IGAD-RSS Regional Initiative

Alt text for imageDr. Abera Tekelemariam from Ethiopia is mentoring his South Sudanese 'twin' Angelo Phillibert Atoroba on how to protect Yambio's crops from pests such as weeds or birds, using non-chemical options. Photo Credit: UNDP


No state can function without an operational civil service.

In the context of fragile states and countries emerging from conflict, the need to develop and strengthen civil service capacity is always urgent. 

In this sense, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Regional Capacity Enhancement Initiative, commonly referred to as the “IGAD Initiative,” is a remarkable triangularly organized South-to-South cooperation project for capacity development in South Sudan.

Through bilateral agreements, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda second highly experienced and committed civil service support officers (CSSOs) to South Sudan where they are paired with counterparts – known as “twins” -  across a range of ministers and sectors to rapidly develop core government capacity at the national and subnational levels in a coaching and mentoring scheme for a two-year period.

The seconding countries continue to pay the salaries of the CSSOs, while Norway, the project’s sole donor, funds the costs of the programme management, travel, and per diem allowances. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) provides technical support to this initiative. South Sudan’s Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development plays a key role in directing the implementation of the project.


Since 2011, more than three hundred CSSOs have come to South Sudan to support capacity building efforts in sectors like agriculture, aviation, finance, and public health.

With an accumulated budget of over USD25 million, this project is one of the largest triangular South-to-South capacity development interventions to date.

This project is both directly and indirectly responding to sections of South Sudan’s peace agreement, which emphasizes the rehabilitation and reformation of the country’s civil service.

Therefore, the IGAD Initiative is collaborating with the government of South Sudan in developing comprehensive policies, as well as legal and institutional frameworks, to better manage and further develop various government sectors at the national and sub-national levels.

In addition, this initiative promotes a strong role for women. Close to 30 per cent of the twins that have been trained so far since 2011 are women. The presence of female CSSOs advances gender equality by reducing the gender gap, and it also supports and encourages further participation and training of female ministers and civil servants.

2016 Results

  • Development of a national strategic framework for the control and eradication of the animal disease peste des petits ruminant (PPR)
  • Development of a national strategic plan for South Sudan’s AIDS commission
  • 95% of the twins expressed satisfaction over the twinning arrangements
  • 82% of targeted institutions reported improved services


Over 1, 000 South Sudanese civil servants, at the national and state levels.
The citizens - men, women, and youth -  at national and state levels.

Way forward

To continue strengthening the capacity of South Sudanese civil servants through coaching and mentoring to improve service delivery in South Sudan.



Our Stories

  • Dispatches from the IGAD Regional Initiative: Setting up a Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Juba, South Sudan
    Sep 29, 2016

    Ms. Teresia Chepkosgei Kenduiywo and Ms. Alice Alego Matole, Kenyan veterinary laboratory technologists with two decades of technical experience, arrived at Juba’s Central Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory on October 2015, ready to mentor their South Sudanese peers on accurate animal disease diagnosis and effective laboratory management.

  • Dispatches from the IGAD Regional Initiative: Training Midwives for Safe Pregnancies in Terekeka, South Sudan
    Sep 6, 2016

    Mr. Silvanus Odukis, a qualified Kenyan nurse-midwife, with over 30 years of experience in maternal care, knows the inherent challenges of giving birth in South Sudan, one of the world’s deadliest countries to give birth.

  • Improving South Sudanese Health System in Yambio Hospital
    May 3, 2016

    Laketch is a Midwife professional from Ethiopia who, based in Yambio, tries to improve the South Sudanese health system. She is one of the Civil Service Support Officers (CSSOs) participating in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and Republic of South Sudan (RSS) joint programme, which aim is to provide capacity building at human resource, organizational and institutional levels by seconding and placing civil servants from IGAD Member States, within national ministries, commissions and state-level local government.

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