Republic of South Sudan Fragility Assessment Early indication of results and lessons learnt Co-ordination Structure • A Joint task force was established to undertake preparations for the High-level Partnership Forum, a large aid coordination event planned for the end of the year. • The mandate of this group included overseeing New Deal implementation process, including the fragility assessment and development of the Compact. • The Joint Task Force is composed of Undersecretaries from 10 Government Agencies and 10 heads of donor agencies. • It is Chaired by Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning Process and Methodology Step 1: New deal Launch Workshop • The implementation of the new deal started with a one day launch hosted by MOFEP. • This exercise introduced stakeholders to the New Deal and began to map exiting policies and gaps for supporting the PSGs. Step 2: Background research, information gathering and consultations • Different information gathering approaches were employed to generate buy-in from the respective groups. This was mainly document review of available reports and analysis carried out by the government and other stakeholder groups and key informant interviews. Step 3: Fragility assessment workshop • The Fragility assessment workshop was a two-day event in Juba for 100 participants from central and State level. The workshop included a general discussion on the drivers of conflict a discussion about each of the PSGs in break-out groups. • The fragility spectrum dimensions and sub-dimensions and the analytical framework were used to structure debate. • At the end of the workshop, the participants evaluated the proceeding through a questionnaire. Process and Methodology Step 5: Identification of indicators • The break-out groups were asked to propose indicators to measure progress against each of the PSGs. Step 6: Assessment, indicator development and reporting • The draft fragility assessment report was presented for review to MOFEP and the donor community. • It is being completed by desk research and a series of key informant interviews before the validation workshop. • The indicators list was presented to the National Bureau of Statistics for review, amendments and additional inputs. Step 7: Validation workshop (To be undertaken in October 2012) Key Outputs • A draft mapping exercise to determine what existing policies support the New Deal and identify the main gaps • A draft fragility assessment report that summarize the main findings from the review and consultations (under draft) • A list of indicators for the identified key dimensions to assess progress (under draft) • A short lessons learned report outlining the process, stakeholders consulted, feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the approach and suggestions how it could be improved. Key Findings The drivers of conflict and fragility • The fragility assessment indicates that some of the same roots causes that prompted South Sudan to seek independence from the North continue to characterize the fragility of the country. • The fragility spectrum indicates also that if the underlying issues of those roots causes are not addressed the country’s stability is at risk. The biggest areas of progress • The draft spectrum indicates that South Sudan is in the Rebuild and Reform stage of transformation. This is based on the mean rating from the aggregation of the dimension scores. • A key finding is that whilst the majority of dimensions are felt to be at the very beginning in terms of progress at this level, “societal relationships” of the Legitimate Politics PSG is progressing faster and is considered to be at the mid-point of the transition stage. • Overall PSG “Legitimate politics” is felt by the participants to be the PSG that is showing the most progress. • This finding is consistent with expectations of a newly formed country one year after independence. Key Findings Priority areas where greater effort is needed • Gender discrimination or gender equality and illiteracy are crosscutting issues that will require greater efforts from the government, the judiciary, the security sector, economic foundations and revenue and social service. • Capacity building and institutional performances are the dimensions of the 5PSG were most challenging and that will require more investment from the government and external partners. • Moving out of fragility and attaining resilience will require a greater effort to diversify the economy. Agriculture was the sector most often cited as able to accomplish this. Measuring progress • The fragility spectrum workshop identified 35 indicators/indicators areas to measure progress of moving out of fragility. The National Bureau of Statistics identified 17 indicators and/or indicators areas with the major sources of data available. Next Steps • High level Partnership Forum: The South Soudan New deal Task force was structured around the High-level Partnership Forum (HPF) that the Government of South Sudan and its donor partners intend to hold late December 2012-early January 2012, in order to reaffirm a joint commitment to the nation’s development in the context of the New Deal on Engagement in Fragile States. • One vision, one plan: The fragility spectrum will help to develop the New deal, one vision, one plan of South Sudan by bringing together three initiatives currently underway in South Sudan, namely the delivery of the SSDP (and the related SSDI exercise), the UN Peacebuilding Support Plan, the UN Core Functions Strategy and the New Deal’s Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Goals; • Compact and new aid architecture: The assessment will provide an opportunity to present two complementary new frameworks for cooperation, namely: (i) A Compact for Implementing the New Deal and (ii) the Aid Strategy. Successes Participation and Ownership • The Government was pleased with attendance of the fragility assessment workshop, with representatives from a diverse group of stakeholders. In particular, representation from sub-national Government was encouraging with all 10 States represented. • The dialogue was firmly rooted in South Sudanese experience. • A number of different donors agreed to support the activities; this helped to encourage broader donor engagement in the process. Deepening understanding of fragility in South Sudan • The two day workshop provided space for participants to think in more depth about the different aspects of fragility, although more time would have supported this. • South Sudan was able to learn from many of the lessons coming out of the Sierra Leone fragility assessment. The team successfully minimized the amount of time spent on debating or explaining process issues by keeping the guidance clear and concise. Challenges Participation Challenges • Whilst there was a significant donor presence at the workshop, they could have engaged in the dialogue more. To overcome this, MoFEP presented the preliminary findings to the donors community. • There was some concern from the donor side that civil society participation was insufficient, although there were CSO representatives from all 10 States. • Although participation from State-level Government was very encouraging, Central-level representation could have been stronger. Organisational/Funding Challenges • Even though external donors endorsed the new deal at the international level, no local mechanism has been established to support the New Deal process financially. • Holding a two-day workshop with participants from the States is logistically challenging and put strain on limited resources and personnel. • The workshop covered a large number of topics in a relatively short period of time, which meant that there was insufficient time to probe the issues in depth. • Fragility spectrum dimensions dictated the discussion topics and there wasn’t a concerted effort to prioritize areas relevant to South Sudan. Challenges Conceptual / Methodological Challenges • There was some confusion over what to consider the ‘crisis period’. • In some regards the logic behind the spectrum is questionable when applied to South Sudan: while South Sudan can learn from the past, as a newly independent country it now faces a new set of internal challenges that are quite different from those faced during the period of crisis. • Participants would have benefitted from more guidance about how to characterize the different stages of fragility (i.e. definition of each stage). Challenges in producing the outputs • Delays were faced in securing a consultant to undertake the assessment. Challenges in using the outputs/ having impact • Ownership for the New Deal agenda beyond Ministry of Finance remains quite weak. • The workshop did not provide adequate time for the bigger groups to question the priorities identified by the break-out groups on each subdimension. Lessons Learnt • Allow adequate time for the fragility assessment workshop to enable in-depth discussion on PSGs (preferably one day per PSG). This will be dependent on funding. • At the global (secretariat level and international level), lobbying is needed to ensure donors (in particular the New Deal partners) realize their commitment to New Deal by offering financing. • Wider buying from Government (beyond MOFEP and up to the presidential level) is important. • Allow adequate time for the compiling of the report and various outputs. • The development of indicators is a technical job best undertaken in close partnership with the national statistical body. • A well-defined agenda and process, as well as guiding questions, helped structure the discussion in a productive way without becoming prescriptive. • Validation is essential.