Gender Equality and Women’s Land Rights Trainer’s Manual

Land in Liberia is an important resource for most households. People use land to live on, grow food, keep animals, make their livelihoods, as well as for economic growth, status, social engagement, and cultural practices. It is a cornerstone for community development, peace, and the general wellbeing of individuals, households and the community at large. However, historically, this resource has not been equally shared by all categories of land users. Land rights of women and other disadvantaged/marginalized groups (such as strangers) have, for a long time, been determined by discriminatory customary norms, laws and practices based on patriarchal ideology and other forms of discriminatory beliefs and practices.

The degree to which a person has, and benefits from, land tenure security in rural areas traditionally depends in a number of ways upon his/her social status; whether the person is regarded as a “citizen” of the community, a stranger, male or female, married or in a de facto union; and the traditional or political status accorded to that person by the community members. For example, within customary communities, land passes through male lineages within clans, and males largely control the decision-making, allocation, management, use and inheritance of land. However, the 2018 Liberia Land Rights Act (LRA) has formally altered this land access and management order that has existed for generations. Altering this customary land governance system through LRA implementation and doing so with regard to the equality of men, women and youth participation in the management of community land access, use, and ownership will require capacity development for the land sector actors. These actors must understand the social, gender and legal facets of land rights.

Developing in-country social and gender equitable land rights skills require having a quorum of people from different stakeholders that will sustain the momentum for capacity development. To respond to the need for skills to catalyze an impactful and meaningful participation of the male and female members of the community in the land reform process, subsequent to the LRA adoption, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Land Governance Support Activity (LGSA) project supporting the Government of Liberia’s land reform has stepped-up its capacity development program – embarking on a rigorous capacity development process which covers different aspects of land rights for all. This manual will be used to create a pool of trainers in social and gender equitable land rights realization and protection.

This manual’s core concepts are rooted in an understanding that different categories of men and women, boys and girls have distinct development opportunities; experience poverty differently and face different obstacles in access, use, ownership and control of land and land-based services, access in economic growth resources and participation in decision-making opportunities. As such, the manual will help stakeholders to target interventions towards redressing gender inequalities.

This trainers’ manual has been developed as part of LGSA’s continued capacity development for its implementing partners and stakeholders. This curriculum focuses on the social- and gender-responsive land rights and land governance. The major modules covered include gender equality, land and development, women’s land rights and gender and land governance. The manual draws on Liberia-specific land-related policy, laws, literature and practices, along with related training manuals developed for similar training needs.

Whilst the author allocates time to each module section, the trainee must always adjust the amount of time they spend working on each module section in order to address and meet their own individual training needs; the amount of time spent will, therefore, be specific to each individual trainee. For example, time can be adjusted depending upon the five levels of training mentioned earlier (also introduced in the Part One, Module II).



PROSPER Guide for Smallholder Farmers: How to Manage an Oil Palm Nursery

This guide has been developed for field technicians that provide information and knowledge to small holder farmers who are interested in starting their own oil palm nursery. The guide provides the basic information on how to organize, set-up and manage an oil palm nursery. Farmers that have received training on how to setup and manage an oil palm nursery can use this guide as a reference when they decide to start a nursery on their own.

Why is this guide important?

It is important to set up and run an oil palm nursery in a correct way. You have invested a lot of money in the seeds. By using this guide you should be able to get strong and healthy seedlings for out planting on your palm farm so that your work and investments pay off in high productive trees.

How should you use this guide?

This guide will provide you with information on how to produce strong and healthy seedlings from certified oil palm seeds. You might already know or remember some of the important technical issues on how to raise seedlings. This guide is meant to be a helping tool that you can use if you cannot remember the best way of raising oil palm seedlings. Make notes for yourself to improve your knowledge on how to raise oil palm seedlings.

PROSPER The “Nine Steps” Handbook: Checklist for Establishing A Forest Community (2017)

Community forestry is the management of forest resources by communities for commercial and non-commercial purposes to further their own livelihoods and development. Under the Liberian Community Rights Law of 2009 with Respect to Forest Lands (CRL), communities are granted legal rights over the areas of forest resources they have traditionally used, once they have completed the procedure elaborated in the Regulation to the Community Rights Law of 2009 with Respect to Forest Lands, as Amended (CRL Regulation). This requires following a nine-step process (“the Nine Steps”) to ensure that members of the community fully understand and support the application for Authorized Forest Community (AFC) status. It also requires the establishment of representative bodies with their own governing rules, to regulate the use of forest resources and ensure the effective administration of the AFC. Once the Nine Steps have been completed, a management plan to provide a framework for the use, access, and sustainable management of forest resources must also be drafted. These requirements are explained in the CRL Regulation.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been supporting the development of community forestry in Liberia since 2007 through two community forestry projects implemented by Tetra Tech and other partners: the Liberia Land Rights and Community Forestry Program (LRCFP); and the People, Rules and Organizations Supporting the Protection of Ecosystem Resources (PROSPER) Project. Through these programs, USAID strives to build the capacity of local partners and encourage better coordination between governmental, non-governmental, academic, and private sector organizations involved in forestry and community forestry.

