Democracy Assistance in South Sudan
The goal of the project has been to involve youth in political and legislative processes. Through the established Youth Dialogue Forums at State and National level, the project aims to unite youth across ethnic divides, engage them in relevant political and governance issues and contribute to realize peace and reconcilliation at local and national levels.
The Oslo Center has since 2012 worked together with the South Sudan Youth Participation Agency (SSYPA) to strengthen the dialogue mechanisms between the different ethnic groups in South Sudan. The project has, through three project phases, established Youth Dialogue Forums in six (6) of the ten (10) original states. Several Youth Dialogue Forums have been conducted at National level to address important peace and governance issues.
The involvement of the civil society in South Sudan is essential for its democratic development. As youth constitute almost 70% of the population they are therefore a natural and important target group. The established Youth Dialogue Forums at state and national levels have been recognized by civil society and the government as important platforms for engaging youth in the ongoing democratic developments in the country.
The most important achievement of this project so far is that the culture of dialogue and reconciliation has begun to take root among the youth through the platforms of the Youth Dialogue Forums. The youth participating in the Dialogue Forums are now more aware of the importance of dialogue in promoting peace and are enthusiastic to work together for the democratic development in South Sudan.
Capacity building of SSYPA and the work with Youth Dialogue Forums will continue in 2017. The Oslo Center will also conduct an assessment, based on requests from political parties, in South Sudan in early 2017. A project to work with political parties, legislature and electoral body will become an additional component in the South Sudan program. The project will focus on how to strengthen the understanding and assist youth network and political parties to adopt dialogue as an approach of engagement, as well as capacity building on key issues. This can assist in finding solutions, through identifying areas of possible compromises and consensus on the ongoing state- and nation-building processes in the country.
Sponsors/donors: Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2012/2013) and the Swedish Postcode Foundation (2013-2016). New project is pending funding.