacity required to adapt and safeguard their agricultural systems and livelihoods as well as protect/enhance coastal ecosystem and communities. 2) To empower Liberian national policy makers in facilitating integration of climate change adaptation into national development planning processes.

The project is supporting Liberia to put in place a National Adaptation Planning process that would contribute to and build upon existing development planning strategies at the same time be able to implement priority adaptation actions.

Key facts:

Sector:  Climate Change, Agriculture and Ecosystem Adaptations
Domain: Environment and Natural Resources Security
Benefiting zone: Liberia (Grand Cape Mounty and Nimba Counties)
Nature: Action Grants

Funder: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Duration: 2019 – 2020
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Environment (Climate Resilient Agriculture and Ecosystem Adaption)

The Challenge:

Local communities in Liberia have become prone to the adverse effects of global climate change. Increased in temperature, changes in precipitation patterns, and more frequent extreme proceedings resulting in erratic rainfall pattern, floods and crops failures are already being experienced (NAPA, Liberia, 2008). In addition of climate change impact on agriculture, coastal ecosystems, coastal settlements and many coastal economies of Liberia have become extremely vulnerable to impacts of global climate change including rising sea levels, sea erosion, intensifying storm surge, extreme precipitation, and coastal flooding.

The Intervention:

With funding from the Green Climate Fund through United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),  VOSIEDA  conducting climate change vulnerability and climate risk assessments on key sectors including agriculture and coastal ecosystem; developing pilot sites for demonstration of agriculture resilience and coastal ecosystem-based adaptations practices. The objectives are 1) to enable local farming and coastal communities to develop the knowledge base and capacity required to adapt and safeguard their agricultural systems and livelihoods as well as protect/enhance coastal ecosystem and communities. 2) To empower Liberian national policy makers in facilitating integration of climate change adaptation into national development planning processes.

The direct beneficiaries of the project are the Environment Planning Authority and the National Climate Change Secretariat. Key government partners and stakeholders are Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Gender, Children & Social Protection (MoGCSP), National Disaster Management Agency, National Port Authority of Liberia, Liberia Maritime Authority, Bureau of National Fisheries, Liberia National Department of Meteorology, Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services and University of Liberia and Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICAT).

The project is supporting Liberia to put in place a National Adaptation Planning process that would contribute to and build upon existing development planning strategies at the same time be able to implement priority adaptation actions.

Key facts:

Sector:  Climate Change, Agriculture and Ecosystem Adaptations
Domain: Environment and Natural Resources Security
Benefiting zone: Liberia (Grand Cape Mounty and Nimba Counties)
Nature: Action Grants

Agriculture and Livelihood Diversification

View Projects Below

Our agriculture and Livelihood projects empower smallholder farmers to transform agriculture from lonely struggles for survival to  business enterprises  capable of  increasing incomes and improving food security.

Funders: USAID and Development Alternative Incorporated (DAI)
Duration: 2012-2013
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Agricultural Intensification & Livelihood Diversification
Read summary and details of this project below:

Despite its important role in poverty reduction and environmental sustainability, there are key challenges to sustainable peri – urban vegetables production in Liberia. Some of these include inadequate institutional/legal frameworks, limited access to agricultural inputs and post production services, inadequate technical knowledge of peri – urban agricultural practices, organizational constraints, political and socio-cultural biases (lack of support mechanisms) ect.

In addressing these constraints, VOSIEDA collaborated with Development Alterative Incorporated (DAI), to implement the Food and Enterprise Development Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture Project with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The project assisted small-scale urban producers in Bong, Nimba and Lofa Counties to establish value-adding microenterprises and to organize marketing chains for selected products at the local level and for urban markets. The also established a platform on Urban Agriculture will an aim of developing longer-term policies and programs.  ​

Project partners: VOSIEDA (coordination) and DAI, in cooperation with local government, Ministry of Agriculture of Liberia, civil society, research and private sector stakeholders. ​

Activities​:

  • Promote vegetables farming as a business, motivating farmers to carry out market driven vegetables production.
  • Address the issues of input supply by supporting local input suppliers and creating local input supply access locally.
  • Strengthen farmers’ groups and vegetables cooperatives for sustainable vegetables production.
  • Plots measurements for selected sites and layout of standard vegetable field
  • Introduce improved water management technology using labor saving technologies
  • Stakeholder assessment
  • Analysis and participatory innovation development of specific horticulture value chains.
  • Analysis of the urban market system and consumer demand; consumer education campaigns
  • Visioning and scenario development for UPA in Liberia to contribute to a more resilient agriculture sector.
  • Establishment of chain actor platforms for selected products in various urban localities (Bong, Nimba and Lofa) . 
  • Capacity building/strengthening of value chain actors and extension agents.
  • Facilitating support to the processing and marketing of food products.

 

Funders: USAID and Development Alternative Incorporated (DAI)
Duration: 2012-2013
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Agricultural Intensification & Livelihood Diversification

The Challenge

Despite its important role in poverty reduction and environmental sustainability, there are key challenges to sustainable peri – urban vegetables production in Liberia. Some of these include inadequate institutional/legal frameworks, limited access to agricultural inputs and post production services, inadequate technical knowledge of peri – urban agricultural practices, organizational constraints, political and socio-cultural biases (lack of support mechanisms) ect.

The intervention

In addressing these constraints, VOSIEDA collaborated with Development Alterative Incorporated (DAI), to implement the Food and Enterprise Development Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture Project with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The project assisted small-scale urban producers in Bong, Nimba and Lofa Counties to establish value-adding microenterprises and to organize marketing chains for selected products at the local level and for urban markets. The also established a platform on Urban Agriculture will an aim of developing longer-term policies and programs.  ​

Project partners: VOSIEDA (coordination) and DAI, in cooperation with local government, Ministry of Agriculture of Liberia, civil society, research and private sector stakeholders. ​

Activities​:

  • Promote vegetables farming as a business, motivating farmers to carry out market driven vegetables production.
  • Address the issues of input supply by supporting local input suppliers and creating local input supply access locally.
  • Strengthen farmers’ groups and vegetables cooperatives for sustainable vegetables production.
  • Plots measurements for selected sites and layout of standard vegetable field
  • Introduce improved water management technology using labor saving technologies
  • Stakeholder assessment
  • Analysis and participatory innovation development of specific horticulture value chains.
  • Analysis of the urban market system and consumer demand; consumer education campaigns
  • Visioning and scenario development for UPA in Liberia to contribute to a more resilient agriculture sector.
  • Establishment of chain actor platforms for selected products in various urban localities (Bong, Nimba and Lofa) . 
  • Capacity building/strengthening of value chain actors and extension agents.
  • Facilitating support to the processing and marketing of food products.

Project results:

  • Training and extension service delivery to urban agriculture producers and processors in selected sectors (training of trainers and extension staff) was improved.
  • Small-scale urban farmers trained in improved
  • Improved service supply markets to the urban agriculture processing sector (e.g. solar based cold storage; processing equipment and product quality control and improvements, packaging and labelling) facilitated.
  • Improved public policy and governance frameworks have been developed enabling a better functioning urban agriculture market system (strategic vision; policies, plans and regulations; protection of productive assets).

Key facts

Sector: Agriculture Intensification and Livelihoods Diversification
Domain: Agriculture and Food security
Benefiting zone: Liberia (Bong, Nimba and Lofa Counties)
Nature: Action Grants
Duration: 2012 – 2013
Status: Completed

Funders: Australian Agency for International Development (AUSAID)
Duration: 2011-2012
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Agricultural Intensification & Livelihoods Diversification
View summary and details of this project below:

With funding from the Australian Agency for International Development (AUSAID), VOSIEDA worked in Central Liberia to promote food security through commercial vegetable and fruits value chain development and livestock production.

The project trained and empowered fifty (50) war-related widows and women headed households in sustainable and profitable agricultural practice including cultivation, processing and marketing of assorted vegetables and fruits, while another fifty (50) female headed households were trained in livestock rearing and marketing for economic empowerment.  Both groups were trained to focus their farming system.  Nutritional food including vegetables, fruits and meat were made available at affordable prices to communities’ members as a direct result of the project. This empowered beneficiaries to walk out of poverty.

Funders: Australian Agency for International Development (AUSAID)
Duration: 2011-2012
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Agricultural Intensification & Livelihoods Diversification

The challenge:

The people of the Republic of Liberia are struggling to rebuild their livelihoods in the aftermath of a bloody civil war and decades of autocratic mismanagement and neglect.  Despite an abundance of natural resources, and a relatively small population of 5 million, Liberia is caught in a vicious cycle of poverty, making it one of the poorest and most food insecure countries in Sub Saharan Africa.

Intervention:

 Train 100 war-affected women headed households as direct beneficiaries in commercial vegetable and fruits value chain development and livestock production and marketing, integrated with literacy through co-operative farming and women led farmers’ organizations strengthening.

