Flights to Monrovia — check.
Raingear and malaria pills — check.
Copy of This Child Will be Great — check.
A ton of excitement — check, check, check!
So all that remains really is getting to Monrovia, Liberia where I will be spending 10 weeks of this summer interning with the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs (MPEA). MPEA is the lead agency in charge of coordinating aid as well as monitoring and evaluating externally supported projects. The ministry is also responsible of developing Liberia’s Medium Term Growth and Development Strategy, which will define development priorities and guide the government’s policies over the next five years (Liberia’s current Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) is set to expire this year).
The blog posts to come will follow my summer experiences advising MPEA on that task, and discovering along the way how priorities are set at the national level and how different stakeholders (from ordinary Liberians to the International community) take part in this effort. National elections are scheduled for October 2011, which promises to make this process all the more exciting!
I would like to thank the Nancy Germeshausen Klavans and the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government for selecting me as a fellow. This learning experience would not have been possible without NGK’s generous support.