Donors to the Project: UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)
Implementing Parties: SeeD, the United States Institute of Peace and Search for Common Ground
Dates: 22/05/2016 – ongoing
Started in autumn 2016, SCORE-Liberia is the first to be implemented in Africa and the process to date has already set new standards for future SCORE projects. This incorporates the creation of a partnership framework, which includes the Liberian Government, the local UN institutions (UNMIL) and a local implementing partner. The other unique feature of SCORE-Liberia is that it is being implemented in partnership with the Reconciliation Barometer Project funded by the U.S. Institute of Peace. In the context of Liberia, the SCORE Index and Reconciliation Barometer has been merged into a single project that will have three waves of data collection. Through its partnership with USIP, SeeD is collaborating with Dr. Anu Kulkarni from Stanford University and Dr. David Backer from University of Maryland. Furthermore, SCORE Liberia has a broad societal coalition of supporters from local civil society and academia. This was achieved through an inclusive and participatory consultative process, which involved local government officials and civil society actors in conflict-affected regions of Liberia outside Monrovia. The attention to local realities has brought a new dimension to the Liberia SCORE, allowing it to explore in detail the conflict dynamics and relationships between the country’s elites in Monrovia and communities disconnected from the central decision-making mechanisms. Thus, SCORE-Liberia embraces a strong governance dimension.
The SCORE Index for Liberia will be calculated at a critical moment in the country’s transformation from war to peace. The Index aims to bring a greater understanding to the socio-political dynamics which govern a number of transition processes, most notably the transfer of the country’s security responsibilities from the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to the Government in 2016 and the conduct of the 2017 elections. The findings will be used by the government and development agencies to strengthen the capacity of local communities and institutions to advocate for peace consolidation priorities, human rights protection and reconciliation. SCORE Index will seek to predict the most likely socio-political trajectories, which are driven by the transition processes.
Furthermore, SCORE-Liberia will diagnose the current state of intergroup relations and identify which intergroup tensions are most salient among different socio-demographic groups at the local level. Project results will show how such tensions predict downstream outcomes such as civic resentment and the propensity for violent conflict. In this context the SCORE process will identify those aspects of civic and political life that most contribute to growing civic resentment, mistrust and disconnection, while also identifying factors that would mitigate civic resentment and intergroup tensions. From this perspective, SCORE-Liberia’s predictive analysis will advance the understanding of the factors that contribute to readiness for social and political change, understood as an un-ambivalent willingness and capacity to implement specific social cohesion and reconciliation policies.
Upon its completion, the SCORE Liberia project will deliver results in the following areas:
- Specify the critical priority areas where investments need to be made to accelerate progress for reaching the goals laid out in the Liberian Government’s roadmap for reconciliation and development.
- Assess the capacities of existing peacebuilding and reconciliation mechanisms and identifying policies for their enhancement.
- Provide policy direction to the implementation of the Statement of Mutual Commitments (SMC), which were agreed in 2016 between the Government of Liberia and the Peace Building Commission.
The fieldwork for data collection has just been completed, and data analysis is currently underway.