Result:

The project contributed to poverty reduction in Central Liberia by mitigating the rising prices of food on vulnerable households. Specifically, it improved access and affordability of locally produce vegetables, fruit and meat to vulnerable households in Sanoyea District, Lower Bong County, Central Liberia through increased productivity of vegetable, fruit and meat at households and community levels and a market-led approach.

 Key facts

Sector: Agriculture Intensification and Livelihoods Diversification
Domain: Agriculture and Food security
Benefiting zone: Liberia (Bong County)
Nature: Action Grants
Duration: 2011 – 2012
Status: Completed

Funders: Howard G. Buffett Foundation and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Duration:
2012-2013
Region:
Western Africa
Country:
Liberia
Sector:
Agricultural Intensification & Livelihood Diversification

View summary and details of this project below:

VolunteerN2AFRICA is a large scale, science-based “research-in-development” project focused on putting nitrogen fixation to work for smallholder farmers growing legume crops in Africa. The project is funded by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation by a grant to Plant Production Systems, Wageningen University who lead the project together with CIAT-TSBF, IITA and many partners in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zimbabwe. From 2012 – 2014, IITA worked with VOSIEDA in Liberia to pilot the programme in Liberia under a component funded by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation through the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture.

Funders: Howard G. Buffett Foundation and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Duration: 2012-2013
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector: Agricultural Intensification & Livelihood Diversification

The Challenge

Most Liberian small-scale farmers are experiencing low and declining crop productivity. This has been attributed to, among other factors, low uptake and adoption of improved Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) technologies by smallholder farmers. The underlying reasons for the low adoption include limited access to and poor dissemination of the improved ISFM innovations.

Legumes represent a major direct source of food for man and livestock and, therefore, make a critical contribution to increased food security of subsistence farmers, reduced costs of food for poor consumers and enhanced rural incomes. Moreover, the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen makes legumes excellent components within the various farming systems because they provide residual nitrogen and reduce the needs for mineral nitrogen fertilizers by associated non-legumes. 

The Intervention

The project worked with small scale farmers to increase the benefits from legume nitrogen fixation by integrating grain legumes in their local farming systems. The project was a science-based research programme that working in Northern and Central Liberia. It worked with smallholders to pilot groundnut and soybean.

Legumes bring atmospheric nitrogen into the crops and the soil through a symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria, and they are an important source of protein in a healthy diet. Enhanced productivity of legumes thereby contributes to improvements in soil fertility, household nutrition and income. N2Africa enabled its beneficiaries to reap these benefits through the implementation of effective production technologies including inoculants and fertilizers.

Key facts

Sector: Agriculture Intensification and Livelihoods Diversification
Domain: Agriculture and Food security
Benefiting zone: Liberia (Bong and Lofa Counties)
Nature: Action Grants
Duration: 2012 – 2014
Status: Completed

Funders: World Bank Liberia & Government of Liberia (Ministry of Agriculture)
Duration:
 2016-2018
Region:
 Western Africa
Country:
 Liberia
Sector: 
Agricultural Intensification & Livelihood Diversification
View summary and details of this project below:

VOSIEDA worked with forest-dependent communities and small-scale oil palm farmers in Southeast Liberia to rehabilitate the Dube oil palm plantation without deforestation, through the implementation of a transformative, climate-smart landscape approaches. 

Funded by the World Bank, the objective of the Smallholder Tree Crop Revitalization Support Project aimed to increase access to finance, inputs, technologies and markets for smallholder tree crop farmers in Liberia, and to develop a long term development program for the tree crops sector. The   revitalized production and marketing of major tree crops (cocoa, coffee, oil palm and rubber) in selected counties. It also implemented institution building, thereby preparing a future large-scale smallholder tree crop development program for Liberia.

VOSIEDA worked with the Ministry of Agriculture to rehabilitate and promote sustainable production practices for food crops and palm oil through responsible value chains at the Dube 600-hectare plantation in Grand Gedeh County, Southeast Liberia.

Funders: World Bank Liberia & Government of Liberia (Ministry of Agriculture)
Duration: 2016-2018
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia

The Challenge

Fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV) have affected Liberia after two devastating civil wars, one each in the 1990s and early 2000s, but the country was experiencing relative peace and stability.  

The agriculture sector played a significant role in the country’s economy. The sector accounted for more than 60 percent of GDP and provided employment to about two-thirds of the 4 million population. Rice and cassava were the main food crops, while rubber, oil palm, and cocoa comprised the majority share of the country’s agricultural exports. Despite favorable agro-climatic conditions and available labor force, however, the tree crops sub-sector was performing sub-optimally. With no replanting and maintenance activities for 25 years due to wars, tree crop plantations were very old and productivity was low.

The intervention

The Project development goal was to increase access to finance, inputs, technologies and markets for Smallholder Tree Crop Farmers in Liberia, and to develop a long-term development program for the Tree Crop Sector. In comprised of revitalization of an oil palm plantation run by smallholders (in Grand Gedeh), including support to rehabilitation/replanting (600 ha), capacity building of the existing cooperative, and development of intermediate processing technologies; and promotion of an out growers scheme.

Results:

  • Improved livelihoods and increased incomes of smallholders, and therefore improved food security at household level and reduction of vulnerability to external shocks, notably those related to climate change and rising food prices.
  • Reduced transaction costs-notably transports and credit costs and post-harvest losses through the rehabilitation of feeder roads and marketing enhancement.
  • Improved access to adapted financial services by farmer organizations and their members.
  • Increased value added of tree crop production, particularly cocoa, coffee, and oil palm, through marketing and FO/Coops strengthening and promotion of professional small and medium scale processing.
  • Enhanced market/business opportunities and economies of scale benefiting actors of the supply chains (smallholders, transporters, marketers, agro-industries) under win-win arrangements and the promotion of public-private partnerships.
  • Enhanced bargaining power, understanding of markets and management capacity of smallholders and their organizations.
  • Incremental and off farm employment generated through the extension of area under tree crop production.
  • Foreign exchange savings through increased national production and subsequent reduction of imports; and improved social stability in the project areas.

Key facts

Sector: Agriculture Intensification and Livelihoods Diversification
Domain: Agriculture and Food security
Benefiting zone: Liberia
Nature: Action Grants
Duration: 2016 – 2018
Status: Completed

Funders: ArcelorMittal Limited
Duration:
2012 – 2018
Region:
Western Africa
Country:
Liberia
Sector:
Agricultural Intensification & Livelihood Diversification
View summary and details of this project below:

ArcelorMittal (the world’s leading steel and mining company) is developing the Western Range Iron Ore Project in Nimba County. The project consists of production, handling, processing and transporting of iron ore, and construction of facilities such as Sedimentation Dams, Tailing Management Facility/TMF, haul roads, etc.  These activities have resulted into land take by the company as facilities sites, while resulting into loss of agriculture and farming lands as well as livelihood of affected communities. 

In compliance with the World Bank Policy on Involuntary Resettlement and IFC Performance Guidelines, the company is required to mitigate negative impacts of her operations on local communities, environment and biodiversity.   In 2012, AML hired VOSIEDA as a consultant to mitigate its social impact on local communities. The programme which started February 1st, 2013 and ended March 3, 2018, VOSIEDA provided management services specifically focusing on Land Access, Livelihood Restoration, Vulnerable Persons’ Assistance, and Cultural Heritage Management. Services and outputs included:

–        Provided natural resources management advice and agricultural improvement support.

–        Implemented agriculture business plan development and land-based agriculture intensification.

–        Provided environmental and extension services to farmers affected by the mining activities.

–        Improved agronomics and production of major crop (Rice, cassava and horticulture).

–        Supported livestock enrichment at the community’s levels.

–        Managed culture heritage and addressed gender issues in affected communities.

–        Addressed public health (HIV/AIDS and Ebola) issues in affected communities.

–        Provided microfinance support to farming households through training, provision of capital.

 

Funders: ArcelorMittal Limited
Duration: 2012 – 2018
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector: Agricultural Intensification & Livelihood Diversification

The challenge

ArcelorMittal (the world’s leading steel and mining company) is developing the Western Range Iron Ore Project in Nimba County. The project consists of production, handling, processing and transporting of iron ore, and construction of facilities such as Sedimentation Dams, Tailing Management Facility/TMF, haul roads, etc.  These activities have resulted into land take by the company as facilities sites, while resulting into loss of agriculture and farming lands as well as livelihood of affected communities. 

