In a joint project with the UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights, CESR worked in Liberia training local authorities, civil society and UN staff (including OHCHR in Liberia) to monitor budgets and public policies from a human rights perspective, with a focus on monitoring economic and social rights.
One of the main objectives of the training workshop in Liberia was to share knowledge and build capacity on how to integrate human rights principles and standards into the design, implementation and evaluation of public policies, especially policies focused on poverty eradication, health and education. Fulfilling economic and social rights requires putting human rights at the center of these policies – as well as evaluating their outcomes, such as Liberia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, in relation to the realization of these rights.
The training workshop took place in Liberia at the end of November 2009 and was an important opportunity for local authorities and civil society to come together to build new alliances for sharing experiences and information. It also focused on ways to improve systems for monitoring and evaluating development outcomes. During the week-long workshop, participants had the chance to develop their understanding of human rights, the importance of human rights to international development and how to monitor government policy and budget processes from a human rights perspective. This included testing and applying practical tools to collect and analyze data on the outputs and outcomes of policies and budgets, including using tools such as community scorecards and World Bank surveys of public services (PETS). The trainings also included a practical session on building strategies for advocacy purposes.
Current CESR work in Liberia
As a follow up to this training, during 2010 and 2011 CESR has been conducting research on the situation of economic, social and cultural rights in Liberia. The objective of this research is to produce a report that can inform advocacy activities around Liberia's presentation before UN committees in 2012.