Delivering on the Projects - Prioritizing the Priorities
The delivery of Government of Liberia’s priority projects has now taken on a multifaceted approach, wherein multiple agencies of government collaborate to achieve the singular objective of proper implementation. To monitor progress on, and ensure the delivery of projects that have major socioeconomic impacts on the people of Liberia, there is a Unit, embedded in the Office of the President, aptly titled the President’s Delivery Unit (PDU). The PDU works to ensure the timely delivery of projects by monitoring and coordinating the work of implementing ministries and agencies; identifying and resolving bottlenecks to timely delivery; and providing daily briefings to the President on project progress.
The President’s Delivery Unit – History, Objective and Direction
The PDU was created in August 2009. The justification for having such a Unit within the Office of the President, derived from the need to have direct Presidential oversight of specific projects. It should be clearly stated, that the Unit does not play an implementing role but rather a supporting one, and is continuously cognizant of the fact that the primary responsibility for implementation and delivery of these projects lies with the implementing ministries and agencies. What makes the PDU useful, however, is the influence the Unit brings to bear due to its proximity to the President. The Head of the Unit also serves as Deputy Chief of Staff to the President and sits in on Cabinet meetings, and is therefore in a position to establish the necessary relationships with Ministers, Heads of Agencies, Ambassadors, and other relevant stakeholders.
When the Unit was established in 2009, its initial priority sectors were Energy, Road and Ports – sectors that serve as foundational pieces to Liberia’s economic growth. Most recently, however, with Liberia’s battle against the Ebola Virus Disease, the President mandated an expansion of the Unit’s role to also include Water, Health and Education sectors. Still evolving, the PDU, based on recommendations contained in the post-Ebola Economic Stabilization and Recovery Plan (ESRP), will now also help to coordinate the proper implementation of selected projects within the Agriculture and Manufacturing sectors, among other areas. This added role of the Unit has obtained the endorsement of the Cabinet.