Offering technical support to the Liberian civil service

Project:
Liberia Civil Service Capacity Building Project (CISCAB)
Location:
West Africa
Supporting the Civil Service Agency, Governance Commission and Liberia Institute of Public Administration

In 2004, the Liberian National Transitional Government inherited a dysfunctional civil service characterised by at least three layers of political appointees, a weak Civil Service Agency, overlapping mandates and functions and outdated organisational structures. It also suffered from outdated human resource management policies and practices, inadequate compensation, a low skill base, poor leadership and management capability, a patronage culture and a lack of incentives to motivate performance. These problems were a severe handicap for the new administration, so with funding from the Department for International Development, in 2007, in partnership with local sub-contractor Subah-Belles Associates, we were contracted to implement the Liberia Civil Service Capacity Building Project (CISCAB).

From this very low base, the CISCAB Project was able to assist the government in establishing a momentum for sustainable civil service reform, to be implemented consistently across government in the medium-term. We worked with the three central government institutions collectively responsible for civil service management, reform and capacity development: the Civil Service Agency, Governance Commission and Liberia Institute of Public Administration.

Our team supported these institutions as they developed a medium-term civil service reform strategy, following a highly collaborative process, and provided oversight and coordination of this strategy. We then restructured the Civil Service Agency, ensured a consistent approach to mandate and functional reviews across government, established the foundation for modern human resource management and strengthened management of training.

These reforms supported Liberia’s administration in tackling the challenges of good governance with a stronger administrative basis, enabling them to address better the problems affecting local people.