Independent Country Programme Evaluation: South Sudan

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2021, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
Planned End Date:
Completion Date:
Management Response:
Evaluation Budget(US $):


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Title Independent Country Programme Evaluation: South Sudan
Atlas Project Number: 95329,90332,72625,64223,72642,95744,95145,91065,95140,106307,106306,103216,86376,86373,90124,64257,97459,64179,61441,102663,64379,105291,96565,75366,94464,77970,105603,103506
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type: ICPE/ADR
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2021
Planned End Date: 12/2020
Management Response: No
Focus Area:
  • 1. Poverty
  • 2. Governance
  • 3. Resilience
  • 4. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1.1 Capacities developed across the whole of government to integrate the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and other international agreements in development plans and budgets, and to analyse progress towards the SDGs, using innovative and data-driven solutions
  • 2. Output 1.1.2 Marginalised groups, particularly the poor, women, people with disabilities and displaced are empowered to gain universal access to basic services and financial and non-financial assets to build productive capacities and benefit from sustainable livelihoods and jobs
  • 3. Output 1.2.1 Capacities at national and sub-national levels strengthened to promote inclusive local economic development and deliver basic services including HIV and related services
  • 4. Output 1.2.3 Institutions and systems enabled to address awareness, prevention and enforcement of anti-corruption measures to maximize availability of resources for poverty eradication
  • 5. Output 2.2.2 Constitution-making, electoral and parliamentary processes and institutions strengthened to promote inclusion, transparency and accountability
  • 6. Output 2.2.3 Capacities, functions and financing of rule of law and national human rights institutions and systems strengthened to expand access to justice and combat discrimination, with a focus on women and other marginalised groups
  • 7. Output 2.3.1 Data and risk-informed development policies, plans, systems and financing incorporate integrated and gender-responsive solutions to reduce disaster risks, enable climate change adaptation and mitigation, and prevent risk of conflict
  • 8. Output 3.1.1 Core government functions and inclusive basic services4 restored post-crisis for stabilisation, durable solutions to displacement and return to sustainable development pathways within the framework of national policies and priorities
  • 9. Output 3.2.1 National capacities strengthened for reintegration, reconciliation, peaceful management of conflict and prevention of violent extremism in response to national policies and priorities
SDG Target
  • 1.1 By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day
  • 1.2 By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions
  • 1.5 By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters
  • 1.a Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions
  • 1.b Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
  • 15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
  • 16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
  • 16.3 Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
  • 16.5 Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms
  • 16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
  • 17.18 By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts
  • 3.3 By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases
  • 4.4 By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship
Evaluation Budget(US $): 25,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 25,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Vijayalakshmi Vadivelu Lead Evaluator
Ben Murphy Associate Lead Evaluator
Claudia Villanueva Research Associate
Richard Barltrop Evaluation Consultant
Kita Loisa Evaluation Consultant
Batali Geoffrey Evaluation Consultant
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: SOUTH SUDAN

Peace gains made in South Sudan are fragile and the structural causes of conflict, including development underpinnings of peace, are still to be strategically addressed. UNDP’s programme strategy should be more oriented to demonstrating sustainable programme models suitable for the South Sudan context that would accelerate development and peace processes.

The response in South Sudan indicates that fragmented peacebuilding efforts had limited outcomes. Drawing on the organization’s experience in other conflict settings, UNDP should explore the possibilities for multi-agency stabilization support that would address key constraints in peacebuilding and provide reliable, accountable and transparent modalities for partnership with the government.

While UNDP may continue to provide development services to other agencies, the main focus should be on enabling viable peace and development solutions. Stabilization and sustainable peace dividends in South Sudan require simultaneously addressing humanitarian and developmental needs. UNDP’s programme strategy should reflect this urgency. UNDP should position itself to promote solutions that would enable a development approach to peace by connecting actors and resources. A clear distinction between shortterm support and long-term peace and development programmes that reflect UNDP’s core mandate, should define UNDP programme strategy.


For an inclusive implementation of the Peace Agreement, UNDP’s support to peacebuilding in South Sudan should address the complex task of strengthening linkages between community-level expectations and national peace processes.

While there is no prescribed solution to respond to the complexity of the peace process in South Sudan, there are three areas for UNDP to consider focusing its support. First, mechanisms for fostering dialogue are critical for bridging trust and buy-in of the revitalization process and peacebuilding initiatives. UNDP’s support should be oriented to enabling dialogue between citizens and government to share and manage expectations. Also, initiatives should be supported to address some of the anomalies of the Revitalized Peace Agreement process by enabling linkages to local-level dialogue. Advocacy efforts should be supported to bridge the gap among international, national and local peace efforts and to facilitate neutral spaces for civil society engagement.

Second, to strengthen peace institutions and infrastructure at the national and state levels, there should be a prioritization of areas where there will be consistent engagement.

Third, UNDP’s support to community peace efforts should be anchored in state and national peace initiatives. Merely including youth in the community peace programmes will not be sufficient to engage them as agents of peace. UNDP should facilitate policy solutions by connecting concerned actors for generational transformation initiatives that focus on improving youth income and productive resources. Programmes should seek to address social cohesion fault lines that can exacerbate violence and negative coping mechanisms among youth.




