United Nations Volunteers
The success of the Government of South Sudan will depend on its ability to deliver basic services to a population that is safe and has confidence in the rule of law. This means the Government must manage its finances, prepare budgets, and ensure public money is spent according to the approved plans. This is very difficult in the current environment, because existing Government personnel are limited in number and have a lack of capacity in many areas of civil service expertise.
To help meet the pressing demands for experienced personnel, and to build Government capacity for the long term, UNDP is deploying experienced professionals to work in partnership with Government officials through the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and The Rapid Capacity Placement Initiative. It is a targeted initiative to make state governments more effective, responsive, and accountable institutions as quickly as possible. These UNVs are being identified and embedded in key public sector institutions.
The initiative supports the deployment of international civil servants and technical experts in key areas, including management of public resources, rule of law and law enforcement, and public administration.
This approach to development builds on lessons learnt in this and other post-conflict contexts. Specifically, that for capacity building to be effective, it needs to take place within the workplace, be long term, and form part of a broader organizational development.
There are nearly 200 UNVs in South Sudan. Most are internationals, as well as several local professionals from the diaspora; some are based at central level in Juba, but the majority are deployed in the states, where the need is more acute.
Our UNVs provide technical support and on-site mentoring as well as coaching to their South Sudanese counterparts to improve organizational systems, administrative procedures and planning processes. The volunteers adapt to the particular needs of each state. For example, urban planning specialists who assist with town planning and developing building guidelines, have also helped with the demarcation of land for returnees and security improvements for strategic infrastructure, such as local airports.
In a parallel initiative, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is helping to facilitate the embedding of more than 100 midwives from neighbouring Uganda who will train traditional birth attendants.
There is also an Online Volunteering service that connects development organizations with thousands of volunteers worldwide.
UNV is committed to engaging equal numbers of male and female volunteers.