The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has announced the completion of Liberia’s first ever repository of exact household information for social intervention purposes.
According to the Ministry, the Liberia Household Social Registry is hosted at the Ministry, and contains various household information including education, nutrition, healthcare income and expenditure, and other social services. The Social Registry will share vital and precise data with social protection partners, intended for social protection intervention across the country.
Speaking recently at the 4th National Social Protection Steering Committee meeting in Monrovia, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection Williametta E. Saydee-Tarr said, “I am pleased to inform you that we have completed the building of the National Household Social Registry-a system that houses social data for the promotion of social programs through an effective means of delivery. As a government, we are hopeful that the system will ease the long standing data issue we have had as a country, in the area of Social Protection. Many times partners will have to do their own research before taking an initiative”.
The Liberian Gender Minister also averred, “We will continue to improve on the system as time goes by. I see this as a milestone for the government in its quest to respond to the need of the people, and we are grateful to our partners”.
Household Social Registry
A Social Registry (SR) is an information system that supports outreach, intake, registration, and determination of potential eligibility for one or more social programs. It has both a social policy role, as inclusion systems, and an operational role, as information system that collects, organizes, stores, processes, transforms, creates and distributes information for the predefined.
In particular, the SR contains information on both potential and actual beneficiaries of existing Social Protection programs. The Social Registry feeds eligibility information to social program(s) for enrolment decisions which lead to the creation of a beneficiary registry.
The Government of Liberia (GoL) aims to build a Social Protection (SP) system for improved protection of the poorest and most vulnerable households and groups from poverty, deprivation, and hunger and enhanced resilience to risks and shocks. The Government’s commitment to building a coherent Social Protection system is further highlighted by the creation of a Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP), and the Social Protection Steering Committee (SPSC) to coordinate all Social Protection intervention.
Integrated Management Information System
The key features of the integrated MIS includes modules to support: enrollment, payment, M&E, grievance redress, access management and settings control. The MIS is capable of generating progress values on the welfare of beneficiaries, as well as providing the necessary information to the accounting and Financial Management (FM) system to generate payment sheets and reconcile payments.
In 2020, the Ministry through the sponsorship of the International Development Association, awarded a two million dollars contract to an International firm ESOKO, to do data collection in four counties, which could amount to the extraction of more than two hundred thousand household information. The counties that were affected with the enumeration include, Bomi, Bong, Maryland and Nimba Counties. ESOKO is concluding phase one of the process, and now jointly cleaning the data with the World Bank, the Liberia Social Safety Nets Project at the Ministry. The data collection process will extend to all other counties in the Liberia. The Ministry is hopeful that USAID and the Bank will continue to support enumeration in other counties that have not been counted. USAID alone has spent 3.6 million dollars on the development of the Social Registry, and data collection.
USAID expresses Confidence in Liberia’s Social Registry
During the last National Social Protection Steering meeting, the United States Agency for International Development USAID expressed satisfaction over the development of the system, and noted that it will enhance Social Protection. Making presentation on behalf of USAID at the recent Social Protection meeting, Mr. Joe Hoover Gbadyu said, the Liberia Household Social Registry remains an important tool for government and partners working in the Social Protection sector. He said updated statistics on households can create a smooth landing for more and improved social intervention.
The data center is operated under the World Bank’s sponsored Liberia Social Safety Nets Projected, at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection. In 2016, the government of Liberia and the World Bank concluded a financing agreement that would build the first Household Social Registry for Liberia, and transfer cash to over ten thousand extremely poor and food insure households in Maryland, Grand Kru, River Gee and Bomi. Phase one of the project was concluded, and now followed by phase two, implemented by Give Directly in Bomi and Maryland Counties. In 2020, the project provided unconditional cash assistance to over fifteen thousand households in urban Montserrado, financed by the British’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office.
Henry M. Sumo, Jr.
Liberia Social Safety Nets Project
Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection