The Senior Executive Service Program (SES), an initiative designed and led by the Liberian government with its partners, addresses Liberia's dearth of public servants through the transparent, competitive recruitment of 100 Liberian leaders at the directorate, strategic, middle and junior executive levels. Over the initial three-year contracts, these leaders will develop the capabilities to rapidly and simultaneously advance urgently-needed reforms in the Liberian government, provide leadership and management in their respective areas of expertise, implement priority programs, and bring about strategic change as part of the government's broader Civil Service reform process.
The SES Program will immediately impact a total of 100 Liberian civil service professionals, and if successful over time, has the potential to accelerate the implementation of a broad range of priority projects and programs and positively impact the country's population of more than three million.
MEASURES OF SUCCESS
100 senior civil service positions will be filled through a transparent, merit-based process. There will be a fully established and effective assessment and performance management system; improved and strengthened coordination and management systems at Civil Service Agency, including fully operational oversight mechanism; several successful priority government projects and programs (launched and managed by SES program members); and noticeable perceptions of the Liberian civil service as a more professional, effective and accountable organ of democratic government.
The execution of the SES Program is managed by the Liberian Government's Civil Service Agency, which is responsible for all aspects of the government's civil service reform agenda, with support from the United Nations Development Program in Liberia. It is overseen by a Project Implementation Committee that includes key implementing Ministries and principle donors. The program's policy and implementation framework has been completed by the Civil Service Agency in consultation with Ministries and donors, and approved for implementation by President Sirleaf. Additional details on rollout are included in the time line section below.
After a quarter century of political instability and 14 years of civil unrest, the Liberian people moved decisively for a break from the past in late 2005 by electing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, an internationally respected figure from her tenure with the United Nations and World Bank and Africa's first elected female head of state. Though her administration inherited daunting challenges, including widespread unemployment, limited basic services and infrastructure, and the hard work of national reconciliation, a sense of hope for a better future continues to grow within the country, among its neighbors and across the international community. Several governments, including the United States, have moved quickly to forgive Liberia's previous debts, and hope remains for an upcoming agreement that would resolve outstanding multilateral obligations. A UN peacekeeping mission has been helping to maintain peace and security, and recently had its mandate expanded until September 2008. In addition, a collection of donors, international NGOs, local NGOs, and community groups are working with the government to deliver real benefits to vulnerable populations in need of swift and effective support.
Now is the critical period to commit to supporting Liberia's reconstruction. Experience shows that the potential for economic growth and poverty alleviation increases dramatically during the first few years after a conflict ends, and that the first decade of support is crucial in preventing a return to violence. But capacity for public administration remains a difficult constraint across all functions and levels of government, a common theme in many post-conflict reconstruction efforts from East Timor and Kosovo to Afghanistan and Southern Sudan.
Hearing President Sirleaf address the 2006 CGI Annual Meeting played an instrumental role in inspiring a commitment by Humanity United to support the people of Liberia during this hopeful moment in their nation's history.
Anticipated Launch: August 22, 2007
- June/July 2007: Formation of Program Management Unit, finalization of first round of senior civil service positions.
- August 2007: Public launch of Senior Executive Service Program, including announcement of first 21 vacancies.
- November 2007: Start date for first 21 positions in their areas of assignment, with training program in place.
- Spring 2008: Identification, advertisement and recruitment of next round of 49 senior civil service positions.
SEEKING: Strategic partnerships, funding
Humanity United and partners encourage governments, private donors and organizations with relevant expertise in post-conflict reconstruction to work alongside partners to strengthen the local capacity of Liberians to lead their own reconstruction effort.