Six Lessons from the Within and Without the State Programme in South Sudan | Oxfam

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Since 2012, Within and Without the State (WWS) has been working in South Sudan to improve the relationship between citizen and state, mainly using the ‘social contract’ model. Richard Chilvers, learning and communications officer for WWS, recently visited and identified font-size: 10pt
  OXFAM CASE STUDY JULY 2015  MP/Public dialogue, Wulu, Lakes state, South Sudan Photo: Crispin Hughes SIX LESSONS FROM THE WITHIN AND WITHOUT THE STATE GOVERNANCE PROGRAMME IN SOUTH SUDAN   Since 2012, Within and Without the State has been working in South Sudan to improve the relationship between citizen and state, mainly using the  ‘social contract’  model. Richard Chilvers, WWS ’ learning and communications officer, recently visited and identified six lessons on how to support positive change in gender equality, peacebuilding and working with the state.  2 1. Work with existing state structures rather than inventing parallel systems. County Legislative Councils: Oxfam partner    CEPO in Lakes State found the Judiciary and Executive of both state and county had not complied with the provisions of the Local Government Act for the es-tablishment of County Legislative Councils (CLCs). Under the Local Government Act of 2009, there is provision for CLCs in all ten states of South Sudan, but in some States none were functioning and the state was not investing in them as they are a check to their expendi-ture. The CLCs are meant to supervise the executive council, enact by-laws, ensure social services delivery, approve budgets and pro-mote human rights and democracy.   The fact they were not function-ing meant transparency and accountability were missing. CEPO had already begun promoting open community public forums, but in the second year of WWS, worked to establish functioning legislative structures at local government level as legislated for. CEPO lobbied the Local Government Board at the national level which is responsi-ble for implementing the Local Government Act. At the state level, CEPO lobbied the State Minister of Local Government.   There are now functioning CLCs which seek to ensure the account-ability of the executives in all eight counties of Lakes state. CEPO also delivered trainings on budget tracking to ensure the CLCs were able to gauge policy direction as well as scrutinising itemised budg-ets. They then gathered feedback from the community on whether money was spent as stated. At the legislative council level there is a Budget and Planning committee of seven members. CEPO trained these county councillors and the chairpersons in roles and responsi-bilities, financial management, human rights protection, governance, service delivery, planning, devolution of powers and conflict mitiga-tion. They trained four groups in three counties. The World Bank through the local government service delivery project (LOGOSEED) gives the Local Government Board of South Sudan approximately $3m a year to support local service delivery,however the condition for this grants is that there must be a functioning and trained CLCs. CEPO also unearths fraud. For example CEPO heard that retired state employees had not been paid their pensions. They approached the Ministry of Finance and were told the money had been paid out to the State Minister who had simply diverted the 14,000 SSp (£1,500). CEPO alerted the media and made sure the public knew about it in a public accountability forum. They put a petition in to the Public Ac-counts Committee in the State Legislature of Lakes state. The peti-tion, signed by at least 200 people, confirmed the alleged corruption with evidence and the committee sat and considered it before pass-ing it to the Parliament to raise a motion to investigate the allegation. Boma/Payam Development Committees:  At first Oxfam partner SUTCO established two Community Accountability Committees (CACs) which met monthly with 20 representatives from across the community (women, disabled, business, youth, chiefs, religious lead-ers) to gather the concerns of the community. Under the provisions of the Local Government Act of 2009, each Payam has to make its planned budget publically available. The CACs were designed to raise awareness of the roles and responsibilities of South Sudanese citizens, to monitor the expenditure of public money from the state to the county to the Payams and to form a bridge between the commu-nity and local government as people feel the government is far from   3 them. Communities identify their needs such as for schools, clinics, roads and water which should then be reflected in the area develop-ment plans. The drafting of the Terms of Reference for CACs took a participatory approach in consulting the community and sharing with other institutions for comments, for example, the South Sudanese Human Rights Commission and local government board. The CACs were functioning well, but had no official mandate from the state to operate and as a result faced challenges from the state po-lice when working with the community as well as being unable to ac-tually operate. In the 2009 Local Government Act there is a provision for Payam Development Committees to raise awareness of the roles of citizens. They have applied to change the CACs to Boma/Payam Development Committees as it makes them officially sanctioned and there is possible state funding available. Once this is officially signed off by the Local Government Board of South Sudan. (SUTCO has been waiting for eight months to get this signed off) the plan is to replicate it across the country. Specific trainings were delivered on budget tracking and how to liaise with Payams and then forward cases to the Human Rights Commission or Anti-Corruption Commis-sion. They also ran trainings on leadership and communication and how to work with the media and plan others on conflict resolution.  Areas of operation of WWS in South Sudan 2. Build gender equality by demonstrating increased economic productivity at household level and involve the whole community including men and religious leaders In Dinka culture (Lakes state is majority Dinka) household chores are usually carried out by women. Oxfam partner APARD did a survey of livelihoods in the family to discover what work people  4 were doing daily that was contributing to the family income. They found women spent by far the most time in income generation such as farming, but also on childcare, fetching firewood, clean-ing, cooking and mending clothes. They found men spent more time in community activities like meetings, marriages and socialis-ing. The programme interviewed beneficiaries/women and worked with them to develop men and women’s  collective responsibility for doing household work, caring for children, cooking and agricul-ture. They found that empowering women threatened male power and to address this they held workshops which encouraged both men and women to talk about household incomes. Women would meet separately at first, then a spokeswoman would be elected to feed back to the whole group. This was revolutionary in the Dinka culture as rather than separating the sexes it encouraged women to speak out in mixed groups. The work was built on five pillars: 1. Men and women sharing decisions together  –  which chal-lenges traditional Dinka practice. 2. Men and women sharing resources such as cattle, goats, chickens and farm products like sorghum and maize. Leader-ship sharing. For example there is just one woman governor of the ten states. Women can now go and see the cows for the dowry for their daughters and sit in on the discussions when this price is agreed. 3. Domestic role sharing 4. Equality in education. It is widely held girls should not be pri-oritised in getting an education, but by showing positive ex-amples such as women who run businesses or train to be doctors and then serve their community, these barriers can be overcome. 5. Leadership training  APARD formed gender groups at the start of the WWS project and carried out awareness meetings, community dialogues and gender training with this group since 2013. Their gender groups at first faced opposition from male traditional leaders saying these are not culturally acceptable practices. They brought women to workshops and helped make the argument that this would help women support their families, particularly those who had lost a husband in the conflict. The women argued they were not break-ing the culture, but creating more sustainable livelihoods that would benefit the whole community. They started to demonstrate economic benefit of women having a share in the economic pro-ductiveness of their homes. Men also began to realise that women are good managers. Some women are now able to own chicken and goats and even have a share in cattle. When Dinka girls are married (often at a young age), her family is given cattle by her future husband as a dowry. Traditionally, the mother of the bride is not supposed to be pre-sent among the in-laws when the bargaining takes place or when the cows are visited. So she does not know what people dis-cussed nor does she know the cows before they are handed over.  APARD encouraged frank debate within the communities to
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