Purpose of the Manual

This manual provides a procedural structure and checklist to be used by members of the Forestry Development Authority’s (FDA) Community Forestry Department (CFD) – and other stakeholders within the forestry sector – to ensure that the Nine Steps, as established in the CRL Regulation, are rigorously applied. Although it is not explicitly stated in the CRL Regulation, the Nine Steps clearly establish the criteria for securing communities’ free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), which is required under Section 2.2 (c) of the CRL (“Any decision, agreement or activity affecting the status or use of community forest resources shall not proceed without the prior, free, informed consent of the said community”). This is a crucial point, because failure to meet the statutory requirement for FPIC can have serious legal implications, especially for those who wish to enter into agreements with AFCs to commercially exploit forest resources.

Structure of the Manual

The structure of the manual reflects the nine-step process, as elaborated in the CRL Regulation. The Nine Steps are separated into individual sections, with each step further broken down into series of activities, all of which will need to be completed before the community can proceed further along in the process. Each activity has a corresponding set of indicators, which establish the actions to be measured and/or registered, in order to demonstrate that the required activities are being conducted. Finally, and most importantly for ensuring that all legal requirements have been satisfied, each activity has a list of actions and/or documents that need to be recorded and verified, as part of the due diligence process.

Within each of the activity sections is a grey box, which outlines some of the considerations for reducing costs and improving efficiency. Also within each grey box is an estimation of the maximum amount of time it should take to complete each of the activities.

How to Use this Manual

The manual is, to a large extent, instructional, in that it sets out the various steps that need to be followed, and the order in which they are to be carried out. FDA officials and other stakeholders within the forestry sector should use the manual as a guide to the process, to ensure that all legal standards have been satisfied. Each Activity and Step needs to be completed in its entirety before the community is permitted to proceed to the next Activity and Step.

Each section begins with a brief overview of the legal requirements that need to be satisfied before the Step is completed, which is then broken down into Activities, Indicators and Means of Verification, as explained above. Users of the manual should follow this basic approach:

  1. Familiarize themselves with the legal requirements that need to be met for the Step they are working on to be completed, as laid out in the overview of the section;
  2. Review the first Activity that needs to be completed and, if supporting the process, make appropriate arrangements;
  3. Ensure that the relevant Indicators are being recorded;
  4. Verify that the evidence collected meets the criteria established in the checklist;
  5. Following verification, move on to the next Activity or Step.
  6. Repeat until all of the Nine Steps have been completed.

PROSPER Manual: Making Community Forest Rights Real (2017)

SBCC interventions are critical to a community’s ability to access its community resource rights, natural resource management and conservation programs in Liberia. Public education, awareness, and engagement with key stakeholders—including government counterparts, the private sector, and communities—must complement policy and procedural reform efforts to successfully foster the commitment and behaviors needed to fully protect and maximize the value of a community’s natural resource assets.

In recent years, Liberia’s environmental sector has been plagued by a series of high- profile scandals, including those related to private-use-permits (PUP), fraudulent community forest applications, and other instances of non-compliance with major forest policies and laws. These incidents have contributed to the devastating loss of community forest in Liberia, with total forest coverage dropping rapidly over the last decade. Lack of public education on effective natural resource management and alternative livelihood practices, combined with a lack of public knowledge of Liberia’s forest laws, policies, and procedures has allowed for forest loss on a massive scale.

Contributing to this is the limited capacity of Liberian actors to conduct the outreach needed to inform communities about their rights and change behaviors. For example, in 2009, the Government of Liberia passed the Community Rights Law (CRL), which formally protects a community’s rights to forest resources. Lack of the ability to educate the public on the law and its implications for communities, however, has prevented communities from accessing their rights in practice. Many communities are unaware of the policies that have been put in place to protect them, and do not understand the legitimate role they play in the management of Liberia’s forest resources. This lack of knowledge and know-how increases community vulnerability to illegal logging and poaching, concession agriculture, and mining schemes that are approved by local actors without the free prior informed consent of communities.

