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ERIC Number: ED533746
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 182
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1248-2907-4
Civil Society Organizations in Post-War Liberia: The Role of Education and Training in Strengthening Organizational Capacity
Duo, Samuel N.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
The purpose of this study was to understand the role of non-formal education and training in the organizational change process of Civil society organizations (CSOs) in post war Liberia. CSOs are the local foundation for democracy and development in Liberia, and serve a wide range of roles in local communities. For example, in post-war Liberia, CSOs provide services in communities that the government does not reach due to limited resources. They educate disenfranchised groups such as women in micro-credit and small business practices that ultimately increase their self-sufficiency and independence. They engage youth in community projects and build the younger generation's civic capacities. They engage fragile communities on the issue of ethnic based conflict and religious intolerance, and they engage government on all spheres of development issues, ranging from governance, transparency, accountability, to grassroots empowerment. However, the capacities of CSOs to achieve these missions depend on the education and training of their members. The capacity for strong performance in Civil society provides the foundation for lasting social benefits. Civil society is a monumental social and economic force with vast potential to create a more free, fair and just society. The collective nature of civic action helps ensure that the interests of citizens, including women and youth, the poor and other marginalized groups are weighed by public institutions that make policy and allocate resources. Many Civil society organizations (CSOs) face common challenges limiting their effectiveness, namely the ability to manage human and financial resources, effective program design and service delivery, advocate to power holders, and manage for result. The study was a descriptive research. Using survey instruments, the data were collected from 74 staff of the 15 CSOs that the researcher had worked with for over three years. The study adopted two instruments. The two instruments contained seven domains (Governance, Management, Human Resources, Financial Resources, External Relations, Service Delivery, and Sustainability). A rating scale of (0 = Capacity not existing; 1 = Nascent stage; 2 = Emerging stage; 3 = Expanding stage; and 4 = Mature stage) for ease in recording responses and data analysis was used for the first instrument which measured CSO's capacity, whereas a Likert-type rating scale of the level of general knowledge related to job competence was from 1 through 5. 1= Not Very Knowledgeable; 2=Not Knowledgeable; 3=Fairly Knowledgeable; 4=Knowledgeable; and 5=Very Knowledgeable. The survey instrument also included demographic information and open ended questionnaire. The open ended questionnaires were administered to provide the baseline information about the CSOs' development work. The results of this study show that they have rated governance and management knowledge and organizational capacity domains consistently highest, implying that their skills and organizational capacity in governance and management have improved. However, CSOs are not yet mature organizations, but in an expanding stage of organizational development. Expanding organizations have track records of achievement; their operations are recognized by their constituencies, the government, the private sector, and other NGOs active in the same sector. A significant capacity is present, but there remain areas requiring further strengthening and development. CSO staff were fairly knowledgeable to knowledgeable on the seven domains. Furthermore, the direct significant relationship between overall general knowledge related to job competence level of the CSO staff and overall organizational capacity implies that CSOs' would ultimately increase capacity with a parallel increase in staff's capacity development activities, including training workshops, experience sharing, practices in work environment, mentoring and sustained backstopping support for staff in their immediate work environment. The implication is that capacity development through training and non-formal educational activities would strengthen the CSOs' development initiatives, adaptation of improved governance and management practices. CSOs' capacity development initiative would ensure a program delivery system that addresses development needs of the target audiences by adopting a diverse service delivery mode to address development challenges. The 15 CSOs are organized into clusters. The cluster approach captures the participatory involvement of cluster members, their thoughts and aspirations through joint learning, experience sharing, network and joint project monitoring and evaluation. The cluster approach was designed to establish a framework for systemically anchoring development strategies that would produce synergy and address the needs of groups with diverse backgrounds, leading to broad-based responses of target audiences to issues of poverty, governance, leadership and other development initiatives that they care about most. The cluster approach was meant to create non-formal educational tools (training workshop, experience sharing, meeting, group discussion, field visit and replication of best practices) that build upon indigenous modes of knowledge, education and action for collective problem solving. Finally, CSOs are taking advantage of their strengths in terms of expertise and resource sharing to meet their programming goals, thereby viewing learning as a process that is not limited only to outside experts. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Liberia