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May 22 24, 2023 (Rajaf, South Sudan): The recently concluded training workshop in Rajaf, South Sudan marked a significant step in enhancing the country’s institutional capacities in formulating and updating national strategies related to Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD). The workshop, organised by the IGAD Peace and Security Division, aimed to leverage the ongoing transition and the revitalized peace agreement in South Sudan to consolidate sustainable peace and development.

PCRD is a comprehensive and multidimensional process that addresses the needs of countries emerging from conflict, prevents escalation of disputes, and aims to consolidate sustainable peace. The African Union (AU) and IGAD recognize the importance of well-coordinated support in PCRD activities, but in practice, many international and regional organizations tend to operate independently, often leading to duplication and lack of complementarity. The primary objective of the training workshop was to enhance the institutional capacities of South Sudan in formulating and updating its national PCRD-related strategies. The specific objectives included reflecting on PCRD concepts and principles in the South Sudanese context, exploring innovative ways for inclusive PCRD processes, and enhancing knowledge and skills in PCRD policy development and implementation.

The workshop employed a co-creation approach, facilitating group discussions, presentations, and feedback sessions among the 35 participants representing national government institutions, civil society organizations, and youth and women’s organizations. Their technical expertise and diverse backgrounds ensured a comprehensive exchange of knowledge and experiences. The step-by-step approach allowed participants to formulate or refine PCRD strategies while exchanging ideas and expertise. The three-day workshop in Rajaffeatured a South Sudanese expert facilitator who provided an introduction to PCRD concepts, continental and regional policy frameworks, components of PCRD, and related issues. Participants underwent a technical process of formulating context-specific PCRD strategies, with a particular emphasis on reconciliation and transitional justice.

By the conclusion of the workshop, the participants acquired knowledge about PCRD definitions, principles, and concepts, enhancing their understanding of PCRD trends, challenges, and gaps. The workshop also generated approaches to integrate gender and diversity within PCRD processes systematically. Additionally, participants gained an enhanced understanding of developing context-specific PCRD policies, strategies, and plans tailored to the unique needs of South Sudan.

The recently concluded training workshop in Juba served as a vital platform for enhancing South Sudan’s institutional capacities in formulating and updating national PCRD-related strategies. By incorporating the principles of PCRD and promoting inclusiveness, the workshop contributed to the ongoing peacebuilding efforts in the country. The collaboration among national and international stakeholders, facilitated by IGAD, demonstrates the importance of coordinated and complementary support in post-conflict reconstruction and development. As South Sudan continues to implement the revitalized peace agreement, the workshop’soutput  will contribute to a more sustainable and peaceful future for the nation.

This workshop was funded by the European Union through Africa Peace and Security Architecture Program (APSA) Program.

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