To this end, cities are putting their houses in order to possibly avert any potential challenges: social, economic and physical. The Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) under the shrewd leadership of Mayor Cyvette Gibson has been sparing no effort in finding the right people and institutions to join hands in propping the densely populated city up. Hence, the need to become a member of the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC)- a global initiative pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) with the aim of helping cities around the world build resilience to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century.
Being considered as a member of the 100RC did not come on the spur of the moment: the PCC had to face rigorous and competitive vetting processes conducted by a panel of judges designated by the foundation to ensure that every city meets certain benchmarks.
100RC supports the adoption and incorporation of a view of resilience that includes not just the shocks—earthquakes, fires, floods, etc.—but also the stresses that weaken the fabric of a city on a day to day or cyclical basis.
According to the 100RC, these stresses include high unemployment; an overtaxed or inefficient public transportation system; endemic violence; or chronic food and water shortages. By addressing both the shocks and the stresses, a city becomes more able to respond to adverse events, and is overall better able to deliver basic functions in both good and bad times to all populations.
As way of setting the pace to get the ball rolling, the Associate Director, City and Practice Management Liz Agbor-Tabi is visiting the country as guest of PCC. Ms. Agbor-Tabi is an expert in Health Policy and Planning.
She told stakeholders at a boarding session last Thursday that the Paynesville City Corporation was accepted as a member of the 100 Resilient Cities based on the innovative leadership shown by Mayor Gibson.
The 100RC Official express delight over the fact that Paynesville was able to get through in forming part of such worldwide program; all pointing to the level of hard work Mayor Gibson and her team have done over the years.
100 Resilient Cities is ready to work with PCC in putting in place the needed strategies and infrastructures through the network that is provided with the resources necessary to develop a roadmap to resilience along four main pathways: financial and logistical guidance for establishing an innovative new position in city governance, the provision, with the consent of the PCC, of a Chief Resilience Officer who will lead the city’s resilience efforts and enhance the sharing of best practices among members of the 100RC.
Ms. Agbor-Tabi disclosed that under this engagement with the PCC the two years’ salary of the Chief Resilience Officer will be paid solely by 100RC but pointed that the cost of other aspects of the partnership will be shared with the PCC.
“Under these engagements, we want to ensure that the risk is shared. We will pay the salary of the Chief Resilience Officer for two years. The second part of the process will be the holding of a strategic planning workshop that will set the pace for the carving of a strategy that will guide PCC during the period of the partnership and beyond. After the two years period, the Paynesville City Corporation will review the significance of the Chief Resilience Officer and make a determination on whether or not it is still necessary,” Liz told the participants.
According to her, through these actions, 100RC aims not only to help individual cities become more resilient, but will facilitate the building of a global practice of resilience among governments, NGOs, the private sector, and individual citizens.
The Associate Director of City and Practice Management said she will be the liaison between PCC and the 100RC throughout the partnership.
Under the leadership of Mayor Gibson, Paynesville which is the first point of entry for people from about 10 of the 15 counties of Liberia has seen remarkable transformation positioning itself as a true face of Monrovia due to the magnificence of beautification works done particularly at ELWA junction- the point entry point to Monrovia from the Roberts International Airport, the park at Duport Road Junction is a pointer to the tremendous effort Mayor Gibson has made in winning major actors in the City management sector onto her commercial municipality.