We help build democratic societies

The Democratic Governance programme supports South Sudan as it builds democratic institutions and establishes sustainable, accountable and transparent governance and rule of law systems. UNDP has committed significant human, technical and financial resources to improving the performance of government institutions and processes. Statebuilding is at the heart of UNDP’s commitment to South Sudan.

A key statebuilding strategy employed by UNDP has been supporting the government to identify its core functions. These ‘survival functions’ include ramped-up support to 19 key areas such as rule of law, public finance management, public administration and the management of natural resources.

UNDP’s rule of law portfolio aims to facilitate a more predictable, accountable and effective rule of law response in a fragile context that is prone to recurrent insecurity and localized conflict. UNDP provides multi-faceted support to rule of law institutions, including the Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development, the Ministry of Internal Affairs (police and prisons), the Judiciary of South Sudan and the South Sudan Human Rights Commission. UNDP helps coordinate the development of customary law by traditional authorities alongside the expansion and implementation of statutory law by the State.

To meet the demand for civil service skills at the state level, UNDP’s Rapid Capacity Placement Initiative has begun deploying up to 150 specialists, recruited by the UN Volunteers programme, directly into state governments. Another way to increase the capacity pool to support State functions includes our initiative with IGAD member states such as Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, which are deploying at least 200 civil servants into the public service in South Sudan.

UNDP supports a number of regular forums which bring together elected leaders and officials, increasing dialogue and accountability of government. The annual UNDP-supported Governors’ Forum continues to be a great success.  

Governors come together in Juba and share concerns over resources, and their humanitarian and government issues. County Commissioners’ Forums have evolved from this. The forums offer an opportunity for discussion of county-specific issues, and allows for work on plausible solutions that can be implemented by local people through local structures.

Current Challenges

  • 42 percent of civil servants have primary school education only.
  • Only 12 percent of the population are paid employees.
  • Only 1 percent of households have a bank account.
  • An estimated 25 percent of people have access to health services.

Key Achievements

  • Training has been provided to all ten State Legislative Assemblies in their oversight and representation functions.
  • Major boost in expansion of law enforcement capacity and coverage, with 61 new police stations and posts currently being constructed across 10 states.
  • Ten Commissioners' Forums, one per state, are held annually, allowing for state-level dialogue on policy issues between the county governments.
  • Deployment of up to 200 civil servants into government ministries and organizations, boosting capacity to deliver basic services and manage state finances.