The intervention

In compliance with the World Bank Policy on Involuntary Resettlement and IFC Performance Guidelines, the company is required to mitigate negative impacts of her operations on local communities, environment and biodiversity.   In 2012, AML hired VOSIEDA as a consultant to mitigate its social impact on local communities. The programme which started February 1st, 2013 and ended March 3, 2018, VOSIEDA provided management services specifically focusing on Land Access, Livelihood Restoration, Vulnerable Persons’ Assistance, and Cultural Heritage Management. Services and outputs included:

Activities and results

Provided natural resources management advice and agricultural improvement support.

Implemented agriculture business plan development and land-based agriculture intensification.

Provided environmental and extension services to farmers affected by the mining activities.

Improved agronomics and production of major crop (Rice, cassava and horticulture).

Supported livestock enrichment at the community’s levels.

Managed culture heritage and addressed gender issues in affected communities.

Addressed public health (HIV/AIDS and Ebola) issues in affected communities.

Provided microfinance support to farming households through training, provision of capital.

Key facts

Sector: Agriculture Intensification and Livelihoods Diversification
Domain: Agriculture and Food security
Benefiting zone: Liberia
Nature: Consultancy
Duration: 2012 – 2018
Status: Completed

Funders: World Food Programme (WFP)
Duration: 2017
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Agricultural Intensification & Livelihood Diversification
View summary and details of this project below:

Smallholder farmers in Liberia make up majority of the country 69% extremely poor populations. It’s hard for them to maximize their potential without modern agricultural technologies, enough investment and a distribution structure that remains ill-suited for accessing markets. Nevertheless, several barriers reduce the incentives for smallholder farmers to grow and add value to marketable produce. In addressing these constraints, VOSIEDA collaborated with the UN world Food program, Ministry of Agriculture  and other partners, to:

  • Conducted training of twenty (23) farmers organizations in Community Grain Bank establishment and Management in Gbarpolu, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Bassa, Nimba, Bomi and Lofa Counties, including the mobilization of participants and training in related activities.
  • Built Local Framers Organization’s Capacities in Natural Resources Management and Food Security.
  • Provided training to farmers in Organization Development and Governance.
  • Provided training to farmers in post-harvest management and maintenance.
  • Provided training to farmers organizations on managing local resources in a sustainable manner

Funders: World Food Programme (WFP)
Duration: 2017
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Agricultural Intensification & Livelihood Diversification

The challenge

Smallholder farmers in Liberia make up majority of the country 69% extremely poor populations. It’s hard for them to maximize their potential without modern agricultural technologies, enough investment and a distribution structure that remains ill-suited for accessing markets. Nevertheless, several barriers reduce the incentives for smallholder farmers to grow and add value to marketable produce:

First, Liberia’s poor rural infrastructure is the biggest impediment to increased productivity, because it makes investment in new agricultural technologies very risky for farmers and other agricultural entrepreneurs. Storage and transport costs are high, as are postharvest losses.

Second, persistently low farm-gate prices are driven by the need to maintain the margins of intermediaries that are large enough to cover the high cost of moving produce from farms to consumers or end users.

Third, smallholders rarely leverage their numbers to secure better prices. This is due to poor understanding of how to access markets, poor governance and management of farmer organizations, and an unfortunate lack of trust that characterizes the societies in which they live.

The intervention

In addressing these constraints, VOSIEDA collaborated with the UN world Food program, Ministry of Agriculture and other partners, to:
Conducted training of twenty (23) farmers organizations in Community Grain Bank establishment and Management in Gbarpolu, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Bassa, Nimba, Bomi and Lofa Counties, including the mobilization of participants and training in related activities.

Built Local Framers Organization’s Capacities in Natural Resources Management and Food Security.

Provided training to farmers in Organization Development and Governance.

Provided training to farmers in post-harvest management and maintenance.

Provided training to farmers organizations on managing local resources in a sustainable manner.

Key facts

Sector: Agriculture Intensification and Livelihoods Diversification
Domain: Agriculture and Food security
Benefiting zone: Liberia
Nature:  Grant
Duration: 2017
Status: Completed

Women and Youths' Socioeconomic Empowerment

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Women and Youths’ Socioeconomic Empowerment program work with women, girls and boys to defeat poverty and achieve equality.  We focus on women and girls because we believe we cannot overcome poverty until everyone has equal rights and opportunities.

Funders:  Government of Norway and United Nations Development Programme
Duration: 2008-2010
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector: Women and Youths’ socioeconomic empowerment. 

View summary and details of this project below:

In 2004, the united Nations and partners disarmed 20,035 combatants, mainly young men and women who were fighter of different warring factions in the Liberian civil from 1989 t0 2003. The reintegration of these ex-fighters into their communities started in 2005 but funding constraint delayed the process.

From 2008 -2009, VOSIEDA collaborated with the United Nations Development Programme to reintegrated the last batched of hundreds of formers in Liberia’s Northern Lofa County. Activities included psycho-social training, life skills, cash compensation, livelihood training and other re-integrated activities.

Funder: United Nations Development Programme
Duration: 2008-2009
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector: Women and Youths’ socioeconomic empowerment. 

 The challenge

In 2004, the united Nations and partners disarmed 20,035 combatants, mainly young men and women who were fighter of different warring factions in the Liberian civil from 1989 t0 2003. The reintegration of these ex-fighters into their communities started in 2005 but funding constraint delayed the process.

The intervention

From 2008 -2009, VOSIEDA collaborated with the United Nations Development Programme to reintegrate the last batched of hundreds of formers in Liberia’s Northern Lofa County. Activities included psychosocial training, life skills, cash compensation, livelihood training and other re-integrated activities.

Key facts

Sector: Women and Youths’ socioeconomic empowerment. 
Domain: Livelihoods, Gender Equality and incomes generations
Benefiting zone: Liberia
Nature:  Grant
Duration: 2008 – 2009
Status: Completed

Funder: World Bank, & Ministry of Youth and Sport, Liberia
Duration: 2012-2014
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Women & Youths’ Social – Economic Empowerment
View summary and details of this project below.

Agriculture and agro based industries in Liberia offer the greatest prospects for job creation both on a short- and long-term basis (PRS – page 60). Prior to the conflict, agriculture employed approximately 60% of the labor force, thus becoming the largest employer followed by government. However, following years of civil wars, Liberia today is one of the most foods-insecure countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, despite abundant sources of water and thriving vegetation. In addition to food insecurity, Liberia’s large and underemployed youth population remains basis for concern. Unless they are engaged in productive activities, the unmet frustrations of majority of Liberian youth may serve as a justification for a return to conflicts and crimes.

The project aimed to address this ‘twin pandemic of food insecurity and youth unemployment’ by creating agro-base corporative and jobs, improving youths’ employability and food security. The project trained 200 at-risk youth between age 16 and 35 in clusters of five (5) to ten (10) communities per districts/county.

These activities included but organic fruits and vegetables farming; seeds production, local food processing and packaging; developing small agro enterprises; cultivating small scales oil palm and rubber farms as well as tropical root and tuber crops. Local processing and preservation were integrated with small business development and management trainings, basic reading and numeric skills.

Funder: World Bank, & Ministry of Youth and Sport, Liberia
Duration: 2012 – 2015
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Women & Youths’ Social – Economic Empowerment

The Challenge

Agriculture and agro based industries in Liberia offer the greatest prospects for job creation both on a short- and long-term basis (PRS – page 60). Prior to the conflict, agriculture employed approximately 60% of the labor force, thus becoming the largest employer followed by government. However, following years of civil wars, Liberia today is one of the most foods-insecure countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, despite abundant sources of water and thriving vegetation. In addition to food insecurity, Liberia’s large and underemployed youth population remains basis for concern. Unless they are engaged in productive activities, the unmet frustrations of majority of Liberian youth may serve as a justification for a return to conflicts and crimes.

The Intervention

The project aimed to address this ‘twin pandemic of food insecurity and youth unemployment’ by creating agro-base corporative and jobs, improving youths’ employability and food security. The project trained 200 at-risk youth between age 16 and 35 in clusters of five (5) to ten (10) communities per districts/county.

These activities included but organic fruits and vegetables farming; seeds production, local food processing and packaging; developing small agro enterprises; cultivating small scales oil palm and rubber farms as well as tropical root and tuber crops. Local processing and preservation were integrated with small business development and management trainings, basic reading and numeric skills.

Results:

  • Two hundred (200) ‘model farmers’ trained in Core Groups and Farmers Field School (FFS) approaches.
  • Five Cooperative/Livelihood Enhancement Groups/ Core Groups organized with youths from surrounding communities that are pursuing agricultural livelihoods.
  • Increased numbers of at-risk youths have access to wage or self-employment opportunities through cultivation of various vegetables, fruits and tuber crops all year around – at least 100 jobs or small agro enterprises created.
  • Livelihoods and employment opportunities available to at least 150 youths through contract farming; placement in major agriculture companies or development of agro enterprises. Stable and functional communities created because of project.

