Reported in recent weeks that a modernization plan has been embarked upon by interesting and friendly partners of the House of Legislature, with the European Union apparently in the forefront, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) which is now considered a very strong back-bencher in the process, having since established a modern library with cooling internet services thereat, is again proving its prowess at ensuring the propagation of democratic ideals in full sustenance of the concept in achieving good governance practices amongst legislators and their able-staff.
Granted that the Honorable Representative Francis S. Paye of Rivercess District #2 became quite influential in attracting many Liberians to the august body, including this columnist, the Legislature had for many decades been viewed as a subsidiary of the Judiciary, most times with members thereat adjudicating cases as though a court.
With gradual transformation however occurring thereat over the decades, out of the resolve of members in creating distinction of functionaries embedded in the Constitution, the first branch of government is now being appreciated with many citizens enrolling thereat in redemption of the Liberian people at constructively pursuing socio-economic and political developments.
Against this backdrop and having since been seriously engaged into the propagation of democratic ideals throughout the country with appreciable results, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) has begun a 10-day technical training workshop for heads of offices of Senators and Representatives, aimed at building their capacities to cope with the Modernization Plan at the Legislature.
According to the Chairman of the Joint Legislative Modernization Committee, Dr. Cletus Wotorson, the NDI has offered to provide the technical training for Chiefs-of-Staff and Administrative Officers in areas of Legislative Summary, Policy Analysis and Briefs as effective measure to sustaining the process hinged upon democracy that had long been craved in the nation.
With the Legislative summary training begun Monday and runs through the 24th of July in three sessions, whilst the Policy Analysis and Brief training runs in a three-day session, beginning today, the collaborative approach engendered by the Legislative branch of government with the NDI must be warmly embraced, since such processes have been lacking over the years, with the earlier six years tenure of the Unity Party leadership for the first time witnessing members thereof undergoing training in the Republic of Ghana, apparently to accustom them to parliamentary law involving rule and procedures.
Whilst the Policy Analysis and Brief training program may require hyper-sensitivity, evolving largely from comparative notes, the three-day sessions may only be setting fundamental basis to fully operationalizing activities at the House, with the hope of achieving optimum results, howbeit continuity of the process.
Appreciative already of the collaborative efforts encouraged by the Joint Legislative Modernization Committee whose ultimate desire seemingly points to the need for the creation of a conducive working environment for all staffs thereof, with the securing of longer-term training programs that would involve external exposures of staff to legislative law, whether within a unicameral or bi-cameral, at least the initial step by the NDI has been put into place in concretizing its sole objective at harmonizing the past with the present and future.
Truly a trusted partner of post-crisis Liberia, the NDI, compared to that of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) that has since left an imprint of former Programme Officer for Africa, Mr. Dave Peterson, at various democratic institutions throughout the country, particularly the Media and human rights institutions, the years ahead, as difficult as it may seem in many quarters, are likely to witness substantive results with massive participation of the citizenry into democratic initiatives.
Efforts by the NDI to institutionalize democratic principles that are never an easy-come business must be applauded by all well-meaning citizens, since to drift therefrom for whatever parochial reasons would again spell anarchy that is now detestable by the very sane-minded. These are the little things that matter when choices of the people are made for their own good.