Regional Cooperation for Civilian Capacity Development after Conflict: Lessons from South Sudan and Afghanistan.

Posted: October 9, 2013 by vpdresearchcluster in Uncategorized

Wednesday 9 October at 9 am we are very pleased to launch our report on the triangular cooperation for capacity development in South Sudan (IGAD-initiative) at a seminar at the International Peace Institute in New York on Regional Cooperation for Civilian Capacity Development after Conflict: Lessons from South Sudan and Afghanistan. Our main report from field work conducted in South Sudan in January and February this year is available at:


Some background: The IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) initiative provides 199 civil service support officers (CSSOs) to South Sudan where they are twinned with counterparts across many ministries and sectors to rapidly develop core government capacity in a coaching and mentoring scheme. The CSSOs come from the civil services of Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda and are seconded for two-year terms. The initiative resonates well with the UN Civilian Capacity reform process and the calls for more use of regional capacity and more flexible and bottom-up approaches when supporting countries emerging from conflict.


The IGAD initiative is a promising new and potentially innovative model of triangular cooperation for capacity development for four reasons. First, it provides a model of large-scale support to rapid capacity development in core government functions. Second, the use of regional capacity does to a certain degree mitigate the potential resentment that capacity support can generate as external experts are brought into capacity-poor environments. Third, the programme can already show some evidence of impact on core practices such as establishing strategic plans and drafting policies and supporting their development. Finally, there seems to be a strong ownership of the programme by the Government of South Sudan as well as among many of the twins.


The report is published as one of the first products of the International Capacity Research Initiative (ICRI). ICRI is a co-funded research cooperation on capacity development in fragile states between the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) Noref; and the Training for Peace programme (TfP) at the Norwegian Institute for International Affairs (NUPI). We have received additional support to conduct field work from UN PBSO, UNDP, and last but not least, the countries involved in the project – Ethiopia, Kenya, Norway, South Sudan and Uganda.


We have also published several policy briefs on various aspects of the IGAD initiative:

  1. Civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict. The IGAD Initiative in South Sudan: a case study in the context of the OPEN framework:
  2. Triangular co-operation for government capacity development in South Sudan:
  3. With a little help from my friends: cultural affinity in regional support for capacity development in South Sudan


We hope you will find our work of some interest, and look forward to your reactions and comments.

Diana, Frederik, John, Kristoffer and Soren



Regional Cooperation for Civilian Capacity Development_October 9


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