Key facts

Sector: Women and Youths’ socioeconomic empowerment. 
Domain: Livelihoods, Gender Equality and incomes generations
Benefiting zone: Liberia
Nature:  Grant
Duration: 2012 – 2014
Status: Completed

Funder: United Nation Development Program & Government of Japan
Duration: 2017
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Women & Youths’ Social – Economic Empowerment
View summary and details of this project below:

The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), though now completely eradicated, was a new phenomenon in West Africa and placed a heavy burden on the three most affected countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone). The socio-economic impact of the EVD outbreak is well documented. It reversed the economic gains for the affected countries with negative consequences on livelihoods. Measures undertaken to contain.

While the disease was eventually eradicated, the UN Agencies and other development partners have continued to provide post evd recovery support especially in strengthening and fast-tracking recovery initiatives and responses in the border areas in order to address critical recovery challenges to which less attention has been paid so far. In the light of the above, the project ‘Supporting and Strengthening Sub-regional post-Ebola Medical Surveillance and Socio-Economic Recovery Initiatives in West Africa’ was designed to provide technical assistance and support at sub-regional, national and grassroots level to the three Ebola affected countries, and Côte d’Ivoire. It is intended to assist the countries to address urgent needs in the health, social and economic recovery, conflict prevention and peace building in common border areas.

Under this project, VOSIEDA partnered with UNDP in Libera to provide the livelihood components.

Main deliverable /outputs:

  • Conducted training needs assessment of sustainable livelihoods in 49 border communities in Nimba and Grand Cape Mont Counties.
  • Provided livelihoods training to 235 beneficiaries in targeted communities.
  • Developed vulnerability mapping and identified beneficiaries in targeted communities.
  • Implemented livelihood, conflict prevention and social cohesion training in 49 communities.
  • A total of 235 (99 male; 136 female) were trained in both counties in various livelihoods skills including small business management; cassava (gari), palm kernel and rice processing, animal husbandry and related value-added enterprises.
  • Eight (8) VSLA established and trained in the VSLA methodology with a total membership of 300 (84 males; 226 female) in both counties who saved 6,500,000 Liberian dollars by end of training.
  • County and local authorities were trained in Local Economic Development (LED) concepts and strategies that enabled them to harness local resources for sustainable economic growth.

Funder: United Nation Development Program & Government of Japan
Duration: 2017
Region: Western Africa
CountryLiberia
Sector:  Women & Youths’ Social – Economic Empowerment

 The Challenge

 The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), though now completely eradicated, was a new phenomenon in West Africa and placed a heavy burden on the three most affected countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone). The socio-economic impact of the EVD outbreak is well documented. It reversed the economic gains for the affected countries with negative consequences on livelihoods. Measures undertaken to contain.

While the disease was eventually eradicated, the UN Agencies and other development partners have continued to provide post evd recovery support especially in strengthening and fast-tracking recovery initiatives and responses in the border areas in order to address critical recovery challenges to which less attention has been paid so far. In the light of the above, the project ‘Supporting and Strengthening Sub-regional post-Ebola Medical Surveillance and Socio-Economic Recovery Initiatives in West Africa’ was designed to provide technical assistance and support at sub-regional, national and grassroots level to the three Ebola affected countries, and Côte d’Ivoire. It is intended to assist the countries to address urgent needs in the health, social and economic recovery, conflict prevention and peace building in common border areas.

The intervention

Under this project, VOSIEDA partnered with UNDP in Libera to provide the livelihood components.

Main deliverable/outputs:

  • Conducted training needs assessment of sustainable livelihoods in 49 border communities in Nimba and Grand Cape Mont Counties.
  • Provided livelihoods training to 235 beneficiaries in targeted communities.
  • Developed vulnerability mapping and identified beneficiaries in targeted communities.
  • Implemented livelihood, conflict prevention and social cohesion training in 49 communities.
  • A total of 235 (99 male; 136 female) were trained in both counties in various livelihoods skills including small business management; cassava (gari), palm kernel and rice processing, animal husbandry and related value-added enterprises.
  • Eight (8) VSLA established and trained in the VSLA methodology with a total membership of 300 (84 males; 226 female) in both counties who saved 6,500,000 Liberian dollars by end of training.
  • County and local authorities were trained in Local Economic Development (LED) concepts and strategies that enabled them to harness local resources for sustainable economic growth.

Key facts

Sector: Women and Youths’ socioeconomic empowerment. 
Domain: Livelihoods, Gender Equality and incomes generations
Benefiting zone: Liberia
Nature:  Grant
Duration: 2017
Status: Completed

Funder: Oxfam International
Duration: 2010-2014
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Women & Youths’ Social – Economic Empowerment
View summary and details of this project below:

Saving for Change (SfC) is Oxfam America’s signature savings-led microfinance program. It is an innovative savings groups program that builds resilience and increases women’s empowerment. Members—primarily women living in rural communities—form a group that saves, lends, and pays dividends to its members. Group members elect their own leadership, set their bylaws, and decide collectively how to achieve their goals.

In 2009-2010, VOSIEDA collaborated with Oxfam UK, with support from Oxfam America to implement Saving for Change (SfC) for Liberia’s rural women in Bong, Margibi and Montserrado. During this program, our teamwork in several rural villages to train groups of women to save regularly, borrow from their group’s fund, and repay loans with interest. At the end of a saving cycle—generally a year—the fund was divided, and each woman receives her savings plus a share of the profit. Groups schedule distribution for a critical time, such as the onset of the lean season, when money and resources are scarce.

Funder: Oxfam America & Oxfam UK
Duration: 2010-2014
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Women & Youths’ Social – Economic Empowerment:

The Challenge

Women make significant contributions to the rural economy in Liberia, make up on average about 40 per cent of the agricultural labor force. However, rural women face more constraints than men in accessing key productive resources such as land and to services such as credit, extension and social protection.

The Intervention:

Working in rural villages, VOSIEDA collaborated with Oxfam UK to train 43 groups of women to save regularly, borrow from their group’s fund, and repay loans with interest. The total groups membership put together was 1,500 rural women, majority of whom are head of households. At the end of a saving cycle—generally a year—the fund is divided, and each woman receives her savings plus a share of the profit. Groups schedule distribution for a critical time, such as the onset of the lean season, when money and resources are scarce.

Saving for Change (SfC) was created in 2005 by Oxfam and key collaborators, Freedom from Hunger and the Stromme Foundation, to provide basic financial services to women around the world – innovating on the traditional microfinance model by starting with savings instead of credit and by delivering financial services through small savings groups rather than financial institutions.

Results

Post program assessment found that SFC model provided benefits not only to its members, but also to the whole village where groups were found. Overall, the assessment showed that SfC reaches the most vulnerable (82% of members live with less than $1.25/day), members tend to save and borrow more than non-members. Majority were able to invest more in smallholder agriculture and other non-farm businesses. Overall, we saw the food security gap closing in villages that benefited from the SFC scheme. All these factors contribute to building resilience, especially when we add the social capital built among members.

Key facts

 Sector: Women and Youths’ socioeconomic empowerment. 
Domain: Livelihoods, Gender Equality and incomes generations
Benefiting zone: Liberia
Nature:  Grant
Duration: 2009 & 2010
Status: Completed

 

Funder: United Nations Women (UN Women)
Duration: 2012-2013
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Women & Youths’ Social – Economic Empowerment

View summary and details of this project below:

In Southeastern Liberia, rural farming women are among the most marginalized members of the population with limited access to resources, such as agriculture inputs, credit, training, as well as inadequate access to methods for preserving agricultural outputs, especially cassava. These obstacles are further compounded by gender-based discrimination in social realm including women’s high illiteracy rates and lack of knowledge on rights and protections, situations further exacerbated by Liberia’s long history of civil war.

In response, UN Women – Liberia is funded an improved cassava processing project in Grand Bassa & Rivercess Counties, which was implemented by VOSIEDA in 2013.  The project aims to enhance the entrepreneurs’ skills and economic independence of 600 rural women and adolescent girls in Grand Bassa and Rivercess Counties through improve cassava production, value chain development and marketing.

Funder: United Nations Women (UN Women)
Duration: 2012-2013
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Women & Youths’ Social – Economic Empowerment

The Challenge:

In Southeastern Liberia, rural farming women are among the most marginalized members of the population with limited access to resources, such as agriculture inputs, credit, training, as well as inadequate access to methods for preserving agricultural outputs, especially cassava. These obstacles are further compounded by gender-based discrimination in social realm including women’s high illiteracy rates and lack of knowledge on rights and protections, situations further exacerbated by Liberia’s long history of civil war.

The Intervention:

In response, UN Women – Liberia is funded an improved cassava processing project in Grand Bassa & Rivercess Counties, which was implemented by VOSIEDA in 2013.  The project aims to enhance the entrepreneurs’ skills and economic independence of 600 rural women and adolescent girls in Grand Bassa and Rivercess Counties through improve cassava production, value chain development and marketing.

