The sustainable social development plan of action of the Liberian ministry of rural development : a critical analysis
Prinsloo, Barend Louwrens
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Liberia is considered to be a failed state after 14 years of civil war. The National Transitional Government of Liberia (IVTGL) came into power after the war ended in 2003. The Ministry of Rural Development formed part of this government and had the aim to empower rural people by providing access to the basic social, cultural and economic opportunities that are required for the establishment of sustainable conditions in Liberia. This aim was in line with the principles of sustainable social development. In order to achieve and address the principles of sustainable social development, the Ministry of Rural Development subsequently compiled an action plan. Sustainable social development that meets international best practices could only be achieved if environmental and human resources are protected against exploitation and are optimally utilised, human welfare (on both community and individual bases) are improved by making sure everybody have the same access to resources, everyone has the freedom to participate in all civil and political matters, processes and decisions affecting them, and economic growth are expanded equally throughout all the different sectors of society. This cannot happen if the correct (stable) political platform or political will does not exist, and human rights are not protected. The Ministry of Rural Development's action plan was tested to see whether it adheres to international best practices to attain sustainable social development. Sustainable social development was analysed and it was concluded that it has three integrated aspects consisting of ten (10) elements. The action plan of the Ministry of Rural Development was described according to the twelve (12) goals the Ministry pursued through different projects. The disparities between the twelve (12) objectives of the action plan and the ten (10) elements of sustainable social development were highlighted and it was seen that there were numerous elements of the sustainable social development that were not addressed by these objectives. It was concluded that the Ministry of Rural Development's action plan did not meet international best practices to attain sustainable social development.
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