Thought Leadership in Liberia

Liberian Philanthropy Secretariat

After a 14-year civil war, Liberia is emerging as a pioneer in foreign aid and thought leadership in Africa. In the political sphere, Liberia elected the first female African president in history: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Subsequently, President Sirleaf began making strides to renew the nation. Recognizing the potential inherent in private philanthropy, President Sirleaf established the Liberian Philanthropy Secretariat (LPS) in April 2009 to coordinate philanthropy and relief efforts in Liberia. The LPS is unique in Africa and a potential model for relief for other countries in the region.

Numerous philanthropic ventures, NGOs, volunteers, faith- and community-based organizations are on the ground in Liberia, but often do not communicate with one another. Consequently, they can overlap or obscure each other’s goals. The LPS is mechanism that seeks to solve that problem by providing information and coordination for philanthropic partners on the ground in Liberia. This way, according to the LPS website, the secretariat can “amplify the effect of philanthropic endeavors.” 

For an in-depth analysis of the Secretariat see Sagamore Institute Senior Fellow Donald Cassell's case study.