The Results:

Economic empowerment of rural women: The project-built skills, assets, confidence and organizations of women in Grand Bassa and Rivercess Counties through capacity building training and asset building. If rural women are to create change by overcoming poverty, they must have the opportunity to build assets, knowledge, skills and confidence they need to pursue their own economic agenda better.

Improved access to basic farms inputs: The project has contributed to improving rural women’s access to those basic inputs. Extreme poverty remains a daily reality for rural women in the project areas, the majority of whom depend only on cassava farming  for livelihood, despite the fact they lack skills and resources to process their cassava for the markets. They need basic inputs such as tools and training to diversify their farming systems, re-establish basic livelihoods and improve the availability of healthy food and improved diets at their household and communities’ levels.

Collective vision for empowerment and equality: The project is enabling rural women in Grand Bassa and Rivercess Counties to assemble and actively be aware of their human rights through the advocacy training. Poverty is not just about a lack of food, water or a roof over the head of rural women in Liberia. Many women are suffering from a lack of power and choice.

Key facts

Sector: Women and Youths’ socioeconomic empowerment. 
Domain: Livelihoods, Gender Equality and incomes generations
Benefiting zone: Liberia
Nature:  Grant
Duration: 2012-2013
Status: Completed

Governance, Civic Engagement and Human Rights

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 Governance, Civic Engagement and Human Rights Projects promote participatory, representative and inclusive political processes and institutions; greater accountability of institutions and leaders to citizens  and to the law; and recognition of universally recognized human rights.

Funder: Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund
Duration: 2008
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Governance, Democracy & Human Rights
View summary and details of this project below:

After prolonged periods of political turmoil and civil unrest in Liberia, many rural communities are now struggling to bring back stability based on social reintegration, economic development and decentralization. The challenges faced are tremendous, which are notable in the rural areas. The most vulnerable in these post conflict settings are women and children, the disabled and the elderly, all of whom experience challenges in maintaining their health and welfare, establishing livelihoods and contributing to the provision of their own shelter. Many post war households are headed by single women and youths, some of whom support large families.

Unfortunately, sexual abuse, other forms of exploitation and gender-based violence are widely prevalent in post war Liberia. Women and young girls, though not exclusively, are particularly vulnerable and targeted. Abuse and exploitation are exacerbated in rural communities of returns where are no active civil administration and improve court systems exist. This is further compounded by extreme poverty and ignorant.

With Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund, VOSIEDA collaborated with traditional leaders, women organizations, local authorities and members of the newly trained Liberian National Police, VOSIEDA will provide training for fifty 50 women community leaders and human rights activists from ten local women organizations, village courts, traditional women groups and members of Liberia’s newly trained police in the district to understand the new law, protect women rights and form a ‘Local Women Right Defense Network’ that would enhance the implementation of existing laws at the local level and encourage community participation in fighting violence against women and girls.

As a result, the network has bolstered prevention responses; addressed the needs of survivors and fostered women’s economic independence through training and awareness raising about existing mechanisms to protect women from violence. This has significantly improved the safety and livelihoods of war-affected women and girls including war-related widows, women with war-related disabilities, indigenous women, HIV positive women, orphans, underage girls etc.

Funder: Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund
Duration: 2008-2009
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Governance, Democracy & Human Rights

The Challenge:

After prolonged periods of political turmoil and civil unrest in Liberia, many rural communities are now struggling to bring back stability based on social reintegration, economic development and decentralization. The challenges faced are tremendous, which are notable in the rural areas. The most vulnerable in these post conflict settings are women and children, the disabled and the elderly, all of whom experience challenges in maintaining their health and welfare, establishing livelihoods and contributing to the provision of their own shelter. Many post war households are headed by single women and youths, some of whom support large families.

Unfortunately, sexual abuse, other forms of exploitation and gender-based violence are widely prevalent in post war Liberia. Women and young girls, though not exclusively, are particularly vulnerable and targeted. Abuse and exploitation are exacerbated in rural communities of returns where are no active civil administration and improve court systems exist. This is further compounded by extreme poverty and ignorant.

The Intervention:

With Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund, VOSIEDA collaborated with traditional leaders, women organizations, local authorities and members of the newly trained Liberian National Police, VOSIEDA will provide training for fifty 50 women community leaders and human rights activists from ten local women organizations, village courts, traditional women groups and members of Liberia’s newly trained police in the district to understand the new law, protect women rights and form a ‘Local Women Right Defense Network’ that would enhance the implementation of existing laws at the local level and encourage community participation in fighting violence against women and girls.

The Result

As a result, the network has bolstered prevention responses; addressed the needs of survivors and fostered women’s economic independence through training and awareness raising about existing mechanisms to protect women from violence. This has significantly improved the safety and livelihoods of war-affected women and girls including war-related widows, women with war-related disabilities, indigenous women, HIV positive women, orphans, underage girls etc.

 Key facts

Sector: Governance, Democracy & Human Rights
Domain: Governance, Civic Education & Human Rights
Benefiting zone: Liberia
Nature:  Grant
Duration: 2008-2009
Status: Completed

Funder: United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF)
Duration: 2010-2012
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Governance, Democracy & Human Rights

View summary and details of this project below:

Even though Liberia’s 1997 and 2005 elections were pronounced free and fair by the international community, study has established that voters, particularly rural women and youths voted out of fear and ignorance leading to apathy because majority are illiterate and have inadequate access to civic/voters’ education. This has led to bad governance and circles of corruption because warlords and corrupt officials become elected based on lies.

The project contributed to the creation of sustainable human rights and democratic culture in post war Liberia through increased awareness of marginalized populations about civic rights and duties, as vital mechanisms to ensure meaningful participation in democratic reform and good governance after nearly two decades of marginalization, exclusion and armed conflict.

Funder: United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF)
Duration2010-2012
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Governance, Democracy & Human Rights

The Challenge

In fragile state where democratic development has been characterized by hope, expectations and despair, holding legitimate elections is integral to the process of democratic reform and stability; without it, there can be no democracy and sustainable peace. Nevertheless, as Liberia heads for another anticipated free and fair elections in less than 18 months, findings from a recent study conducted by VOSIEDA has established that electorates, particularly rural women and youths (the majority of Liberia’s voters) have always voted out of fear, apathy and ignorance in past elections due to high incidence of illiteracy, poverty and inadequate access to civic and voters’ education. They have always been manipulated by rich warlords and people accused of stealing from public resources, who get elected base lies.

The Intervention:

To address this problem, VOSIEDA worked with the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and grassroot democratic civil society organizations to initiate and intensified civic/voters’ education and built capacities of women and youths particularly in rural areas to understand their civic rights and duties, the nature of Liberia’s political processes and options available to them when voting comes elections. This civic engagement has enabled target populations to understand democratic dispensations, voting procedures and Liberia’s political system so that they would vote void of ignorance, ethnic and religious demagogy, avoid vote-selling and support non-violent tactics in the 2011 electoral process.

The Results

VOSIEDA worked with the United Nations Missions in Liberia (UNIMIL), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), National Elections Commission (NEC) and fifty (50) grassroot Liberian civic society organizations in the ten most populated political sub-divisions out of Liberia’s fifteen counties to build democratic network and systematically conduct civic/voters’ education. Trained three hundred (300) grassroot elections monitors and deploy in counties based on population and number of electoral constituencies. The monitors observed the electoral process and give early warning indicators of conflicts and electoral frauds. Trained at least fifty (50) aspiring youths and women candidates in advocacy, leadership and communication to enable them stand for elections.

Key facts

Sector: Governance, Democracy & Human Rights
Domain: Governance, Civic Education & Human Rights
Benefiting zone: Liberia
Nature:  Grant
Duration: 2010 – 2012
Status: Completed

Funder: Canada Fund for Local Initiatives
Duration: 2011 – 2012
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Governance, Democracy & Human Rights

View summary and details of this project below:

Violence against women and girls not only devastates women’s lives and divides communities, but it also undermines development efforts and the building of strong democracies and just, peaceful societies. Despite this, violence against women and girls remain very high in Liberia as the country ranks 177 out of 188 countries on the overall measures used to determine the gender inequality index. Rates of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), harmful practices (HPs), female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage and teenage pregnancy are all high, while access to sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) is low.

With funding from the Canada Fund for Local Initiative, VOSIEDA worked to improved access to justice and support for survivors of violence against women in Central Liberia. The project facilitated the formation of a ‘Women and Girls’ Rights Defense Network’ that enhances implementation of existing laws at the local level and encourage community participation in fighting violence against women. It further reinforce Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Women Rights Groups and advocates  to use social accountability mechanisms and strengthen their capacity on advocacy, management, administration, finance, Human Resource, Reporting, including resource mobilization.