The People, Rules and Organizations Supporting the Protection of Ecosystem Resources (PROSPER) Project supports the Forest Development Authority (FDA) and other government actors and civil society groups to help communities understand their forest conservation and commercialization options, enabling them to make informed decisions about what to do with their community forests without being coerced or otherwise influenced by outside actors. The communications goal of the project is to arm communities with the information they need to be empowered to use their forest resources in the best way they see fit, foster an attitude of ownership and empowerment, and encourage sustainable forest use behaviors.

PROSPER utilized an SBCC approach to the design the “Make Community Forestry Rights Real” campaign, which increases public education and awareness of community forestry issues. Using this approach, the project collaborated closely with key stakeholders and target audiences to design, create, and implement effective outreach and awareness activities, while building the capacity of government and civil society organizations to design and conduct successful and sustainable campaigns in the future.

Working with these stakeholders, PROSPER built capacity to research, design, create, and implement communication strategies that will increase community and government understanding of community forest rights issues, and change the way citizens think and make decisions about their natural resources. This manual illustrates the best practices and steps the project used to design an effective social and behavior change communication campaign that encourages natural resource management and environmental conservation in Liberia.

PROSPER Trainer’s Manual: Developing Smallholder Agribusinesses and Community Forest Enterprises in Liberia

The USAID/Liberia People, Rules, and Organizations Supporting the Protection of Ecosystems Resources (PROSPER) Project has been working in Liberia since June 2012 to support community management of forest resources for local self-governance and enterprise development. One of the project’s specific objectives has been to enhance community-based livelihoods derived from sustainable forest-based and agriculture-based enterprises. This manual has been developed to address the need for a practical guide that can help government agencies and nongovernmental institutions assist local entrepreneurs in building strong and viable forest- or agricultural-based small enterprises.

This manual is based on a similar one developed by Tetra Tech partner ACDI/VOCA for the USAID-funded Southern Sudan Agricultural Market and Enterprise Development (AMED) Program and draws on ACDI/VOCA’s extensive experience developing business training for rural producers. ACDI/VOCA believes that prospective entrepreneurs should themselves undertake feasibility studies to identify and properly develop successful enterprises. The training methodology thus emphasizes the need for participants to think of their farming activities as a business, and to succeed they must explore and understand the requirements for creating successful agribusiness enterprises and community forest-based enterprise start-ups. In this way they will be better able to generate income, provide productive employment, and enhance food production by focusing more clearly on selling their produce to markets in addition to producing for domestic use.


This manual is designed for the staff of government agencies and nongovernmental organizations involved in supporting the development of new enterprises. Trainers of these institutions can use this manual as the basis of workshops and training sessions to sensitize, inform, and educate would-be entrepreneurs in the basic steps of identifying small business opportunities, and to provide them with skills to start or improve a business.

This manual has been designed for workshop settings with groups of up to 15 persons. To facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration, trainees should share similar status and goals. We suggest that participants have comparable incomes, ages, and occupations. Single gender groups and groups that plan to market the same products are likely to be more effective.

The manual includes ten modules that can be administered in four consecutive days. To not overburden the participants, trainers should present a maximum of three modules per day and an introduction or recap of the issues of the previous day. The modules vary in difficulty. Trainers should review and adapt them to the experience and education level of their participants.

This manual requires minimal materials—in most cases, only flipcharts, magic markers, and masking tape. Notebooks should be distributed to participants if they are able to use them. However, to implement this training successfully, trainers will first need to gather information concerning local markets and enterprises—described below. They will also need to prepare a number of flipcharts and handouts.

PROSPER Guide: Oil Palm Outplanting & Maintenance

This publication is a follow-on to the publication entitled Simplified guide to oil palm nursery and management. It provides the necessary steps that involve the transfer of oil palm seedlings from the main nursery into the field where it will be permanently stationed to go through the process of maintenance until it gets ready for fruiting, harvesting and throughout the life span of the trees.

It is important that the process of out-planting is carefully carried out to ensure that the field is well laid-out to accommodate the seedlings in a manner that will promote proper growth to reduce competition and increase the rate of production. The following steps are expected to be systematically carried out by the farmer in order to maintain maximum output from the farm.

PROSPER Guide: Simple Language Guide to the Environmental Impact Assessment Process in Liberia

This guide is to be used by literate community members to tell community people about how they can have their say on projects that affect them and their environment, such as mining, agriculture, or forestry projects. The guide also talks about the laws that protect the environment (Environmental Protection Agency Act of 2002, the Environment Protection and Management Law of 2003, and the Environmental Impact Assessment Procedural Guidelines of 2006).

