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Development Conference Builds Technical Evidence Base in Liberia

Tanya Garnett, Monica Gadkari
Finalist RibbonWith the upcoming election in November 2017, USAID/Liberia and the Embassy of Sweden, in cooperation with the University of Liberia, thought leaders and multilateral and bilateral donors, decided to organize the first Liberia Development Conference (LDC) to disseminate information about key development challenges and discuss potential solutions. The goal was to stimulate a national, evidence-based dialogue that would contribute both to the platforms of contesting political parties and to USAID/Liberia’s upcoming Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS).  
The conference was organized around 38 analytical papers, which were written, presented and discussed by a wide range of Liberian development stakeholders. More than 400 stakeholders, representing state institutions (executive, legislature and judiciary), civil society organizations, the private sector, international organizations, development partners and donors, attended the two-day conference. The conference included a mix of plenary and parallel sessions, which were chaired by eminent Liberians such as ministers and other dignitaries from academic, national and international institutions.
The result was that USAID/Liberia emerged as a major leader in Liberia for an evidence-based and collaborative development strategy. The Mission expanded its network within the country, demonstrated an openness and commitment to relationship building, and, in the process, ensured that it would have a strong evidence base to begin the analytical phase of its own CDCS.

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