The parties to the conflict see our recent report South Sudan: A Civil War by Any Other Name all have their own ideas about what civil society is; and each party tends to believe the most legitimate civil-society representatives are those that think just as it does. Most recently, unresolved questions of what civil society is and what role it should play helped cause the suspension late last month of talks between the major warring parties. The regional precedents are not encouraging.
Hosted by the U. On the South Sudanese side, such commitments will include reform and policy-making benchmarks; on the donor side, effective, sustainable assistance and capacity development. These commitments are critical to ensure that assistance best enables South Sudan to successfully emerge from a legacy of underdevelopment and war.
However, to see success in South Sudan, they must also be accompanied by additional commitments on providing basic social services, enabling the vibrant role of civil society, and ensuring accountability and transparency.
With the expected dramatic increase in government revenue with the recent resumption of oil productionadequate devotion of resources to health and education should be central budget priorities. Free primary health care, investments in health facilities, training of health personnel, improvements in quality and availability of maternal health care, teacher training, investing in girls education especially in pastoral communitiesand improvement and consolidation of primary and intermediate schools curricula are among the most critical needs.
Civil society has a vital role to play in the development of South Sudan. In South Sudan — as around the world — civil society takes a range of forms including, national and international non-governmental organizations NGOscommunity organizations, media, trade unions, faith-based groups, and others.
Now and as South Sudan moves forward, civil society should be provided the freedom to operate and thrive; it should be valued as a critical component of a healthy, democratic society.
Constructive criticism provided by civil society, whether toward government, donors or other actors, should not be viewed as hostile but rather seen as well-intentioned contributions to the development of the country. Accountability and transparency — particularly in oil revenues — will put development goals within reach.
As oil revenues are revived, a national oil management policy must be enforced with a particular emphasis on reducing fraud and increasing scrutiny by civil society.
Furthermore, an empowered and genuinely independent Anti-Corruption Commission should be guaranteed by the government, and included as a primary benchmark by the donor community. South Sudanese NGOs and civil society are an incredible force for good in South Sudan and have much to add to relevant decisions made by officials in their government and policymakers in the international community.These normative and institutional frameworks acknowledge the critical role civil society organisations, through training, advocacy and monitoring, play in strengthening .
Civil society organizations can help consolidate democracy in a number of ways. As Diamond points out, civil society can play a role in checking, monitoring and restraining the exercise of power by the state and holding it accountable This function can reduce political corruption, which is .
Civil society has a vital role to play in the development of South Sudan.
In South Sudan – as around the world – civil society takes a range of forms including, national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community organizations, media, trade unions, faith-based groups, and others. “Civil society is a sphere of social interaction between the household (family) and the state which is manifested in the norms of community cooperative, structures of voluntary association and networks of public communication norms are values of trust, reciprocity.
By the end of the s civil society was seen less as a panacea amid the growth of the anti-globalization movement and the transition of many countries to democracy; instead, civil society was increasingly called on to justify its legitimacy and democratic credentials.
Although commendable, the newly found role of civil society as a de facto political opposition was not wholly constructive. In the words of at least one UN officer (cited by De Heredia ), ‘[t]he role of civil society is to check the government . In Sun City they were given seats.