"Empowering Communities"-UNDP Drives Awareness on Human Security Project
August 15, 2023
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) successfully conducted a comprehensive three-day workshop in Gompa City, Nimba County, aimed at enhancing digital literacy and community engagement on the critical topic of Human Security. The initiative focused on training key project stakeholders to grasp the essence of the Human Security framework and harness digital technology to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This training, which took place from August 9th to 11th, 2023, was conducted in collaboration with UN agencies including the International Labour Organization (ILO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP), and UN Women, all deeply engaged in the Human Security Project.
Marking the third in a series, this workshop targeted untouched communities, from earlier sessions in Gbarnga and Saclepea. The core objective was to foster a heightened awareness of the Human Security Project and solicit context-specific solutions from stakeholders. These solutions will be instrumental in addressing the multidimensional human security challenges faced by diverse communities, anchored in the framework of the SDGs.
During the inaugural ceremony, Amos Suah, the Mayor of Gompa City, underscored the importance of maintaining peace and avoiding violence, irrespective of political affiliations, especially as the country approaches elections. Mayor Suah urged participants to carry this message back to their families and communities, emphasizing the pivotal role of peaceful coexistence in nation-building.
Czar Parley, the focal point for Human Security at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, provided a succinct overview of the Human Security Project. Parley revealed that the initiative is set to directly benefit 3,000 individuals and indirectly impact 10,000 beneficiaries, encompassing women, youth, People living with Disabilities (PWDs) and vulnerable people with special needs. The project's timeline spans three years.
Robert Dorliae, the UNDP focal point for the Human Security Project, expounded on the concept of the smart village, highlighting its potential to elevate the quality of life for community residents through enhanced access to essential social services. Dorliae mentioned that plans for energy supply for the smart villages will be harnessed via solar power, which will also contribute to the energy needs of local businesses.
He cautioned against overemphasising internet connectivity as a solution for smart villages, citing the example of how agricultural decisions could be influenced by environmental factors rather than digital connectivity.
Stanley Kamara, Senior National Economist at UNDP, delved into the distinctions of Human Security programming and approaches. Kamara emphasized that education in this sphere is instrumental in fostering inclusive and sustainable development.
He positioned the Human Security project as a collaborative initiative within the United Nations Sustainable Cooperation framework, aligned with Liberia's national development agenda.
Danieletta Sleyon, Executive Director of the Foundation for Human Rights and Democracy, emphasized gender mainstreaming and human rights integration for a more equitable society. Sleyon stressed the importance of legal literacy, urging participants to familiarize themselves with Liberia's constitution and legal instruments to protect their rights.
Sleyon spoke about ongoing advocacy efforts to incorporate civic education into the national curriculum, with the aim of educating future generations about their rights and responsibilities as citizens.
The workshop brought together 63 participants from various counties, including Salayea in Lofa County, Bahn and Zuluyee in Nimba County, and Botota in Bong County. The diverse group included commissioners, City Mayors, youth and women leaders, district health and agriculture officers, school principals, and representatives of people with special needs.
The event served as a platform for open dialogue, where state and non-state actors, civil society representatives, farming communities, health practitioners, and educators shared their experiences and challenges in leveraging digital technology within their communities.
The training underscored the significance of community-level initiatives in fostering inclusivity and security with a focus on digital literacy and community engagement with local stakeholders and project communities.