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Partnership Paradox

In 2006, after nearly two decades of civil conflict and instability, Liberia’s physical and governance infrastructure was destroyed and its brutalized population stricken with high levels of illiteracy and unemployment. The newly formed government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was not able to meet the stringent requirements imposed by the global aid architecture at the time.

In response to this, the Open Society Foundations and UNICEF, working in collaboration with the Government of the Netherlands, made a commitment to deliver up to $20 million to Liberia’s Ministry of Education to catalyze the recovery of the sector and to support the development of a comprehensive sector plan. The Liberia Education Pooled Fund was launched in May 2008.

The purpose of this publication is to present the realistic story of Liberia’s post-conflict educational recovery and the inherent paradox of the partnerships that are necessary to support it. The contributors to this volume have presented firsthand accounts of their engagement in the immediate post-conflict phase of Liberia’s educational recovery, and with this have provided lessons and insight for a growing field of education and international development specialists.


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