first_imgSEARCH, SIDA and CSOs officialsSearch for Common Ground Liberia/Talking Drum Studio (SEARCH) has ended a five-year project entitled “Strengthening the Capacity of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to Promote Sustainable Governance in Liberia.”Funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), the project was designed to encourage CSOs to promote a sustained democratic culture, the protection of human rights and the inclusion of citizens in decision-making. The original project was initially scheduled for November 1, 2012, to October 31, 2015, but ultimately occurred from November 1, 2012, to July 31, 2017.With a funding of US$4,526,009, the project was conducted in four thematic areas: decentralization, security sector reform, natural resource management and electoral reform, with four mutually supportive objectives.The reforms were to increase the programmatic capacity of partner-CSOs and community-based organizations (CBOs) to engage the state on targeted reform areas; to increase the institutional and financial capacity of CSOs and CBOs for sustained engagement with state institutions.  They were also intended to strengthen networking and collaboration among CSOs and CBOs at national and county levels; and to increase information-sharing and dialogue between citizens and state institutions and CSOs/CBOs at national and county levels.Search Liberia Country Director Aaron Weah admitted that there were multiple expected results from the project. “How did we go about with this capacity building program? We went about it, first, by doing a self-assessment of each of these organizations to identify, institutionally, the priority areas and how we can work together to strengthen these areas of capacity.“So after doing a self-assessment and drawing-out the key areas of priorities, we were able to jointly work with these partners to set out what we referred to as benchmarks. So we set a benchmark for six months. After 11 months, we brought somebody from our West Africa region to conduct a mid-term evaluation to see the initial results,” Weah explained in an overview of the project.Sweden’s Ambassador to Liberia Ingrid Wetterqvist said Sweden has a keen interest in the promotion of civil society, especially Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions – with targets to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.She said Liberia needs a strong civil society to strengthen the rule of law and work on its development challenges. “Why does Sweden support civil society? Civil societies built Sweden. You might not believe it today, but some 150 years ago, a quarter of our population actually immigrated to the United States. People came together in churches and various associations to work against alcohol [consumption] and sobriety.“Alcohol was a huge developmental problem in Sweden at the time. These movements, also in the churches, turned into political movements. And there was a mobilization of trade unions and workers and there was a deal done between the few big companies and the mining workers, who were working in these companies.“And the deal was to formulate the labor market and contribution to taxes. And the outcome was the building of a society for the well-being of the core of the masses. So schooling is very important; healthcare is very important,” she stressed.The national chairperson of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia, Frances R. Deigh Greaves, commended Sweden for having partnered with SEARCH.The project took place in Montserrado, Nimba, Bong, Grand Bassa and Grand Gedeh counties among 10 partners, including National Youth Movement for Transparent Elections (Naymote) and Security Sector Reform Working Group (SSRWG) from 2012-2017, and Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) from 2012-2014.The county partners were Bassa Women Development Association (BAWODA) from 2012-2017; Bong’s Center for Justice and Peace Studies (CJPS) from 2012-2014; and Nimba-based Special Emergency Activity to Restore Hope (Search) from 2012-2014.Others were Grand Bassa Youth Caucus (BYC); Community Development and Research Agency (CODRA) of Bong; Effective Activity to Restore Stability for the Masses (EARS) of Nimba; and Gender Peace Network (GPN) of Grand Gedeh, who benefited from 2016-2017 respectively.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Locomotives won’t be allowed to idle longer than 30 minutes under rules adopted Friday by the region’s smog-fighting agency, a move that could trigger a showdown between local regulators and the railroads. “San Bernardino County is the worst polluted area in our purview. I’m sure by the close of business Monday we’ll have a lawsuit on these two rules,” said Chino Mayor Dennis Yates, who sits on the South Coast Air Quality Management District board in Diamond Bar. Yates joined a unanimous vote to require locomotives to shut down if they idle longer than 30 minutes and force railroads to keep records of all periods of idling that exceed that length. The rules are meant to cut down on pollution from the massive diesel engines at rail yards throughout Southern California, including Union Pacific’s Colton yard, and BNSF Railway’s yard in San Bernardino. Officials estimate that eliminating unnecessary idling by the hundreds of locomotives in the region each year will cut 23 tons of fine particles from the air, particles that have proven to be the most deadly form of air pollution. It would also reduce the annual pollution of oxides of nitrogen by 493 tons. Railroads oppose the rules because they’re stricter than requirements in a widely criticized agreement that Union Pacific and BNSF struck with the state Air Resources Board in June 2005. Environmentalists and AQMD officials have staunchly opposed that agreement, arguing it was negotiated in secret without public input, and that it’s not enforceable. The deal also contains a “poison pill” provision, meaning if any local air district enacts rules tougher than those in the agreement, the railroads can step away from it. The railroads and state officials have argued the agreement is the best way to slash deadly pollution quickly because both sides are cooperating. The deal with the state requires locomotives to restrict idling that runs longer than 60 minutes, and has much broader exceptions than the AQMD rules. “The requirements duplicate and contradict those in the June (agreement),” said LaDonna DiCamillo, representing BNSF and the Association of American Railroads. She couldn’t say after the meeting if the railroads will go to court to challenge the new rules. The railroads are committed to a strict program of cutting down on unnecessary idling, Railroads association spokesman Kirk Marckwald, said by telephone from San Francisco. All new locomotives are equipped with anti-idling, or automatic shutdown, features, and there should be more than 200 of those new locomotives in the state by the end of the year, he said. The railroads will continue to comply with the state agreement and would not use the AQMD decision as an excuse to bail out of the deal, Marckwald said. State officials said the AQMD rules don’t necessarily conflict with the agreement. “The railroads can comply or they can contest the rules,” said Karen Caesar, a spokeswoman for the Air Resources Board. The state board last week rejected a proposal to cancel the agreement, despite pressure from AQMD officials, environmentalists and community groups. Rachel Lopez of Mira Loma in Riverside County, told the board Friday, “Our community is inundated by air pollution.” Friday’s hearing included emotional testimony from residents of the city of Commerce, who said they have seen numerous friends die of lung and throat cancer. “A lot of seniors already have breathing problems. We don’t need more pollution,” said 68-year-old Commerce resident Anna Arriola. andrew.silva@sbsun.com (909) 386-3856last_img read more

first_imgRamelton soccer star Barry McNamee now has a host of English clubs looking for his signature this summer.The 21 year old Derry City player was under the spotlight at the Brandywell last Friday night when Derry beat Shamrock Rovers 2-1.All the top clubs had scouts there to watch the player as he turned in a super performance once again. Derry are fighting to hold onto the star when the transfer season opens this summer but if they have to let him go they will be looking for at least €350,000 for his signature.That was the price which Sunderland paid for James McClean to Derry which was a record fee at the time.But Derry City value the young Donegal lad very highly as he is only beginning to show his true potential.“We won’t stand in Barry’s way if he wishes to join an English club but we certainly won’t be letting him go on the cheap,” said a Brandywell source. RAMELTON’S MCNAMEE CHASED BY NEWCASTLE, SUNDERLAND, NORWICH, LEEDS AND NOTTS FOREST! was last modified: April 23rd, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Barry McNameederry cityNewcastleNotts ForestRameltonSUnderlandlast_img read more