The elimination of VAWG cannot be achieved without a strong and empowered civil society and autonomous women’s movement, given the strong role of CSOs and women’s movements and rights advocates in pushing the issue of VAWG onto the national and international agenda as well as being instrumental in driving legislative and policy change.

Funder: Canada Fund for Local Initiatives
Duration: 2011-2012
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Governance, Democracy & Human Rights

The challenge

Violence against women and girls not only devastates women’s lives and divides communities, but it also undermines development efforts and the building of strong democracies and just, peaceful societies. Despite this, violence against women and girls remain very high in Liberia as the country ranks 177 out of 188 countries on the overall measures used to determine the gender inequality index. Rates of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), harmful practices (HPs), female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage and teenage pregnancy are all high, while access to sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) is low.

The intervention

With funding from the Canada Fund for Local Initiative, VOSIEDA worked to improved access to justice and support for survivors of violence against women in Central Liberia. The project facilitated the formation of a ‘Women and Girls’ Rights Defense Network’ that enhances implementation of existing laws at the local level and encourage community participation in fighting violence against women. It further reinforce Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Women Rights Groups and advocates  to use social accountability mechanisms and strengthen their capacity on advocacy, management, administration, finance, Human Resource, Reporting, including resource mobilization.

The elimination of VAWG cannot be achieved without a strong and empowered civil society and autonomous women’s movement, given the strong role of CSOs and women’s movements and rights advocates in pushing the issue of VAWG onto the national and international agenda as well as being instrumental in driving legislative and policy change.

 Result:

Working on several fronts to interrupt this cycle of violence against women in rural Liberia, The project facilitated the formation of a ‘Women and Girls’ Rights Defense Network’ that enhances implementation of existing laws at the local level and encourage community participation in fighting violence against women, particularly in Central Liberia.

Key facts

Sector: Governance, Democracy & Human Rights
Domain:  Civic Education and Women Rights
Benefiting zone: Liberia
Nature:  Grant
Duration: 2010-2011
Status: completed

Funder: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Duration: 2010-2019
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Governance, Democracy & Human Rights​

View summary and details of this project below:

 

Liberia is a source, transit, and destination country for children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Most victims are trafficked within Liberia, primarily from rural areas to urban areas for domestic servitude, forced street vending, and sexual exploitation. Children are also trafficked to alluvial diamond mining areas for forced labor. 

Since 2009, VOSIEDA has been partnering with the United Nations Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery) to combat slavery throughout Liberia. We rescue victims of human trafficking and slavery, provide direct assistance including psycho-social support, food, medical, legal, social and other materials assistance  as well as re-uniting children with families. so far. We have rescued and provided direct assistance to more than 500 victims of different kind of slavery. 

Funder: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Duration: 2010-2019
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Governance, Democracy & Human Rights​

The challenge:

Liberia is a source, transit, and destination country for children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Most victims are trafficked within Liberia, primarily from rural areas to urban areas for domestic servitude, forced street vending, and sexual exploitation. Children are also trafficked to alluvial diamond mining areas for forced labor. 

Intervention:

Since 2009, VOSIEDA has been partnering with the United Nations office of the High commission for human Rights (Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery) to combat slavery throughout Liberia and beyond. We rescue victims of human trafficking and slavery, provide direct assistance including psycho-social support, food, medical, legal, social and other materials assistance as well as re-uniting children with families.

Together with our partner organizations, we are working to secure the freedom of those affected by slavery and press for effective implementation of laws against slavery. So far, we helped 850 slavery victims be free for good. We also raise awareness to warm potential victims about the danger of slavery.

Key facts

Sector: Governance, Democracy & Human Rights
Domain: Governance, Civic Education & Human Rights
Benefiting zone: Liberia
Nature:  Grant
Duration: 2009 -2019
Status: On going

 

Funder: Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
Duration: 2018
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Governance, Democracy & Human Rights​

View summary and details of this project below:

Liberia’s 2017 presidential and legislative elections were probably the most contentious elections in the country’s post war history.  More than 20 presidential candidates and 783 aspiring representatives were certified to run in the 2017 presidential and parliamentary elections.   Even though the elections ended peacefully but the winners and losers are still in both complex and contested notions. On the surface, it appears to be a zero-sum outcome of the electoral contests in which those that obtained more votes won power, while those with less votes were defined as losers, often to be excluded from the “fruits or rewards of power”. The tension in the electioneering processes clearly demonstrated that most opposition politicians and their supporters feel marginalized and are desperate to participate in the very rewarding patronage and crony society that Liberia has been since its founding. 

Moreover, a critical aspect of Liberia post-election transition process relates to the sustainability of the country’s fragile peace. In particular,  was the relationship between winners and losers of 2017 elections, not only in relation to those that contest elections, but also those that control power and others who are marginalized and excluded from participating in the political processes including their followers, who remained hostile to one another. Thus, the issue of reconciling losers and winners after the elections were a very critical challenge in post-conflict Liberia where there is still a need to bring about inclusive governance and sustainable peace.

Considering the above background, ECOWAS – Economic Community of West African States worked with VOSIEDA, Liberian communities and other civil society to promote democratic consolidation considering post-election peace building.

The project initiated round table meetings, awareness, and communities base peace forum and discussions on Liberian elections.  It  brough together political party leaders, security officials, Liberian election management body officials, civil society representatives and media representatives in a unique opportunity to share knowledge on ways to strengthen electoral practices, develop recommendations for raising standards of professionalism, improving electoral processes, mitigate election-related conflicts and promote cross-sectoral collaboration across the Liberia. 

Funder: Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
Duration: 2018
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector:  Governance, Democracy & Human Rights​

 

The challenge:

Liberia’s 2017 presidential and legislative elections were probably the most contentious elections in the country’s post war history.  More than 20 presidential candidates and 783 aspiring representatives were certified to run in the 2017 presidential and parliamentary elections.   Even though the elections ended peacefully but the winners and losers are still in both complex and contested notions. On the surface, it appears to be a zero-sum outcome of the electoral contests in which those that obtained more votes won power, while those with less votes were defined as losers, often to be excluded from the “fruits or rewards of power”. The tension in the electioneering processes clearly demonstrated that most opposition politicians and their supporters feel marginalized and are desperate to participate in the very rewarding patronage and crony society that Liberia has been since its founding. 

Moreover, a critical aspect of Liberia post-election transition process relates to the sustainability of the country’s fragile peace. In particular,  was the relationship between winners and losers of 2017 elections, not only in relation to those that contest elections, but also those that control power and others who are marginalized and excluded from participating in the political processes including their followers, who remained hostile to one another. Thus, the issue of reconciling losers and winners after the elections were a very critical challenge in post-conflict Liberia where there is still a need to bring about inclusive governance and sustainable peace.

Intervention:

Considering the above background, ECOWAS – Economic Community of West African States worked with VOSIEDA, Liberian communities and other civil society to promote democratic consolidation considering post-election peace building.

The project initiated round table meetings, awareness, and community’s base peace forum and discussions on Liberian elections.  It  bough together political party leaders, security officials, Liberian election management body officials, civil society representatives and media representatives in a unique opportunity to share knowledge on ways to strengthen electoral practices, develop recommendations for raising standards of professionalism, improving electoral processes, mitigate election-related conflicts and promote cross-sectoral collaboration across the Liberia. 

Results

The round table meetings  were unique opportunities for political party leaders, security officials, Liberian election management body officials, civil society representatives and media representatives to come together to share their experiences on both challenges and successes; as well as knowledge on ways to strengthen electoral practices. It provided the platform to generate recommendations for raising standards of professionalism, improving electoral processes, mitigate election-related conflicts and promoting cross-sectoral collaboration across the Liberia.   Approximately 100 participants participated attended the round table, including election commissioners, political party leaders, civic advocates, leaders of election monitoring groups, journalists, and high-level security service officials from across the country.

One lesson that stood out was the Liberian security services did not resort to the use of force, despite considerable tensions in the pre-election period and in the round up to the tabulation and announcement of elections results. The Liberian example provides positive lessons in election management in fragile environments across West Africa.

Key facts

Sector: Governance, Democracy & Human Rights
Domain: Governance, Elections & Peacebuilding
Benefiting zone: Liberia
Nature:  Grant
Duration: 2018
Status: Completed

View Projects Below

Our capacity building and knowledge transfer program delivers technical and advisory services to indigenous communities, civil society, private sector and governments to enhance their development results.

Funder:  U.S. Agency for International Development & Veterinarians Without Borders, USA
Duration: 2010
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector: Capacity Building & Knowledge Transfer

View summary and details of this project below

The animal disease situation throughout Africa is a cause for concern. In Liberia, livestock diseases remain one of the principal causes of the ever-widening gap between the supply and demand for meat and milk. Technologies are available to control the main diseases; the key constraint lies in the deteriorating quality of the animal health delivery system.

