The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) has the pleasure of inviting you to seminar with John Karlsrud, Frederik Rosén and Kristoffer Nilaus Tarp who will present their research on the IGAD initiative in South Sudan.

The IGAD 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 research report to be presented at this seminar can be downloaded here. 

The project is financed by the Training for Peace programme at NUPI, the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre (NOREF), and the Danish Institute for International Studies.