Operationalizing the Joint Programme on Recovery and Resilience in South Sudan

A cross-section of participants at the Joint Workplanning and IA4R workshop of the PfRR held in Yambio, South Sudan. Photo credit: UNDP

In 2018, 7.1 million people in South Sudan required humanitarian or development assistance, with 5.7 million of these people requiring food and livelihood support. To respond to increasing humanitarian needs and build the resilience of communities, the multi-donor Partnership for Resilience and Recovery (PfRR) in South Sudan was formed to bring a “new way of working” that shifts focus from “meeting needs” to “reducing needs, risks, and vulnerability.”

The PfRR in South Sudan consists of development partners, UN entities, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and represents a unified, multi-sector approach to reducing vulnerability and building resilience through PfRR’s four principles: coordination, collaboration, colocation, and commitment. PfRR targets seven geographic areas of South Sudan: Yambio, Torit, Aweil, Wau, Rumbek, Bor, and Yei, and builds on community-identified strengths and priorities, while tapping into the remarkable survival abilities of local populations.

Africa Lead organized and co-facilitated the Institutional Architecture for Recovery (IA4R) assessment and the Joint Work Planning workshop for 90 participants representing technical partners and stakeholders from the PfRR in Yambio, South Sudan from March 18 – 22 in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), and World Vision. The purpose of the workshop was to operationalize the Joint Programme on Recovery and Resilience in Yambio by merging the Institutional Architecture for Recovery (IA4R) and joint work planning to ensure development partners objectives align with local stakeholder’s priorities to achieve shared commitments agreed upon for the next year. Workshop participants represented the UN entities, USAID, Netherlands Embassy, international and national non-governmental organizations, local authorities, and traditional leadership within Gbudue state. Africa Lead facilitated structured group work, panel discussions, and plenary sessions all designed to focus convergence efforts around the PfRR’s four pillar areas: Re-establish Access to Basic Services, Rebuild Trust in People and Institutions, Restore Productive Capacities, and Nurture Effective Partnerships.

Group discussion during a technical session at the Joint Workplanning workshop of the PfRR in Yambio, South Sudan. Photo credit: UNDP

In his opening remarks, the governor of Gbudue state, Hon. Bdagbue, acknowledged the importance of joint interventions and the convergence of efforts by all stakeholders to build and enhance resilience within the Yambio candidate partnership area (CPA). Over the course of the three and half day workshop, and with a unanimous agreement from participants to deliberately and purposefully converge their interventions, it was agreed that the Yambio Partnership for Resilience and Recovery will work together along the four PfRR pillars with the aim of unlocking synergies that will be realized through convergence and coordination. In localizing the resilience agenda, the Azande community in Yambio translated the term resilience into their local language as “dangita – to stand strong or to withstand.”

“There is still a need for enhanced and improved coordination by all stakeholders within Yambio. The partnership must be based on equality as every player is important” said Emmanuel Dijango, USAID Program Management Specialist – Engineer & Deputy Mission Environmental Officer.

At the end of the workshop, participants agreed to prioritize the implementation of the identified key results and work together in harmonizing their interventions in 2019.

“This joint work planning workshop demonstrated the resolve of the Yambio technical agencies and stakeholders in activating the partnership and operationalizing the Joint Work Plan. We have achieved more than we set out to do in this three and half days and it’s due to the commitment by all stakeholders” said Jose Manzano, UNDP South Sudan Office.

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