Public administration support should focus on strengthening the capacities of key institutions and related reform processes. A well-considered approach to strengthening the governance capacities of local government institutions should be prioritized, as it is critical for stabilization and sustained peace and development.

Short-term human resource support for extended periods will be counterproductive in strengthening South Sudanese institutions. UNDP should move away from the humanitarian mode of governance support of substituting human resources and ad hoc policy support, to a more strategic approach to strengthening institutions and policy processes and human resource capacities. With strong partnerships with the government at the national and state levels, UNDP is strongly positioned to play a larger role in streamlining civil service and public administration capacities. South Sudan, as a young nation with evolving institutions, provides opportunities for introducing new public administration tools. UNDP should promote digital solutions for improving governance and social services.

UNDP should be selective in its support to sector governance at the national and/or state level. For example, areas such as access to justice or PFM need well-considered strategies for consistent engagement in key areas within these broad sectors where UNDP can bring its expertise and solutions. Also, specific emphasis is needed to support health sector governance, where UNDP is heavily involved in its support to the implementation of the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis.

UNDP should prioritize support to local government capacities, with particular emphasis on strengthening service delivery. Specific emphasis is needed to support area development models to strengthen local government capacities in service delivery and to anchor community peace mechanisms. There should be a prioritization of fewer geographical areas to demonstrate workable solutions to improving local government capacities. The South Sudan Partnership for Recovery and Resilience (PfRR) platform should be used to forge inter-agency local development solutions for peace and development.

Building on its ongoing support to data and policy analysis, UNDP should identify areas for consistent engagement. This is also an area where coordination within UNCT is critical for maximizing support to SDG data systems.





UNDP should review its livelihood and employment programme approach to bring them up to scale. Support to productive capacities and value-chain initiatives needs a well-considered strategy and strong programmatic partnerships to enable a full range of responses.

Improving livelihoods and productive capacities is a key driver of peace and stability. Short-term initiatives in the face of immense needs have limited significance for transforming livelihoods. UNDP should strengthen and formalize programmatic partnerships with UN agencies as well as other international agencies and the private sector to support integrated employment and livelihood solutions. Consideration should be given to using the local-area economic development approach for strengthening livelihoods and productive capacities. For example, in the oil-producing areas, skills development should focus on job and business opportunities available within the oil and gas value-chain. This will eventually prepare South Sudanese to take over some of the jobs in a sector currently dominated by outsiders. Ensure a conflict-sensitive approach in livelihood programme support. Prioritize interior rural regions that are severely conflict-affected. Livelihood support should be informed by the ecosystem services approach linking adaptation, disaster preparedness and livelihoods.

Build on the potential of renewable energy for sustainable livelihoods solutions. Support a conducive policy environment and institutional capacity for expanding energy services in productive sectors such as agriculture and for promoting decentralized renewable energy technologies.

UNDP should support the formalization of social protection measures and the use of tools appropriate for South Sudan. Considering that food security support in South Sudan lacks a framework, provide policy support for strengthening the linkages between social protection measures and food security initiatives predominant in humanitarian support.


UNDP should continue its emphasis on strengthening efforts to promote women’s security and access to development resources. UNDP should consider programmatic partnerships in select areas such as access to justice and addressing violence against women.

UNDP has shown commitment to strengthening gender equality and empowerment of women in its programme strategies and planning. Continue to support national policies and programme models to improve women’s security and economic empowerment. Prioritize areas and establish partnerships for in-depth engagement.



A conflict programming context and nascent markets in South Sudan present challenges for private sector engagement. UNDP should support efforts to address these challenges in developing practical ways to engage the private sector in employment-generation and social services.

With programmes at the state and local levels, UNDP can bring to private sector engagement its comparative advantage in policy development and programme implementation. This potential should be capitalized on for more strategic engagement in strengthening policy space for private sector engagement.

Based on an assessment of opportunities and structural constraints in South Sudan, develop a private sector strategy along with the forthcoming country programme. The strategy should aim to enable a conducive environment for small and medium-sized enterprises. Drawing on the lessons of the current programme, seek to address binding policy constraints. Use the Accelerator Lab to identify tools that have a greater possibility of succeeding in a fragile context. Identify sectors for greater engagement where UNDP can partner with other UN agencies for private sector development.

Many development challenges in South Sudan are linked to energy access. Take concrete measures to support access to renewable energy services. Position UNDP as a connector of renewable energy ecosystem actors, enabling collaboration between the private sector and state and central governments. Facilitate efforts to address regulatory environment as well as sector-specific policy measures.




Expanding field offices should be prioritized to work towards conflict-sensitive sustainable programme options. The field offices should establish stronger partnerships with the local government and other actors to promote local-area development solutions.

In a dynamic peace context, field presence is critical for UNDP’s contribution to local-level strategies and improved capacities. UNDP recognizes this and is establishing three field offices in addition to the project offices already present. Once established, there will be a need to ensure that field offices, rather than acting merely as implementing units of the Juba office, have context-based local-area development strategies. Where UNDP project offices are already present, improvements are suggested, so that their capacities go beyond the role of project implementation and become units capable of developing local solutions and of galvanizing other actors


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