Case Study Objectives

The objectives of this case study follow:

  • Document the lessons learned from the first two years of the Partnership for Recovery and Resilience (PfRR—also known as “the Partnership”).
  • Unpack the eight building blocks as a methodological framework for establishing the Partnership’s area-based programming in four locations (also known as “communities” or Partnership Areas [PAs]).
  • Establish why one of the core pillars of PfRR—Building Trust in People and Institutions—is foundational to the integrity and performance of the Partnership and the Building Block framework.
  • Build the evidence base for the Partnership Approach to resilience programming, whereby the international community engages and works with local communities to prioritize, design, and implement resilience activities in a fragile state context.

To address the case study objectives, Africa Lead captured the knowledge gained by progress to-date to establish the methodological framework (implemented as eight building blocks) in the four PAs, and supplement that knowledge with feedback on PfRR structures, processes, tools, and products through an extensive listening tour with internal stakeholders from October to December 2019. In so doing, the team gathered through additional first-hand accounts insights into the effectiveness of, and how to strengthen, the eight building blocks. Finally, the listening tour provided an organized process to elicit feedback on PfRR structures, processes, tools, and products to insights to how they might be improved to strengthen decisions by internal stakeholders.

PfRR in the Global Context


In March 2018, the international community—led by USAID—came together to establish the Partnership for Recovery and Resilience (PfRR or the Partnership) in South Sudan to build resilience and reduce the vulnerability of households and communities. To do this work, the PfRR brings together 14 donors, 17 UN agencies, and 98 national and international NGOs.

PfRR in the Context of South Sudan

Political disunity had caused 50 years of war before South Sudan’s independence in 2011. In 2013 a new civil war erupted in the capital city, Juba, and spread across the country. Community defense groups that had long protected land, cattle, and clans from danger became embroiled in the national conflict. Their local grievances exacerbated tensions,which led to widespread fighting until the internationally brokered peace process resulted in the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) on February 22, 2020. 

How the PfRR is Organized

Through this case study and Africa Lead’s role in facilitating the PfRR, we have observed that social cohesion is a critical influencer of resilience outcomes. In the South Sudan context, supporting social cohesion within and across communities is linked to, and can unlock, other entry points to strengthen resilience capacities at the local community level.