The paper looks at the AGI Liberia Governance Team’s support for President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s landmark 150 day plan, which kicked off the President’s second term in 2012.
The case charts the origins and execution of the plan which set the ambitious aim of achieving 85 actions within the first 150 days of President Sirleaf’s new government. By the end of the period, the government completed 74 percent of the targeted actions including renovating roads and other major infrastructure and launching a number of important social programs.
How did the Liberian Government accomplish so much in such a short period? This is the question at the heart of this case and AGI’s Insight and Learning Practice more broadly. The aim is to analyze our experience working with central governments in Africa to develop lessons for our future work, our partner governments and the wider international development community. On the latter, we hope this learning can contribute to an emerging discussion around how aid programmes can support constructive institutional reform and engage governance constraints to help produce results.
The top lessons for governments and development partners from the 150 day plan include the importance of:
• Recognizing and capitalizing on moments of political opportunity – such as at the start of the new presidential term – to achieve change
• Using multiple mechanisms to drive the implementation of reforms. In this case, the Liberian Government successfully mobilized a 150 day plan steering committee, a presidential delivery unit and its communications team to collectively push for results.
• The importance of accountability. The Government of Liberia welcomed civil society scrutiny of the 150 day plan which enabled one particular NGO to track and report on the plan’s progress. This case argues that this created a constructive pressure on the Liberian Government.
Marta Foresti, Head of Governance at the Overseas Development Institute, has written a response to the case study outlining her thoughts on it. Speaking about the piece she says: “This case study offers a rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of what is behind the scenes of policy reform processes, something which is often not documented or at best only hinted at in case studies of this kind.”
Photography:Aktiv I Oslo.no