The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Regional Initiative for Capacity Enhancement in South Sudan, commonly referred to as the “IGAD Regional Initiative” finalized yesterday a series of workshops aimed at reviewing the progress, strengths, opportunities, and challenges of mentoring South Sudanese civil servants, which responds to sections of the Agreement Peace Agreement that emphasize the rehabilitation and reformation of South Sudan’s civil service.
The Government of Norway is the project’s sole donor and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) provides technical support to this initiative. The Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development plays a key role in directing the implementation of the project.
Since 2011, through bilateral agreements, the IGAD regional countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda have been seconding highly experienced and committed civil servant support officers (CSSOs) to South Sudan where they are paired with counterparts – known as “twins.” They are dispatched across a range of ministries and sectors throughout the country to rapidly develop core government capacity at the national and subnational levels in a coaching and mentoring scheme for a two-year period.
“Our civil service was at the edge of total collapse after the liberation of South Sudan. But since 2011, we are noticing gradual changes in our civil service thanks to our development partners who have committed themselves to help us increase the capacity of our civil servants,” said Director General of the Human Resource Development Directorate at the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development Ms. Therezine Filbert.
Participants in the review workshops, which took place in Juba throughout November and December, included the “twins,” the CSSOs, as well as their supervisors. Each group had a dedicated workshop in which they had the opportunity to meet their peers from other regions of the country. They shared experiences, identified opportunities for improving the project’s processes, and discussed how challenges, such as insecurity or public financial volatility, impact their work.
“The partnership between UNDP, the government of Norway, and the IGAD countries is very important. This is a very unique experience in the history of UNDP globally as it’s the first time it’s being done,” said UNDP Team Leader for Democratic Governance and Stabilization Unit Mr. Andrew Shuruma. “The experiences of “twins,” CSSOs, and their supervisors are valuable to continue an effective implementation of the project. We have a lot to learn from them. They’re having a tremendous impact.”
Since 2011, more than three hundred CSSOs have come to South Sudan to strengthen the skills and knowledge of the country’s civil service in sectors like agriculture, aviation, finance, and public health.
Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).