Our Project

Strengthening Independent Media and Freedom of Information in Liberia

Project Background

Our Vision for the Media Environment in Liberia is “Free Press, and Safe Spaces.”  The project’s premise on the reality that journalists’ ability to report freely on public interest matters is a crucial indicator of democracy. A free press can inform citizens of their leaders’ successes or failures, convey the people’s needs and desires to government bodies, and provide a platform for exchanging information and ideas. When media freedom is restricted, these vital functions break down, leading to poor decision-making and harmful outcomes for leaders and citizens alike.

In support of democracy and good governance, Liberia enacted ‘Freedom of Information (FOI) Law in 2010. Article 15 of the Liberia Constitution provides for freedom of expression and the press, but these rights are often limited in practice. Libel charges continued to be leveled against media houses and journalists while existing regulatory bodies are largely ineffective, and media self-regulatory mechanisms are not yet developed. Liberian journalists still face physical violence, threats, and intimidation in their work. Besides, despite the interesting place on public information, citizen’s demand for public information remains largely latent due to a lack of awareness of information rights, low government transparency, and little sense of how to find information or how to use it to effect change.

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Project Intervention Logic

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President of the University of Liberia (UL),  Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson Jr. give the keynote address at the project inception meeting at the University’s Auditorium on June 15th, 2021, in Monrovia, Liberia

The project will strengthen independent media and freedom of information in Liberia. Primarily, it will improve the environment for press freedom, journalistic safety, and self-regulation through favorable policies and practices; and enhanced journalists’ and CSO’s awareness and networking. It will also foster active citizen demand for transparency of the media and of government activity while bolstering CSOs, media, and government collaborations in accessing and using public data.

In practice, the project will facilitate the establishment of a national journalist peer support network, and train journalists, and bloggers in legal know-how, and personal safety. It will sensitize civil society, and communities about the statutory provisions of Article 15 of the Liberian Constitution, and the 2010 Freedom of Information Act. It targets 70% of women journalists and media organizations across Liberia and will partner with the Department of Media and Communication of the University of Liberia and the Press Union of Liberia. Each partner will be supported to provide specialized services.

Expected Outcome and Impact

When implemented, the project will address most Liberians’ needs, especially youth, women, and other vulnerable groups with pessimistic government views:  even though the Government does not explicitly marginalize a particularly vulnerable group in Liberia, the recent conflict has weakened trust and social cohesion and resulted in low associational activity levels. It has also led to a lingering fear of authority and a deep desire for peace and social harmony.

Project Duration

         June 1st, 2021 – May 31st, 2023 

questions and Answers

We envisage healthy and prosperous societies where there is no extreme poverty, where communities are committed to caring for nature, where justice, dignity, and respect prevail for all.

Our mission to promote prosperity, reduce extreme poverty, and strengthen peace and stability in Liberia and West Africa’s Mano River Union Basin region: Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.

VOSIEDA is a grassroot partnership of development professionals and volunteers working to protect the environment, tackle extreme poverty and inequality; and empower communities to achieve sustainable development in Liberia and the Mano River Basin region: Liberia, Guinea, Serra Leone.

Our work is primarily focused on saving the planet and fighting extreme poverty among women, youth, children, and other excluded groups. We advance community solutions to address development challenges and empower local people to care for nature that sustains all lives. Link: Our Approach – VOSIEDA

Volunteers for Sustainable Development in Africa work in Liberia and West Africa’s Mano River Union Basin including Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. We work with indigenous communities, governments, and partners to eradicate all forms of poverty, wherever it exists. Our vision is to promote sustainable development to end extreme poverty. Link: Where we work – VOSIEDA

We are keen on results-based monitoring and evaluation to measure our impacts because everything that we do, we seek to promote prosperity, reduce poverty, and enhance stability. We exist to generate positive impacts in the lives of local communities struck in extreme poverty in Liberia and the Mano River Basin region. It is therefore curtailed that we measure the impacts that we have achieved in each of our projects and programs. This allows us to prioritize the highest impact programs and projects, and phase out low-impact programs and projects, thereby constantly enabling us to improve the impacts of our services. Kindly follow this link to about how our key achievements: Impacts & Successes – VOSIEDA

Volunteers for Sustainable Development in Africa (VOSIEDA) is a Liberian development organization that works in Liberia and West Africa’s Mano River Union Basin region: Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. Link: Who Are We – VOSIEDA

We support grassroots efforts to strengthen independent media and freedom of information in Liberia and the sub-region. Besides, we deliver technical and advisory services to local communities, the private sector, and civil society to enhance their development results. Link: Capacity Building & Skills Transfer – VOSIEDA

Accountability, transparency, ethics, integrity, and compliance are central to our organization and are at the core of how we interact with our donors, partners, volunteers, beneficiaries, and vendors. These values are embodied in our ethics and compliance policies, which are affirmed by our Board of Directors, and applied across the entire organization. Link: Ethics & integrity – VOSIEDA

It is just impossible to attain any of the global ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’ in Liberia or the sub-region without a wide range of people engaged at all stages, at all levels, always. Volunteerism is a powerful means for bringing more people together to work on common development goals. Therefore, VOSIEDA uses volunteerism and volunteers to engage greater numbers of people in local and national planning and actions in Liberia and the Mono River Union Basin region. Link: Volunteer – VOSIEDA

Establishing a partnership with another organization can occasionally be time-consuming and stressful. Nevertheless, we can promise you that creating a partnership with VOSIEDA will be greatly beneficial in helping you to make a real impact on the world around you, while also helping your business build a positive brand identity. Link: Partner With Us – VOSIEDA

Funding Partner(S)

United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF)

1 United Nations Plaza, Room DC1-1300 New York, NY 10017, USA
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Implementing Partners

Volunteers for Sustainable Development in Africa

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Press Union of Liberia (PUL)

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University of Liberia (UL)

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