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Mercy Corps, Partners Launch
‘CSO Professional Standards Guide

By Bill W. Cooper
A Professional Standards document intended to guide Civil Society Organization (CSOs) has been launched in Liberia.
The document with focus on higher professional standards, information disclosure and financial transparency among others, is being supported by the European Union (EU).
The four years (2019-2023) Supportive Effective Advocacy in Liberia (SEAL) project is being implemented by Mercy Corps, and KVINNA KVINNA through the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL).
The NCSCL is a conglomeration of CSO within the 15 political sub-divisions of Liberia.
The well-crafted document will address two key challenges confronting CSOs and that include the need to redefine CSOs’ roles to reflect contemporary trends in development and governance approaches as well as address the fragmentation of CSOs which inhibit their ability to access critical resources and information.
The document was launched on Friday, August 26, 2022, and serving as the Chief launcher and keynote speaker, the Executive Director of the Public Health Initiative of Liberia (PHIL), Joyce L. Kilikpo, stated that production of the standards has been a collective effort.
She said civil society today includes an ever wider and more vibrant range of organized and unorganized groups that are demonstrating values as facilitators, conveners and innovators as well as service providers and advocates.
Speaking on the theme: ‘Towards an Empowered and Professional Civil Society’ Madam Kilikpo stressed, “It is more time for innovation than ever because these standards have the potential of keeping us up and innovating towards a more empowered, professional and vibrant CSO.”
According to her, by being engaged with government, businesses and international organizations, civil society actors can and should provide the resilient dynamisms the world urgently needs.
She noted, “The power and influence of civil society are growing and should be harnessed to create trust and enable actions across sectors.”
“The changes that CSOs are undergoing strongly suggest that they should no longer be viewed as “third sector” rather CSOs should be the glue that bounds public and private activities together in such a way as to strengthen the common good,” she said.
Madam Kilikpo further indicated that in playing said role, CSO actors also need to ensure that they retain their core mission, integrity, purposefulness, and high levels of trust, while at the same time urged her colleagues to ensure the full implementation of the standards.
Samuel Dargbeh from Mercy Corps expressed his institution’s excitement to have collaborated with KVINNA Till KVINNA in implementing the CSOs’ professional standard guide.
He then called on CSOs to ensure that they make full use of the professional standards document which he said will help guide them in the discharged of their functions.
Meanwhile, the NCSCL Chairperson, Loretta Aletha Pope-Kai, thanked Mercy Corps and KVINNA Till KVINNA including the EU for the funds in ensuring the successful launch of the document.

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