This Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP) has been developed by the Government of Liberia through its project implementing entities [the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS) and the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE)] to maintain and ensure the process of continuous engagement with the different stakeholders in the course of implementation of the Recovery of Economic Activity for Liberian Informal Sector Employment (REALISE) project. The process of engaging stakeholders is important for successful implementation and attaining the goal of the project. During the preparation stage of the SEP, a series of stakeholder consultations were undertaken to pave the way for constructing a robust stakeholder engagement plan for this project.
REALISE is designed to increase access to income earning opportunities for the vulnerable in the informal sector in response to the COVID-19 crisis in Liberia. The project has four components including the following: (i) Component 1: Grant Support to Vulnerable Households to Revive or Start Small Businesses, (ii) Component 2: Temporary Employment Support and Employability Development for Vulnerable Workers, (iii) Component 3: Program Implementation, Capacity Building and Coordination, and (iv) Component 4: Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC). The project builds on the implementation experience of Youth Opportunities Project (YOP).
The project environmental risk is rated as Moderate, while the social risk is rated as Substantial. The project risks and impacts will arise mainly from project component 2. Social risks that could likely emerge during implementation of subprojects include: i) claims and complaints about targeting/recruitment and selection of subprojects, ii) inclusion of people who are well connected as beneficiaries to the project, iii) exclusion of people who are not well connected as beneficiaries to the project, iv) lack of transparency on grants and payments, v) poor service delivery including delays, vi) unfair treatment by service provider/project staff, vii) and discrimination based on sex or other physical and health conditions, viii) discrimination because of gender orientation and ethnicity, ix) failure to meet minimum wage expectations. It is also likely that temporary restrictions on land use, loss of property, disruption of access paths, corrupt practices, human rights violations, child labor, and sexual exploitation and abuse are among the potential social risks that may arise during implementation of subprojects and that need to be monitored closely. These risks can be readily managed if the project put in place qualified Environmental and Social (E&S) staff. Several instruments, including ESMF, ESMP, RPF, and RAP (if required) will be prepared and implemented throughout project implementation to mitigate project risks and impacts.
The identification and analysis of stakeholder groups for REALISE Project include government agencies, development partners, Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organizations, targeted project beneficiaries in urban areas, unemployed youth, women groups, Association of People with Disabilities, and interested people from local communities. This stakeholder engagement plan will also set out details of the purpose, timing and methods of stakeholder engagement and strategy for information disclosure. It will incorporate the view of vulnerable groups.
A provisional budget for implementing SEP activities has been included in the draft SEP. An estimated amount of US$79,000.00 (Seventy-nine thousand US Dollars) will be required for SEP implementation and GRM operating costs.