Leadership & Economic Empowerment - Liberia

In 2009, WCI in partnership with the Liberian Ministry of Gender and Development (MoGD), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), conducted an in-country assessment of the needs and capacities of rural women. The goal of the assessment was to provide critical information to assist with the design of a program that would support the recently established National Rural Women’s Program (NRWP) of Liberia. The program, ‘Leadership and Economic Development Program for the National Rural Women’s Program of Liberia’ was designed to improve the civic and economic participation of rural women in the 15 counties of Liberia and ran from 2010 to 2013.

WCI’s strategic objective was to increase the participation of rural Liberian women through the NRWP. The program design is based on the development hypothesis that with key trainings, skills and support, rural women will be better able to effectively participate in civic and economic activities in Liberia. Based on a countrywide needs assessment in 2009, WCI identified that the members of the NRWP have varying degrees of core skills and have requested support to improve these skills. The areas of focus are grouped in two categories: Civic Education & Economic Activities. The skills training provided under each category include:

 Organization Development         Campaign Skills Training
 Advocacy Training                       Leadership Training

 Business and Budgeting Skills     Value-Added Agribusiness
 Country Cloth Business Skills

The program was based on the following development hypotheses: if rural women within the NRWP are trained in the areas of organizational development, leadership, campaign skills, and advocacy, their civic participation will increase. Likewise, if rural women in the NRWP are trained in business and budgeting skills, value-added agribusiness, and country cloth business skills, their economic participation will increase. Consequently, if rural women in the NRWP increase both their civic and economic participation, they will make a significant positive impact on the country as a whole as it transitions from war. 

This program had the following results: 

  • 1,562 women and men trained in organizational development
  • 7,756 women and men trained in leadership
  • 978 women and men trained in campaign skills
  • 1,077 women and men trained in advocacy, launching 15 campaigns
  • 7,546 women and men trained in business and budgeting skills
  • 1,398 women and men trained in value added agriculture
  • 291 women and men trained in artisan craft development, 5 collective businesses trained