IBIS is a Danish non-governmental organisation, working at global, national and local levels for the empowerment of civil society and underprivileged communities with a focus on equal access to education, influence and resources.
IBIS works through strong partnerships with civil society and government institutions.
IBIS is an observer in Oxfam International.
In 2005, IBIS started working in Liberia to help rebuild the education sector and ensure that all children could attend school. At that time, activities were mainly directed at older children and youth in South East Liberia who had missed school during the civil war. The Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP) was introduced to give older children a basic education that taught them six years of primary school curriculum in just three years of intensive education without sacrificing quality. Since then, the work has shifted to a long-term strategy for development through access to quality education and support to civil society to gain influence and hold leaders accountable.
IBIS Liberia currently operates in Grand Gedeh, River Gee, and Sinoe Counties with offices in the towns of Zwedru, Fish Town and Greenville. Activities in Maryland and Grand Kru Counties were phased out in 2013.
In 2011, IBIS developed the Education for Change Thematic Programme, focusing on the most marginalised and vulnerable parts of Liberia. The programme focuses on access to education, quality education through better teaching, and ensuring accountability and responsibility in the running of schools and the education sector as a whole. Special attention is given to young people with little or no formal education who are offered practical skills training to help them start a career.
In 2012, IBIS launched its governance Thematic Programme called Democratic Rights and Inclusive Governance in Liberia. The aim of the programme is to support civil society organisations and networks to influence, and participate in, public debates and decision making processes related to public education funds, opportunities for women and young people to take part in local and national decision making and the fair distribution and benefits from the extraction of natural resources.
Liberia is a patriarchal society and male dominance in the home and in community life is still the norm. Under customary law, women have few rights and traditionally can not inherit property or access credit. This has started to change - especially in urban settings - but domestic and sexual violence is still a common aspect of the lives of many girls and women in Liberia
Young people in Liberia are also often without any real influence and many have missed years of education due to the civil war. If they become marginalised, with no job opportunities and no influence in society, the risk is a whole generation of unskilled and disgruntled citizens living in poverty.
By making the inclusion of women and youth a cross-cutting issue, IBIS aims to improve the situation for women and young people to ensure that everyone can enjoy the right to education, influence and resources, thereby contributing to the positive development if Liberia.
IBIS’ work in Liberia is made possible through funds from Danida, the European Union, KFW, and SIDA.