The RSS/IGAD Regional Executive Board Reaffirms Commitment to South Sudan’s Stabilization, Sustainability, and ProgressSep 21, 2016
The latest RSS/IGAD Regional Initiative Executive Board Meeting took place yesterday, September 20, 2016 in Juba, at the Ministry of Labour, Public Service, and Human Resource Development of South Sudan, where they discussed the progress, achievements, and next steps of the IGAD Regional Initiative.
The Hon. Lt. Gen. Gabriel Duop Both Lam, South Sudan’s Minister for Labour, Public Service, and Human Resource Development chaired the meeting. Representatives from the government of South Sudan, as well as delegations from the governments of Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda (IGAD partner countries) and from the government of Norway (the project’s only donor), and members of the United Nations Development Programme (the project’s implementing partner), attended the meeting.
During the meeting’s opening remarks, the Hon. Duop Lam expressed his gratitude to all project’s partners. “The IGAD countries have supported South Sudan not now, not just today, but for a very long time to bring peace to the country so that we can stand on our own,” he said. “We want to continue to cooperate together to move the country forward.”
Following these remarks, Jean-Luc Stalon, UNDP Acting Country Director, emphasized the opportunities the IGAD Regional Capacity Initiative offers South Sudan in terms of post-conflict recovery and stabilization efforts across different public sectors.
“This project is critical for the years to come in terms of restoring public confidence and trust and strengthening core public administration and service delivery capacity to renew the social contract between the state and its citizens,” said Mr. Stalon. “This will go a long way in restoring public trust, confidence and lay a strong foundation for sustainable peace and development in the country.
Mr. Stalon also highlighted the role the IGAD Regional Initiative could play in the implementation of the country’s peace agreement. Future Civil Service Support Officers (CSSOs), he explained, could be deployed to key institutions and mechanisms envisaged in the agreement such as the Economic and Financial Management Authority (EFMA), the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH), or the National Constitution Review Commission.
“This multifaceted support,” Mr. Stalon said, “will be critical in strengthening the government’s capacity in economic governance, building responsive and accountable institutions as well as in the undertaking of transitional justice and in the promotion of social cohesion and reconciliation.”
The Executive Board approved the proceedings of the previous meeting held in December, 2015. It also discussed the Project Progress Report from January to June 2016. They talked about security-related issues and their impact on the project’s implementation as well as the possibility of inviting other IGAD countries to participate in this project.
The Board also reviewed budgetary matters, the expiration and renewal of CSSOs contracts, as well as future recruitment and deployment of CSSOs.
The IGAD Regional Capacity Initiative aims to strengthen the capacity of the South Sudanese civil service at a national and sub-national level. The project accomplishes this by lending out seasoned CSSOs from the IGAD countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda –– and teaming them up with South Sudanese counterparts, usually referred to as “twins.”
Since 2011, more than three hundred CSSOs, working on two-year contracts, have come to South Sudan to support capacity building efforts in different sectors like agriculture, aviation, finance, and public health. Their salaries are covered by their own countries while other expenses are paid for by the government of Norway, the project’s sole donor. The UNDP is responsible for the project’s coordination and implementation.
The next RSS/IGAD Regional Executive Board Meeting will take place in Juba in December, at a date yet to be determined.