The guide will help local people to know how the EIA Permit process works. They will get to learn about what they can do in the EIA process. They will also learn about the role of other groups such as the government and NGOs.

Members of local communities often know very much about places and resources that are important to them. They also may have a way of knowing how project activities can affect the water, land, forest and air around them. The constitution of Liberia and EPA’s laws allows for people to work with the Government so that their concerns are considered in the EPA permit process. This guide is intended to help community people work with companies and the Government to make sure that their environment is protected during and after companies operation.

EPI Report: Hazelnut Production Assessment and Training

The purpose of this report is to assist the USAID/EPI staff that is working under CNFA and Deloitte Consulting LLP with locally grown hazelnuts. By using the experience of growing and processing hazelnuts in the State of Oregon, we will identify ways to implement or add value to the local hazelnut production. While the trees are vastly different in tree structure, there are similar concerns and issues that Georgia and Oregon have in common.

EPI identified some concerns that can be modified to help the grower with better yields, quality, and better returns back to the grower. The principal issues are the understanding of the importance of a balanced nutritional program, a valid IPM program, and orchard floor management. Through the Oregon formal PowerPoint presentation, it was shown how orchards look and are maintained which created interest in the grower group. Interaction continued to develop and discussion followed as to how Georgian growers might make some changes to their operation. At all presentations there were concerns from the growers questioning whether they had enough funds to make changes that would help them.

In the field surveys there was a constant concern regarding surface water management during the wet period. Other concerns were correct nutrients for the plants, bud mite and black fly control, weed and grass management, and some rodent control. While it wasn’t popular amongst the growers, I was suggesting that they plant trees closer together to get a higher yield per hectare. Space is needed for ditches that are used for water management, but it seems that there could be trees planted closer together creating a high density type planting, and resulting in higher yields.

The USAID/EPI office will be developing a 12-month calendar that will lay out tasks and suggestions for the timing of different jobs that need to be done in the orchards. This can be distributed in tandem with the training video that is being compiled from our formal presentations.

PROSPER Cassava Processing Mill User Guide

This Cassava Processing Mill User Guide has been developed by the USAID People, Rules and Organizations Supporting the Protection of Ecosystem Resources (USAID-Liberia/PROSPER). USAID-Liberia/PROSPER project has established 10 cassava processing groups in Northern Nimba. Training in maintenance and operational procedures will have to be an ongoing effort in order to keep the Cassava Processing Mills well maintained and running. This guide has been developed to support the training of local operators, and to be used as reference guide for operators. This Cassava Processing Mill User Guide has been developed to help the operators of the Cassava Processing Mill to grind their cassava in the most efficient way. By assembling, operating and maintaining the Cassava Processing Mill in the correct way, the users of this machine will be enjoying the cassava processing capabilities for many years. If you have any questions, or need help in purchasing spare parts for your Cassava Processing Mill, please contact your manufacturer or machine seller. The certified Cassava Processing Mill manufacturer that can provide spare parts and repair services is Moonlight Garage & Metal Works in Gbarnga (Phone: 0886-562-568).

PROSPER Crop Diversification Trainer’s Manual


The word Diversification can be used in various fields of study/or practices. In a simple general term, it applies to the use of different practices or methods to achieve a given result. In agriculture, we see Crop Diversification as a farming practice that involves the growing/cultivation of different crops throughout the year in forms of intercropping or mixed cropping.


We do Crop Diversification for many reasons:

  • It minimizes the risks of complete crop failure as a result of disease infection, pests’ infestation, or drought. In other words, if one crop fails, the farmers can still depend on the other crops for food and income generation.
  • Over 80% of rural dwellers depend on farming as their main source of livelihood activity.
  • The growing population puts pressure on the farmers to make the best choices of crops to grow in a more sustainable way to respond to market demand.
  • Consumption of diverse diets has an evident of health associated benefits.
  • Vegetables, Cereals and legumes in a cropping system can help break disease pathogen cycle when crop rotation is well carryout.
  • It promotes best agronomic practices and helps farmers understand crops related family.
  • It improves soil fertility by the growing of leguminous crops like beans and groundnuts.
  • It minimizes the practice of shifting cultivation by promoting and adopting crop rotation.
  • It helps farmers understand the practices and adoption of Farming as a Business (FaaB) concept considering crop selection based on market demand.
  • It gives farmer the ideas/skills (best production practices) of growing other crops; farmer production skills can be diversified.
  • It contributes to food security as well as the availability of nutritional food crops for the farmer’s family consumption and income.