Supporting Local Government in delivering services to the community
Since 2006, UNDP South Sudan has been working with local governments to strengthen the institutional and human resource capacities in order to enable them to deliver services to their communities. This support included:
1) Policy support through developing legal frameworks, drafting policies and systems for local governments;
2) Capacity development support by improving technical capacities of local governments in areas of development planning, budgeting and public financial management; and
3) Basic infrastructure support.
Tangible results from UNDP’s policy support include the development and approval of Local Government Frameworks, the Local Government Act of 2009 which was passed, the Participatory Planning and Budgeting Guide for Local Governments and the Councillors’ Induction Guide. Outcomes of UNDP’s capacity development support include increased government capacities in developing county plans and budgets, local government financial management, and general office management. Finally, UNDP has assisted over the years to renovate and construct county infrastructure in various locations across the country, and provided basic equipment for the better functioning of County Administrations and the Local Government Board (LGB).
Most recently, UNDP handed over a new office building for the LGB in Central Equatoria state in December 2012. Designed and implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and Physical Planning and with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the office building provides appropriate space for the LGB to carry out their functions in providing policy advice, oversight and capacity building support to local governments.
During the handover ceremony, the Honourable Nikodemo Arou Men, Acting Chairperson of the LGB, thanked UNDP for the support and noted that UNDP has been a longstanding partner of the LGB. The Acting Chairperson highlighted the need for continued support from UNDP in the implementation of the Local Government Act, the strengthening of the oversight and management of intergovernmental transfers (including County Development Grants) and building capacities in county planning, budgeting and financial management.
On behalf of the UNDP County Director, Mandisa Mashologu, Team Leader, Poverty Reduction and MDGs, reiterated UNDP’s commitment to provide technical assistance to the LGB, the State Ministries of Local Government and County Administrations through staff embedded in local government institutions across the country.
UNDP will continue to focus on supporting sub-national planning and budgeting processes and public financial management with the aim of better service delivery to the citizens of South Sudan through accountable and transparent government institutions.