Soux (2010). South Sudan Local Governance in Complex Environments
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The findings presented in this report are the result of an assessment that was conducted by an independent consultant on two DGTTF funded projects in Southern Sudan in 2005 and 2008. The projects were part of UNDP’s broad efforts to support the development of decentralized democratic governance through the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in January 2005.
The study was conducted within a methodological framework of political economy. It examined the projects’ impacts within the context of history and political process specifically relating to local governance and gender equality. The assessment focused on the qualities of effectiveness, efficiency, innovation, catalytic effect and sustainability. The study attempts to provide an understanding of the key factors underlying and driving events and future scenarios. These understandings provide the basis to determine the impact of the projects identified.
Decades of violent conflict between the North and South regions of the Sudan provide the backdrop for today’s challenges. A history of Southern marginalization, discriminatory policies, the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a central Northern elite, and the actions of a dysfunctional State establish the magnitude of challenge for democratic governance. A major defining feature of Southern Sudan lies in the tribal nature of its social organization, identity and the adherence to traditional culture and systems. The only constant throughout history in terms of governance practice has been the role of traditional authorities in the leadership of their communities.
The prolonged civil war managed to damage but never to eradicate these systems. Division of labour within the parameters of a traditional society has historically defined gender roles, but war changed these roles as women assumed new responsibilities. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed between the representatives of the National Congress Party and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement provides a blueprint for democratic transformation and respect for the equality of all Sudanese people. The CPA created the new autonomous Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS), which was required to establish the institutions and processes of governance with no previous experience in government. Few qualified professionals, virtually no infrastructure and limited resources juxtapose the available capacity with significant popular expectations for a peace dividend. The projects, therefore, were implemented under challenging conditions and with high programme risk....