Triangular co-operation for government capacity development in South Sudan

Diana Felix da Costa, Søren Vester Haldrup, John Karlsrud, Frederik Rosén and Kristoffer Nilaus Tarp

This case study examines an initiative run by The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) aimed at rapidly developing core government capacity through a coaching and mentoring scheme. They provided 200 civil servant support officers (CSSOs) from neighbouring countries to South Sudan, where they were twinned with counterparts across a range of ministries and sectors in order to mentor, train and share best practice. The initiative is promising as a new and potentially innovative model of triangular co-operation for capacity as;

  • It rovides a large scale model of support for rapid capacity development in core functions
  • Using regional actors mitigates, to a certain extent, potential for resentment when external experts are bought into capacity poor environments
  • The programme has already shown impact on core practices
  • Encourages strong ownership of the programme at central levels of the South Sudanese Government

The reports outlines ways in which future IGAD initiatives could be improved, namely;

  • Maintaining the same number of CSSOs but distribute them more evenly
  • Ensuring upstream institutions as well as core government functions are included
  • Deploying CSSOs at strategic and operational rather than tactical level
  • Ensuring better matching between CSSOs and twins.
  • Taking more consideration of implementation and in particular human resource management to ensure the maintenance of CSSOs’ morale.



Year of publication: 
Other collections
Themes and sectors: 
Themes and sectors: 
Public administration
Themes and sectors: 
Technical assistance
Case story length: 
4 pages

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