A total of fifty stakeholders drawn from amongst Community Radios, Local Authorities and Civil Society actors have received a participatory governance and political accountability training in Todee and Careysburg districts. At the end of the training sessions, participants have expressed thanks to Center for Media Studies and Peacebuilding, (CEMESP) in partnership with-IREX for what they termed as unprecedented engagement leading to enlightenment about their civic rights and responsibilities.
This project is an extension of the Civil Society Media Leadership project objective three which seeks to mend cracks amongst the cited stakeholders grouping.
All participants in the two rural Monsterrado districts have acknowledged the fact the training objective was well founded, indicating in their appraisal forms that the five days engagement has sown the seed for constructive engagement in positively impacting local development aspirations and interventions.
Leading the training was CEMESP’s Program officer Albert Baron Ansu assisted by Program Assistant Tennen B Dalieh, with back up from Attorney Alphonsus Zeon of the Carter Center Access to Information project and Media Development Specialist, K. AbdullaiKamara.
As it were in related antecedent training counties inclusive of Bong, Nimba, Lofa, River Gee, Grand Bassa, and Grand Gedeh, content of the rural Monsterrado training was based on a manual developed by CEMESP and validated by partner CSOs. The said manual entails modules on Governance and Principles, Leadership, Governance and Corruption, Dependency, Advocacy Tools and Skills, Legislative Process, FOI Law, Budget Cycle, Human Rights, among other issues.
Training methodology was highly interactive allowing participants to go into groups and brainstorm on issues that require consensus building. Sufficient reading materials were distributed to participants as future reference materials to help the capacity building effort for stakeholders to understand and efficiently play their roles.
In the training package was a radio magazine template County Development Watch. It is the legacy of sustained practical application of all that has been transmitted to stakeholders using two radios Voice of Rural Montserrado in Bentol and Shaita FM in Careysburg. Community Radio Journalists from the two stations were mentored on the use of the said radio template and provided incentive to produce and broadcast weekly magazine series around community issues of relevance to participatory governance and political accountability.
In Todee and Careysburg Budget Advocacy networks were constituted from amongst the stakeholders as an inspiration that stemmed from the workshops.