Local Governance Capacity Building in South Kordofan

UNDP Programme in South Kordofan for 2006-June 2009


Throughout the two decades of conflict, the South Kordofan Region has been a contested zone between the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). The signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) provided a new opportunity to recover the basic social and economic assets and for the reintegration of the increasing flow of returnees into the region, and marked a clear transition from war and insecurity to peace and stability. system of governance in the recently established South Kordofan state, constituted a milestone in the promotion of good governance and rule of law. The power-sharing government was established in April 2006 comprising 22 establishments, including the Office of the Governor, the Legislative Council, the Auditor General, 10 line Ministries and 9 Localities. In December 2006, the state Government approved the state Constitution, thus contributing to enhancing the process of democratization and decentralization in the state. This year, the Governorship of South Kordofan passed smoothly from SPLM to the National Congress Party in 2007 as stipulated in the CPA.

The planned merger of the two governance systems, as determined in the CPA, has been facing several challenges due to limited capacities and a lack of the necessary technical expertise to support effective governance and service delivery in the state. Most institutions have limited financial and human resources and capacities and are unable to manage an effective public administration to support the devolution of power, as stipulated in the CPA. In general, the decentralization and democratization process in South Kordofan state faces other difficulties related to the integration of different structures and weak operational and technical capacity within the civil service, and the continued limited capacities of civil society organizations (CSOs) and traditional institutions to engage in meaningful dialogue with the government and effectively participate in service delivery.

In an attempt to foster democratic governance in South Kordofan state, in January 2006, UNDP launched the Local Governance Capacity Building project, with the support of the UK’s Department for International Development and the Netherlands.

The Local Governance Capacity Building project in South Kordofan is a five-year initiative that aims to contribute to the establishment of effective state and local governance structures which are transparent, accountable, accessible, efficient, representative and sustainable. The specific objectives are:
• Develop and strengthen the human resources capacity of governance institutions at all levels in the state;
• Develop and strengthen effective and elaborated working systems, structures and procedures of governance institutions with an emphasis on results based management
• Strengthen the legal and institutional framework for effective decentralization and empowerment of local government

Snapshots of the project's major achievements

• The project conducted institutional capacity assessments of Government organizations and CSOs. These assessments enhanced the knowledge of programme staff enabling them to identify governance capacity gaps and design appropriate programme responses. Furthermore, the assessments greatly helped the establishment of good working relationships with personnel in government organisations and CSOs. Assessments included Institutional Capacity Assessment of Line Ministries (May 2006); Review of South Kordofan Administrative and Civil Service Structures and Wage Bill (June 2006); Locality Governance Capacity Assessment (October 2006).
• Implemented extensive training programmes through which the operational, managerial and technical knowledge and skills of 218 Government officials and CSO leaders were enhanced.
• Organized a state level civil service reform and a good governance conference, at which more than 100 civil servants drawn from the State and Federal Government participated. The conference provided opportunities for sharing civil service reform issues and challenges and came up with practical suggestions to the state regarding civil service reform issues.
• The project staff organized a learning mission for high-level state government officials in South Africa from September 5-12, 2006. The mission was led by the Wali (Governor) of the State and 9 high-level officials who participated in the event. The learning mission exposed South Kordofan officials to: (i) innovative ways of system thinking to develop a vision and a long term strategy/agenda for development; (ii) public sector process engineering and management for optimization of service delivery in a devolved context; (iii) transformational leadership and change management models to strengthen leadership and political commitment in a decentralized context; and (iv) inter-governmental fiscal relations and fiscal decentralization.
• In collaboration with the State Government, a modern training centre is being constructed. The State Government has allocated 12,000 metres of land for the construction of the centre. UNDP has finalized the design and a bidding process is currently underway for the construction activity. The training centre will cater for local level capacity building activities for government, CSOs and the private sector and for neighbouring states.
• The project has recruited and seconded one national civil service reform advisor to the Government of South Kordofan. The technical advisor supported the Government in initiating civil service reform programmes through the establishment of the Civil Service Reform Committee in the Ministry of Local Government and Civil Service. The Committee has developed its action plans for comprehensive civil service reform in the State.
• An international English language trainer has been recruited and seconded to the government and 52 senior government officials are undergoing special purpose English language training. Both the national and international experts have supported the improvement of work related skills in government institutions.
• Trained 145 civil servants, (including 42 from Kadugli Locality, 60 from Selam Locality and 43 newly-recruited Administrative Officers, of whom 42 were women), in ‘Principles and Processes of Fiscal Decentralization, Local Government Financial Management and Strategic Planning’.
• Trained 115 civil servants at key policy and decision-making levels on Strategic Planning.
• Funded the training of 85 civil servants in English language training.
• In supporting the strategic thinking and leadership ability of the political leadership of the State, the project supported the participation of the Governor of South Kordofan in a learning mission to the Philippines.
• Established a State level CSO umbrella body with a leadership composed of 13 CSO umbrella body leaders (12 male and 1 female) in strategic and operational planning.
• Developed Public Policy Formulation, Implementation, Gender Analysis, Change Management, Problem Solving and Decision-Making training modules, which are used for training civil servants.
• The project completed a rapid capacity assessment of the traditional governance institutions and proposed capacity building interventions. The needs assessment identified the capacity gaps and developed a training module on the role and function of government and government institutions; modern versus customary laws; conflict management; conflict mediation; negotiation; problem solving and decision making and effective community leadership.
• Upon request from the State Government, facilitated discussions which led to the initiation of improvements to the State Five-year Strategic Plan for both the State and sectors.
• Established a State Level Strategic Planning Macro Task Force consisting of 13 members and chaired by the Director General of the Ministry of Economy and Investment. The Macro Task Force conducted five regular meetings with actionable recommendations.
• Established ten Sector Task Forces at the sector level consisting of 110 members and conducted in-house strategic planning training for each Task Force.
• Provided technical and financial support for the establishment of the South Kordofan CSO. The Forum is a registered organization with 150 members that aims to strengthen the participation of CSOs in governance and service delivery.
• The Forum leadership was provided with technical training in strategic planning, effective networking and management. Supported the production of a three-year strategic plan that will guide the formative stages of the Forum.
• Developed the Gender Audit tool and conducted an audit in 9 line ministries.
• A total of 134 (79 (59%) male and 55 (41%) female) civil servants participated in the gender audit by completing the gender audit questionnaire.
• Developed, packaged and translated into Arabic a Gender training reference manual and distributed it to the gender task force members.
• Supported the training of 50 gender task force members (32 female and 18 male) in participatory training techniques.
• Supported the training of 35 senior government officials (34 male and 1 female) in public policy formulation, implementation and evaluation.
• Developed a Governance capacity development training impact assessment tool, which was discussed and translated into the Arabic language.
• UNDP trained staff from the State Ministries of Economy and Investment, Local Government and Civil Service, and the Ministry of Social Welfare’s Department for women affairs on how to improve the development of proposals and the preparation of project budgeting.
• UNDP provided the Directorate of the Civil Service and the Women Department with three computers, one printer, and one photocopier, and provided the State Ministries in northern Sudan with 11 printers.
• UNDP supported the South Kordofan Secretary General in reviewing the Civil Service structure and budget preparation for the 2008 fiscal year, and organized a gender session that raised awareness of some 135 civil servants on gender issues.

For full program details: http://www.sd.undp.org/projects/dg11.htm


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