• Type: KPMG information
  • Date: 1/22/2014

Strengthening local capacities to improve governance, accountability and public participation in six border districts in the Mano River Union countries 

Since 2008, Conciliation Resources has been working with the West African Centre for Capacity Building (CENCAD) and the Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD)1 in the Mano River region to increase ‘government accountability in conflict zones through public participation in policymaking’. Conciliation Resources’ five-year project, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) under its ‘Governance and Transparency Fund’ (GTF), has focused on four regions, each of which suffer from weak governance structures and have been characterised by persistent insecurity.
Drawing on relationships developed with civil society partners in West Africa since 1996, Conciliation Resources has been able to engage with marginalised communities in developing an in-depth conflict analysis and identifying potential routes to sustained peace. This report has been drawn from shared learning sessions between Conciliation Resources and its partners and highlights processes and lessons learnt in implementing the project.


Context - governance in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea


More than ten years since the end of civil war in the region, wealth and decision-making powers remain the preserve of a powerful few in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. Whilst the destruction of infrastructure through war has attracted high levels of government and donor investment to restore community services, in some cases introducing these for the first time to marginalised border areas, significant numbers of citizens continue to be excluded from decisions around how these public funds are spent and monitored. Communities living in marginalised areas across the three countries continue to suffer from poor access to healthcare, education, communication, housing, trade and job opportunities.