‘Due to the management and leadership training, provided for by the IDEAL programme, I am able to better coordinate and structure my team. In the end this helped us to work more effectively and in a more structured way than we would have done before‘
Mr. Richard Mele,
Acting Executive Director of Kapoeta East County
‘I never realized the importance of values and ethics and we are never trained on this topic by NGOs. If we understand the values and ethics of others, we will be able to achieve more.’
Mr. Zakaria Oyola,
gender and social officer at Kapoeta East County
improving Access to Basic Services
by strengthening local government
South Sudan, Country Programme under the IDEAL Programme
Making WASH accessible to all
South Sudan is the youngest country in the world. In its infancy, it is faced with many challenges. One area where all these challenges come together is the control and use of water. Most citizens do not have sufficient access to proper WASH* services. The lack in quality and availability of WASH services leads to social tensions. Pastoralists, farmers, refugees and communities compete over the limited available resources, sometimes with fatal consequences. Recent droughts have aggravated these conflicts even more.
The situation is difficult to manage for the local governments of counties with the few human and financial resources they have, even though it is their mandate to provide this type of basic services.
The IDEAL programme supports county governments in Kapoeta North, East and South to effectively provide WASH services and increase quality and accessibility to these services by taking into account the needs of different groups concerning WASH. County government officials are supported by VNG International in carrying out their coordinating role in an inclusive manner, i.e. working with Water Management Committees, Women’s Associations, as well as development organisations. This will lead to less competition over water resources, thereby removing one of the main contributors to armed conflicts.
*Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
The IDEAL programme supports the county government officials by focusing on an increased understanding of their roles and responsibilities and by improving their skills to provide WASH services in a more effective and inclusive way. This consists amongst others of training on planning, budgeting, cooperation and communication, but also enhancing leadership and organizational skills. Besides becoming more effective in the implementation of WASH services, the IDEAL programme also focuses on the increased cooperation between county government officials and community stakeholders such as Women’s Associations. Focusing on these inclusive processes allows the communities to voice their needs, while it provides the counties with an opportunity to verify the needs and priorities of their constituencies.
The environment county governments operate in includes international aid organizations, civil society organizations and the state government as the WASH sector is considered a priority. Being aware and able to deal with this wide variety of stakeholders means that the county governments officials need to be able to (re)present themselves at different levels and in various platforms. Working on these skills is another focus area of the IDEAL programme. As county government officials have participated in various trainings, they have gained valuable skills and knowledge necessary for providing basic services. Consequently, the next step in building their capacities is to put these skills into practise. However, given that the counties hardly have any funds for the implementation of activities, the IDEAL programme will provide them with small grants.
All of the above is significantly influenced by social, economic and political forces. In order to take these forces into account, the IDEAL South Sudan programme is working as much as possible in a flexible, and conflict and gender sensitive manner.