The accent on collaboration in the UN’s operations in Liberia has fostered some of the most joined-up thinking of any mission anywhere in the world. The UN in Liberia is increasingly working through joint United Nations programmes where United Nations agencies work closely in preparation, implementation, and evaluation. That includes undertaking joint needs-assessments, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, collaborative decision-making, and a streamlined dialogue with partners. Members of the UN family plan and execute as parts of an organic whole, drawing on the knowledge, best practices and comparative advantages of each other and external partners in search of collaborative solutions, rather than performing unilaterally, as has often been the tendency in the past.
Where a particular theme is taken up by government, the flexibility of the UN family (UNCT and UNMIL – an integrated mission) on the ground means that a combination of its relevant parts can coalesce around that theme, to nurture and support it. The joint programme is also a means for strengthening the United Nations development arm, ensuring that a United Nations presence is sustained in the counties as humanitarian agencies and UNMIL draw down.
Currently the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) which sets out the UN response to the Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy outlines six joint programmes – support to the counties (CST), food security and nutrition (FSN), prevention and response to sexual gender-based violence (SGBV), gender equality and women's economic empowerment (GEWEE), youth employment and empowerment (YEE), justice and security, and HIV/AIDS – that are being delivered jointly.
Food Security and Nutrition
Poverty and hunger are drivers and consequences of conflict. Achieving food security would allow Liberia to reach the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) while contributing significantly to the reduction of child mortality and the improvement of maternal health. Project Document : Fact Sheet
Sexual Gender-Based Violence (GBV)
This joint programme was developed to support the national GBV multisectoral plan of action and build on existing interventions in a more complementary and comprehensive manner. The programme has five pillars, with a specific outcome in each: psychological, to ensure enhanced psychosocial well-being for sexual GBV survivors; medical, to ensure improved medical well-being of sexual GBV survivors; legal, to strengthen the criminal justice system to effectively respond to sexual GBV; security/protection, to establish an integrated security and protection system to prevent and manage sexual GBV; and coordination, to strengthen capacity-building and management mechanisms to address sexual GBV, including improved information and data management systems.
Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment
The programme is focusing on strengthened policy processes, coordination, and accountability mechanisms for gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, along with capacity development for government actors and civil society to ensure accountable implementation of these policies, as well as specific interventions to strengthen women’s economic empowerment. Project Document : Fact Sheet
Youth empowerment and employment
Young Liberians play a crucial role in making the transition from war to peace. Creating an enabling environment for youth is therefore at the core of the recovery and development challenges. Many United Nations actors work with youth as a target group, justifying a joint programme that would bring interventions together under a comprehensive approach, with improved access to youth employment as a priority area.
The government has developed a National Youth Policy Action Plan that serves as a framework to ensure the implementation of the youth policy. The joint programme supports the government’s efforts through four major components: policy and institutional support to government and civil society, especially youth-led organizations; education, training and life skills development for empowerment of young women and men; enterprise and entrepreneurial development; and employment creation. Fact Sheet
The United Nations in Liberia is committed to supporting the government’s decentralization efforts. It has therefore established CSTs in each county, aimed at ensuring a coherent and consolidated United Nations approach to addressing county challenges, supporting government, in particular the superintendent’s office, and building capacity of government institutions so that they can increasingly assume responsibility for security, reconstruction, growth and development. Project Document : Fact Sheet
HIV and AIDS
The United Nations in Liberia has agreed to direct its HIV and AIDS support through one joint programme. This approach is guided by an urgency to ensure the government is supported adequately in achieving objectives for scaling up towards universal access to HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support services for those infected and affected.