The Alliance for Rural Democracy (ARD), is a network of community-based organizations as well as pro-poor enterprises and informal organizations from across Liberia working in solidarity actions to address the numerous problems confronting and affecting rural poor, urban slums and squatter communities, pro- poor informal sector institutions and newly emerging and independent labor unions in Liberia.
The ARD emerged amidst challenges posed by the increased transgression of community rights as well as the resource curse in Liberia. The natural resources and economic sectors over the years have been characterized by absence of participation of civil society organization and local communities, particularly in rural areas as well as the lack of transparency, accountability in the equitable sharing of benefits generated by these resources. Also, natural resources exploitation over the years has never benefited local communities and is one of the principal causes of the underdevelopment of our communities and a source of conflict between the local people, the concessionaires and government on one hand.
Objectives of the ARD
The ARD has several objectives, including the following:
- Campaigning for greater public participation in the decisions that affect the management and control of Liberia’s natural resources and its economy as mandated by Article 7 of the Liberian Constitution.
- Monitoring and assessing the compliance levels of Government and other stakeholders on established human rights standards and/or in relations to economic, social and cultural rights in Liberia.
- Networking, sharing and documenting work, activities or programs initiated by member organizations in their respective communities in relations to economic, social and cultural rights.
- Ensuring that corporations act as good corporate citizens with regard to human rights, social responsibility and environmental sustainability.