President’s Young Professionals Program
Republic of Liberia
After 14 years of civil war and unrest, Liberia’s public and private sectors were left with a devastating human resource and capacity gap. Liberian professionals fled overseas to escape the violence, resulting in an infrastructure was severely compromised or destroyed, and hundreds of thousands left unemployed. The President’s Young Professionals Program (PYPP) aims to rebuild Liberia’s human resources by recruiting, training, and empowering local youth to take leadership positions in the public sector.
PYPP recruits, trains, and prepares promising Liberian college graduates to be the next generation of qualified professionals in Liberia and to assume leadership positions in the public sector. In the short term, PYPP recruits provide support directly to Ministers and Deputy Ministers in the Liberian government by performing a variety of critical tasks. The two-year program also includes a strong training and mentoring component, pairing each young professional with a Liberian Fellow or other mentor within government ministries as well as offering a monthly professional training program, one-on-one instruction and evaluation, and a monthly stipend.
As one of the earliest stakeholders, our feedback led to an expanded orientation period to help recruits build the skills necessary to succeed in their positions. Of the 77 program participants recruited in the first five years, 81 continue to serve in 15 Liberian government ministries and 7 agencies. PYPP recruits have assumed leadership positions in Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Youth Development, and other critical government ministries.The program intends to recruit a new class of 20 participants in 2015, and aims to place 100 additional young professionals in key government roles over the next five years, helping to strengthen Liberia’s capacity to deal with crises such as Ebola.