Working with USAID niche grant in 2010, Veterinarians Without Borders, USA collaborated with VOSIEDA and LEAF to conducted animal health worker trainings, laboratory skills training, ruminant nutrition and health training and vaccination programs to support disease control and reporting to restore their animal health infrastructure.

Funder:  U.S. Agency for International Development & Veterinarians Without Borders, USA
Duration: 2010
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector: Capacity Building & Knowledge Transfer

The Challenge:

Animal disease situation throughout Africa is a cause for concern. In Liberia, livestock diseases remain one of the principal causes of the ever-widening gap between the supply and demand for meat and milk. Technologies are available to control the main diseases; the key constraint lies in the deteriorating quality of the animal health delivery system.

The intervention:

Working with USAID niche grant in 2010, Veterinarians Without Borders, USA collaborated with VOSIEDA and other Liberia partners to conduct animal health worker trainings, laboratory skills training, ruminant nutrition and health training and vaccination programs to support disease control and reporting to restore their animal health infrastructure.

The Result:

With this training and knowledge transfer, VOSIEDA’s animal health technicians who benefited from the training  have been fully active in implementing regional trainings to teach smallholders to recognize signs of disease and report them to them to our field staffs as well as Ministry of Agriculture  so steps can be taken to control disease before an epidemic occurs.

Key facts

Sector: Capacity Building and Knowledge Transfer
Domain: Animal health
Benefiting zone: Liberia
Nature:  Collaborative Programme
Duration: 2010
Status: completed

Funder: U.S. Agency for International Development & Development Alternative Incorporated
Duration: 2006 -2008
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector: Capacity Building & Knowledge Transfer/ Fragile States

View summary and details of this project below:

After Liberia’s civil war ended, the country continued to face structural impediments to revitalizing its economy.  The lack of basic infrastructure—roads, water and electricity supply—makes it exceedingly difficult to attract private sector investment.  A poorly developed agricultural sector contributes to food insecurity and extreme poverty, particularly among rural dwellers for whom subsistence farming is the principal source of food and income. The presence of huge former combatants who were not yet integrated into the society after many years of isolation on war fronts posted greater challenge.

With funding from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), VOSIEDA collaborated with DAI to support social reconciliation, literacy and numeracy training, enterprise development and agribusiness assistance that fostered economic growth and assisted in re-integration of former combatants into the Liberian society.

Funder: U.S. Agency for International Development & Development Alternative Incorporated
Duration: 2007 -2009
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector: Capacity Building & Knowledge Transfer/ Fragile States

 The challenge:

After Liberia’s civil war ended, the country continued to face structural impediments to revitalizing its economy.  The lack of basic infrastructure—roads, water and electricity supply—makes it exceedingly difficult to attract private sector investment.  A poorly developed agricultural sector contributes to food insecurity and extreme poverty, particularly among rural dwellers for whom subsistence farming is the principal source of food and income. The presence of huge former combatants who were not yet integrated into the society after many years of isolation on war fronts posted greater challenge.

The intervention

With funding from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), VOSIEDA collaborated with DAI to support social reconciliation, literacy and numeracy training, enterprise development and agribusiness assistance that fostered economic growth and assisted in re-integration of former combatants into the Liberian society.

Key facts

Sector: Capacity Building and Knowledge Transfer
Domain: Fragile state and instrument of stability
Benefiting zone: Liberia
Nature:  Action Grant
Duration: 2007-2009
Status: completed

Funder: World Bank Liberia, European Union,  Government of Liberia
Duration: 2009-2013
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector: Capacity Building & Knowledge Transfer

View summary and details of this project below

The Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) was established by the Community Empowerment Act pursuant to Chapter 50B of Title 12 of the Liberian Code of Laws as of July 22, 2004.

The objectives of the Agency are to improve the living standards of poor communities through the provisions and strengthening of basic social services and to promote a community-based approach in sub-project identification, preparation, implementation, administration and maintenance. The agency has been funded by multilateral donors including the world bank, European Union, government of japan, etc. as well as the government of Liberia.

From 2009 – 2013, VOSIEDA worked with LACE with funding from the World bank and European Union on several sub projects as Community Facilitator for Liberia Central County of Bong. Program activities included community facilitation, social mobilization, project and financial managements, procurement, monitoring and evaluation, targeting selections of projects, distribution of project inputs, capacity building, etc.

Funder: World Bank Liberia, European Union, Government of Liberia
Duration: 2009-2013
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector: Capacity Building & Knowledge Transfer

The challenge

The people of the Republic of Liberia are struggling to rebuild their livelihoods in the aftermath of a bloody civil war and decades of autocratic mismanagement and neglect.  Despite an abundance of natural resources, and a relatively small population of 4 million, Liberia is caught in a vicious cycle of poverty and conflict. From the start of the war in 1989 until 2003, the country’s gross domestic product per capita fell by 76%. 

The Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) was established by the Community Empowerment Act pursuant to Chapter 50B of Title 12 of the Liberian Code of Laws as of July 22, 2004.

The objectives of the Agency are to improve the living standards of poor communities through the provisions and strengthening of basic social services and to promote a community-based approach in sub-project identification, preparation, implementation, administration and maintenance. The agency has been funded by multilateral donors including the world bank, European Union, government of japan, etc. as well as the government of Liberia.

The Intervention

From 2009 – 2013, VOSIEDA worked with LACE with funding from the World bank and European Union on several projects as Community Facilitator for Liberia central county of Bong. Program activities included community facilitation, social mobilization, project and financial managements, procurement, monitoring and evaluation, targeting selections of projects, distribution of project inputs, capacity building workshop, etc.

Key facts

Sector: Capacity Building and Knowledge Transfer
Domain: Fragile state and instrument of stability
Benefiting zone: Liberia
Nature:  Performance base contract
Duration: 2009 – 2013
Status: complet

Funder: European Union & Oxfam UK
Duration: 2011-2014
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector: Capacity Building & Knowledge Transfer

View summary and details of this project below:

After Liberia prolong civic war ended in 2003, Civil society organization have been playing relevant role in supporting development processes and have increasingly shown to possess the capacities and expertise to do so. However, despite their experiences and existing capacities, numerous studies show that CSOs in Liberia face capacity constraints that jeopardize their ability to perform their role effectively. For example, CSO networks often have leadership and management weaknesses that are similar to those of their member organizations, but they might also struggle with issues such as constituency-building, adequate member representation and effective communication with their member. In the case of CBOs, it is organizational capacity that is generally weak. Most CBO members are volunteers that must cope with constraints such as illiteracy and unemployment and struggle to ensure the subsistence of their families. CD interventions may therefore need to address the capacity needs of the individual members as well as that of the organization in order to retain the membership, stimulate their participation and ensure that membership fees are paid.

The project developed capacity building plan for each CSO based on assessment. Facilitated training, mentoring and cross-partner learning according to individual plans. Using existing networks and partnerships, facilitate regular county level meetings between CSOs and GoL. Community radio and other media outlets used to disseminate information. Build the capacity of CSOs at the local level to engage in advocacy. Strengthen existing networks and encourage CSOs to establish partnerships. Encourage inter-CSO dialogue on pertinent national issues. Strengthen local county level sectoral CSO meeting.

Funder: European Union & Oxfam UK
Duration: 2011-2014
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector: Capacity Building & Knowledge Transfer

The Challenge

After Liberia prolong civic war ended in 2003, Civil society organization have been playing relevant role in supporting development processes and have increasingly shown to possess the capacities and expertise to do so. However, despite their experiences and existing capacities, numerous studies show that CSOs in Liberia face capacity constraints that jeopardize their ability to perform their role effectively. For example, CSO networks often have leadership and management weaknesses that are similar to those of their member organizations, but they might also struggle with issues such as constituency-building, adequate member representation and effective communication with their member. In the case of CBOs, it is organizational capacity that is generally weak. Most CBO members are volunteers that must cope with constraints such as illiteracy and unemployment and struggle to ensure the subsistence of their families. CD interventions may therefore need to address the capacity needs of the individual members as well as that of the organization in order to retain the membership, stimulate their participation and ensure that membership fees are paid.

 The intervention

The project developed capacity building plan for each CSO based on assessment. Facilitated training, mentoring and cross-partner learning according to individual plans. Using existing networks and partnerships, facilitate regular county level meetings between CSOs and GoL. Community radio and other media outlets used to disseminate information. Build the capacity of CSOs at the local level to engage in advocacy. Strengthen existing networks and encourage CSOs to establish partnerships. Encourage inter-CSO dialogue on pertinent national issues. Strengthen local county level sectoral CSO meeting.

 Results

  • Capacity of non-state actors developed in areas of effectiveness and accountability.
  • Stronger civil society able to influence decision-making processes on government policies.
  • Increased cooperation between NSA networks, specifically women’s networks, and organizations at local and national level.

