The Joint Office initiative
Toward this effort, the United Nations in Liberia set up a joint office in Voinjama in Lofa County in June 2008 and more recently, opened a second office in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County early 2009, offering the opportunity to share office space and resources as well as potential to achieve greater synergy in the UN’s interventions. The UN team in Liberia is however advocating and working on developing clearly defined areas for prioritized interventions beyond the physical aspects of a joint office.
A joint UN team has identified youth as a focus for joint programming during the first phase. Capacity building/training, HIV/AIDS and Peacebuilding were identified as other areas in which joint programming will take place, based on the County Development Agendas.
Some of the other aspects of the ‘working together’ effort will include:
- Developing a joint Work Plan for 2009 that feeds into the government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) and the CDAs, using the expertise of the various agencies operational in the district.
- Closer cooperation amongst agencies, even if some projects with specific project activities continue parallel to general programming
- Pooled funding
- Revised Terms Of Reference for all staff
- Joint assessments
- Integration of implementing partners
The Joint Office initiative is expected to be replicated in other districts in a phased process.