Written by Martina Santschi

Caught Between Two Cultures: When aid in South Sudan is pulled between local norms and western systems

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Kinship and community support-based social security mechanisms are vital for the survival of South Sudanese in times of crisis. They are based on concepts and longstanding practices of mutual support, social obligation and vulnerability. These concepts can conflict with western ideals of transparency, accountability and “fair” allocation of resources, including aid. As a result, socially…

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Statebuilding and legitimacy: experiences of South Sudan

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In 2005, the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement / Army concluded a peace agreement, formally ending the 22-year-old civil war. Following a referendum, South Sudan seceded; donors put billions toward the new state and Sudan’s recovery, supporting – among other things – the development of new state institutions for both countries.…

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Dividing Communities in South Sudan and Northern Uganda

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This report explores the underlying factors of land disputes and boundary conflicts; by shifting away from the national legislation and policy, it looks at changing land values, patterns of decentralisation and local hybrid ssystems of land governance as explaining factors.

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Livelihoods, access to services and perceptions of governance: An analysis of Pibor county, South Sudan from the perspective of displaced people

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This paper from 2014 analyses the perceptions of Murle IDPs in Juba of their former livelihoods, access to basic services and governance in Pibor County prior to the escalation of violence across South Sudan. Download

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Traditional Authorities, Local Justice and Local Conflict Resolution Mechanisms in South Sudan

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This book chapter explores local justice and conflict resolution mechanisms in South Sudan. It illustrates that chiefs play a significant role in local justice as well as in conflict resolution. In addition, the chapter exemplifies that ‘local level’, ‘grassroots’ conflict resolution mechanisms are multi-layered and frequently involve regional and national government institutions as well as…

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Chiefs, State-Building and Development in Independent South Sudan

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This policy brief argues that chiefs play an important role in governance and community life in South Sudan. They provide an array of vital services, from mobilising people for community projects to adjudicating disputes and administering customary law. Sometimes criticised as being an unelected group of old men, they will nevertheless play a vital role…

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Between Community and Government: Traditional Authorities in Post-Conflict Southern Sudan

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This paper explores the role of traditional authorities – who play a key role in local governance – in post-2005 state-building processes in South Sudan. It argues that after 2005 administrative structures are not installed in a vacuum of power but rather, a variety of actors and strategic groups negotiate and compete for public authority,…

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Briefing: Counting ‘New Sudan’

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Between 22 April and 6 May 2008, Sudan’s fifth population and housing census was conducted in both North and South Sudan. Because it was assumed to have a decisive impact on future power and wealth sharing in Sudan, the census has been highly contested, and its outcome was controversial. This briefing argues that the hotly…

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