 Key facts

Sector: Capacity Building and Knowledge Transfer
Domain: Fragile state and Civil Society Development
Benefiting zone: Liberia
Nature:  Performance base contract
Duration: 2011 – 2014
Status: completed

Funder: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)  & Mercy Corps
Duration: 2014-2015
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector: Capacity Building & Knowledge Transfer

View summary and details of this project below:

In response to the Ebola outbreak in 2014, VOSIEDA collaborated with Mercy Corps to implement the he Ebola Community Action Platform (ECAP) in Sinoe, Southeast Liberia. Funded by the United States Agency for International development, the project was an emergency program to help Liberian communities protect themselves and access care.

To ensure that information disseminated by ECAP reflected and responded to a real-time understanding of developments on the ground, the program partnered with more than 79 community organizations, which assembled more than 800 community mobilizers for the program. Mercy Corps provided mobilizers with smartphones and technical training so they could disseminate lifesaving information and collect real-time data at the community level.

Funder: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)  & Mercy Corps
Duration: 2014-2015
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector: Capacity Building & Knowledge Transfer

The challenge:

The Western African Ebola virus epidemic (2013–2016) was the most widespread outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in history—causing major loss of life and socioeconomic disruption in the region, mainly in the countries of GuineaLiberia, and Sierra Leone. The first cases were recorded in Guinea in December 2013; later, the disease spread to neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone, with minor outbreaks occurring elsewhere. It caused significant mortality, with the case fatality rate reported which was initially considerable, while the rate among hospitalized patients was 57–59%, the final numbers 28,616 people, including 11,310 deaths, for a case-fatality rate of 40%. 

The intervention

In response to the Ebola outbreak in 2014, VOSIEDA collaborated with Mercy Corps to implement the he Ebola Community Action Platform (ECAP) in Sinoe, Southeast Liberia. Funded by the United States Agency for International development, the project was an emergency program to help Liberian communities protect themselves and access care.

To ensure that information disseminated by ECAP reflected and responded to a real-time understanding of developments on the ground, the program partnered with more than 79 community organizations, which assembled more than 800 community mobilizers for the program. Mercy Corps provided mobilizers with smartphones and technical training so they could disseminate lifesaving information and collect real-time data at the community level.

Key facts

Sector: Capacity Building and Knowledge Transfer

Domain: Fragile state and Pubic Health
Benefiting zone: Liberia
Nature:  Action grant
Duration: 2015
Status: completed

Funder: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)  & Mercy Corps
Duration: 2015-2017
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector: Capacity Building & Knowledge Transfer

View summary and details of this project below:

Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone were the three countries most affected by the 2014–2016 EVD outbreak. This, in turn, led to the collapse of multiple government systems in each country, including health, agriculture, democracy and governance, trade and markets, and education, many of which were already fragile before the crisis. In Liberia, the population suffered significant second-order impacts on household welfare, human development, and their economy. As the U.S. Government (USG) lead for the post-EVD recovery, USAID designed, implemented, and oversaw activities with the objectives of preventing the loss of development gains; recover and strengthen existing institutions and infrastructures; and build sustainable systems through public-private partnerships, innovation, and capacity building.

Economic Recovery from Ebola for Liberia (EREL) I & II were part of USAID supported programs, implemented by Mercy Crops and partners,  to support the most vulnerable households which have been affected by the Ebola epidemic in Lofa, Margibi, Montserrado and Nimba counties through unconditional cash transfers and vouchers for farm inputs. VOSIEDA and mercy Corp collaborated on this project in Liberia’s northern Lofa County.

The cash transfers sought to cover 50% of the food needs of a family of five over eight months in response to food price increases and depleted food stocks due to the Ebola crisis. In addition, vouchers for critical agricultural inputs were also distributed for smallholder farmers, specifically to Nimba and Lofa counties. As part of these activities, ongoing monitoring of the quality and quantity of food and input supply, as well as local market fluctuation monitoring were carried out.

Funder: United States Agency for International Development (USAID) & Mercy Corps
Duration: 2015-2017
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector: Capacity Building & Knowledge Transfer

The Challenge

Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone were the three countries most affected by the 2014–2016 EVD outbreak. This, in turn, led to the collapse of multiple government systems in each country, including health, agriculture, democracy and governance, trade and markets, and education, many of which were already fragile before the crisis. In Liberia, the population suffered significant second-order impacts on household welfare, human development, and their economy. As the U.S. Government (USG) lead for the post-EVD recovery, USAID designed, implemented, and oversaw activities with the objectives of preventing the loss of development gains; recover and strengthen existing institutions and infrastructures; and build sustainable systems through public-private partnerships, innovation, and capacity building.

The Intervention

Economic Recovery from Ebola for Liberia (EREL) I & II were part of USAID supported programs, implemented by Mercy Crops and partners,  to support the most vulnerable households which have been affected by the Ebola epidemic in Lofa, Margibi, Montserrado and Nimba counties through unconditional cash transfers and vouchers for farm inputs. VOSIEDA and mercy Corp collaborated on this project in Liberia’s northern Lofa County.

The cash transfers sought to cover 50% of the food needs of a family of five over eight months in response to food price increases and depleted food stocks due to the Ebola crisis. In addition, vouchers for critical agricultural inputs were also distributed for smallholder farmers, specifically to Nimba and Lofa counties. As part of these activities, ongoing monitoring of the quality and quantity of food and input supply, as well as local market fluctuation monitoring were carried out.

Key facts

Sector: Capacity Building and Knowledge Transfer
Domain: Agriculture, Food security, and Unconditional Cash Transfer
Benefiting zone: Liberia
Nature:  Action grant
Duration: 2015-2017
Status: completed

Development Media

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Our Development Media Program runs radio, television and mobile campaigns to change behaviors and improve lives in Liberia and the Mano River Union.

Funder: VOSIEDA & Private Donations
Duration: 2010 – 2020
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector: Development media

View summary and details of this project below:

 

VOSIEDA is undertaking an ongoing campaign in Liberia to prevent child trafficking for force labor and sexual exploitation. This campaign uses radio, mobile and televisions platforms to raise awareness and to inform communities about human trafficking and it related human rights crisis in Liberia. We raise awareness about the forms that child trafficking and exploitation takes. We empower young people through education and public information campaigns to take the lead in anti-human trafficking efforts. We also fight for legislation that will protect children who are commercially and sexually exploited as well as engaging the private sector, such as companies about child trafficking and exploitation.

Funder: VOSIEDA Core Funds & Private Donors
Duration: 2009 – Present
Region: Western Africa
Country: Liberia
Sector: Development Media

The challenge

Trafficking in human beings (also called human trafficking) is one method of obtaining slaves. Victims are typically recruited through deceit or trickery (such as a false job offer, false migration offer, or false marriage offer), sale by family members, recruitment by former slaves, or outright abduction. Victims are forced into a “debt slavery” situation by coercion, deception, fraud, intimidation, isolation, threat, physical force, debt bondage or even force-feeding with drugs of abuse to control their victims. “Annually, according to U.S. Government-sponsored research completed in 2006, approximately 800,000 people are trafficked across national borders, which does not include millions trafficked within their own countries. Approximately 80 percent of transnational victims are women and girls and up to 50 percent are minors,” reports the U.S. Department of State in a 2008 study.

Whilst the majority of victims are women and children, who are forced into prostitution (in which case the practice is called sex trafficking), victims also include men, women and children who are forced into manual labor.  Due to the illegal nature of human trafficking, its exact extent is unknown.

In Liberia, human trafficking is illegal, but very prevalent. All trade in human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor, is a modern-day form of slavery. It is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest, after the drug-trade. It is widely practice in west Africa including Liberia.  

The Intervention

VOSIEDA is undertaking an ongoing campaign in Liberia to prevent child trafficking for force labor and sexual exploitation. This campaign uses radio, mobile and televisions platforms to raise awareness and to inform communities about human trafficking and it related human rights crisis in Liberia. We raise awareness about the forms that child trafficking and exploitation takes. We empower young people through education and public information campaigns to take the lead in anti-human trafficking efforts. We also fight for legislation that will protect children who are commercially and sexually exploited as well as engaging the private sector, such as companies about child trafficking and exploitation.

Key facts

Sector: Development media
Domain: Human Rights (Human Trafficking & Contemporary Slavery)
Benefiting zone: Liberia
Nature:  Campaign
Duration: ten year
Status: ongoing

Register to volunteer

VOSIEDA is working to move communities beyond dependency and aid in West Africa’s Mano River Basin (Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone). If you share this passion with us, then you might be a perfect fit! As a volunteer, you will educate others about the realities of extreme poverty, so they too can be inspired to make a difference. Please fill the form below to get in contact.​

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