A Decade of Police Reform in Liberia: Perceptions, Challenges and Ways Ahead

A member of the Liberian National Police Emergency Response Unit conducts a search of a suspect. Photo: UN

Police reform has been ongoing in Liberia since 2003. Yet the robust plans regularly receive only half the necessary funding. While security agencies, civil society actors, donors, and other international actors sometimes supplement shortfalls, their competing interests have also hindered decisive, forward-moving progress at times. An unexpected Ebola outbreak in 2013 only complicated efforts. The result has been poor implementation of high-quality plans. The experience shows the need for greater stakeholder coordination, balancing expansion with consolidating gains, and better communicating new services to the public so they can both contribute to and utilize those resources as intended.

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Security Topics:  Police Sector Reform