Reconciliation for peace in South Sudan: evaluation report (2019)
This evaluation report presents the findings from nearly six weeks of field research and two weeks of desk-based work from a team of three experts on South Sudan. Guided by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the team considered six key questions about the implementation of the Reconciliation for Peace in South Sudan (RfPSS) project, implemented by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in support of the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC). The report presents a contextualization of the SSCC’s approach to reconciliation in South Sudan and follows with an overview of the project and the methodology for this evaluation. The body of the report provides the general findings, followed by findings per question and then lessons and recommendations. The annexes include several unique pieces of work that informed the evaluation findings: a context analysis, an organizational assessment and three case studies. Also included as an annex is a list of the 95 people consulted for this report and the tools used to guide data collection.
The evaluation was designed as an independent evaluation of RfPSS to inform USAID about project successes and challenges and to provide insights into potential design and operational priorities looking ahead. As such, the primary audience for this report is USAID, in particular the Democracy and Governance Team, with relevance also for the implementing partner and their South Sudanese counterparts. The purpose of this evaluation is to determine the effectiveness of RfPSS and identify any sustainable outcomes, including: • An evaluation of SSCC processes, activities and effectiveness as they relate to RfPSS; • An evaluation of CRS’s performance assisting the SSCC in these efforts; • An evaluation of the relevance, assumptions and theory of change as presented in RfPSS; and • An analysis of project outcomes, including identifying lessons learned and recommendations moving forward. RfPSS aimed to support the SSCC and its ecumenical partners in addressing communal conflicts and maintaining peace through reconciliation activities, while also strengthening grassroots constituencies and faith-based structures connected to the SSCC to undertake peacebuilding and reconciliation activities. The geographic focus of the project covered the former Lakes, Jonglei and Western Equatoria states, as well as Juba County. The goal of the project was to build a more peaceful, prosperous and reconciled South Sudan, based on inclusive citizen engagement at all levels, attention to past wrongs and the implementation of a just and comprehensive peace accord. Project activities focused on supporting the four pillars of the Action Plan for Peace (APP): (1) advocacy—enabling the SSCC to undertake advocacy, particularly through participation in the national peace process and visits to external influencers such as the U.S. and South Africa; (2) reconciliation—enabling the SSCC to undertake reconciliation and mediation activities, such as addressing intra-Murle, intra-Anyuak and intra-Acholi leadership disputes; (3) neutral forums—enabling community-based dialogues on peace and security challenges and solutions; and (4) organizational strengthening—supporting the development of the formal institutional structures and processes of the SSCC.