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Area Studies


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ICIS/IDN Project in Liberia

ICIS has taken a keen interest in the process of Liberian recovery and, over the past two years, has been establishing and developing contact networks with Liberians from civil society, government, humanitarian organizations, and the Liberian scholarly community. The workshop held in Monrovia in June 2008 focused on Liberian non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) involved in the recovery effort. It specifically examined the major challenges to the professional development of Liberians working in these organizations and agencies under the auspices of international funding. 

ICIS worked closely with Liberia Democracy Watch, a well-established Liberian democracy and human rights NGO to organize the two-day workshop. The event brought together twenty-five leaders of Liberian NGOs, NGO staff members, educators, and government officials. Proceedings were introduced by the Liberian Minister of Information, Dr. Laurence K. Bropleh. The workshop was co-led by Bruce Knauft, executive director of ICIS, and George Wah Williams, executive director of Liberia Democracy Watch.

The goal of the workshop was to develop a research plan to investigate the challenges to and best-practices of Liberian professionalization during national recovery.  Spirited and engaged discussion revealed much about the resource needs and competing professional demands faced by dedicated NGO workers and leaders in Liberia.  The workshop generated ideas for practical investigation of this issue that may be developed later in larger scale research.

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